I Saw The Devil (2010, Ji-woon Kim)

I enjoy a good horror movie, and have looked forward to this follow-up to The Good, The Bad and The Weird. It’s a well-shot cops-vs-serial-killers story. But beginning with the first murder, I got the increasing feeling that this would be less an enjoyably thrilling horror flick than a torturous bit of nastiness.

Then I got another steadily increasing feeling, that of a massive migraine which would knock out my ability to function for the rest of the day and keep me home from work the following day from its after-effects. So I spent a half hour of this movie willing myself not to have a migraine, hoping maybe at least I could finish the movie before it got too bad, taking breaks, sitting in dark rooms, then returning. Finally I figured it’s a bad movie and there’s nothing I can do to help myself anyway, so I might as well watch the second half under the sensory-distorting influence of a brain-crushing headache. Better to try and enjoy the glowing HD picture of a stylish slasher than sit bored and useless in the bedroom all evening.

Anyway, movie plays like a sequel to Se7en – 20 minutes in, a detective sees his wife’s head in a cardboard box. Her dad is in charge of the violent crime unit, and you’d think he’d be into solving this particular crime, but it’s the obsessed husband (Byung-hun Lee, The Bad in Good/Bad/Weird) who gets results, by going on an illegal rampage against all the lead suspects, getting into the killer’s head and swearing to torture him in return. Halfway through he finds the guy (Min-sik Choi, star of Oldboy), a school bus driver, and tracks him, beating the shit out of him every couple of scenes, finally beheading the guy in front of his estranged family. It’s a dark and torturous movie, which was extremely difficult for me to sit through, though that’s not completely the movie’s fault.