Thursday, June 11, 2015

Film Review: Killers (2014)

Killers (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

" of the most thrilling, suspenseful, and disturbing films I've seen in a long time..."

An experienced Japanese serial killer who uploads disturbing videos of his murders to the internet connects with an Indonesian journalist with a lust for blood...

Killers follows Bayu (Oka Antara) and Nomura (Kazuki Kitamura). Nomura is a Japanese sociopath. He records his torture and murder of young women, then uploads the videos to the internet. In Indonesia, Bayu is an ambitious journalist seeking to expose the lies of a corrupt politician. Unfortunately, this obsession has destroyed his career and marriage. Bayu finds himself inexplicably attracted to Nomura's actions. So attracted, Bayu records his first murder, then uploads it to the internet. Of course, this catches Nomura's attention and the pair begin to exchange messages. Nomura continues to vicious murder spree, while Bayu becomes a vigilante. The film leads to an excellent climax and ending. The ending, however, has some poor green screen effects that takes you out of the experience. It's not the worst, but it hurts since it also seems unnecessary.

Killers is a psychological thriller-horror film akin to I Saw The Devil — at least, that's the first film that comes to mind. Anyway, Killers is a vicious epic. It's filled to the brim with action, thrills, and horror — there's even a pinch of sadistic humor for good measure. It's incredibly thrilling, suspenseful and tense. It's one of those films that gets your heart pumping. The type of film that makes you perspire even when the room is above room temperature. The type of film that makes you clench your fist until there's a mark on your palm. This is achieved due to the effective aforementioned elements — action, thrills, and horror. It's also a little violent.

Okay, it's stupendously violence — again, akin to I Saw The Devil. This film is disturbing and graphic. There are scenes of torture. There are references to the taboo — you know, the place Hollywood rarely steps into? Is it gratuitous? Perhaps. Is it effective? Yes. Now, I don't relish in violence, but it certainly helps the narrative. In this case, not only are these scenes visually scarring, they also help differentiate our characters. Through the violence, we can see: one is a sociopath and one is a confused individual. Although some of the themes are very blatant, the violence also lines up well. This is a film about the misunderstood, the obsession with violence and the internet. It doesn't speak volumes about it, at least not until the end, but it makes its statement.The only real issue I had with the film was the lack of character for Nomura. Nomura is given a strong background, but his current character is lacking — I didn't know he was executive until I read the synopsis, because I don't think it ever tells you that information.

The film is anchored by Oka Antara and Kazuki Kitamura. Both actors deliver stellar performances. The supporting cast is also very strong. The film is shot very well, too, the lighting was great. The music was especially stylish. The use of classical music was excellent. Thanks to the wonderful editing, the music and visuals pair perfectly to create a film oozing with style (and blood). A scene towards the end is the only time I had an issue with the special effects; otherwise, the effects are great. The Mo Brothers meticulously craft a horror/serial killer epic. They delve deep into the mind of two disturbed yet different individuals through balanced, creative, and uncompromising direction. Writers Takuji Ushiyama and Timo Tjahjanto craft a story with a great concept, strong characters, and provocative themes.

Overall, Killers is a masterful thriller-horror film. On the surface, it's an utterly disturbing and graphically violent shocker. Deep down, it is an interesting study of two disturbed characters and people's obsession with violence — especially on the internet. It's one of the most thrilling, suspenseful, and disturbing films I've seen in a long time — and I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. Perhaps it was the slick cinematography or the classical music, or maybe it was the sinisterly elegant blend of both — I just couldn't keep my eyes off of it. If you can handle graphic violence and love psychological thrillers like I Saw The Devil, you must watch Killers.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Graphic violence and gore, some sex, including references to child abuse and rape.

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