Driven by powerful performances in both the protagonist and antagonist roles, and bolstered by the equally as memorable cinematography and a beautiful score, Korean director Jee-Woon Kim’s 2010 horror/thriller masterpiece, I Saw The Devil, is perhaps one of the scariest films of the 21st century.
I Saw The Devil isn’t necessarily a horror movie in the traditional sense. It’s not trying to get you with jump scares, there are no ghosts or monsters or undead creatures, nor is its sole purpose to be a gore-fest with no interesting, discernible characters or memorable meaning to it like most other horror movies. I Saw The Devil is more closely related to films like Gone Girl or Se7en than it is the horror staples like A Nightmare on Elm Street or Halloween. I Saw The Devil is, in the most basic of terms, a murder mystery. All of that being said, I Saw The Devil is still one of the most effective horror movies to come out in recent years.
I Saw The Devil starts with a hell of an opening that effectively sets the stage for what’s to come in the following two hours. The first character we are introduced to, a 20- to 30-year-old woman named Joo-yun, is brutally murdered within the first ten minutes of the movie with most of the murder being shown on-screen. From here on out, the murders and tortures that take place just become grislier and harder to watch. The special effects work that was put forth in this movie for the gore is flawlessly executed and some of the most realistic effects work to date in the horror genre.