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Kill List starts off a bit slow but by the end of the movie you will be sitting on the edge of your chair. Kill List is a movie you won't forget that easy. Especially in the beginning the movie is so extremely realistic that it could have been a reality show, slowly fantasy is added but you know that the things you see are happening, somewhere and right now. Two ex army start off as contract killers when they return from Iraq. Normal people, with strong values about what's right and wrong. Jay is a family man, a loving father, and Gal believes in God. Like in the army they kill bad people for the good people. "They are bad people. They must suffer." , "I have never done any real bad sh.t" , says Gal when they are confronted with some real bad people. - It's one of those movies I'll be watching again and again.
Writing this as the credits roll, and I'm truly breathless! What a fantastically brilliant ,but not a 'fantasy' or 'bright' in a kids movie Walt Disney sense film. Seen 'Angel Heart'? Did you like it? Then you will love this in buckets. Cast? Superb, with a very real style and an obvious license to ad lib as the mood took them which lead to a depth and believability in the scenes that was engaging and totally identifiable in every day life and all relationships that are in/on rocky waters. There's plenty of symbolism and clues as to what is going on, and the early signs of 'the pact' are fairly easy to deduce - what keeps you guessing is how it'll unfold. Because this whole script and delivery were kept entirely real and in our world, my main worry now is 'what if........'? DON'T GET MARRIED, DON'T HAVE KIDS, IN FACT......NEVER GET CLOSE TO OR LOVE SOMEONE - YOU WILL BE HURT IN WAYS YOU CAN'T IMAGINE! No spoilers here, I don't do lists or plots, just impressions - and my impression of this one is it will be in plenty of DVD collections in the future as a must have, yet people will ask 'No Oscars'???!!!
Being the Horror freak that I am, I like to give all different sub-
genres a chance, and to try out films from all over the world. Kill
List wasn't the first British film I've seen, and I'm glad for that, as
it might have given me a very wrong impression of British Horror.
I'm not exactly sure what so say about this film. It starts as a very realistic family drama, with economical problems leading to much tension, many arguments and fights. We are drawn towards the Neil Maskell's character, Jay, an unemployed husband and father struggling to feed his family. Then we find out he's a hit-man, and not one that works for the state or for vigilantes.
The film unfolds as Jay finds out some gruesome facts about the people on his "list". His reactions are not those of a cold blooded killer, but of a very human husband and father. In a way - a nice portray of the human soul.
And then, out of the blue, some questions are planted in our minds - never to be answered. New aspects are shoved into the plot, and the final part is hard to understand and hard to follow. Personally, it felt like someone had violently beat the script into being "Horror", and that's a shame.
I might have been more impressed with the ending had I not seen it coming the moment the scene began, perhaps my fault for having watched a few Horror films before this one.
It's just my personal humble opinion, of course, but I can't say this film was any good. Some Horror films aren't "fun" to watch, but are still good. This one isn't one of them. Can't recommend it, and can't in any way understand how come great films get lousy rates while this film gets 6.2. Never trust IMDb rating, never trust the reviews, always judge for yourselves. But if you ask me - find something better to watch.
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.
*** 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.
This UK film is excellent, but is definitely not for the light-hearted.
It is pitch-black dark, sinister, compelling and gripping. This film,
well mainly it's conclusion, will please horror fans.
This Brit triumph uses dark then bright lighting to alter the mood, along with a harrowing soundtrack and subject matter. It is very well acted, shot and paced, building up the evil and sickening levels as it plods, resembling a wounded movie animal.
The film is all about an out of work cockney man who returns to work as a hired hit-man. He partners up with his ex army team mate to complete a contracted kill list. However, as the list is continually ticked off with kills the main man loses it mentally, becoming more out of control and dangerous. This amidst marital unrest, stress and PTS makes for a turbulent ride. The kill list unveils paedophiles which stir up the underlying anger, and then the couple uncover a cult like gang, which leads into a ferocious but ultimately shocking (yet impressive) ending.
If you like dark, and enjoyed films like Dead Man's Shoes, then this is for you. Sit back, be immersed, revel and squirm at what is going to be one of the bets films of the year (2011).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was enjoying this film and it's scary score, I was really looking forward to finding out what was going on. The thing is you don't. You get no answers to the questions the film poses. Why are the victims thanking the killers? What was the cut hand all about? I feel stupid after watching this because I genuinely have no clue what was going on. In places I thought this film had it right. The score is excellent. And I honestly thought this film was building to a great climax, with all the questions the plot threw up, but what happened was with about 20 minutes to go the film changed to a different movie altogether. It was as if there were two scripts badly welded together. It all went a bit Hot Fuzz, only absolutely stupid when not in a comedic context.
Stupid waste of time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Firstly I would like to say that I really wanted to like this film
(doesn't start too well does it?) However I left the cinema feeling
both confused and deflated in roughly equal measures.
The film is suitably downbeat, gritty and...well English, however the performances (with the standout exception of Michael Smiley as best friend Gal) were all self-consciously naturalistic, whilst the lead, Neil Maskell was forced to do so much scenery chewing, I almost wanted to put some ketchup on the door frames for him! Poor guy did everything except yell "I'm the daddy" (Ray Winstone has a lot to answer for). I'm certainly not damning the actors for any of this, the criticisms are levelled at the director, who just didn't seem to know what kind of movie he wanted to make, and yes I did see the supernatural hints scattered through the movie, but these abstract flashes (the odd pagan symbol, and some bird in her nightie hanging about outside a hotel window, to name but two) do not a credible subplot make.
