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Reviews & Ratings for
Kill List More at IMDbPro »

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34 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

A Cynical Ending For A Very Stupid Film

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
11 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Thank goodness for Film4 who are showing a season of British cinema . If it wasn't for them I'd be missing out on some obscure British films that have bypassed the local multiplex . Oh hold on what am I doing thanking them ? There might be a very good reason these Brit flicks aren't getting a wider distribution deal ? Certainly KILL LIST is a case in point

I knew absolutely nothing about this film before seeing it . Not a single thing and not wanting to spoil any surprises for myself stayed away from this website and the wikipedia in case it spoiled any surprises and I'm glad I did because the ending for KILL LIST both makes or breaks the film and I mean this in a very cynical way

Jay and Gal are a couple of former soldiers and Gal offers Jay some work under the guise of freelance work . As it transpires the work is composed of contract killings of people who are revealed to be producers of child pornography

It's at this point Jay proclaims he'd happily kill these nonces free of charge and who can blame him . It's also at this point the audience think they know where the film might be heading though they might be confused as to why the victims of this paid vigilantism thank their executioners as they're battered with hammers and have cigarettes stubbed out on their bare flesh

Make no mistake this is graphic extreme cinema shot in that confused " neo-realist style " By this I mean the sound mix is off , the camera work is shaky and the music is composed of rhythmically amorphous muzak that is disconcerting and the editing is jarring . In many ways it's anti-realist and you see the same sort of directorial technique such as Shane Meadows DEAD MANS SHOES and I thought that's the type of film I was watching . I was wrong

You see what happens at the end Jay and Gal go to assassinate their last target the local MP who is having a human sacrifice in a field ( Stop laughing up the back ) and find themselves fleeing for their lives as the cultists follow them wailing like banshees . These cultists have no fear of death as they catch up and kill Gal . They then proceed to surround Jay's house like a naked version ASSUALT ON PRECINT 13

" But Theo wouldn't someone have the decency to phone the police and have the cultists arrested for if not murder then at least streaking ? "

Look don't ask so many silly questions I didn't write the screenplay I'm only a mere audience member but from what I could gather the police , the local MP all of Jay's neighbours and everyone he knows including the bloke who gave him the original contract are all members of this cult . The thinking behind this cult is never ever explained and the fact that it's completely leftfield seems to be a completely brazen and cynical attempt to make KILL LIST something more than a mere vigilante drama featuring torture porn as a selling point

It's this ending that makes or breaks the film . I do notice a lot of people on this page enjoyed it and have to confess I sat with my jaw on the floor as to the ending , but this isn't necessarily a good thing . Ask yourself this - how well would this film be remembered if it wasn't for the ending featuring the death worshipers . Likewise ask yourself how a conspiracy like this could exist in real life ? I know people will draw parallels with what's going on at the BBC and politicians allegedly visiting children's homes for the most depraved reasons but people having human sacrifices led by the local MP in public fields is something different entirely

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30 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Well done, very unsettling and uncomfortable.

Author: katyorr
30 December 2011

I happen to enjoy movies that don't give you everything through every shot and make sure that every viewer sees all the cues. Kill List is one of those movies. I also happen to enjoy movies that make me feel uncomfortable and invaded. Kill List is also one of those movies.

You can read the other reviews and such to get the plot line and all of that. This is not a movie where you get all the details of what the hell is going on. It's very intimate, close shots, overlapping audio, use of sound to create a very uncomfortable atmosphere. The movie is about human psychology and plays on psychology to get you to feel a certain way. There are no jumps and scare tactics. But this film is brutal and unforgiving.

I loved it.

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48 out of 87 people found the following review useful:

Too many plants, no payoffs. Oh and the ending sucks.

Author: SlasherFilmKiller from Australia
5 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is not so much a review as a rant so sorry in advance but I really have to vent. Its amazing that I even made it half an hour into this film. The opening act was so dull and pointless that my face was paralysed in an expression of WTF?, mouth open and eyes rolled and I was worried I'd be stuck like that forever.

What occurred in the first half an hour easily could have been achieved in a third of that time,which would have given the filmmakers enough time to tie up all the loose ends that would soon follow. The first was some pointless character scrawling a hex on Jay's bathroom mirror. This was never explained or elaborated upon and the character whose name escapes me because she was completely insignificant appears two or three times again in the movie for 2 seconds, and no reason.

