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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 23, 2023



‘DEVILS’ is a Korean fast paced crime thriller that manages to draw your attention from the start then springs more surprises along the way. 

It will remind you of another Korean crime thriller, “I Saw the Devil”, which is also about a law enforcer and a serial killer.  

In “Devils”, the cop is Jae-hwan (Jang Dong Yoon), a homicide detective who is dead set on nailing a serial killer, Jin-Hyeok (Oh Dae Hwan), who has killed many victims and has been shamelessly posting snuff videos on the internet while continuing to evade the cops who are hunting him down.  

During a raid on his lair, the murderer gets to kill even Jae-hwan’s own partner, who also happened to be his brother in law. 

This makes his mission to get the killer a very personal one. So mad and consumed by thoughts of vengeance, Jae-hwan will do anything and everything to apprehend the killer. 

Jae Hwan gets a new rookie partner, Min Sung (Jang Jae Ho) and they get another chance to get the killer. 

During the operation, he runs after the killer on his own and after he wrestles with the killer in the forest, they roll over downhill and he goes missing. 

Much later, a car with both Jae-hwan and the killer rams

 into a post on the police headquarters. And this is when things get truly weird and creepy. 

When Jae Hwan regains consciousness in his hospital room, he discovers that he is now occupying the killer Jin Hyeok’s body and that the killer’s spirit is, in turn, transferred to his own body. 

This is the directorial debut of Kim Jae-hoon, who also wrote the script and he manages to come up with a very intense body-switch thriller. 

The suspense is non-stop and the action scenes can be hardhitting and all out brutal. 

Jin Hyeok threatens Jae Hwan by holding his family hostage.

Jae Hwan now has to find not only a way to be able to return to his own body but, at the same time, also make sure his family members are all safe.

He also needs to succeed in getting the real killer arrested and, once and for all, be put behind bars.

Just like other Korean thrillers, most of the characters are flawed, making the proceedings more believable, and you can feel that they are all capable of doing anything. 

The two lead actors, Jang Dong yoon and Oh Dae hwan, are both superb in portraying not only their own characters but also when they play each other’s character stuck in their own bodies.

We don’t mean it to be a spoiler but there is a very big plot twist that will make see you the narrative from a different angle to show us how distorted our perceptions can be. 

We tend to relate to only what we are shown on screen, but what if the truth is really much more convoluted than that? 

This is how the movie really manages to surprise its viewers and we really feel very sorry for Min Sung.

There are moments when the identities of the two men seem to be constantly shifting and becoming interchangeable. 

How far would a man go to get the revenge he thirsts for? How can one tell the difference between a man who uses extreme violence and torture in pursuit of justice and vengeance, and someone who utilizes it for his own perverse pleasure? 

All these factors would come into play into the movie’s big twist. 

The revelation is quite unexpected in a long flashback scene that at first seems quite anachronous, but actually what happens when the cop and the killer both go missing.

The film changes from the initial premise of body switching to one about a twisted sense of commitment. 

The movie has a compelling final act but you have to be willing to suspend your disbelief to enjoy the ride. Don’t miss it, now showing in theaters nationwide.