The movie rolls after nightfall. A lone woman stranded in a remote area in her defective auto. A helpful stranger appears. He offers assistance. Her father is a retired cop & her husband is a covert agent; she knows better than to take an offer from a stranger. In her most polite fashion, she thanks him and waits for the tow truck. That tow will never arrive.
Kim Soo-hyeon (Byung-hun Lee) goes on a quest to avenge his wife’s murder. He stalks Kyung-chul (Old Boy’s Min-sik Choi), the serial killer responsible. Kyung-chul has eluding police for a long time. Soo-hyeon’s is obsessed with revenge. He operates above the law. The two brutalize one another in this human hunt to see if “good” will triumph. I Saw the Devil contains many graphic & violent scenes. Often hard to watch but equally compelling to wait for the outcome.
The only missing aspect are background details. The killer has been at it a long time but how did this start? What motivates him? At one point, you meet one of his co-conspirators, another serial killer. They engage in a conversation about the savoriness of human flesh. Serial killers don’t have social clubs. They don’t go to the bar and admit to the bartender the issues s/he is having with a compulsion to kill. It’s a solitary, lonely habit, yet here, colleagues? It’s a peculiar, yet fascinating, exchange. The only way to describe the ending is artistic savagery. If you’ve finished reading this review, you must see I Saw The Devil.
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Country: South Korea
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Run time: 141