An agent goes out to seek revenge, hunting down the psychopath who murdered his pregnant fiancee. But his desire for the serial killer to suffer, causes his own actions to become increasingly violent.
I've only recently come into contact with Korean cinema, and what I've seen so far has been very impressive indeed. I Saw The Devil is no exception. Visually it's absolutely stunning. The photography and lighting work beautifully together and, along with interestingly detailed set design, create some very atmospheric imagery. The score is unusual, with music that seems soothing and almost hypnotic. The opening scenes of a car driving through a snow storm have a calmness and remarkable beauty, which makes the ugliness and brutality of the events that follow all the more shocking.
Byung-hun Lee's performance as the lead character is utterly convincing, and it's hard to take your eyes off him whenever he's on screen. In fact the acting throughout the film is superb, without exception. The story is dark and intriguing, and the action scenes - in particular the fight sequences - are impressively and precisely choreographed. As the story gets darker, so does the level of brutality. The viewing experience is quite an intense one, and at times very disturbing.
The brutality of the torture, rape and other violent scenes is shocking, and these did make me feel very uncomfortable. But from an acting, storytelling and technical point of view, I Saw The Devil is a powerful and outstanding piece of cinema. 4/5