Let me start off by saying this movie is most definitely not for everyone. That being said, it was a very original take on the revenge/serial killer take, so, of course, it came out of Asian cinema. US revenge movies just can't do what these guys do over there, most probably because American audiences, for the most part, can't take it. I Saw The Devil had a very limited release here, (on 15 screens at its widest) and in 8 weeks made $128,000.00. Over there, it made $12.6 million.

This is a dark movie, a very dark movie. And I'm not talking about 3D glasses dimmed out bad lighting dark. You know that part in the hero's journey where the hero is at his lowest point before having to rise up? It just keeps getting lower and lower and lower. And then that rising up part? Yeah, it's just an up-tick if that. I felt the need, the very palpable need to watch a Disney movie after this one. And I'm not talking current fair crap, I mean Haley Mills' Disney, Dean Jones' Disney. Some old Kurt Russel Computer Wore Tennis Shoes purity. Hell even that might have been too much too handle with those Disney Gangsters. Maybe Pollyanna is the right dosage of Yin to the Yang of I Saw The Devil.

All that horribleness aside, it's still a very good movie for just those reasons. It's visceral and hard to watch and really explores that age old 'what would you do' question. How far would you go, what would witnessing any of these things do to your brain, and do you become a monster to exact revenge on a monster?

I don't want to give too much away, but the basic plotline is the same as any revenge movie you've seen here... for starters. Where a serial killer kills this cop/special agent's wife and he hunts him down to exact revenge. One of the big differences, is the cop catches him in about the 45 min mark, of a 2:20min movie. The rest of the movie goes in to what he does to exact his revenge, and it sure surprised the daylights out of me.

The death scenes are filled more with the suspense then the actual visuals of other Asian/US torture porn. You still see plenty of blood and all, but the details thankfully aren't there (like in anything by Takashi Miike, which I have to just fast forward through because I can't watch that kind of visuals). The hard to watch part of these death scenes is from the characters plight because you actually care for them. In the few minutes of the opening, they establish a full relationship with the cop and his wife that you believe everything he goes through for her.

Now with Oldboy, the all-time-kick-in-the-nuts-revenge movie of all revenge movies, being remade by Spike Lee here, I'm sure I Saw the Devil won't be far behind. Now the real torture will be seeing what they do to those scripts when they Americanize them (zzzzzzing!).

So bottom line, if you do like revenge movies, this is for you. If you don't, stay away, because this one will be un-watchable.