2023's Most Underrated Crime Thriller is a Must-Watch for Face/Off Fans

2023's Most Underrated Crime Thriller is a Must-Watch for Face/Off Fans
Image credit: The Contents On

If only Face/Off had a little less action, but a lot more gore and madness.


  • In July 2023, the South Korean thriller Devils was released.
  • It received rave reviews from audiences for its similarities to Face/Off and its clever exploration of the body-swapping trope.
  • The movie is now available to stream on Prime Video.

Body-swapping is probably one of the most recognizable tropes in cinema, but this fantasy element is more a feature of all kinds of comedy films and TV series, a trend started by Mary Rodgers' 1972 novel Freaky Friday. Usually, however, it is a plot device designed to help the interchangeable characters better understand their neighbors and themselves. Much rarer are attempts to conceptualize the experiences of people you almost never see in lighthearted comedies-the mafia, lunatics, and other criminals.

The 1997 cult sci-fi movie Face/Off, starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, probably did the best job with this approach. However, it was more of an epic action movie than a grounded attempt to make sense of the crazy relationship between a cop and a criminal who are literally in each other's skin. To the rescue came the Korean film Devils, released last July, which is a spectacular mix of genres and ends up being a thriller full of outright brutality and grounded realism. Yes, despite the fantasy premise!

A New Body Swap Mystery Thriller

If you combine the aforementioned Face/Off with the psychologism of Kim Jee-woon's 2010 film I Saw the Devil, you get Kim Jae-Hoon's Devils, a movie that defies any genre definition. Is it an action movie? Is it a supernatural thriller? Is it a psychological thriller? Is it an incredibly violent and explicit drama? It's really all those things at once, well, maybe not as much action as Face/Off.

The leads were played by Oh Dae-hwan (Squad 38, Shopping King Louie) and Jang Dong-yoon (Daily Dose of Sunshine, Like Flowers in Sand). Both gave incredibly talented performances, perfectly imitating each other's habits, facial expressions, intonations, and personalities.

In the story, Dae-hwan's character, Detective Jae-hwan, is grieving over the murder of his professional partner and brother-in-law while investigating a case of serial killers making snuff films. Two years later, he finds himself on the trail of one of them, the murderous psychopath Jin-hyeok (Dong-yoon). But as soon as they have a confrontation, a dangerous accident happens and they both end up in the hospital. In each other's bodies.

And so begins a crazy and gruesome game of cat and mouse, full of mind-bending psychological torment, manipulation and bloody consequences. After all, Jae-hwan, being in the body of the man he hated the most, will now have to face the gruesome reality in which Dong-yoon existed, and he will also have to face many moral dilemmas. At the same time, Dong-yoon will seize the moment as his next victims could be Jae-hwan's family.

Where and How to Watch This Brutal Korean Thriller?

At the time of this writing, the movie is only available for streaming in one place — Prime Video.

Prime Video — To stream a movie, you'll need to combine your Prime subscription with your Screambox subscription. A Prime subscription is $14.99 per month or $139 per year, or $7.49 per month or $6.99 per month for students and members of the EBT, Medicaid, and SNAP programs. A subscription to Screambox is $4.99 per month. In addition, Amazon offers a free 30-day trial of its platform and Screambox offers a free week.

Rent — For those who don't want to pay for streaming services, the movie is available for rent or purchase on most major platforms, including the aforementioned Prime, as well as Vudu, Apple TV, Google Play, and YouTube. The cheapest option for Devils in HD quality comes from Amazon and Vudu, which offer the movie for just $3.00, while the other platforms rent it for $4.99.

Buy — The same platforms also offer the option to purchase the movie. The price is $9.99 in SD quality and $12.99 in HD quality.