Kim Jee-woon Talks I Saw the Devil - Dread Central
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Kim Jee-woon Talks I Saw the Devil



I Saw the Devil (Akmareul boatda) is an epic, violent, serial killer film about the price of seeking revenge. At over 2 hours long, the audience is asked to endure extreme emotional and visual content— mutilations, rape, and cannibalism just to name a few. And director Kim Jee-Woon wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

His desired effect was to create an authentic experience, harsh, but never cruel enough to lose the audience for good. For a defeated audience, he felt, would not be able to feel the catharsis when the movie ended, that things are returned to normal and they could go back home to their families away from this graphic revenge tale, where no one wins, but everyone suffers in unspeakable ways.

Kim Jee-woon Talks I Saw the Devil

Heather Buckley: Why did you decide to name your film I Saw the Devil?

Kim Jee-woon: There are a few different meanings for the title. Obviously the first would be that we see the devil in this serial-killer character and when we first come upon him, and second would be when we first thought it was just a serial-killer, we start seeing the descent of So-Hyun’s character in such desperate and extreme ways that we start seeing him turning into a devil. The third would be the audience members finding inside themselves the desire to see a more complete kind of revenge, and kind of wanting to watch this scene of revenge play out and take its course, and finding in that, in finding in a dark corner of their own selves, a devil inside there. Those are the three major ways you can take the title. So by taking note of these very raw, very basic desires and passions that are dwelling inside those dark corners of humanity, is where the title takes its inspiration from.

HB: Can you comment on the level of violence in your film?

KW: For the starting point of the film, we see one of the first acts of violence that Kyung-Chula, that’s the serial-killer character, takes on, but right after that, the film is really about this man who is taking vengeance on the serial killer, and in a sense, avenging his wife in a way and assuaging that point of the dilemma, so even though the starting point starts off with Kyung-Chul the serial-killer, it’s really more of a film about taking that vengeance, and it really starts from my asking myself, what would I have done if I were in a similar situation, like if my wife was done that way and I had to take revenge, how would I do this? How would I enact this revenge and this pain on this man? So, eventually, we focus on his steps and his progression towards becoming a devil himself. More so, then how a serial-killer might have wrongly done something, so because we are focusing more on that, the vengeance, more than on the initial acts, I could leave those things a bit to the side and leave them out in this narrative and focus more on the descent of one man into a very vengeful, very fearful devil himself. One that he didn’t think he was in the beginning.

HB: How does the subject of vengeance play a role in Korean extreme cinema?

KW: I think, there are, visually … vengeance as a subject matter is something that is very interesting to see and visually express, in a way, and I think that’s one of the reasons it’s dealt with a little bit more in film rather than in other forms of literature or anything like that. I would say it’s not a recurring theme in Korean cinema, there are other cinemas, US, Japan, other areas, that produce films that deal with revenge before as well, but what I think is common and what is in the center is that revenge is a very strong emotion, a very strong kind of action and very prone and easily adaptable for the visual medium of film, and that’s why I think it’s been dealt with so much. Korean audiences do tend to like these very strong films, and that it happens to be revenge, which is a happy coincidence I think, but generally I would say that Koreans like this strong plotting, and these strong, hard hitting films, and maybe that’s why we see these.

HB: What attracted you to the subject matter?

KW: So, the starting point for this movie was me asking myself what I would do if I were in those shoes of Soo-Hyun, how would I take my revenge and enact upon him the same exact terror and pain and fear that I felt and return that exactly to him, to satisfy that desire. So, it’s kind of a fantasy of revenge that we all at one point have in our lives and I think that what I was trying to do was opting on lingering the camera during certain scenes probably longer than I should have, or going over the limit of what we are used to just a little bit to really drive the point home, in a way, to more exactly transfer that pain and hurt to the serial-killer, Kyung-Chul, and in that transference of those pains to him, have that transfer over to the audience as well, so when they feel that discomfort and that pain, they can feel that point driven home to them because it’s just a little bit longer and a little bit over the limit of what they’re used to.

HB: How did you come to cast Choi Min-sik (Oldboy)?

KW: I didn’t, in fact, cast Choi Min-sik in this film, it was the other way around, he brought this script to me instead. Fans of these two actors in Korea, often compare this movie, saying that it was a clash between the villain from Bittersweet Life, and Choi Min-sik from Oldboy, to the point where a variation of that was used for the ad copy of the film, saying ‘One of the most funny, energetic actors, Cho Min-sik, clashes against a very cold, nuanced, Lee Byung-hun.’” So there was already, beyond the casting, much interest in these two actors coming together and kind of facing off in a film.

HB: And what are you, as the filmmaker, getting out of creating an unpleasant experience for the audience?

KW: It’s really one of the things I wanted the audience to feel, this uncomfortable kind of pain that they might get from watching this film, to make that pain, the hurt, really palpable and drive that point home to the audience, in effect. I think that if the audience didn’t feel some kind of pain like that, then it would have been a ‘fake’ kind of movie, it would have been just a regular kind of popcorn flick, where it’s just something to cast aside, but if the point is really driven home, then people are able to walk out of the theatre thinking ‘I’m glad my life is so much more peaceful than what I’ve just seen, then it would, there would be nothing more that I would want from them.

HB: So your film has a positive message?

KW: I’m hoping that what we see, that the pressure of the genre film, the pressure of this film within the genre is not too overbearing, it’s not a pure horror film that people will watch and be scared of but rather that once they’ve watched it, they’re able to have that sigh of relief, and like I said, appreciate and enjoy the peace that we have in our lives, and that would be the ultimate message I guess.

