I Saw the Devil
10. I Saw the Devil
Kim-jee Woon’s I Saw the Devil is nearly two and half hours of brutal, bloody thrills, but you won’t regret watching it if violent and twisty Asian genre movies are your thing. In this film, National Intelligence Service officer Kim Soo-hyung (Lee Byung-hun) comes across the mutilated corpse of his wife, which sets him on a path of vengeance and fury as he tracks down the psychopath who did it.
This film works with its extended runtime because it functions as an endurance test as well as a thriller, playing out across several locations all over South Korea. We also see this story play out from the perspective of the murderer, who continues on his spree of sexual violence even as he evades Soo-hyung. It’s a daunting experience, but totally worth it.
9. The Outlaw Josey Wales
God Clint was always going to have to make at least one appearance on this list, and it will be his 1975 directorial effort The Outlaw Josey Wales. Eastwood’s Oscar-winning Unforgiven is also a great revenge film, but Eastwood’s character only gets all vengeful in the final act.
In this film, Eastwood plays the titular Outlaw, who seeks vengeance against a pack of pro-Union militants who murdered his wife and son by joining a Confederate guerrilla group in the American Civil War. Even when the war is over, he avoids surrender, becoming the titular outlaw as he tracks down the people who murdered his family.
One fun fact about this film is that Philip Kaufman (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Right Stuff) was the director during the early stages of filming, but Eastwood had him fired for moving too slowly.
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