ByBJ Hall, writer at Creators.co
I write Comedy, Do Stand-up, Travel Through Time, and enjoy the FUCK out of a good movie! Twitter: @InitiallyDirty FB: https://www.facebook.
BJ Hall

When I was contacted by Moviepilot's own Andrew Marco about tackling this review I was a bit nervous because I had enjoyed "The Raid: Redemption", and my mind almost exploded after seeing "The Raid 2". For one thing, squeals are never expected to outshine their primary silver screen debut, but in this case the sequel somehow improved and refined the original film within my own eyes. So when I heard it was from the same production company (including actors, and writers) that produced the previous gems I was a little shaky about viewing and being critical of their third flick. I mean, you know how it is, you think one thing is so good it can't possibly get any better, right? Kind of conserve the magic, you know? Well I was in for one hell of a cinematic realization of existential depth and comedic depravity. A ferocious wave of artistic greatness hit my eyes, which only gives me confidence this production house gets the praise it deserves. Story, Direction, and Musical Score all work together in this Japanese/Indonesian (Japonesian?) feature like poetry from cut to cut.

"Bee-boop on the nose!"
"Bee-boop on the nose!"

Starting off with a gripping first person scene in which the viewer assumes not only the role of the unnamed female victim peering though a plastic bag but of the viewer and the killer that has her tied to a chair taking his time. He does this while filming the entire episode; wearing a mask, as a classical score obliges our senses into confusion. Right from the start you can tell that this film is going to be one hell of a display. Braving through “ABC’s of Death” myself, and being a long time fan of the "Evil Dead" trilogy, well I figured I could take whatever the producers of “The Raid” slung my way. I will have to admit though, that there are times in which I wondered just how crazy the film is actually going to get as it takes two separate universes and melds them together over the course of a storyline that reaches down into the dark potential of immorality deep inside the human condition. It is here where our first main character dwells, in those depths. The character’s name is Nomura and he is a killer. Played by Kazuki Kitamura who brings to life a classic dapper psychopath hiding among the frey. The only comparison I can give is Patrick Bateman from the 2000’s surreal thriller “American Psycho” – not quite as delusional, but just as vicious and fastidious as the character Ellis penned and Christian Bale portrayed. Cold, calculating, and total lack of fucks given make his murderous brutality almost comical. Because you can see that he not only has a need for killing, but also for being creative in his bloody schizophrenic madness. It is here in his gentlemanly manner in public that the comedic relief of the story can be found. To say he was insane would be wrong; I wouldn't go that far even though he is demented. No, I would have to put him in a different category, one closer to vampire than human. Namorua has hints of a Lestat-like embrace with the bloodthirsty maniac that dwells within his silken facade. Enough so that he desperately tries to push people into his form of logical fallacy regarding murder and death. One of the ways he does this is to actively videoing then editing the footage and uploading it online for others to watch and comment on.

At first I thought this movie was going to be a Japanese “8mm” type of play when I met the second protagonist Bayu Aditya, played by real life rap artist Oka Antara. He is an obsessed yet discredited journalist attempting in vein to bring down a corrupt businessman, and getting nothing in return besides an estranged wife and daughter. I was wrong initially because you quickly learn that Bayu's hobby is watching Nomura’s videos in shock but also with a grim curiosity and shame-filled pleasure. He doesn't seem to understand why he likes it, but it is my belief that this is because he has been so emasculated by his failures and by the treatment of his family (who see the corrupt businessman Dharma {Ray Sahetapy} in a saint-like way, and dismiss his efforts completely). For whatever reason his curiosity is satiated with one fate filled night, 2 thugs, and blood splattered taxi cab. The intense event, and subsequent video recording of its aftermath spring to life a sense of companionship within Numora, who after viewing the footage contacts the newbie Bayu in hopes of striking up a fuckin internet hobby club of some sort - a place where quilting and model plane building are replaced with bondage and setting people on fire. Killers is has resemblance to a classic vampire tale, but in this case the bite was Bayu’s first curious glimpse into Namorua’s world, the disease his own willingness spurred by curiosity a need for control, and the random brush with his own mortality was his first step into that dark place where his inner monster lies hibernating with an empty stomach.