Next, some old fart cuts his and Jay's hand presumingly to spread some kind of infection and says "this is necessary". In a world where the audience is shown later on the reason for such knife play, I agree, it would be necessary. But we aren't shown, so it isn't.

Finally, why does every one Jay kills say "thankyou" when he kills them? It suggests he is some chosen angel of death and it is a privilege to be shot in the head or beaten with a hammer.

Did I miss everything in this movie? Was the opening so boring that my fragile little mind shut off and I missed the story? Can anyone enlighten me as to what the hell this movie was even about? I feel stupider having watched it. And the end sucked. It was predictable from the very start of the scene and not nearly as shocking as everyone would have you believe as the characters were not likable and didn't share that great a connection. Rant over. Thanks.

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18 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

There's hope for the British film industry yet

Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom
5 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If there are two genres that the UK do excessively, and not very well (these days), it is the horror and hit-man/gangster genres. Usually flooding the straight-to-DVD market and being picked up by morons who see a promising film when they see Danny Dyer's name above the title, it would seem the British movie industry is indeed in a dire state (especially with the demise of the UK Film Council at the hands of Nick Clegg and uber-c**t prime minister David Cameron). Yet, seemingly out of nowhere, comes Kill List, director Ben Wheatley's sledgehammer second feature after 2009's Down Terrace (which I will certainly be tracking down). After a disastrous but unspecified mission in Kiev, ex-soldier Jay (Neil Maskell) is living a strained relationship with his wife Shel (MyAnna Buring). When his partner and best friend from Kiev, Gal (Michael Smiley), comes to dinner with his new girlfriend Fiona (Emma Fryer), tensions spill over and Jay loses it, while in the bathroom, Fiona carves a strange witchcraft-like symbol on the back of the mirror. Jay and Gal eventually head out on a new mission set by their shadowy client, and are given a list of people that need killing. After the first, a priest, is killed after thanking them, it seems that they have stumbled upon a child pornography ring. The next victim has stashes of it in his locker, and Jay goes sick on him. As Jay starts a spiralling decline of rage, Gal must try and hold them together. But not all is at it seems, as they eventually come across a strange woodland sacrifice. You may be forgiven from that synopsis in thinking that it sounds like many a British gangster/revenge flick, but it is anything but. The first half an hour focuses on the drunken dinner party, which at first, seems to be Ken Loach-inspired with a bit of Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth (1997) thrown in, but soon it becomes more Lars von Trier than anything else. There is a growing discomfort in the proceedings, with an underlying menace simmering beneath the surface, and this prevails throughout the film. Yet as the story moves on, the menace starts to bubble over, and the film becomes almost Lynchian. There's no out-and-out weirdness of a Lynch (the film maintains a neo-realist style throughout), but there's a staggering darkness here, and bursts of screeching industrial soundtrack makes the viewing all the more uncomfortable. You'll also need a strong stomach, as one scene provides the most shocking and sickening burst of violence I have ever seen on screen, beating even the facial disintegration of Irreversible (2001). Jay is a thug, and feels most at home when at work letting his rage spill over. I almost don't want to say any more as I feel it will ruin the experience, as the climax will alienate as many as it will inspire. For me, the juggling of genres tightly contained in one unsettling film is quite brilliant. The lead performances by Maskell and Smiley are outstanding, but the real star here is Wheatley. I can't remember the last time I've been so excited by a director. This is simply a sensational film. There is hope for the British film industry after all.

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27 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

If the ending confuses you, you weren't paying attention

Author: Monkey Knuckle Asteroid from Portlandia
26 June 2012

Frankly I'm amazed that so many people claim to have watched this movie then declare the ending came out of nowhere. The third act makes sense if you've been watching the first two acts for more than just getting your jollies watching people get horribly murdered.

A film that's more disquieting for the overwhelming sense of dread than anything resembling extreme ultraviolence (it's far tamer than most of the SAW movies), I walked into KILL LIST totally blind to what it was about and came out a huge fan. It's a film that requires that you pay attention to what's going on and (if you're not great with accents) listen closely, so it's not a thing you can just throw on and surf the internet or chat while it's going on. It's not a film that will pay off with big bloody scares, it's a slow burn that racks up the intensity at its own measured pace. But the reward for paying attention is a completely unsettling experience that's far scarier than any slasher or found footage film out there.

