Korea gives 'Devil' restricted rating

Rating stays the same even after a month's worth of editing

SEOUL -- “I Saw the Devil,” the director Kim Ji-woon’s new crime thriller, was given a restricted rating by the Korea Media Rating Board Wednesday. This is the second time that the film received the restricted rating after the film’s producer Peppermint and Co. asked the board to give it an 18+ rating last month.

The film’s press premiere, which was originally scheduled for Thursday, will be delayed until next week.

“This is a story of revenge from the eyes of a victim,” said Kim Hyun-woo, the film’s producer.

“The expressions of revenge were deliberately direct and realistic to make it more engaging for audiences to see the film from the victim’s point of view.”

The producer is currently adjusting "technical alternatives" to condense the controversial scenes without damaging the film’s motive, he added.  

The problematic scenes raised by the board include sequences in which the film’s character throws a dead body part to a dog and keeps the remainder in the refrigerator. The board explained that the scenes “severely damage the dignity of human values.”

The film, starring a duo of top Korean actors Lee Byung-hun (“GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra”) and Choi Min-shik (“OldBoy”) is the story of a cop whose fiancé was killed by a serial killer. The film is distributed by Showbox and co-produced by Ciz Entertainment.

Restricted rating, which is officially called “limited screening” in Korea, virtually bans a film from being screened here since such films can only been played in special theaters featuring exclusively adult films and no such theater exists here. Advertising and marketing such film is also banned, which forces a commercial film director to compromise with the board's decision.

The film was originally scheduled to open on August 11.