Movie Review: Killers (2014)

Released in 2014, Killers is a joint Indonesian-Japanese psychological thriller about a Japanese serial killer, and an Indonesian reporter who find each other online. I learned of this film after watching another double feature of The Raid and its sequel, which shares a few actors with this film as well.

+ Kazuki Kitamura as Nomura Shuhei (the serial killer) is sort of like a Japanese version of TV’s Hannibal; he looks good in a suit, he has an indescribable charm with the ladies, and he loves to slaughter his victims in often graphic ways. Something about his swagger is almost endearing, but he is still a very bad man
+ Oka Antara (also from The Raid 2: Berandal) as Bayu Aditya, the Indonesian reporter, is meek and unassuming, with a fascination for Nomura’s killings. Antara portrays this effectively, somewhere between disgust and obsession, and his facial expressions are particularly well done
+ the film is certainly not shy about being bloody, but it is never over the top or in your face
+ long periods of little or no dialogue mean you have to watch what and how things happen, rather than listen to explanation of events
+ a particularly tense finale

– the film is quite long, at over two hours and its subject matter and the simple fact it is in Japanese/Indonesian may not be for everyone (though I’m sure there would be a dub out there somewhere)
– a few minor plot points could have used more fleshing out, as I was left with a few questions

Should you see this film: I enjoyed this film. The difference in styles between the portions involving Kitamura as Nomura (the parts in Japan) compared to Antara as Bayu (in Indonesia) was interesting, and the culmination of the film’s sometimes shocking events was worth the wait. If you are someone that has no issues with subtitles (or blood…), give this a view.

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