I try to watch every horror movie that comes around the bend and find myself supremely disappointed in what passes as scary movies these days. KILL LIST is the rare film that actually pays off anticipation with a lingering sense of dread that'll haunt you long after it's over.

That is, if you actually pay attention.

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25 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

brutal mob flick with a horror twist

Author: trashgang from Midian
26 January 2012

To be honest I never heard of this director Ben Wheatley, he even wrote the script of this weird tale. It was rated as horror but you're an hour into the movie and I thought well, where's the horror. It do contain some brutality and gory moments but I was used to that in other UK flicks about the mob. But the final part of this flick makes a 180° shift towards horror. I liked it a lot but maybe my only negativity is that they ripped off the ending of A Serbian Film. Maybe it's a coincidence or maybe it was a rip off, who will tell. Nevertheless I liked this a lot.

I liked it because we go deep into the characters without boredom. By doing so you need good actors and they all did extremely well. For horror geeks some faces will be recognized like MyAnna Buring from The Descent. Or Neil Maskell from the underrated Doghouse. I won't go deeper into the thespians, big thumbs up to all, very well casted.

You're in this flick from the first shot because it starts immediately, no nice shots from the country or whatsoever. It becomes clear that things aren't what they seem and slowly the two friends are on a new mission. But if you watch closely then you will see that terror comes from closer friends that they could guess. As I said, the first part takes us into their assassin mission which is filmed rather brutal and I said it even gory, the hammer scene will again be offending some people, not for the squeamish. Once Gal (Michael Smiley) goes berserk on a mission it's again not for the faint-hearted. Excellent done by Michael.

Indeed a nasty thriller with a horror twist towards the end. be sure to put it on the view list.

Gore 4/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 4/5 Story 4/5 Comedy 0/5

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55 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst films I have ever had to sit through.

Author: Frank Black from United Kingdom
2 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is terrible. It is the very definition of everything wrong with British cinema and I can hardly believe it was given funding, let alone all of the great reviews it has had in the press!!! I wouldn't recommend 'Kill List' to anyone but film students and enthusiasts who would like to witness a masterclass in how not to make a movie.

The writing is incredibly lazy; no attempt is made at a coherent story, 'Kill List' feels like two entirely different films clumsily stuck together with the ending completely discarded. There isn't a single character that the audience can empathise with. The dialogue feels unnatural and so quiet and muffled in places you can barely make out what is being said.

The camera-work was amateurish; very few establishing shots were used, there was no variety in shots at all and the documentary style 'shaky cam' and shallow depth of field made the film feel cheap.

The editing wasn't great either with a massive overuse of jump cuts and black gaps between scenes which felt like mistakes.

'Kill List' is the worst film I have seen in a long time, the writers and director should be ashamed. I implore you not to waste your money and 90 minutes of your life on this garbage.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

This is a odd one...

Author: TheNorwegianGuy from Norway
15 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Kill List" isn't all bad. The cast is great, and at times it's quite thrilling. The problem, however, is that it all doesn't really fit together. The first half an hour was a little slow, but it was alright. After 30 minutes I felt it got interesting. A Thriller about two hired guns, killing people off a list. I thought it could lead to something. And it kind of did, not in a great way, but still, it escalated. But then, the last 15 minutes started...It didn't make sense. Suddenly, it was a horror film, and it didn't fit in AT ALL. The ending itself was a good scene, and would have been a great ending, just not for this movie. In other words, this is a 2-part movie, genre-wise.

This movie has been marketed as a horror movie. Okay, some horror- elements comes and goes. The witch who puts a curse on "hovedpersonen", and the "symptoms" that follows. But it's not done the right way. The huge problem, I think, are these supernatural elements. It would have been better without. If they had changed some things, and made it a pure thriller, it could have been good. In stead we got a confusing movie.

To be honest, there were a couple of scenes I loved in there. Especially the brutal interrogation of the guy they followed home from the "snuff- shelter". Call me morbid, but I liked it.

If it all ended 20 minutes earlier, I would have given it a 5/10. The ending really ruined it for me, and I can't see a reason that it won't ruin it for you too. Just let it pass by.

