This is not a movie for everyone. This film won’t satisfy if you’re looking for cheap thrills and it won’t pander to expectations. Killers is a brutal reflection of society’s fetishization of violence and it’ll leave you curled in the fetal position, spooning a fifth of tequila, after it’s had its way with you. Killers is a cut above, and far beyond, anything I could’ve expected. Horrifying psychological thrillers have a new Sheriff in town, and the best of them elevate the gruesome truth of the depths of human depravity to an art form. This movie? This movie is ART.
The film follows slick Japanese businessman, Nomura Shuhei (Kazuki Kitamura) as he leads a psychopathic double-life as a serial killer posting his work online to share his obsession in parallel with seemingly innocuous journalist and family man, Bayu Aditya (Oka Antara) who wallows in obscurity. The slow, surreal entanglement of their lives ensues after Bayu, already fascinated with Nomura’s work, is forced to kill in a random act of bloody self-defense and posts his hastily composed video online as well. The two men connect in unexpected and increasingly out-of-control ways, igniting a singular companionship of homicidal minds.
Killers unfolds in a meandering sprawl of an urban muderscape, building an almost sleepy tone of sexually explicit horror. The film doesn’t rush the exposition, but rather allows the spiraling character arcs to fully mature with masterfully placed flashbacks, mixed alongside currently unfolding events, before cashing in on an explosive final act. Hyper aware of the global fascination with stark, graphic violence, Killers is a flawless mirror reflecting the layers of masochistic sadism within us all.
The juxtaposition of classical music laid over vicious assault after vicious assault leads you down a rabbit hole into a labyrinth of unexpected horrors. With resonant, Dexter-like tones, Killers cranks the dial all the way up to eleven on extreme violence. The film strikes a delicate balance between straight-up torture porn and the exaggerated reality of societal brutality.
The perspective given to the audience is unique and alternates between sympathy for the devil and empathy for the victims. The POV often switches camera angles back and forth between killer and victim during murders, leaving you a whole different kind of disturbed long after the credits have rolled. I had to watch a solid hour of YouTube videos with kittens farting rainbows in a field of babies’ dreams just to fall asleep after Killers.
This symphony of pain is directed by Kimo Stomboel and Timothy Tjahjanto (aka The Mo Brothers) and offers a provocative look into the exploitation of technology and it’s symbiotic relationship with violence. The unabashedly brutal, and shamelessly violent, dynamic presented by this duo in Killers resonates with pent-up tension and nihilistic depth.
The film will keep you guessing every step of the way, at times holding out false hope for the victims, in an audience tease designed to suck you into this psychopathic tornado. The Indo-Japanese culture offers an interesting take on the genre unmatched by anything I’ve seen in a long time. Killers is a brilliant shock to the system that’ll leave you introspective and shaken by the simple fact that the blatant and casual violence in this film is entirely believable if not totally plausible. The practical effects and blood spatter spray across the screen and your long-term memory with absolute authenticity. This film is a sly look at the horror genre wrapped in an elevated script and delivered on a warm bed of blood and guts galore.
To paraphrase, Killers is fucking nuts. This shit will fascinate and disturb you. It will haunt your ass long after the credits have rolled and leave echoes of the film rippling across your consciousness for days afterward. This movie is batshit crazy and an enthusiastically, shamelessly engrossing look into the world of the serial killer.
Not everyone is going to get it. The level of violence and degree of misogynistic brutality will, on the surface, offend. But take a deeper look and you’ll find a clever, twisting genius propelling the film from start to finish. Killers is a creative dip into the psychopathic horror pond guaranteed to satisfy the discerning genre aficionado. Fuck this movie was awesome.