National Intelligence Service agent Kim Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun) is on the hunt for a serial killer after the butcher, Jang Kyung-chul (Oldboy’s Choi Min-sik), murdered his fiancée. That would be enough of a plot for some thrillers, but not I Saw the Devil. The story spirals completely into madness as Soo-hyun tracks down Kyung-chul, beats him within an inch of his life, and then… lets him go.
Why? That would be telling, but Kim Jee-woon’s energetic and ultraviolent film spits on conventions, revealing comic book-like secrets of serial killers and gradually transforming the hero into an all-new kind of monster. I Saw the Devil transforms in front of our eyes, evolving from one genre to the next, until it’s undeniably something altogether different. A genre hybrid of the most manic order, and an intensely satisfying — albeit gruesome — motion picture experience.