Italy, summer of 1987. The infamous “Killer” gang is initiating two new members, and it’s going to be messy.

Italian director Francesco Calabrese comes back to the short screen after his successful mockumentary Lovely Monster, that if you haven’t seen it, we urge you to do so. In this just-as-shocking film, Francesco brings us back to 1987 in Italy, where a group of kids initiate a newcomer to their infamous “Killer” gang.

Shot in an abandoned restaurant in the rural mountains near Turin, Calabrese decided to challenge the formal non-written cinematic rule to “not film with children”, to create a film adaptation from the short story Prove di Coraggio (Tests of Courage) by Italian writer Nicola Lombardi. Casting 20 non-professional kid actors however, proved to be a difficult challenge.

They can’t focus for more than two hours, after that it’s just a mess…
Kids can be mean and scary but at the same time most of them are gentle

– Director Francesco Calabrese

I Killer is beautiful, heavy and also disturbing, but Francesco tells the tale in a humanly fashion where the strong cinematography envelops us in this cruel and frightening children’s gang initiation world. His timing builds up tensions and suspense, but also leaves room for great imagination and fear.

Although extreme and fictional, the film’s message relates to pressures of fitting in to a group at a very young age, very often with deep consequences.

If you die when you’re ten, You might as well not even been born