Posts Tagged ‘violent movies’

As much as I want to say “I Saw the Devil” was perfect and give it 5 out of 5 stars, it was literally just a hair short of perfect and I decided to rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.  This crazy Korean film shocked and wowed me.  When I watch a gory movie like this, I want the pain to be realistic, the characters to be likable, and the plot to be original and enthralling.  I found that this masterpiece knocked the ball out of the ballpark on all 3 of my expectations.  Soo-hyun is a nice guy with a pregnant fiance, Joo-yun.  Joo-yun’s car breaks down amid a snow storm and serial rapist and murderer, Kyung-chul is the first one to show up on the scene.  The first thing that struck me as surprisingly brutal was Joo-yun begging the killer to spare her and the life of her unborn child.  I’ve noticed that in American films they don’t do this, but in foreign films they go there.  They take the audience to a place of just pure discomfort.  Women being raped and murdered on-screen is nothing new.  But when films take it to the level where the murder goes from immoral to completely “you are Satan” status, it takes the audience to a new type of uneasiness.  There is something just so purely evil about killing a pregnant woman that immediately Kyung-chul’s persona is set for the rest of the film.

When Soo-hyun decides he wants to take revenge on Kyung-chul for the murder of his fiance, he opts out of capturing and murdering him, and instead takes revenge to a whole, new horrific level.  The entire movie is basically a game of cat and mouse, each round getting more bloody and brutal as they continue.  Director, Kim Ji-woon redefines revenge and puts on a hell of a show doing it.  It goes a little something like this: Soo-hyun captures Kyung-chul, literally beats the living shit out of him to the point where I don’t see how this dude is going to get up, and then leaves him abandoned in random areas so that he must wake up and fend for himself as he tries to make his way back into his house and back into his life.  Soo-hyun does this over and over and over, with each capture the violence is even more shocking, to the point where I thought Kyung-chul must be some bionic man or something to withstand the pain and live to tell the tale.

In a way, this film reminded me of “No Country for Old Men” in that the killer is beyond sociopathic and there is not even a shred of humanity that is detectable.  Kyung-chul withstands an absurd amount of pain yet feels absolutely no remorse for his actions and continues to capture and rape women.  This made Kyung-chul one of the most intriguing and horrific characters I’ve ever seen on film.  The way that Soo-hyun decides to torture Kyung-chul also defines him as both heroic and completely sadistic.  On one hand, Soo-hyun doesn’t intervene until Kyung-chul has already captured his victims and begins raping them.  If Soo-hyun intervened sooner, this could have been avoided though.  At the same time, he comes to the rescue mid-rape and tears Kyung-chul a new one in front of his victims.  I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I think I like it.  I’m sure it is every victim’s dream to witness first-hand their attacker getting the fucking wind knocked out of them and then some, and the way Ji-woon directs the film, it makes the audience feel as if justice is being done for more than just one victim.

Of course I have to talk about the gore, and be honest about the fact that yeah, I flinched a couple times.  Some of the gore and torture was just heart-wrenching.  If a director thought of it and put it on film, chances are someone out there, in this world of 6 billion crazy fucking people, has had the same exact thoughts and has maybe even carried out the same methods of torture.  Everything about the actions of the characters was heartfelt and I felt like I was watching real people and real reactions instead of actors and fake blood.  The reason I deducted .5 of a star was merely because of the emotional ending.  I am not one for emotions, I am DEFINITELY not one for emotions; and the fact that Soo-hyun just breaks down crying at the end was very hard for me to watch.  I can’t imagine the grief of losing a fiance who I found out was pregnant only AFTER she was murdered.  As much as I liked the film, the ending was too emotional for me and it made me feel extremely depressed towards the end and made me focus more on her death than the fact that Soo-hyun exacted the revenge on his killer and totally fucked up everything with his murderer’s family.  I guess, basically, I’m so used to just feeling a complete adrenaline rush at the end of films like these that I forgot that the whole reason for the bloodbath was revenge.  The ending reminded me that there was grief and heartbreak behind Soo-hyun’s actions and it wasn’t just another pointless gorefest like most films today.  With that being said, obviously I need to work on being more emotionally connected with films rather than relying only on the gross out factor.  I would definitely recommend this film because it is overall badass and besides, foreign flicks are usually the best, are they not?