Iko Uwais (The Raid, Beyond Skyline), Joe Taslim (Dead Mine, Fast & Furious 6) and Julie Estelle (The Raid 2, Foxtrot Six) in a film written and directed by Timo Tjahjanto (Killers, Headshot). Sounds like one bloody good time doesn’t it? Well, that would be a criminal understatement. The Night Comes For Us is one of the year’s best films and one of the best action films ever.
The plot isn’t anything new. Ito (Joe Taslim) is an elite Triad enforcer. Faced with killing a little girl he snaps. Killing his own crew, he takes the girl and heads back to his home city. The Triad send Arian (Iko Uwais) after him. The result is pure unadulterated mayhem on a nearly unprecedented scale.
Tjahjanto sets up incredible brawls and then tops them over and over. After the brawl in the butcher shop, you wonder what next. So they give us the fight in the police van, complete with a video game like explosion of body parts. And it just keeps building up from there.
The Night Comes For Us shouldn’t work. The constantly escalating scale of violence should eventually become ridiculous. But it’s so well done and so well choreographed that it doesn’t. That’s a real feat considering just how over the top some of the violence is. I winced more during this than I did during most horror films, the violence is that nasty and brutal. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is extreme horror level violence in an action film. This is The Street Fighter of its generation. The surprising choice of Uwais as the villain leaves Taslim in the enviable position to capitalize on it just as Sonny Chiba did in his day.
It’s fitting that Timo Tjahjanto should be the one to do a film that cross-pollinates horror and action. He’s delivered incredibly violent films in both genres and The Night Comes For Us blurs the lines between them with the brutality both sides deliver. People are hung on meat hooks, impaled with pieces of bone, etc. There are plenty of kills right out of a slasher film, delivered by characters who are just as unstoppable as your average masked killer.
It will be interesting to see just where Tjahjanto goes from here. He can only keep tossing more bodies at the screen for so long before that gets old, not that he seems the type to keep repeating himself anyway. In the meantime hopefully, his most recent horror outing May The Devil Take You will find its way across the Pacific.
The Night Comes for Us is available on Netflix.