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Kill List (2011)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 2 September 2011 (UK)
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Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.

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3,970 ( 250)
3 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jay
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Harry Simpson ...
Sam
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Gal
...
...
Esme Folley ...
...
Gemma Lise Thornton ...
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Zoe Thomas ...
Hotel Waitress
...
The Priest
Jamelle Ola ...
Hotel Receptionist 2
Mark Kempner ...
The Librarian
Damien Thomas ...
The Doctor
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Storyline

Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

2 September 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Halállista  »

Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,838 (USA) (3 February 2012)

Gross:

$26,297 (USA) (2 March 2012)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rainbow featured prominently in the film is a real one. There was a rainbow written into another scene, but it was changed when the crew saw one during the shooting of the scene. See more »

Goofs

In one of the scenes where the Jay, Shel, Gal and Fiona are drinking, there is a close up of a wine bottle and some glasses. The bottle says it is a pinot grigio, but the wine in the glasses is red and they are only ever shown drinking red wine. See more »

Quotes

Gal: I fucking hate dirty soap.
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Connections

Referenced in Hardcore Henry (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

It Could Have Been Better
Written by Joan Armatrading and Pam Nestor
Published by Onward Music Ltd./Bucks Music Group Ltd.
Courtesy of Tuesday Productions Ltd./Onward Music Ltd.
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User Reviews

 
A dark modern masterpiece
1 September 2011 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

So I got to see this one last night at a preview in Dublin. It's getting rave reviews from those lucky enough to see it on the festival circuit the last few months, so was glad to check it out before the hype machine took over and spoiled the whole film for me. Although I will mention plot here, I strongly advise those wanting to see it to read and watch as little as possible; it's a film best experienced going in blind, as they say.

Anyways, Kill List follows two old friends who happen to be hit men carrying out their first job together in months. It seems their last job didn't go so well, and Jay (Neil Maskell) is properly haunted by it. Coping with a nagging wife and mounting credit card bills to maintain their semi-wealthy lifestyle is taking its toll on him too, but his pal Gal (Michael Smiley) is on hand to get him back in the saddle. After a tension-filled dinner party, the two head off to meet their new employer in a shady hotel room. The fact that their contract is signed in blood should set off alarm bells for these two. They are given a list of three that need to die, and from here they launch themselves into a dark odyssey of murder, confusion and paranoia that doesn't let up until the credits roll.

To say anything more plot-wise would certainly ruin the film. From the opening frames of an embarrassing and intense domestic argument, the viewer is struck by a strong sense of foreboding and brooding tension that carries on for the entire film. You never truly feel at ease with these characters. This is helped by the spot on performances from all the leads, as well as the un-intrusive camera work and direction that allows the characters to breath instead of cutting for stylistic reasons. This sense of direction also plays well for the scenes of violence, which are frequent and some (particualrly the hammer execution scene) disturbingly realistic. As the tension and unnerving nature of the plot unfolds, we are taken through the darkness by characters that are not only nasty people, but somehow human and sympathetic. A very tough thing to pull off, but director Ben Wheatley and the cast get it perfect.

Despite all of this, the film is also surprisingly funny; the humour comes naturally through the characters and the bleakness of everything around them and never takes you out of the mood of the film. Sure, it's black humour, but it's still very funny in parts. You can believe these two have been friends for years.

Some people are going to have a problem with the final act, but I think it worked perfectly. Some at the screening found it confusing, and those who are writing reviews saying the last ten minutes are completely left-field clearly haven't been watching the film properly. The complex resolution is explained through image more than dialogue, and if you are not paying attention to seemingly insignificant mise-en-scene you may miss it entirely.

Overall I think this is the best horror film I have seen this year. Funny, disturbing, unnerving and a film that will stick in your head long after it is over.


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