Carefully setting up the main characters (without a doubt the most carefully crafted section of the film), and letting us into their fractured lives, we learn that Jay (Maskell) is ex-forces and now working as a hit-man, who after being traumatised by his last job (don't mention Kiev), is now in self-enforced retirement. However,lack of money, a strained home life, and constant bullying by friend Gal force him to change his mind.
Now this is where it all starts to get a little sketchy. Cardboard cutout villains send our lads out to hit cardboard cutout lowlifes. It is not possible to feel anything for these characters as we are told nothing of any substance about any of them. They are there just to be dispatched (as quickly and graphically as possible).
Up to this point we have a fairly straight forward British "kitchen sink"thriller, however as Jay and Gal are sent on their last job we enter the "horror" section. Just like Alice, they crawl from reality through a tunnel (well through a garden gate then) into "Wonderland". It is as black and white as that. After watching a cut price "Get Carter" for an hour, we are suddenly thrust into a positively bargain basement "Wicker Man" for the closing act.
I have no interest in spoiling the story for prospective movie goers, so I will say no more regarding the conclusion. I will however say, that there is a certain amount of "Emperors New Clothes" syndrome regarding this movie. Just championing this film because it is an inexpensive independent British movie from a new director is misguided. We make great movies in this country, and with a little more attention to structure and narrative this could have been one of them. As it is, unfortunately it is a confusing mishmash. It will be interesting to see how it is considered in a few years time when the dust has settled. I do however look forward to what Ben Wheatley does next....Oh and by the way what did happen in Kiev?
This movie after an hour was on course for being an awesome film but it was spoilt, the 3 main characters were excellent and were played brilliantly but for some reason the movie took a turn in mine an a lot of other people I have spoke to's opinion for the worse, when I say terrible ending, I use the word ending very lightly as it had no particular ending and leaves the viewer very much unfulfilled and confused, the director seems to have wanted to end it with a twist to maybe shock and wow the audience but it does neither, in the end it was too obvious and a pretty much a pathetic attempt. I am so disappointed with the ending as I absolutely loved the first hour of this film, Neil Maskell was fantastic, and his character was too, he had a great mixture of psychotic and humour, backed by Michael Smiley and MyAnna Buring who too were brilliant, I cannot fault their acting at all, the dialogue too was good and the film up to the last 20 Min's kept me intrigued and entertained, but unfortunately it just fell apart, in the end I was left frustrated and so disappointed that they could build this movie up so well just to absolutely ruin it with a pathetic attempt of a shock/twist ending. I'm sorry Ben Wheatley but you totally ruined this film, it could have been oh so brilliant but instead turned it into a large pile of manure. this movie deserved a brilliant ending but all it did is make me actually HATE the film. and for this, it turned a 9 out of 10 movie into a 1 out of 10.
Watching Ben Wheatley's stunning second feature length film Kill List
can only be described as being likened to an unexpected punch straight
to your stomach, an experience that leaves you both breathless and
baffled but an experience in this case that comes out of no where and
enters into your conscience and won't likely leave for many days if not
weeks to come. A powerful, original and horrific movie Kill List is a
modern day classic entry into the echelons of the horror film genre and
a piece of filmmaking that has set up Wheatley as one of the most
promising filmmakers to emerge within the last decade.
The story of Kill List can be described simply as ex-army mates Jay and Gal re-adjusting to life back home in England after serving in the Middle East and consequently taking up jobs as hit-man that leads them onto a path that takes many an unexpected and nerve wracking turn. A film like Kill List that takes such a ride only comes along once every now and then and every tension soaked moment of the tale should be watched with the utmost intensity as there is much lying beneath the surface that is just threatening to burst out at any given moment. Wheatley and his talented cast that includes another great collaboration with Michael Smiley (who makes memorable appearances in both Wheatley's debut Down Terrace and the loopy yet fantastic A Field in England) give the film such a tension fuelled feeling that every moment of madness, every scene of shocking violence and every dialogue driven encounter makes an impression and ads to a story that has so much room for theory and interpretation is has taken on a whole nothing meaning in the years following it's release.
Released to much critical acclaim yet equal amounts criticism and audience backlash it's not hard to see why so many equally hate Kill List as those that love it. It's a film that confides to no set narrative standard, a story that cares not to pander to those that want force fed answers and a story that makes no apologies for at times being nigh unwatchable whether to what is happening on screen or what is perhaps just lurking around that dread laden corner. Wheatley's construction of this tale is both frighteningly unique and raw that it's not hard to see why the man has been hailed as Britain's greatest new filmmaking talent and projects that have appeared subsequently in the aftermath of the film all seem just as mind shattering and challenging as what is displayed here, in particular a collaborations with cable channel HBO that sounds all types of great.
Watch Kill List without any research, listen to my words here and watch a film that will just as likely leave you wanting more and is ripe for re-watches or a film that you will wish you never partook in. For Kill List converts the film offers up an energy that is so lacking in many modern day films and a power that makes it at times almost chest bursting intense. A wild ride that is not easily forgotten put Kill List on your much watch list, for better or for worse.
4 and a half claw hammers out of 5
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