Read our I Saw the Devil review here.

Kim Jee-woon Talks I Saw the Devil

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Kevin Bacon Lets Us Know the Tremors Reboot Pilot Has Wrapped Filming



Two weeks ago we let you guys know that Tremors mainstay Michael Gross, aka Burt Gummer, was, unfortunately, not asked to be a part of the upcoming Syfy reboot series starring Kevin Bacon.

While that news upsets us a bit, being that the series has only filmed its pilot episode, we feel that there is still a big chance we could see Burt return to kick some more Graboids in the tentacle-thingies with elephant guns.

Fingers crossed.

Speaking of the “Tremors Syfy pilot, recently star Kevin Bacon took to Instagram to let us all know that filming has wrapped!

You can check out The Bacon’s post below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are for Syfy’s “Tremors” series in the comments below!

In the Tremors follow-up, written by Andrew Miller, the killer Graboid worms that nearly destroyed Perfection, NV, 25 years ago are back; and the town’s only hope for survival is Valentine McKee (Bacon), who beat them once. But to do it again he’ll have to overcome age, alcohol, and a delusional hero complex.

“Tremors” the TV series is headed our way courtesy of Jason Blum’s Blumhouse TV and Universal Cable Prods.

We’ll let you know when we hear more about the series!

So long to NM. Had an amazing time shooting this pilot. Hope I can keep walking in these boots #Tremors

A post shared by Kevin Bacon (@kevinbacon) on

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Exclusive: Buzzard Hollow Beef Brings Cannibal Gore to the Holidays



Holidays at the end of the year seem to be focused on one major aspect: food. From Christmas hams to Thanksgiving turkeys to Hanukkah latkes to who knows what else, eating is a very important part for end-of-the-year festivities. Personally, I’m totally okay with it because it means great food and TONS of leftovers, ensuring that I don’t have to concern myself with cooking for at least a couple of days.

But what if the holiday season were a bit more sinister and what if the food was a bit more…unsavory? Allow us to introduce you to Buzzard Hollow Beef, a new vision of horror that blends cannibal hillbillies, intense and terrifying hallucinations, and small town mysteries. If this sounds up your alley, then don’t fret about waiting because the film comes to Amazon Prime, iTunes, and other transactional platforms on Tuesday, November 21!

We’ve got a trailer, poster, and several stills for you to check out, so peruse at your will and enjoy!

Directed by Joshua M. Johnson, who co-wrote the film with Tara C. Hall, Buzzard Hollow Beef stars Bruce Jennings, Nadia Kamil, Scott C. Brown, Emily Letts, Janet Chiarabaglio, Amanda Spinella, Will Frazier, Gabriel Caste, and Doug Perkins.

Still reeling from her divorce and struggling as the single mother of a 9 month old, Jordan Vollmer looks forward to a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend with her family and her best friend, Paige. As the group ventures into the small town of Buzzard Hollow, they are greeted with strange and unsavory characters, known around these parts as the Solomon family. Their suspicions surrounding the Solomons are aroused by the fact that they all seem unwilling to talk about the beef that they serve in their hamburgers and sell in their butcher shop. When the Vollmers experience horrifying hallucinations, they begin to suspect that the Solomons are somehow involved.

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Exclusive: Confrontational Bewitches and Hypnotizes With Fade/Into the Burning Dawn



Earlier this year, I introduced you readers to Italian synthwave artist Confrontational and his cover of Sabrina’s “Boys (Summertime Love)”. While that track was pure summertime brightness, we recognize that many of you are more interested in the darker side of music, where songs are melancholic yet brimming with a hypnotic sexual tension. To that end, we’ve teamed up once again to bring you the exclusive track premiere of “Fade/Into the Burning Dawn” featuring Tying Tiffany, which you can listen to below.

Melding equal parts of The Cure and John Carpenter, the song pulsates sensually, evoking imagery of electric blue and hot pink lasers piercing through vantablack darkness. Furthermore, the dynamic between the female and male vocals adds a wonderful sense of intimacy. This song was clearly a child of the 80’s that is now grown up and ready to stand on its own.

Confrontational tells Dread Central:
The final chapter in the triptych, once again graced by Branca Studio’s outstanding artwork, recounts the striving for light in spite of the devouring darkness that surrounds us all. Unrequited love, loss of innocence, loss of identity, temptation and anger – the story finally comes to a close. There is a deep and heartfelt sense of longing throughout each of the tracks, a hard-hitting feeling of nostalgia – which is something Tiffany found out to be a constant in my songwriting. I have been a fan of her work for a long time and I am ecstatic to have finally worked together on this. Her unique take on the lyrics is what makes it so very special, and her vocals blending seamlessly with mine throughout the choruses turned it into a true personal favorite. To have Tiffany on the album along with these amazing heroes of mine – Cody, Tobias and Trevor – is simply dream-like, and makes me so very proud to finally share the effort with you all. I look forward to checking out everyone’s comments on this and I can’t wait to bring it to the stage soon!

“Fade/Into the Burning Dawn” comes from Confrontational’s upcoming album The Burning Dawn, which can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp. Guest appearances on the album include Tobias Bernstrup, Cody Carpenter, and more!

Confrontational can be followed at his official website, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify.

Upcoming tour dates:
January 25 – Milano (TBA)
January 26 – Savona (TBA)
January 27 – Ravenna (Bronson)

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