I remember a few years ago watching the movie Oldboy and just being amazed at the strong content in the film, especially it’s high quality of story-telling. [I assure you — I mean the original Oldboy, not that remake garbage] While the credits rolled at the end, I just stared blankly at the screen; in awe [and in shock] of what I had just seen. It made me want to watch more Foreign thriller films, to see if it was just Oldboy or if intense content was done all across Korean cinema. I began my search on IMDb. [I looked up recommendations based on Oldboy] I found a few films [all of which I’ve watched and own now] but only one title caught my attention: “I Saw The Devil“. I opened up it’s IMDb page and read the following plot:
“Jang Kyung-chul is a dangerous psychopath who kills for human meat. He has committed infernal serial murders in diabolic ways that one cannot even imagine and his victims range from young women to even children. The police have chased him for a long time, but were unable to catch him. One day, Joo-yeon, daughter of a retired police chief becomes his prey and is found dead in a horrific state. Her fiancé Soo-hyun, a top secret agent, decides to track down the murderer himself. He promises himself that he will do everything in his power to take bloody vengeance against the killer, even if it means that he must become a monster himself to get to this monstrous and inhumane killer.”
Interested enough, I looked for and found the film on Netflix. I stayed up until 1:30am watching it [it’s about two hours long] in amazement — this post will be sharing my experiences with the film and comparing it to Oldboy.
the screenshot above is taken from the beginning of I Saw The Devil: while Oldboy takes it’s time slowly setting you into the atmosphere of torture, I Saw The Devil throws you right in within five minutes of it’s title card. I mean, the guy straight up murders a pregnant lady! I was both nervous and amazed at what I was about to begin watching. The movie is basically an extreme version of cat and mouse, with Soo-hyun chasing Jang and not even killing him — but beating him just close enough to death, just to let him free. [so he can do it all over again, multiple times too!]
To finish this off on a high note, the two movies are fantastic. They’re both gripping enough to keep your head up [not like our friend Jang here, am I right?] but they’re also fairly powerful. Like Oldboy, the “hero” in I Saw The Devil doesn’t end up “happy” at the end of the movie.. I mean, SPOILER ALERT; he gets his revenge on Jang, but at what cost? his fiancé won’t come back, and he’s probably a wanted fugitive for committing murder. Same with Oldboy — would it have been better if Oh-Dai-Su didn’t find out the truth behind his capture? [he probably would have still had a tongue!]
Ultimately, revenge is like a poison — it slowly takes over us. Don’t get too caught up in your vengeance; cause It never ends well for anyone.
THANKS FOR READING.