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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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Are Truth Seekers Playing by Slaughterhouse Rulez



One of our favorite pairings of stars from the last twenty years is no doubt that of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Their chemistry is undeniable, and if you didn’t get enough of it in “Spaced,” Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End, and Paul, you’re about to get a bellyful of it on both big and small screens.

Variety is reporting that Frost and Pegg will be starring in “Truth Seekers,” a half-hour comedy-horror TV show about a three-person paranormal investigation team.

According to the site, each installment of “Truth Seekers” will focus on a paranormal incident, a setup with clear monster-of-the-week potential. “Each episode is going to be an adventure, a potential haunting or something,” Pegg says. “It’ll start as a very parochial idea, a very small business venture for these people, but it will expand as the series goes on to be something far more global. It’s a language everyone understands, the mystery of the unknown. Shaun of the Dead was a very parochial story set in North London, and somehow it managed to get this global reach because everyone understands the language of zombie movies.

That’s not all, though… the pair are also working on the feature film Slaughterhouse Rulez, a horror-comedy now in post-production. Directed by Crispian Mills and set in a well-to-do public school, the movie is “very satirical, very much about the U.K. selling itself off,” Pegg says. “It’s about fracking as well, and that unleashes some awful subterranean demon.

Both of these projects will be released under their Stolen Picture shingle. Stay tuned, kids! More as we get it!

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Rest in Peace – Yôsuke Natsuki



We’ve lost another Kaiju legend today as reports are coming in that famed Japanese actor Yôsuke Natsuki has passed on at age 81.

Natsuki was a familiar face in several Godzilla films including Godzilla 1985 and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster. Born in 1936, Yôsuke has made over 100 appearances in film with the last being in 2012’s Kirin.

We here at Dread Central would like to take this time to honor Natsuki’s friends, family members, and constituents.


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NSFW Kill Clip from Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories Now Available on VOD



VOB now available on VOD!

For those who might not know, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a sequel to the indie horror anthology Volumes of Blood, produced by P.J. Starks and Eric Huskisson (The Confession of Fred Krueger) and Christopher Bower (The Dooms Chapel Horror).

It features actor Moses Moseley, best known for his role as one of Michonne’s “Pet Walkers” on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; the acting debut of WWE legend Sir Mo from Men on a Mission; and original music by Rocky Gray (drummer for We Are the Fallen, Living Sacrifice, formerly of Evanescence) and Shane Prather (Sharknado franchise, Sinister Squad, Lavalantula).

The flick recently hit VOD and to celebrate the release, the filmmakers have shared a “Kill Clip” from the movie to spread the bloody word.

You can check out the NSFW Kill Clip called “All Torn Up” in all its gory glory below and then let us know what you think.

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is now available on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and more!


A couple plan to purchase an old home but would like one last tour before the closing. They’re guided around the estate by a creepy realtor that may have more in store than they bargained for.

Searching floor by floor, they begin to discover the remnants of its sordid and terrifying past… A popular 80’s franchise gets a modern upgrade, but at what price? On Halloween night a teen left home alone meets a trick or treater that wants more than just candy. A door to door insurance salesman makes a Thanksgiving house call with monstrous consequences. Andrew and Sara are happily married and plan on spending some quality time together, but something sinister has other plans for their evening. Carol’s Christmas Eve turns into a fight for survival when a vengeful stranger isn’t feeling the holiday spirit. Lastly, a birthday party turns bloody when some unexpected guests drop by at the wrong time.

Seven interwoven tales of terror… how many stories does your house have?

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