Aww the internet, bringing people together.....
Aww the internet, bringing people together.....

This film is a Psychopathic Hitchcockian Horror Show of wonderfully bloody proportions! As I mentioned earlier, it is from the same folks that brought us “The Raid”, and while the main characters might not be fist fighting badasses, the intensity and the brutality are still present in the writing and especially the creative filmmaking of both Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto. Before reading the information on the cast and crew (which in this crimson coated flick is relatively short compared to “The Raid” 1 & 2) I would have never of guessed this was a movie shot from the directing perspective of two different people, but that fact really adds a lot more admiration from myself seeing as how the movie is solely about the joining of two separate worlds. You can see the passion it took to paint this sort of gruesome window. I do not know how they collaborated together to come up with such an wonderful vision of savagery, but they accomplished it almost flawlessly. The creative use of camera angles also really blew me away. There is a tremendous use of focus from background to foreground, forcing a desired perspective, but in such a way it only tells more of the story without the use of filler dialogue. Even from the beginning title sequence, as a women runs through the woods away from a mysterious pursuer as the casts names are hammered in between the scores devilish pull, it feeds your curiosity to know what you are getting yourself into. Much like Bayu’s character the film invites you to look on and see whatever it decides to show - you welcome it. This is one of the reasons I compare this film to Hitchcock, because like the famous fat silhouetted legend, this film has as many angles as you can throw at a person without getting them confused as to where people are inside of a scene, while also keeping the audience on edge and attentive.

in despair mostly... thats where they are in the scene
in despair mostly... thats where they are in the scene

One of the most endearing qualities of this two and a half hour flick is the fact that I could see so many influences from early cinema. Through the looking glass lens you can see hints of other films that possibly influenced the people who brought it to life. The title sequence sparks memories of “Friday the 13th” and “I Spit on Your Grave”, with its raw heated sense of pending doom. Or how about the way they film Namora? When you see him strutting around in public then turning to scenes of him alone with his inner monster, the way Kimo and Timo shoot it makes Namura look as if Patrick Batmen and The Joker had a baby and it grew up in Japan being filmed by Stanley Kubrick. Its wild and surreal, but the film making gets even more creative as the story progresses.

As both protagonists spiral one way or the other, the more intense the pace and frequency of the angles become. Also, relative to that, the crazier Namorua gets the more comedic his actions. For example, there is this one scene where two cops are talking about arresting Namorua, distracted by the conversation they are positioned in the foreground of the shot while in the maliciously blurry background you see the - thought to be unconscious - hooker slowly climb out of the trunk Namorua is standing next too. Namorua notices and shoves comically shove her back in right as the cops turn back to him oblivious to the soon to be dead hooker. I swear I was not expecting that shit at all and found myself in the middle of a cinematic blood bath just laughing my ass off. This is the sort of shit miracles are made up of folks, because the scene is out of place in a way for such a fucked up tale of death, but honestly its one of many perfectly placed scenes in the movie. They come out of no where, and are pleasant when caught.

There are scenes that I loved and very few I disliked. Its is a film where you are not sure whats going to happen next and then out of no where it can surprise you with anti-climatic twists you will not be prepared to handle or even conceptualize until they occur. Even in the filming of the stunt work and makeup effects were spot on, and the film even took us to real locations like Aokigahara. A forest that is known overwhelmingly for suicide, and the scene there is short but integral to the understanding of the ever evolving character motivations.

Not a rural shoe sale....
Not a rural shoe sale....

