I purposefully held off on writing my Top Ten Heaviest Films I've Ever Seen because I hadn't seen Kim Ji-woon's notably brutal I Saw the Devil. I'd heard the buzz in festival circuits, this 2.5 hour joyride into hell, a punishing revenge tale pairing chisel-featured special agent Lee Byung-hun (aka "The Bad" from Kim's The Good, the Bad, the Weird, though his portrayal of the unnerved director in Park Chan-wook's short Cut prepared me somewhat for his role here) against a wild-eyed and -maned sociopath played of course by Choi Min-sik. Anyone who's seen Park's Oldboy (and alternatively Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) knows what he's capable of. Well he combines the ripped juggernaut in Oldboy and the sicko in Sympathy for Lady Vengeance and one-ups it. Or ten-ups it: he's an absolute MONSTER here.
Lucky for you sickos, I Saw the Devil opens at IFC Center on March 4, and even sooner for you savvy festival-goers, as it's included in this year's Film Comment Selects at Lincoln Center.
All photos courtesy Magnet Releasing