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Kill List
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Reviews & Ratings for
Kill List More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Raw and unnerving

9/10
Author: Carl Piaf from Sweden
26 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am left so unsure how to write a review of this film. It IS a cult classic. Already I see posts from others that show where this film will be in a few months time. It is darker and more powerful than other cult classic horrors such as Wicker Man and Don't Look Now. Those are the closest films I can think of to this. The improvised dialogue (this is a British film so I'm spelling that word with the British spelling), the spontaneous violence, the stressed out near insanity of the lead character, and the instability that pervades this film, leave one feeling unstable and unsure. I did however think it slightly predictable. The shocks in the movie did NOT come as a surprise for me unfortunately. But then they very rarely do. But I can see that most viewers won't see them coming. The only other criticism I could think of (and maybe it is unfair) is that the female lead's Swedish accent really does not sound genuine when she is speaking on the telephone. But then I don't know how a Swede that has lived in England for a long time would sound when they speak Swedish (would one lose their Swedish accent?) I've lived in Sweden for ten years and I haven't lost my British accent. Other than this, the film is pretty flawless. An astonishing film that I wish I hadn't watched just before sleeping.

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9 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Cheap And Nasty

1/10
Author: bob_bear from Germany
9 December 2012

Even as the tacky opening credits rolled I knew I was onto a loser...and I was not wrong.

Yet another British film that utterly fails to look cinematic. It looks like a Channel Five Drama cropped top and bottom in a vain attempt to make it look vaguely like a film, featuring no-name actors and all on a budget of 50 pence.

Initially, we are introduced to a dysfunctional family of three. The wife is a shrew, the husband a feckless, layabout and the son can't act. From the get go, there is no one to like or sympathize with. This is not helped by the wife talking Swedish on the phone with no subtitles provided -- though they probably couldn't afford them by the looks of it.

Shortly thereafter we meet their creepy dinner guests -- the deeply unattractive friend and his air-head girlfriend -- and the rows continue at table.

There was nothing to encourage me to carry on watching so I switched it off. The end.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An absolute gem.

10/10
Author: ItsNewman from United States
26 May 2017

I was a bit late in finding out about this film, however, I was stunned by the quality of filmmaking on display here. This literally has it all: family drama, dry humor, sense of dread, outlandish violence, darkness, brightness, and much more.

What I liked most about this film was the underlying themes at work. This film never hesitates to ask the big questions, nor does it hesitate in showing the brutality that exists in the world. While certain bits may be hard to swallow, there is much to appreciate and enjoy here.

Yes, this film is violent. Yes, this film blends genres in a way I have not encountered before. Yes, the dialogue is difficult until your ear adjusts. None of this detracts from the outcome or validity of the final piece though (in my opinion at least).

It seems as though the final act is the make or break for most reviewers, and while I may be in the minority, I absolutely love the direction this film takes. The sense of dread is always present, building as the film progresses. The ending brings it all together in an unpredictable, yet very satisfying way.

My two suggestions: don't let previous reviews sway you, and watch it with subtitles the first time. The camera-work is exceptional, the atmosphere perfect, and the characters are unforgettable. Astoundingly good film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Decent Enough, But Some Faults

7/10
Author: Michael Radny from Perth, Australia
3 September 2015

Kill List treats you to some really atmospheric and psychological moments that are bound to send chills down your spine. Whilst the story starts off simple enough, the ending will have you a bit puzzled to what is actually happening and what just happened. I mean looking back on this film, the ending sort of made sense except for a couple of aspects, though then again, the ending didn't really sit well with me; it felt forced and out of place.

A good movie nonetheless, but I wish they would have polished up on some of the more crucial aspects of the film. At times it's slow, at times it's fast, so the pace is a bit off throughout, but I'm sure you will feel the full effects of this film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Contract killers Neil Maskell and Michael Smiley get in way over their heads

6/10
Author: msroz from United States
15 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Kill List" is a middling horror movie that for much of its length goes along as a crime story. But we are presented with certain clues along the way that signal to us that the story is not simply about two hit men who are filling a contract to kill 3 men. Some of the clues are known to us, but not to the 2 killers, Neil Maskell and Michael Smiley. Some clues are presented to them (and us) but they do not grasp their meaning.

