Mr. Nomura is an eerily handsome, sharply dressed, sociopathic serial killer who preys on the women of Tokyo. In Jakarta, a world-weary journalist named Bayu finds himself unexpectedly falling into vigilantism after brutally killing two sadistic robbers. When each posts videos of their violent sprees online, the pair find one another on the Internet and begin a toxic and competitive duel. While Bayu clings to the hope that he can resume a normal life, Nomura continues to spill blood without remorse. Killing, advises Nomura, is something everyone ought to consider.
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★★★★ review by Jim Drew on Letterboxd
To finish off Glasgow FrightFest '14, we were in the safe capable hands of Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto aka The Mo Brothers. If you've ever seen any of their work, you know to brace yourself slightly beforehand.
KILLERS is the story of two men. One an established and psychotic killer, the other... less so. At 140 minutes we spend a lot of time with these ahem gentlemen. The deranged psycho likes to stalk his prey, court them before he acts on his real desire. The business end he films and posts to a website for like-minded sickos to watch/critique. An intrepid journalist stumbles across this on a moralistic quest and a window to his soul is thrust open. A strange bond is formed...
Expect lush cinematography, extreme violence, troubling issues and almost inappropriate comedy. You might hate yourself for laughing.
★★★½ review by YI JIAN on Letterboxd
Mozart during a murder scene? Snort, how original.
Killers is an indonesian-japanese thriller that is a little bit too edgy for my taste. It's also awkward how the indonesian segment and the japanese segment feel like two entirely different films. Still, can't say I didn't enjoy this at all, the film offers a lot of interesting but muddled ideas -- the difference between born to kill and driven to kill, apprenticeship in murder + torture for sports. Kazuki Kitamura is alright but I think Hideaki Ito from Lesson of the Evil would do a better job here I mean he really does have the definitive handsome/charming serial killer look. Hotel chase scene was really awesome though, chaotic as hell, love it. Hopefully the mo brothers can come up with something better next time.
★★★½ review by Invincible Asia on Letterboxd
Killers is a slickly produced Japanese-Indonesian serial killer thriller directed by the Mo Brothers and produced by Gareth Evans‘ Merantau Films.
Oka Antara (Eka in The Raid 2) plays Bayu, an Indonesian journalist who lives separated from his wife (ex-wife?) and daughter and struggles with his job because he tried to expose some influential people’s crimes (one played by Ray Sahetapy who played the drug lord in the original The Raid) .
Bayu grows fascinated with snuff videos a slick Japanese guy posts online. And Kazuki Kitamura’s Nomura Shuhei (the right hand of the Japanese Mob boss in The Raid 2) is one sick, demented motherfucker.
Nomura contacts Bayu and challenges him to kill his problems instead of getting kicked around.
A slasher-psycho-thriller game ensues with Bayu falling deeper and deeper down the abyss of homicidal madness and cruel violence.
Killers has a lot of things going for it. The acting is great for the most part for example.
Oka is damn good and makes Bayu likeable and relatable enough in the beginning to make him an engaging character. His descent is, well not relatable, but understandable. He makes the decent guy who gets pushed one too many times believable.
Luna Maya plays his ex-wife, his emotional anchor who can only watch in shock as Bayu cannot repress his need for violent catharsis. I’m also not complaining that she has a serious Indonesian Kim Hye-soo vibe going on.
Kazuki Kitamura has a few small moments of hyperacting but his women stalking and slashing serial killer is appropriately creepy and devilish nevertheless.
The cinematography, production design and score work really well together and make for a grim and dark atmosphere. There’s a bunch of really neat, creative visual ideas, effects and camera angles that accentuate Bayu’s state of mind.
The score with its gorgeous classical moments, modern electronic beats and distorted guitar feedback ups the tension and madness quite beautifully.
Where Killers stumbles for me though is the story itself and its pacing. At two hours and twenty minutes the film starts dragging in quite a few places after its strong, moody setup.
And I enjoyed the conclusion itself a lot more than the finale that brings our two killers together too. It just wasn’t all that compelling, despite the one emotional trick that usually always works for me, and felt a bit forced up until the last two minutes that, with its staging and musical accents, worked like a charm again.
Killers is still a good serial killer thriller with some nasty slasher violence and a nicely crafted atmosphere and if you’re a fan of the genre or into visually creative films you should definitely give it a go.
For me it’s just not an upper tier serial killer film due to its somewhat unfocussed plotting.
I want to see Oka Antara in more of these morally twisted, sick roles though, he’s pretty damn great at balancing humanity and madness.
★★★★½ review by Waldo on Letterboxd
This is just....a beautiful film. A rich businessman and a disgraced reporter share a magnificent bond videotaping flowers. Each man films for a different reason. Different flowers for different reasons. A film for lovers of fine arts cinema.
★★★★½ review by Matt Lavender on Letterboxd
That poster is a piece of shit, ignore that.
Been excited about this one for a while. The Mo Brothers did Macabre which rules and at least one of them co-directed Safe Haven from VHS2. This is a completely different fucker and is pretty special.
So there's a Japanese serial killer posting his snuff movies online. He's a proper fucking sick fuck. Eka from The Raid 2 is an Indonesian journo who watches these videos. Both men have a weird fascination with death. Eka uploads a video of a murder he sort of accidentally commits and gets the attention of Nomura, the Japanese dude. Dark times are ahead.
Looks great, a real step up from the fuzzy dimness of Macabre. The big bad from The Raid is in it as is the cult leader/porn baron from VHS2/The Raid 2. Seems like that guy is Merantau Films' good luck charm.
Don't be watching snuff films when your daughter walks in on you. Actually, don't be watching snuff films period. Shoot out inside a car that rivals I Saw The Devil for taxi interior ownage. There's a death involving a baseball bat that is more brutal than anything Bat Guy did in The Raid 2. A genius use of cocaine. Great hotel set piece. Two stupid cops too stupid to see some shit going on just out of focus. Nearly pulled me out of the movie but fuck it, it's a funny scene. I'm pretty sure there's a scene set within the infamous Suicide Forest to cap things off.
Slow burn, long form psychological horror story telling. Much less splatter gore than Macabre, more "oh shit this has consequences" violence. It's a bit like I Saw The Devil but is more of a dark character study than a wild ride revenge movie.
Lots of character set up at the start. Nomura kinda suffers from Hannibal or Bateman syndrome in that he's very smooth and outwardly charming. It's a movie serial killer archetype but it works. At the start it feels like two separate movies loosely connected via a chatroom but the last 40-50 minutes pull it together in a great, really well plotted way and the ending is borderline operatic. Bonus half star for the ending.
It's all about addiction, morbid curiosity and downward spirals into madness. It's dark shit handled very well. If, for some reason, you need likeable main characters in your movies then stay the fuck away. It's fucking nihilistic, bleak, original and pretty dang great.
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