User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 84
  2. Negative: 6 out of 84
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  1. Jun 17, 2015
    9
    Detective Oh: "He can't become a monster to fight the monster".

    The story is about a pregnant fiance is viciously murdered by a serial killer, a detective plots an elaborate and intricate revenge plot for the man responsible. The one thing that always bugs me when I watch some movies is some the over the top violence's. It happens in most Hollywood horror movies were they try to show
    Detective Oh: "He can't become a monster to fight the monster".

    The story is about a pregnant fiance is viciously murdered by a serial killer, a detective plots an elaborate and intricate revenge plot for the man responsible.

    The one thing that always bugs me when I watch some movies is some the over the top violence's. It happens in most Hollywood horror movies were they try to show how brutal and dark they can get, put it just comes off torture porn. I think it's best for movies to have a reason for the use of gore and not make it mindless. The Human Centipede movies are a perfect example of what not to do with mixing gore and story. Until I sawed the 2010 film I Saw the Devil in which it has it's gory parts but it never felt like it's over doing it, and that's what I wanted for dark movies like this.

    The director of the movie Ji-woon Kim who directed such movies like: The Good, The Bad and the Weird and The Last Stand. I only seen two of he's films and that's this movie and The Last Stand, but I haven't seen The Good, The Bad and the Weird yet. But anywhere Ji-woon Kim directed this movie with that sense of cold revenge which set up the tone perfectly for a film like this. Every shot in this movie is shot excellently and it's sometimes beauty and sometimes ugly, I mean this movie dose have a serial killer killing dozen of people and of course it's going to be ugly unless your Hannibal the TV show that you can make that ugliness into art, but it can be beauty with the open shot view of Korean even if it takes place in a environment of snow falling which is beauty to see or just outside. Ji-woon Kim directed the action scenes really well and smoothly and I got to say it's much better than most action movies are filmed today and I always love fight scenes from Korean or different kind of countries, because they fight scenes are quick, well performed, it get's you glued to the screen because it's that good and it's just awesome, and Ji-woon Kim did a excellent job directing at matching the tone and the action scene together perfectly.

    Byung-hun Lee who I have seen before but not in such good movies like: The G.I Joe movies and Red 2. But in this movie I actually sawed him delivered a solid and heart breaking performance that Byung-hun Lee really humanist he's character that I can feel he's pain and fury against this killer who ruined his life. But without spoiling anything Byung-hun Lee crying at the end was hard not to laugh I mean he looked like he was smile or something, if you seen the movie then you know what I mean. Everything else was good but that cry at the end which made me laugh a little. Besides that Byung-hun Lee gave a strong performance that even I forget that cry at the end.

    Choi Min Sik the main serial killer of the movie delivered both treating and a uncomfortable performance that at times made me think that he wasn't acting at all he was that good. He played the devil like serial killer so well that I can picture him in real life doing all these crimes. Choi Min Sik did a excellent performance in the movie that's chilling and unforgettable.

    Now this movie does have a strong hold of blood and little bit of gore that some viewers may be turned off by. This movie isn't for everyone and I understand it may not be they type of movie to watch. I would only recommend this movie to people who love a dark gritty revenge film.

    Now for the problems: What really took me out of the movie is how many times the serial killer get's smashed in the head by a metal object or by anything that can knock your teeth out or kill you. I'm not kidding you this guy is evil but still human and some many times he get's tortured a little bit and get's brutally injured in the head which starts bleeding, but somehow he's okay after that. I know it's a small little problem but to me it's big enough for me to talk about it.

