I Saw the Devil
Hangul ??? ???
Hanja ??? ???
RR Akmareul boattda
MR Angmar?l poattta
Directed by Kim Ji-woon
Produced by Kim Hyung-woo Jo Sung-won Kim Jae-young Kim Jung-hwa
Written by Park Hoon-jung
Starring Lee Byung-hun Choi Min-sik
Music by Mowg
Cinematography Lee Mo-gae
Editing by Nam Na-young
Studio Showbox/Mediaplex
Distributed by Showbox/Mediaplex (South Korea)Magnet Releasing (US)
Release date(s) August 12, 2010 (2010-08-12) (South Korea) March 4, 2011 (2011-03-04) (United States)
Running time 144 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Gross revenue $12,132,588


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I Saw the Devil

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Korean theatrical poster

I Saw the Devil is a 2010 South Korean film directed by Kim Ji-woon, written by Park Hoon-jung and starring Lee Byung-hun and Choi Min-sik. The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and had a limited U.S theatrical release.


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Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik) is a dangerous psychopath who kills for pleasure. He has committed infernal serial murders in diabolic ways that one cannot even imagine and his victims range from young women to even children. The police have chased him for a long time, but were unable to catch him. One day, Joo-yeon, daughter of a retired police chief becomes his prey and is found dead in a horrific state. Her fiance Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun), a top secret agent, decides to track down the murderer himself. He promises himself that he will do everything in his power to take bloody vengeance against the killer, even if it means that he must become a monster himself to get this monstrous and inhumane killer.


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  • Lee Byung-hun as Soo-hyun
  • Choi Min-sik as Kyung-chul
  • Oh San-ha as Joo-yun, Soo-hyun's fiance
  • Jeon Kuk-hwan as Det. Jang, Joo-yun's father
  • Kim Yun-seo as Se-yun, Joo-yun's sister
  • Choi Moo-sung as Tae-joo, Kyung-chul's friend
  • Kim In-seo as Se-jung, Tae-joo's girlfriend
  • Cheon Ho-jin as Det. Oh

Alternate versions

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The Korea Media Rating Board forced Kim to recut the film for its theatrical release, objecting to its violent content. Otherwise, the film would have received a "Restricted" rating, preventing any sort of release in theaters or on home video. Seven cuts were made with the total run time of removed material between eighty and ninety seconds.


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I Saw The Devil was released in South Korea on August 12, 2010. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 21 January, 2011. It also received screenings at several other international film festivals, including the Fantasporto Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival and the London Korean Film Festival.

American distribution rights were acquired by Magnet Releasing who released it in theatres on a limited basis on March 4th, 2011.

Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times wrote "From an unexpectedly moving first act to a hilariously disgusting sojourn with Kyung-chul’s cannibal pal, Mr. Kim and his cinematographer, Lee Mogae, retain complete control of the film’s fluctuating tones and impressive set pieces."

Mark Olson of the Los Angeles Times wrote "There is all the violent mayhem, for certain, but the thing that sets I Saw the Devil apart is its undercurrent of real emotion and how unrelentingly sad it can be."

Rob Nelson from Variety magazine stated that "Repugnant content, grislier than the ugliest torture porn, ought to have made the film unwatchable, but it doesn't, simply because Kim's pic is so beautifully filmed, carefully structured and viscerally engaging. "

Awards and nominations

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2011 47th Paeksang Arts Awards

  • Grand Prize Award for Film - Lee Byung-hun

2011 17th FANT-Bilbao Fantasy Film Festival

  • Official Selection Best Film

2011 29th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival

  • Golden Raven

2011 5th Asian Film Awards

  • Best Editing – Nam Na-young

2011 31st Fantasporto Film Festival

  • Fantasy section Best Director - Kim Ji-woon
  • Orient Express sidebar Best Film

2010 31st Blue Dragon Film Awards

  • Best Cinematography – Lee Mo-gae
  • Best Music – Mowg
  • Best Lighting – Oh Seung-chul
  • Nomination – Best Leading Actor – Lee Byung-hun
  • Nomination – Best Art Direction – Jo Hwa-sung
  • Nomination – Technical Award – Jung Do-ahn, Lee Hee-kyung

2010 13th Director's Cut Awards

  • Best Actor – Choi Min-sik

2010 47th Grand Bell Awards

  • Best Lighting – Oh Seung-chul
  • Nomination – Best Actor – Lee Byung-hun
  • Nomination – Best Actor – Choi Min-sik
  • Nomination – Best Film

Home media

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The film was released on DVD in South Korea on 29 March, 2011 as a 3 disc set, which contains both the Korean theatrical version and international version.

Special features include:

  • Making Of
  • Art Direction
  • Action Featurette
  • Costume and Makeup
  • Special Makeup
  • Interview Collection
  • Music Featurette
  • Additional Scenes with Director Commentary
  • Poster Shoot

It will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in the US on May 10th, 2011 which will include deleted scenes and "HDNet: A Look at I Saw the Devil".

Some of the content on this page has been provided by the following page on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Saw_the_Devil

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