Maskell is troubled, edgy, and explosive. He and Smiley botched a job in Kiev 8 months earlier and Maskell hasn't "worked" since. A man they were supposed to be guarding got blown up. This we learn early when Maskell tells his son a bedtime story. Smiley convinces him to take on the job. Maskell is married to MyAnna Buring and they have a 7-year old son. Buring is in on what he does and wants him to get back at it again as breadwinner. They've used up their nestegg. Smiley has a girl friend played by Emma Fryer.

The acting is very good, and some of it looks improvised. Certain household scenes have a quality like they're real and not staged beforehand. As the two men get into their "work", the tone becomes more like a regular movie.

The first two hits proceed well enough for them, although on the second one Maskell goes really violently crazy. The third hit leads them into a realm that neither expected.

The story and screenplay do not take a sudden turn from crime to horror because there is this gradual accumulation of clues. The first signs are very subtle and they are in Fryer's character. Almost everything we learn about her is unsettling and gives us clues as to what will unfold. When she and Smiley come to dinner and we see her for the first time, her witch-like appearance is unsettling (gaunt cheekbones, long dark hair, dark fake eyelashes, dark red lipstick). Her job she says is "human resources". Smiley laughs and comments "Hatchet man". She then tells them precisely what she does, which is that if a department is under-performing then she goes in, assesses the "extraneous manpower" and then "de-forces" them. Asked if she sacks people, she says it's not personal. It will turn out that her work applies to Maskell and Smiley. When Fryer and Buring are alone, Fryer reveals that she never wanted children. Alone with Maskell, Smiley reveals that sex with Fiona is rough.

At the 18-minute mark, when Fryer again visits, she goes to the bathroom and etches a sign on the cardboard that backs the mirror. It's like a hex or a witch's sign.

Next a dead rabbit is found on their lawn, and they attribute it to their cat. Maskell prepares it and eats it. Smiley arrives and tells him that Fiona taped a "dear John" letter to his penis.

27 minutes in, the two hit men meet up with the client that's hiring them. The interview is more than unusual. The man suddenly grabs Maskell's hand and cuts his palm with a knife and then cuts his own palm. Then he mentions that "Kiev was stormy".

The first victim is a priest. He smiles and says "Thank you", knowing he's about to be killed. Being out of town, Maskell calls his wife. He learns that Fryer is around and brought a present for their boy. Maskell comments that this is "weird". She seems to be moving in on Buring. To Smiley, Maskell reveals discomfort about Fryer in his house. He refers to her as a "glary eyed phantom". In replying, Smiley says " she's a bit of a f***ing demon in bed".

In the second hit, there is a torture scene. Smiley goes upstairs to get money in a safe, a little extracurricular activity. While he is gone, Maskell sits down opposite the brutalized victim. The man sees Maskell's bandaged hand. The victim, who doesn't know Maskell at all, asks him "Does he know who you are?" This is an important but subtle clue, as the other clues have also been, that there is a conspiracy afoot in which Maskell is marked for a particular role. The victim then tells Maskell that he wants to say "thank you". Maskell cannot understand and asks him "For what?" He answers "I'm glad to have met you."

The plot continues to thicken when Maskell returns home from the second hit and finds Fryer in the house. After that their cat turns up dead and Smiley finds that photos have been taken of them on the job outside the priest's house and on Kiev.

Without going any further, the point should be more than made now that this story has been thought out and presented carefully. The main negative lies in its not revealing to us the real meaning of what transpires. It is left to us to guess or to fill in the blanks after we see the resolution. This question mark reduces the story's impact. Another negative is that the direction doesn't generate much suspense.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Creepy disturbing and intriguing... but something is missing...

6/10
Author: Joe from United Kingdom
9 March 2015

Got to give this one some credit. Rather than just make some bog standard torture porn or shock horror movie, this film was made that seems in some ways to hark back to some old British horror film making. I'm going to avoid saying which ones else it will clearly ruin it for those who have not seen it.

