One of the best things about the brutal and brilliant British made movie Kill List is how it forces you to experience the unexpected. As you watch, all the preconceptions you had are torn down, ripped apart and reconstructed in front of your very eyes.
In this way it is also very hard to talk about the film whilst trying not to give anything away. Although I shall try, my best advice to all those reading this review is stop reading and go and see Kill List as soon as you can so you can. Make up your own mind before it’s blown apart all over again by this amazing movie.
For those of you still with me, the story follows Jay (Doghouse’s Neil Maskell in the role of his career so far) an ex-soldier whose new vocation is hit man, something he has tried to avoid doing for some time. With money problems heavily affecting his marriage and the constant fights with his wife Shel (Descent and Devil’s Playground MyAnna Buring) affecting his son, it seems the safety of his domestic world is slowly failing apart uncontrollably before his very eyes.
When a new job with his old army buddy Gal (Michael Smiley) comes up he reluctantly accepts, hoping the money and time away will heal the wounds in his home life before its too late.
Given a series of targets to eliminate by a mysterious employer the pair work their way through their Kill List. However as the jobs increase, Jay’s bloodlust increases resulting in him risking the duo’s safety and anonymity for redemptive violent revenge on those he feels have done wrong.
Spiralling out of control towards a chilling chaotic conclusion Jay realise much too late that the path the men have chosen can only lead to one place. Fate awaits him in the darkness, a fate much worse than anything he has ever experienced before.
The vagueness of the above plot description is as deliberate as it is true to the film itself because Ben Wheatley’s unique and disturbing chiller defies a simple explanation.
Part starkly realistic kitchen sink drama, part intense crime thriller and part shocking surrealist horror, there is no pigeon-holing Kill List – and that is a big part of its brilliance and originality.
The other parts come from amazing acting by an all British cast who are pushed to the limits within their expertly crafted characters and the excellent direction by Wheatley who also co-wrote the script.
With its time-lapsed editing and stunning imagery the movie moves from realism to surrealism seamlessly scene to scene, catching the audience up in a disturbing dreamlike film packed full of all too believable characters and dialogue and visceral and extremely realistic scenes of brutal violence.
Blowing audiences away when it premiered at FrightFest 2011, what Wheatley delivers with Kill List is a stunningly original, immensely powerful movie which will have you transfixed and gripped from start to finish, leaving you thinking about what you have witnessed long after the credits have rolled.
Heralding Wheatley as one of the most interesting, innovative and important English filmmakers working at the moment, Kill List is the best British film of the year so far and is sure to put U.K films back on the map in a big way.
We all await what inspired, harrowing and warped vision Wheatley has to offer us up next.