I Saw the Devil

I Saw the Devil ★★★

The path Lee chooses to follow is one of reciprocal justice governed by the law of retaliation. He's doing it "just like you [Choi] did," he says, "nothing more, nothing less." He's giving back to these evil men what they gave to him and others, an eye for an eye until the whole world is blind, but not stopping at eyes, continuing on to hands, feet, entire heads. A life for a life until the whole world is dead. There's nothing worth saving here, it seems. Lee seeks to teach Choi a lesson; he's inflicting pain upon him so that he will understand what he's done to the people he hurt and killed. "Do you realize now what you've done?" But here Choi is right, Lee has already lost this battle, his whole crusade has been for naught. "Seeing scum like them makes me sorry to be human." There's a sense here in which humanity is simply irredeemable, and the futility of Lee's question seems to confirm this suspicion. I Saw the Devil thus enters the canon of antihumanist cinema: humanity is rotten, the whole rotten world is doomed, and even with Lee's extreme vigilantism, the fight for justice is ultimately futile.

2010 | South Korea | Horror | Patreon

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