Just like in Hitchcock’s films you get the wonder and the dread through the screen via camera placement, dialogue, and fierce music; but where that leaves off Kumalasari Tanara steps in and delivers the kind of carnage one would only hope to find in the darkest recesses of the human spirit. Not to mention the cinematography of each scene (Gunnar Nimpuno) that was picturesque and read to be very deliberate in placement, and meticulously organized in a surrealistic nature. The still shots are amazing, creating an artistic starting point for each scene in stark Kubrickian proportions.

Pretty sure there is a demon in there...
Pretty sure there is a demon in there...

There was only one point I did not like and that was the scene in which they finally talk to one another over whatever psychopaths use in place of Skype in that country, and the Killers began to speak in broken English and the film strangely stops displaying subtitles. I could barely understand them and I am from the Southern region of America where we speak fluent broken English from birth, but I could barely make out the dialogue within that scene. Why they did away with the subtitles is one thing but the other is: why even have them speak in English at all? But hey folks, maybe I missed something in my international studies (I have never been to Japan) or possibly they consider English to be the language of the internet. I do not know, but what I do know is that even though the scene is in there it is only a mild distraction to the rest of this films more powerful qualities. So it doesn't ruin it, it just sort of makes it weird for a person unaware of the possible cultural motivations behind shooting this scene.

The music had me from the start. Combining a classically driven musical score of elegance - this cinematic tale of woe, hope, and hunger has bloody death scenes that stand in direct contrast to the beautiful yet sometimes malevolent score surrounding the movie, and it works impeccably well. So much so that at times you can literally feel the sounds controlling your emotional state, or in the least giving it permission to heighten your emotions as you take a stab of your own at guessing what will happen next in this Takuji Ushiyama penned masterpiece. For this you can thank Aria Prayogi who composed music for this companies previous work. The classical music during cannibalism and carnage kinda makes me want to listen to Huey Lewis and the News, but there is the rub folks because every red blooded American understands that both classical music and the “Sports” album is beloved throughout all mankind. That is just fact! (Editors Note: NOT an actual fact....)

Look at em, all casual and shit.... the whites people of the 80's
Look at em, all casual and shit.... the whites people of the 80's

The truth is, his score combined with the rest of the film, attributes so well that they are almost inseparable. The music sort of belongs there in the scene, even if the scene is carnage and its playing on the contrast, or allowing you to feel the emotions of the character who the scene focuses. I find myself instantly comparing the score to that of other scores composed by Jonny Greenwood and/or John Carpenter. Just like in their movies, there is a sense of coolness to the music, an elegance, as if the story itself sort of wrote the music and not the other way around. How the melody draws you into the depths of a scenes essence I do not know folks; its sort of hard to explain, but trust me, once you see the film you will understand completely as that sound maliciously tickles those ear drums of yours.

Over all I liked the fuck out of this movie. It is a very well told story developing characters over a long run time, but unlike most movies set at the two and a half hour mark, this film never loses its pull on the viewers attention. Doing what all films must do if they are to be seen as great - which is to have the viewer keep asking that one simple question you want an audience to keep asking, “What is going to happen next?!” The writing is also just as bold as the film making, stringing together individuals in a collision course of epic proportions. I for one have yet to be disappointed where this company of artists, producers, and collaborators has ever taken me and I doubt that will be the case with the future titles they most certainly should create. I could go into more depth about individual aspects of the flick I loved the most, but who the hell wants to have a fucking movie ruined when they read a review? Just know that if it could inspire a cinephile like myself to appreciate it as much as I do, you will not be disappointed.

AND CUT!

_____________________________________

Thanks for Reading!

BJ. Hall is a comedian and cartoonist from Northwest Georgia, USA with weird ideas and a love for writing. His passion for film lead him to Moviepilot, where he has been writing wild articles ever since that always aim to inform the reader, and possibly make them smile in the process.

Follow BJ. Hall on Twitter
or Like Him on Facebook

Other Articles By the Author

Trending

Latest from our Creators