Killers comes to us from the twisted minds of Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, or otherwise known as The Mo Brothers, who have been behind some truly twisted genre offerings like Macabre and last year’s Safe Haven segment in V/H/S 2. They return to the world of horror with Killers, delivering a nerve-shattering look into the mind of a serial killer and the lives he takes along the way. The film centers itself on a man named Nomura, who films himself brutally murdering young women that he has lured into his home. He uploads the videos to a website for anyone with a particularly twisted mind to watch. In doing so, Nomura triggers the dark side of a journalist, Bayu, who had been watching the serial killer’s videos. This leads to them meeting over the Internet, creating a complicated bond that destroys everything around them.
The first 20 minutes of Killers really sets the stage for what The Mo Brothers have in store as you watch a woman, who is bound to a chair with a plastic bag over her head, fill the room with screams of agony as Nomura beats her to death with a hammer. He does all of this in front of a camera. It’s not an easy thing to sit through and it only gets worse as the time ticks away, but if you’ve got the stomach for it, Killers offers a uniquely terrifying look at the idea of there being a killer inside of us all as it blends the slasher genre with that of the psychological variety.
While the character of Nomura is the purest of evil, a man who shows no feelings towards the lives of others, the film also offers an interesting counterbalance to him with Bayu the journalist, the film’s other main focus. Bayu sees the work of Nomura online and although we’re never told outright what his obsession is with these videos, one could only assume that he’s trying to keep his dark side at bay because surely he himself could never commit such hideous acts. Could he? And that’s where Killers really stands out because we see a once innocent man change into a monster all thanks to a serial killer he has never even met. It’s such a unique narrative, giving this one an edge we haven’t seen out of the genre in quite some time.
The film feeds off the secret that these two share with one another after Nomura finds out exactly who Bayu is after Bayu murders a couple of thugs and films their final dying breaths and then uploads it to the same site that Nomura uses. This is where Bayu’s transformation begins and is only further brought to life when Nomura, acting almost as if he’s the devil, pushes him more and more, telling him that he needs to let the killer inside of him out. That it’s who he really is. It’s a chilling concept and one that really crawls under the skin as you see just how easy it is to push a normal man over the edge.
It’s a gorgeously shot effort from the directing tandem that, in a strange way, works so well with such a vicious and blood-fueled story. And while at times it does fall under a very shaky cam, it only adds to the violence portrayed on screen. It’s a special kind of movie that unravels a story that goes straight for the gut as you watch the lives of two men fall into the deepest pits of murder. Honestly, there isn’t much to smile about in Killers, but if you’ve got the stomach for it, it’s a brilliant slice of slasher cinema that should please and disgust fans of the genre in equal measure.