    Overall I Saw the Devil is a gritty crime drama that it's sometimes hard to watch and hard to take in with the level of grittiness that's in the movie, and that's what made this movie both great and brilliant.
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  2. WJS
    May 8, 2015
    7
    Technically this film is very good, with excellent cinematography, music, direction and acting. However, the brutality of the violence is...overwhelming...which sort of turns it into a fancy version of torture porn. While I can recommend this terrifying journey into the hearts and minds of tortured souls, you have to have a very strong stomach. If it was ever to be remade by an American, ITechnically this film is very good, with excellent cinematography, music, direction and acting. However, the brutality of the violence is...overwhelming...which sort of turns it into a fancy version of torture porn. While I can recommend this terrifying journey into the hearts and minds of tortured souls, you have to have a very strong stomach. If it was ever to be remade by an American, I would volunteer Tarantino...or Eli Roth. Expand
  3. May 30, 2013
    5
    I really love revenge movies and there are many which are great. "I saw the devil" didn't shock me and I didn't felt nothing while watching. Watch: "Bedevilled" this is really shocking.
    "I saw the devil" is more a bloody action movie.
    But not a bad movie! Many people who love gore will enjoy it!
  4. Mar 1, 2012
    8
    I challenge you how many times do you have to cover your eyes with your hand during thiz film? The movie is so fertile, it makes THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (2009) and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010) look like plastic trees. The violence level will shock you to the edge of your seat. A secret agent found his fiancee brutally murdered by the hand of a serial psychopath killer. With all the powerI challenge you how many times do you have to cover your eyes with your hand during thiz film? The movie is so fertile, it makes THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (2009) and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010) look like plastic trees. The violence level will shock you to the edge of your seat. A secret agent found his fiancee brutally murdered by the hand of a serial psychopath killer. With all the power he has, the agent hunts down the killer and avenge him through the mercilessly pains he could possibly do. The power of thiz movie is not coming from its story which is predictable but still it leaves you a little twist in the ending, but how The Director describes it so well and brilliant gritty. The fact is Korea Media Rating Board has forced The Director (Jee-Woon Kim) to cut and edit of violent contents in thiz film. Although after the re-editing, in some scenes still will mark something in your mind, especially the killing scenes and violence against women. It is not a recommended for viewers with the weak of heart. Kim is known for his previous works, such as: A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (2003) and THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD (2008). In thiz revenge-thriller, the image is colorful with precise lighting and stunning cinematography. The throbbing score works along harmoniously through every scene. However, the focus of this movie undoubtedly is on two main characters. Both bring a depth of emotion in their character development. As NIS agent, Byung-Hun Lee (who is known as Storm Shadow in G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (2009)) gives a resolute and complex character, on one side he performs the vengeance without platitude, and on the other side we could see his brittle emotion. As the killer, Min-Sik Choi (who is known as OLDBOY (2003)) provides a convincing crazy psychopath character that is not afraid of anything. It is a perfect role for Choi. Nothing will prepare you for some atrocious scenes. In the end, after seeing thiz film entirely, something will make you realize, who the real Devil is? Is it the killer? Or is it the man who takes revenge to him? Since both of them bring unmerciful heat to their actions. Although they come from different direction and motive, finally they met in the middle anyway, they are the same. It is a good contemplation. Every person has The Devil inside them, the difference is: how far we can tame it?

