Mandi’s Movie Madness- I Saw The Devil

Welcome to Mandi's Movie Madness. This series was inspired by the Iceberg infographics on Reddit, where people made depictions of the most disturbing movies they'd ever seen or heard of. My goal? To watch the ones I can find and give my uncensored thoughts as I watch. This... should be entertaining. :)

I normally don’t watch foreign films in other languages, or ones that are dubbed with subtitles. I’m hearing impaired, but read lips well. When the lips and sound I can hear doesn’t match the subtitles or it’s not synced properly, it drives me mad because my limited senses can’t keep up to what I’m seeing/hearing and make it compute. It’s just too much.

However, I’d heard really good things about this South Korean action-thriller, so I decided I had to struggle through. I’m glad I did. It’s a rare film that makes the villain so unlikable, so hated that… even when the antihero does things that are horrendous, you still end up rooting for him to take out the villain, despite the personal costs to himself and those around him.

From the first scene, serial killer Jang Kyung-chul is shown to have no moral conscience, no empathy. There’s simply no reason for his crimes, he kills because he wants to, he enjoys it. He kills because of a small personal slight, because he see’s something he likes and wants to take it, because someone is just an obstacle in his path.

When he kills agent Kim Soo-hyun’s pregnant wife, it puts the two on a collision course. This should be relegated to torture porn, some sort of elevated snuff film. However, the raw emotion and the story itself makes this rise above… you care about the family affected by this horrendous tragedy. You begin to hate the killer and cheer on the antihero no matter how repulsive his methods become. At some point in the film, it becomes unclear who will gain and keep the upper hand… or how many will fall in the pursuit of revenge on both sides.

The final scenes are awful, a final vigilante justice solidly earned. However… it is often an empty success. When hatred succors you and drives you forward, what do you have when you’ve achieved your goal and in the end, you’re standing alone faced with the weight of your misdeeds and how far you’ve fallen into the darkness to reach them?

All in all, a thoroughly provocative film that makes you think, and makes you wonder how far you would go in the same situation. It isn’t an easy film to watch, and it shouldn’t be. But… it definitely leaves an impression.

Found on Hulu.

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