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

incredible Film. Judge For Your Self

Author: jay pizle from Australia
2 March 2012

First off to all the people saying they "hate" film either don't understand it or don't like these sorts of movies in which the audience doesn't get what it wants (see Funny Games) The reason i liked this movie and have rated it so highly is for numerous reasons. I also dislike random gore to replace dialog. But the only really violent scene is with the hammer and the librarian which to me showed how angry this character was getting at being reminded of something he didn't wanna recall. Remember how when Kiev comes up in any conversation there is a tense silence but also a understanding about what happened and what they did. Which brings me back to my initial point about people really not liking it, i think this is because we are not spoon fed the story and there's no bull-sh*t detailed explanation by the "bad guy" like all blockbusters. To me this film puts all the pieces there and you the viewer has to put it together. I have watched this film 4 times now and noticed very small bits of dialog that i missed and give more to clues to whats happening. I feel like everyone expects to have everything explained in detail or they complain. This film is extremely well directed and the tension both director and actors bring to the table makes this all the more eerie and u feel that at any moment anything could happen. There is also some unspoken tension about something very specific that seems to be left unsaid but u get the feeling their thinking about it all the time. There are so many layers to this film and personally i think the librarian and the hunchback have made some dislike the film but i think that is more to do with their dislike for ultra violence. this is a question of taste. Its clear to myself what it was about and what happened and as much as the final scene made me cringe and squint i thought it wad incredible and in a genre of its own. Give it 10 years and this will be a cult flick without a doubt.

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21 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Real Characters Fuel This Small Gem

Author: Greg ( from Oakville, Ontario
19 September 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jay (Neil Maskell) has never fully gotten over Kiev. As a hit man, something went wrong when he took the job in the Ukraine and as a result, Joe has been out of work for about 8-months which has put stress on both his financial situation and his marriage to Shel (MyAnna Buring). But when his friend and partner Gal (Michael Smiley) comes over for dinner, Jay is given a chance at another job. An 'easy' job in the assassination of three local men. Given Jay's situation, he is fairly quick to decide and soon Jay and Gal are embarking on a small trip where they will encounter their first target The Preacher. The job itself was easy, but Jay is a bit confused as to why The Preacher said "Thank you" while facing his assassin right before a bullet punctured his skull. The next target was The Librarian a Dr. Who looking character that Jay and Gal follow only to find evidence of some kind of child pornography or torture stored on DVDs. This uncovering sends Jay into an unrestrained rage and The Librarian is killed in more brutal and violent fashion. But before The Librarian is killed, he too thanks Jay and seems to have some kind of recognition as to who Jay really is. For the final name on the list, Jay and Gal camp out outside the large home of The M.P. It is during the night that Jay and Gal watch from their hidden spot in the woods as countless masked and naked men and women carrying torches parade through an open path to an open area where one of the women of the group hangs herself. Unable to contain his emotions, Jay opens fire on the members that seem to resemble a cult, and soon Jay and Gal are on a frightening run for their lives from screeching and determined horde of cult members. Jay is able to find safety back at his cottage retreat where his wife and their young son have been in hiding, but the cult tracks them down and soon the entire family will be fighting for their life against an evil that they don't quite understand. Kill List was directed by Ben Wheatley who last directed 2009's Down Terrace. It is an interesting and incredibly engrossing thriller that keeps zigging when you think it will zag and zagging when you think it will zig. The first 20-minutes of the film would have you question why this film is a thriller at all. The opening focuses on the dysfunctional relationship between Jay and his wife and a dinner party gone awry with Gal and his date. When the film switches to a hit man genre, you would guess that this will be the crust of the remainder of the film. But Wheatley has more reveals behind the curtain and by films end you will have screened something that can best be described as The Wicker Man meets Rosemary's Baby. Kill List is a fine example of what good acting, a descent script and a whirlwind of a story (written by Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump) can bring to a lower budget film. And by 'lower budget' we refer only to the fact that there is no splash of extravagance in Kill List. The story takes precedence and it is an interesting one that will keep you guessing when you are not turning our head sideways in mock disgust of Jay's ever increasing violent actions. A sequence where Jay and Gal are being chased by cult members in an underground tunnel system is the films high tension point, but it will likely be the ending to the film where Jay is pitted against a character with the introductory title card of 'The Hunchback' that is likely to draw the most discussion after viewing. No matter what the discussion topic on the ride home, Kill List is a much to be enjoyed film filled with real characters and is one of the more interesting stories of the year.

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