Movie: **** out of 5
Audio: **** 1/2
Extas: Zero stars
Article first published as Blu-ray Review: The Mo Brothers’ ‘Killers’ on Blogcritics.
Sometimes the serial killer genre can feel like a dime a dozen. But once
in awhile, something like the Mo Brothers’ (Kimo Stamboel and Timo
finds a way to break free of the mold. Premiering at Sundance last
year, it was one of two I missed during that festival — the other being The Babadook.
In a year filled with fantastic films, I knew I had to see this one
being a fan of thrillers in general, particularly when it comes to Asian
cinema. Better late than never, I’m relieved to say Killers exceeded expectations and is finally available on Blu-ray from Well Go USA on April 7.
Killers doesn’t make for the most “killer” transfer, but when
it looks good, it looks really good. Shot digitally, and presented in a
2.35:1 aspect ratio, the best part of the picture is definitely the
amount of detail on display. The Red Epic cameras keep everything
visible, helping the film be extra creepy at times, but sometimes
lending a falseness to the CGI-enhanced elements. If there’s any
drawback to the image, it’s the alternating of black levels from nice
and inky to light grey, usually within the same scene. A faint layering
of noise creeps into a few shots, and banding pops up thanks to the film
being slapped onto a 25GB disc.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio also keeps the film’s pace booming along
with plenty of low-thumping bass. Surrounds kick in during the kill
scenes, while sound effects add extra squeamishness with breaking bones
and sizzling skin sounding extra gross. Dialogue is perfectly clear with
English subtitles available. A 2.0 Dolby Digital track is included.
There are no special features.
If I had to describe Killers, imagine American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman being transplanted into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Kitamura makes for an almost endearing psycho while Antara starts off
his Bayu as a journalist with integrity, while slowly devolving into the
other half of our titular Killers. The Mo Brothers keep the pace
moving along and even manage to pull of an ending that makes sense —
something that’s been missing from this year’s horror/thrillers. While
featuring a better-than-average transfer, it is sorely lacking
considering there are absolutely zero special features. It’s a good
thing the film itself lived up to expectations, making Killers totally worth the wait and a recommended release for those who can stomach it.