Kim Jee-Woon’s brilliant I Saw The Devil is getting remade

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I knew something big was in the works when we went a couple of weeks without hearing of any new remakes on the horizon. I Saw the Devil is an absolute masterful piece of horror cinema that is downright brutal and dark as all hell, and now it’s headed to the States. Uh oh. I Saw the Devil has only been around for a couple of years so they certainly didn’t wait long to bring this one to American audiences. Let the Right One In underwent a similar situation when Matt Reeves remade the film shortly after (Let Me In), and honestly, that remake turned out just fine. So could this one have a similar fate?

This remake is being branded as a “port” by Dredd producers Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna, who just acquired the rights to the film. Obviously, fans of the original are going to start cliff diving just by reading this title alone, but as of right now this remake is in some pretty good hands. Here’s what they told the wrap: “[the original] is perfect in so many ways. The intention is not to remake the film per se, but rather to “port” it for international audiences.” That sentence tells me that they are going to remake the film shot-for-shot, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it worked for Reeves’ Let Me In. These guys worked wonders on Dredd and they had previously worked on the underrated The Grey as well, so they’ve certainly got a good track record thus far.

When his pregnant fiancee becomes the latest victim of a serial killer, a secret agent blurs the line between good and evil in his pursuit of revenge.

The original film is perfect in my opinion, and it sucks to see that it’s getting remade just so American audiences can see it. Sonofabitch. We’ll have to wait and see how this turns out because it could really go either way. In the meantime, if you havn’t seen I Saw the Devil then you now know what you’ll be doing this weekend.

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22 Comments

  1. Nick Powell

    At first I was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO then I saw it was being produced by the people who made Dredd and I was like… Hmm….

    Still very worried about this but it could be something special. The original is literally in my top 10 favorite movies of all time so I’m very weary. Especially with Spike Lee’s Oldboy being absolute shit.

    • Ryan

      Yea exactly. The fact that they worked on both Dredd and The Grey is the only silver lining. It also sounds like it’s going to be a shot-for-shot remake which could go either way. It’s one of my favorite films as well, it’s absolutely perfect.

  2. Joseph@thecinemamonster

    …well, I’m still a skeptical, but there’s some excitement mixed in there.

    • Ryan

      I think being skeptical is the best way to approach this one. There’s always that chance of them doing the original justice, but you just never really know.

  3. GaryLee828

    Love the original. One key to making this remake successful is casting the right protagonist and villain. The protagonist in the original was very charismatic, as the villain was quite despicable – and b/c I saw this before the original “Oldboy” I cannot even watch the original “Oldboy” b/c I simply cannot bring myself to root for the guy who was the villain in “I Saw The Devil”.

    I despised the “Last House on the Left” remake primarily b/c Krug was so grossly miscast. The dude had dyed hair to give a more youthful appearance and he just came across like a total unauthentic character; those who saw the original saw how genuinely terrifying Hess was as one of the most despicable villains in horror cinema, and although the original wasn’t a great film, it still had one of the most memorable performances from a villain, and that’s what you have to have to make any kind of horror/thriller effective…

    Point being, if you’re going to remake something…make sure you cast the right actors to play hero and villain, or everything will nosedive quick.

    • Ryan

      Very good points, Gary. Both characters are massively important so it’s going to be interesting to see who gets the nod as far as that goes. As far as LHOTL, I actually liked that remake more than most, but you’re right about Krug, he was way off.

  4. jmount43

    Just like any other film that is remade I intend to keep an open mind until I have actually seen the movie and can form an unbiased opinion. Maybe the remake will suck; but it’s a two way street; there is also the possibility that it will be one of the greatest of all time. The job of a critic is to base their opinion on what they see (in the case of movies), not on what they think they will see. To do the latter means there is no way you can review the film with a fair and open mind.

    • Ryan

      I couldn’t have said it better myself, Jmount! I’m notoriously optimistic with remakes because there are some out there that are pretty amazing. Hell, more than one remake that released this year landed on my “Best of List”!

      • jmount43

        I can name one remake that was, in my opinion, superior to the original: Maniac.

      • Ryan

        You got it! Better in every way.

      • Shawn Talley

        On the heels of OLDBOY’s failure, one has to wonder what visionary greenlit this?

        I point people toward the original on Netflix all the time. Same goes for LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (not the “fine” one, the one that’s near perfect).

      • Ryan

        I thought that was weird as well. Obviously the failure of Oldboy hasn’t stopped anyone, but I guess you could say that this is much lesser known so not that many people are even going to realize it’s a remake.

  5. GaryLee828

    Ryan, I vote for Idris Elba to play the lead. Have you ever watched his series “Luther”? It has a similar vibe as “I Saw The Devil”. It’s very well-written. Probably my favorite crime series I’ve ever seen. It’s on netflix if you haven’t seen it. I really think you’ll like it. Here’s a YouTube video of the pilot. It grabs you from the opening frame and never lets go. I highly recommend! :)

    • Ryan

      I do like Elba and that’s actually an amazing choice for the lead, or even the villain! Haven’t seen Luther but it does look awesome. I need to check it out for sure! Thanks for the heads up.

      • GaryLee828

        “Luther” is only 6 episodes season 1 and 4 episodes season 2, so you can finish the series quickly. I was blown away by how damn great it was by the end of the pilot; it hooks you, and never lets up. The finale of season 2 is the best finale I’ve ever seen. I know there are a lot of “Breaking Bad” fans who swear BB is the best series ever, etc. and I do like BB a lot, but “Luther” is even better.

      • Ryan

        Huge fan of BB as well. That’s an amazing show. I’ll definitely give Luther a shot!

      • GaryLee828

        Let me know what you think after you see the pilot. You can just click on that video I posted or watch on netflix. And feel free to delete the youtube video I posted if you don’t want those on your comments page. Some people don’t mind. But I can understand if some do.

      • Ryan

        I will. No worries, man!

  6. Mark Walker

    I still haven’t seen the original. I guess is should check that out?

    • Ryan

      Oh, man… I’d love to see your thoughts on it. I can’t say enough good things about. It’s one of the very best horror flicks/thrillers to come out in a very long time.

      • Thinking about the casting, though I wish they’d just re-release the original in theaters. Give it a big push, it’d probably at least match Oldboy. Choi Min-Sik has been referred to many times as “the Robert DeNiro of South Korean film” (and I’ve heard Song-Kang Ho been referred to as the South Korean Johnny Depp, though that was several years ago before, say, The Tourist and Alice in Wonderland). If DeNiro was even just a decade younger I think he could pull off Choi’s role. Maybe Vincent D’Onfrio? Hell, Depp wouldn’t be bad for the “hero”, now that I think of it… JUST PRAY THAT RYAN GOSLING DOES NOT GET INVOLVED. Or several other actors that actually drive me away from a movie, but I don’t want to get all negative. And I’ll check out Luther, but I’m not going in with any BrBa comparisons in mind, because there’s nothing like it.

      • Ryan

        DeNiro would have been a pretty awesome choice if he were younger. Not sure who they’ll go with this time around, but I hope that it holds onto the brutality of the original over anything else.

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