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  5. Feb 12, 2012
    10
    Great film..love the characters, the story line, and the mood it sets pulls you in. These genre of horror movies are much different than the US type.
  6. Dec 25, 2011
    9
    I am VERY stunned that the metacritic score is 6.7. This movie is simply stunning but not for the faint-hearted. It is beautifully shot with the best example being the camera work in the taxi cab scene; it is absolutely incredible. If Man On FIre and Saw had a baby it would be I Saw The Devil, speaking in american terms. If you want one of the best revenge movies I have ever seen in myI am VERY stunned that the metacritic score is 6.7. This movie is simply stunning but not for the faint-hearted. It is beautifully shot with the best example being the camera work in the taxi cab scene; it is absolutely incredible. If Man On FIre and Saw had a baby it would be I Saw The Devil, speaking in american terms. If you want one of the best revenge movies I have ever seen in my life then see this amazing movie. Expand
  7. Dec 15, 2011
    10
    This has to be one of the greatest revenge movies I have ever seen. For 2 hours and 23 minutes, there are acts of vengeance committed on almost every scene. The movie never gets stale, and it always keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. It's gloriously violent, but it never feels exploitative. Choi Min-sik also plays one hell of a sadistic serial killer, and seeing Lee Byung-hyunThis has to be one of the greatest revenge movies I have ever seen. For 2 hours and 23 minutes, there are acts of vengeance committed on almost every scene. The movie never gets stale, and it always keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. It's gloriously violent, but it never feels exploitative. Choi Min-sik also plays one hell of a sadistic serial killer, and seeing Lee Byung-hyun deliver his vengeance against Choi time and time again never gets old. Of course, in the last 20 minutes the movie perfectly shifts gears into a suspenseful thrill ride, and the conclusion will leave you horrified like any good thriller should. I absolutely loved this movie. It was violent, twisted, and thrilling as hell. I don't remember a time where I've been shocked so many times during a movie. "I Saw the Devil" keeps you horrified, and when it doesn't do that, it holds you in suspense. Besides delivering the typical revenge message of "Vengeance doesn't solve anything," it also delivers a more subtle message. Don't mess with South Koreans. Expand
  8. Oct 17, 2011
    10
    I Saw The Devil is a nonstop violent, unpredictable, and enjoyable revenge film that has enough action to keep you on your seat. Surprisingly, it also teaches the audience a lesson and the performance from these actors are very believable.
  9. Oct 15, 2011
    9
    I am the first to be suprised, the Kerans are not really know for their films. But I Saw the Devil is clearly the Triller of the Year: Original, with two amazing lead actors, a original concept and a strong ambiance.
  10. Sep 13, 2011
    7
    Despite the gory violence and mindless blood the movie's plot heads to, "I Saw the Devil" brings revenge into a different level with director Kim's disarming imagery and a powerful, crazy performance by Choi.
  11. Aug 22, 2011
    8
    This revenge thriller film does what any film should, which is entertain. The central theme, that of a man becoming as much of a monster as the man he is chasing, carries the film well from beginning to end. The acting is great, the filming is top notch and the action scenes are well put together. I only gave it an 8 because there's a couple of things that don't make sense, but on theThis revenge thriller film does what any film should, which is entertain. The central theme, that of a man becoming as much of a monster as the man he is chasing, carries the film well from beginning to end. The acting is great, the filming is top notch and the action scenes are well put together. I only gave it an 8 because there's a couple of things that don't make sense, but on the whole - awesome movie. Expand
  12. Jul 18, 2011
    9
    Torture porn, revenge fantasy, the darkest of comedies; these are all words the describe this film but none of them in my opinion accurately portray what this is. The film Hostel broke new ground but this film ranks high above it but still cares over Hostel's tendencies. This is not for the weak of heart and if you even think that you might be able to bare it, don't because this film willTorture porn, revenge fantasy, the darkest of comedies; these are all words the describe this film but none of them in my opinion accurately portray what this is. The film Hostel broke new ground but this film ranks high above it but still cares over Hostel's tendencies. This is not for the weak of heart and if you even think that you might be able to bare it, don't because this film will at some point make you cringe. It's pretty much a requirement to close your eyes. Where films like hostel fail horribly this film succeeds. Brilliant action and writing will have you laughing one moment, cheering the next and possibly crying by the end. A mixture of emotions this is a roller-coaster ride for any fan of artistic cinematography, mind blowing action or horror in general. It might be a foreign film but please don't miss out on this amazing overall experience. This film right now is on Netflix Instant so please check it out!!! Expand
  13. Jun 17, 2011
    10
    Wow, just wow. Only another Korean movie could come close to the best revenge movie (Oldboy) of our time and "I saw the devil" sure comes close enough. This movie is just like Oldboy a glimpse into the abyss of the human soul/human mind. If you've seen Oldboy, then this movie just like Oldboy will, at the end, leave you in your seat thinking and trying to grasp what you just watched.
  14. May 15, 2011
    9
    A graphic, violent thriller which is fantastically shot and wonderfully enthralling. Revenge film with that wonderful grittiness that south Korea does so well. Enough twists to keep you guessing and a satisfying ending which can be a tricky task when working with subject matters like this.
  15. Apr 27, 2011
    1
    pointless and sadistic with 2 dimensional characters. if you enjoyed this movie, you're probably into torturing animals and arson. seek psychiatric counseling.
  16. Apr 21, 2011
    10
    First off, a lot of people reviewing are missing the point to this film. They write a lot of things about the violence and obscure scenes and they totally miss the point of the movie. You cant summarize this movie with what you see, it needs to take a count for what it makes you feel.

