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Kim Jee-woon Talks I Saw the Devil

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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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Inside Remake Gets New Poster and U.S. Release Date

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It’s about time.

It has been a whopping four months since we shared with you guys the red band trailer for the upcoming English language remake of Inside starring Rachel Nichols and Laura Harring.

Today we have an all-new poster for the film (via our buddies at Arrow in the Head), and the one-sheet also boasts the remake’s U.S. release date. Yes, Inside will be hitting Stateside on January 12, 2018.

You can click on the poster to the right to check it out in higher-res. After that make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’re planning to check out this remake in the comments below!

Miguel Ángel Vivas directed the Inside remake.

Produced by Adrian Guerra and Nuria Valls at Spain’s Nostromo Pictures, the remake was written by Manu Diez and [REC] creator/co-director Jaume Balaguero. “We took the original idea and made it an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more Hitchcock-ian than a splatter-fest,” said Guerra.

Again, Inside hits U.S. theaters and VOD January 12, 2018.

Synopsis:
Pregnant and depressed, a young widow tries to rebuild her life following the fateful car accident where she lost her husband and partially lost her hearing. Now, about to go into labor, she’s living in a remote house in the suburbs when, one Christmas night, she receives an unexpected visit from another woman with a devastating objective: to rip the child she’s carrying from inside her. But a mother’s fury when it comes to protecting her child should never be underestimated.

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Deep Blue Sea 2 Rated R for Creature Violence/Gore and Language

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Five months ago we shared the news that there was a secret sequel to the 1999 killer sharks vs. Tom Jane and LL Cool J movie Deep Blue Sea filming, and today we have the sequel’s rating.

And it’s about what you’d expect. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Yes, the upcoming shark attack sequel Deep Blue Sea 2 has been rated R by the MPAA for “creature violence and gore and for language.”

Not only that, but we have a few words on what we can expect from the sequel via a creative executive over at Warner Bros. named Matt Bierman.

“We are a true sequel,” Bierman said regarding the sequel. “We wanted to keep to the spirit of Deep Blue Sea and why people love it. The research that was used on the sharks in Deep Blue Sea 2 comes from the mythology and storyline of the first movie. We have given the lead shark a personality and hope the fans will embrace that as it really helps the storytelling and the narrative in a way that [the] first one didn’t. Deep Blue Sea 2 has a slightly slower build, but once the rubber band snaps, things go boom really quickly!”

The lead shark has a personality? How could that be a bad thing?

Let’s just hope there aren’t scenes of the rugged Tom Jane stand-in lovingly hugging/stroking the shark after it does something cool and telling the new guy how the shark (nicknamed Bruce) is just “misunderstood.”

…And then the shark saves everyone at the end. Called it.

The sequel is directed by Darin Scott from a screenplay by Erik Patterson, Hans Rodionoff, and Jessica Scott and stars Danielle Savre, Rob Mayes, and Michael Beach.

The movie is set to premiere on Syfy sometime next year. Once we know the exact date we’ll let us know so stay tuned!

“Deepest. Bluest. My head is like a shark’s fin…”

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror

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Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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