Film review: I Saw The Devil (Korea) and No Strings Attached

| by Bel | 2.27pm NZ time |

Here is my review of the 7 minutes I watched of I Saw The Devil:


Here's the scene: it's nighttime, on a dark and isolated road. (ARE YOU TOTALLY FREAKING OUT ALREADY?) A woman sits in her broken down car, talking on her cellphone to her partner. He is far away and although offers to help, she says she'll wait for road service. (OK WHAT ABOUT NOW? YOU ALREADY KNOW SOMETHING REALLY BAD IS GONNA HAPPEN HUH?)

Suddenly (AAARGGHH!) a figure appears at the fogged up window. A man questions the girl and offers assistance. She thanks him but insists she is fine. You have a moment of thinking it's just a fake out and that all is well - then his eyes literally flash a glowing red in the moment he disappears from view. (AAARGGHH!!!)

The woman has to end her call and sits in silence. (SWEATY PALMS, YE GODS.) She is nervous and flicks on her headlights to illuminate the road ahead. Nothing.


(I kid you not.)

Yeah, so that was the end of that screening. I demanded an immediate antidote, which was served in the form of No Strings Attached.

This film is heaps better than you would expect. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher both play likeable, believable characters with an excellent supporting cast. Sure, you know what's going to happen at the end, but there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments along the way, with some emotional stuff and saucy scenes too.

One thing I loved in this film was that there was a scene where condom use was negotiated and that protected sex was portrayed as the best option in a casual relationship.

Can you imagine me yelling out joyfully "Negotiation of condom use! Awesome!"? Because I did. I also cried out "I bet you a dollar that this was written by a woman!". And guess who is a dollar richer, folks. (It's me.)

The photo above is from my favourite scene.  The all women household is having synchronised period pains. Although I wondered whether they were going overboard with a depiction of menstruation as a debilitating female condition, I decided in the end that having the male character demonstrating his consideration with delivery of snacks and a mixtape balanced it out.

Also, the line "Tea for your 'gina?" still has me cracking up.

In summary:

I Saw The Devil - not recommended in the slightest, even if you enjoyed other Korean horrors such as Old Boy or Tale of Two Sisters. (Or The Chaser, which is also ultra-violent, but I would recommend.)

No Strings Attached - recommended or even, in the rom-com category, highly recommended.

3 thoughts on “Film review: I Saw The Devil (Korea) and No Strings Attached”

  1. I think this captures da-da-da-da-BOOO! horror movies better than any other review ever.

    I am immediately putting No Strings Attached on my rental list. We need more films that feature cramps.

  2. I was pleasantly surprised by this film also. Portman was the draw card, but when I saw A-Kutch was also in it my heart sank, he didn't do too badly.
    I have found Hollywoods portrayal of women recently to be bile inducing though, I watched that movie 'He's just not that into you' the other day, and was super glad I was sew-watching to distract from the way each and every woman's only desire is to fall in love and settle down.
    Seriously, it's all we want.
    Go ahead Hollywood write screeds and screeds of movies about it.
    I even had to leave the room in a part where the lead threw herself at a guy in such an awkward and unreal way my skin crawled.
    I came back in with a Milo to attempt to take the edge off.
    Anyway, 'No Strings Attached' was refreshing is all.

  3. Bahahahhhaaaaaaaa!
    Thank you, I will add to to the 'avoid, even if desperate' list.

    PS "sew-watching"=brilliant