At Fantastic Fest, I adhere to a few strict rules. Never order anything before the movie begins (because if it sucks, you're stuck waiting for the check when you could just walk out instead). Only one two hour-plus movie a day (because exhuastion kicks in when you're twenty films deep). No repeat viewings (because fuck it, there's too much good stuff to waste a time slot on double-dipping).
Well, I broke that last rule this year for the first time since 2012 (when I saw Holy Motors twice at the Fest). The Night Comes For Us is so good, it's tough to even know where to begin when discussing it. A movie crafted in the classic "Heroic Bloodshed" mode that came to dominate the filmographies of such action greats as John Woo and Johnnie To, director Timo Tjahjanto adds a Silat-fueled penchant for bodily destruction that would make his cohort Gareth Evans wince.
In short, The Night Comes For Us is a total "hold my beer" piece of filmmaking, as Timo teams with Raid stars Iko Uwais (who also handled the fight choreography) and Joe Taslim to deliver one of the great action movies. Not of the Fest. Not of 2018. But of all time. The Night Comes For Us is two hours of wall-to-wall carnage, with Tjahjanto proving that he understands the intrinsic thrilling beauty of screen violence just like those aforementioned genre forefathers, even as he coats the entire screen with plasma. As Evan said in his review:
"Yes, like The Raid it is a tough action film from Indonesia with a simple plot that unfolds over a very short amount of time. Yes, it offers a few familiar faces. But underneath all that, its gnarly, mischievous soul has more in common with Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive, a film that exists solely to pelt you with relentless inventive gore and escalation. I’ve always considered The Raid a serious action film. The Night Comes for Us is way more like a (super, super great) splatter cartoon."
Now, the Netflix Original has a date when you can all check it out, too: October 19th. That means in three short weeks, everyone can get down with a movie that's straight up destined to be considered a classic in years to come. Netflix has gotten into the Timo Tjahjanto business, and brother and sisters, that business is fucking good.