I Saw the Devil
Sub-Genre: Serial Killer, Thriller.
It's about time that S.Korea made an appearance on this countdown, because the filmmakers there have been making top-notch Thrillers better than anyone else has for years, and they more than deserve some love.
Ever since Oldboy took the film world by storm back in 2003, S.Korea has turned out a steady stream of bleak, intense, stylish, and emotionally-charged Thrillers (whether they be Horror or Crime), and as great as movies like Breathless, Memories of Murder, The Vengeance Trilogy, The Man From Nowhere, or The Chaser have been, none have moved us, or affected us, as much as I Saw The Devil has.
This is a cruel, overtly-violent movie that stands head and shoulders above most other Thrillers in regard to its direction, cinematography, mood,and of course, its shocking violence. Byung-hun Lee is fantastic as the troubled anti-hero who is seeking revenge against the Serial Killer who killed his fiance, but it's the brilliant Min-sik Choi who steals the show as that Serial Killer.
If you've seen Oldboy, then you already know what a great actor Min-sik Choi is. The cold, terrifying performance that he delivers in I Saw the Devil though, is hypnotizingly flawless, and he owns every single second that he's on-screen. He commands the scenery around him and he chews through it, spits it out, and then chews through it again.
He's the Korean Marlon Brando. End of story.
If you love Horror/Crime Thrillers, then you really should seek out the movies I've listed above, starting with I Saw the Devil. Once you've caught your breath, you can say a silent word of thanks, and I'll hear you. *In spirit, not literally.
See you tomorrow with #2!