I Saw the Devil is a film that offers the best of both worlds. On one hand, it’s a classic throwback to the golden age of film noir and Alfred Hitchcock. On the other hand, it’s a brutally violent film with torture scenes that wouldn’t be out of place in the fevered dreams of Eli Roth.
One reviewer has said that I Saw the Devil is as close to perfection as a film can get. Beautifully shot, scored and acted, the film is an unqualified masterpiece but this soon-to-be-classic by Kim Jee-woon contains a string of scenes so shocking that it had some viewers heading for the exit at the San Sebastian Film Festival on September 18.
Kim’s latest masterpiece is a change from earlier, more atmospheric works such as A Tale of Two Sisters and The Good, The Bad and The Weird. (The Hollywood remake of A Tale of Two Sisters is titled The Uninvited.)
I Saw the Devil is a revenge film and a “must” watch. Too violent for its own country, and banned there, the film is brutal and oftentimes hard to watch but it is extraordinary, the way Hitchcock would have done it.
If you like the films of Takashi Miike you’ll probably enjoy I Saw the Devil.