We have here a man in a fractious relationship, who teams up with his friend for an assignment to kill a list of people. However, not all is it seems.

The film is low budget, but the effects are hard and strong enough, but it's the creepiness of this film that matter. The horror is more in the unknown and the unexpected than in any of the blood or violence.

It's interesting, and you're always left wondering. The problem is that it could be too baffling, and I just left at the end too confused.

It's a fine movie and a brave production as nothing in it would ever make the mainstream. If you liked your old Hammer Horror, then this will appeal. If you are more of a fan of stuff like "I know what you did last summer..." then it won't be for you.

Was it for me? I'm still not sure. Then again, maybe that's what the director was intending.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Interesting

6/10
Author: begob from The Undertow
13 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This comes in three parts.

First a portrait of domestic strife between an out of work husband and a demanding wife. But they love each other, in that peculiarly shouty English way. This is a slow burn, but very well acted, and a menacing tone was set - although I was glad to get onto the ...

Second part: moving through the kill list. The pace picks up and the relationship of the two hit men is delivered by some great script and acting.

The third part was a let down. I just can't get into flabby toffs prancing about the woods at night in straw masks - not very scary, especially if you have a machine gun. The twist I didn't find plausible, certainly not when it's set up so clumsily.

I got the significance of the chosen one, but there must have been a more original or shocking way of delivering the outcome. Maybe tying it back to what went on in Kiev.

The soundtrack was good, but the best thing about this was the performance of Smiley as the sidekick.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A brutal movie of three halves

7/10
Author: Adam Peters from Birkenhead United Kingdom
12 September 2014

(63%) Certainly a movie of three acts, and each of them very different from the next. The opening is a strait-through drama focused on a slobbish crook, his wife, and home life that's clearly set up so the audience fall into a false sense normality before things start to turn dark and very weird. The movie then morphs into a brutal crime thriller, before the outlandish ending that's worth sticking around for, although it may be too much for some and simply ruin the whole movie, not me though. Overall a picture made by a director with a very clear vision who managed to give it justice. Just don't expect this to be a typical British crime flick and you might like it.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Inspires reflection afterwards

6/10
Author: SeriousJest from United States
15 May 2014

This movie is suspenseful, well-acted, and interesting in a wide range of ways, including an insightful look at the aftermath of the sacrifices that soldiers make in war. It has a realistic feel, even with the injection of the occult. I thoroughly enjoyed this flick…until the end.

The ending may leave you needing more of an explanation…in my case, it did. I had a better understanding after reading the explanation on Holy Moly, and additional reflection yielded my own interpretation. Still, I felt that the jump to the final "twist" needed much more development to get there. Ironically, so many of the characters and relationships in this film were extremely well developed, but this ending left me with theatrical blueballs.

After further reflection, however, I drew my own conclusions as to the meaning of the movie, based on my military background. Maybe a deeper understanding of the occult and its symbolism would have allowed me to better catch the intended meaning of the film, but, all in all, this film was worth watching for me because it inspired deeper thought hours after watching it. I'd be glad to discuss any reader's take on the meaning in the comments, but please remember to adequately mark SPOILERS.

For more reviews and a kickass podcast, check out www.livemancave.com

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Thrill list!

8/10
Author: El-Kapitoshka from United Kingdom
24 April 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Why do all the bad reviewers need answers? Let go. You're not entitled to an explanation just by looking at art.

I remember watching this film with a good friend in 2011. We sat there fixated on the screen, enjoying the tight and seemingly ad libbed style and natural rapport between the actors.

As it went on, we knew we were in for something a bit special. Gritty, dark and sometimes very violent Kill List managed to keep me thinking about the gobsmacking ending for days afterwards - in short the sign of a great movie for me.

It was the first film to ever literally see both me and my friend look at each other, wordless and mouths open when the credits started to roll.

But do yourself a favour, clear your mind of all the reviews you have read. Open your mind and enjoy.

They don't make many like this roller coaster!

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