    Yes the movie is very violent, very bloody. It will make you cover your eyes of obscenity. Those scenes
    First off, a lot of people reviewing are missing the point to this film. They write a lot of things about the violence and obscure scenes and they totally miss the point of the movie. You cant summarize this movie with what you see, it needs to take a count for what it makes you feel.

    Yes the movie is very violent, very bloody. It will make you cover your eyes of obscenity. Those scenes set up the movie to the emotions you the viewer needs to be in to understand the point of the movie. I think the writer wants to make your mind go to dark places, very dark places. It want's you to scream "REVENGE" and "MAKE HIM SUFFER" and the beauty of the movie is that it does this, perfectly. When the movie comes closer to a conclusion the main point of the movie is revealing it self. You can't get revenge, all you have done to try to get revenge has made you loose even more. All the suffering you inflicted to the villain wont make him regret what he did or ever fear what you will do to him. "You lost already" is the line that says it all.

    The movie is a breath of fresh air, one of the best movies i have ever seen. It takes you through a journey to dark places and at the end makes you regret all the dark thoughts the movie made you think.
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  17. Apr 20, 2011
    10
    I will NOT spoil the movie for you in this review but I will recommend why you should watch it. Okay guys, its maybe another revenge movie... If you haven't seen I Saw the Devil, you might think this will be yet another typical movie of the genre, BUT its not, its unique, and I think its one of the best movies of its genre. The director of I Saw the Devil was the guy who also directed AI will NOT spoil the movie for you in this review but I will recommend why you should watch it. Okay guys, its maybe another revenge movie... If you haven't seen I Saw the Devil, you might think this will be yet another typical movie of the genre, BUT its not, its unique, and I think its one of the best movies of its genre. The director of I Saw the Devil was the guy who also directed A Bittersweet Life (which I also give a 10/10) and also The Good, The Bad, The Weird. The movie is packed full of solid acting with my favourite Korean actor Byung-hun Lee as the main character who plays as a tragic secret agent who seeks for revenge at all costs.
    The antagonist is brilliantly acted by Min-sik Choi who plays as a psycho killer in the movie, he played the main role of the famous Old Boy in the past.

    The movie has an original but intense story which shows you how cruel humans can be, it has a meaning to it at the end of the day.
    I don't wanna say much about the story because I don't wanna spoil it for you, but it has a very tragic, intense and sadistic story. The movie has quite a few action scenes which are perfectly presented, and shows how much the main character hungers for vengeance. The scenes all have amazing Choreography in them and has one of the most entertaining scenes I've seen in a while.

    Don't think about watching it if you can't bare blood and gore. It is one of the grimmest movies I have seen, this is not a bad thing. It is not mindless gore as the violence and killings was created so that the audience sees really how sadistic the villian is.

    10/10
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  18. Mar 24, 2011
    2
    The violence is raw and shocking, even too much at times. However, the plot is full of coincidences and happenstance that take away from the premise of one becoming a monster to hunt another. The worst offense is the misogynistic nature of the story in which all the women are useless and powerless against anything that happened to them. They exist in the movie merely as fodders and victims.
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Apr 14, 2011
    88
    Director Kim Jee-woon's astonishing story of a serial killer who picks the wrong man's fiancée to murder, is so extreme and intense that it had to be trimmed down in its native country before it was released to theaters. We lucky westerners get to see it in all its hair-raising, stomach-churning glory, and that's a wonderful thing.
  2. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Mar 25, 2011
    88
    A terrific but uncompromising film that's definitely not for everyone.
  3. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Mar 24, 2011
    67
    Although the sequences grow somewhat repetitive in spite of their vicious escalation, and some of the details challenge believability, I Saw the Devil is a spectacle of substantial merit.