Kill List - Not A Review

I’m not easily impressed.

But when you watch the climax of Kill List, with your mouth wide open, these three things will assuredly happen:

a) You’ll scream ‘that didn’t make any sense!’ and light a cigarette to wipe the bewildered expression off your face. “What an illogical end to a brilliant film” you’ll mumble, as you scratch your beard in frustration.


b) You’ll spend the next ten minutes hitting rewind, piecing the film, its characters, their reactions and their motivations together, and then feel the light dawning inside your skull. You will find yourself short of breath, in complete awe of the sheer genius.

And finally,

c) You’ll then spend the next fifteen minutes desperately calling all your friends, frothing your mouth with excitement asking them to watch this movie.

With Kill List, director Ben Wheatley has sculpted an absolutely mesmerizing and creepy crime thriller. The film follows a contract killer named Jay (Neil Maskell) who is talked into a new job by his friend eight months after botching up a murder in Kiev. The two meet their shady, wealthy client and are handed a ‘kill list’ of their targets. But something isn’t quite right. As they begin disposing their victims Jay finds himself slipping into violent mood swings, indulging in brutally executing people outside the list. A David Lynchian turn arrives as our hero slips into terrifying unpredictable circumstances, leading to an alarming climax.

Interestingly, Kill List is peppered with black comedy, and its meld with gangster-drama, socio-realist banter, Lynchian hallucinogenic plotting and body horror renders mixed signals to the audience - the effect is delectably unnerving. The dark humour only adds to the disconcerting atmosphere in the film. And what an atmosphere it is. A sinister plain vanilla palette, stripped off soul, blended with electronic sounds and unreliable characters. The performances are as terrific as the editing. Best of all, Wheatley challenges your intellect and devilishly avoids spoonfed exposition, and invites you to watch it again.

If you’re still unconvinced, just watch the trailer below.

And if the trailer doesn't do it for you, here's Peter Bradshaw's review.

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