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Eight months after a botched job, hit-man Jay (Neil Maskell) accepts a
new assignment. On the surface, it is a simple one three killings,
with the promise of a massive payoff at the end. Teamed with best
friend and old army buddy Gal (Michael Smiley), Jay's seemingly easy
task spirals out of control.
You'd be forgiven for feeling misled by the title of the film at the start for the first twenty minutes, we're essentially watching a very credible kitchen-sink drama, the sort you'd expect from the Loaches and Leigh's of this world. This then evolves into a taut thriller, before descending into what can only be described as a horror. The film shifts between these genres seamlessly, with the assured writing and direction of a man who understands genre well enough to subvert it. By the end of the film, I was left scratching my head as to what I'd just seen. Just when you think you know where the film might be heading, you are swept off your feet as the film changes directions drastically. The only constant is probably the frighteningly haunting background score. It never allows the sense of dread to leave you, to its benefit.
What I really love about the movie as a whole is that director Ben Wheatley's influences seem to come from British cinema of the past, and not anything being done across the pond. You could easily make comparisons to 'Dead Man's Shoes' and 'The Wicker Man', while the unabashed and brutal (BRUTAL) violence reminded me of early Guy Ritchie.
The leads are incredible, by the way. I'd never seen Neil Maskell before (he's in Channel 4's 'Utopia' apparently), so he was a revelation for me here. Jay is a emotionally damaged wreck of a man, scary when he is trying to suppress his rage and endearing when he plays with his son. Maskell handles it all brilliantly well. Smiley is an excellent right hand man somehow, he manages to be a moral force, as much as their job will allow. I think it's the supporting cast who probably let the film down. Fair enough, there aren't too many other actors in the film, but they just didn't cut the mustard for me.
However, what you're watching this movie for is the excellent, unpredictable story, and Neil Maskell's performance at the front. This is a must-see movie and Ben Wheatley is a director to pay attention to. He has become a very prominent name in British cinema over the last few years. 'Down Terrace' was the shoestring-budget debut that put him on the scene, but 'Kill List' is the breakthrough critical success. And it's absolutely bloody brilliant.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What was this all about? Acting good! Emotions good! First hour OK! Then... I watched with open mind thinking that after the huge mixture of reviews it would stir some opinion in me! It did not! (Anyone Rating this above 3 OMG..What where you thinking) Was eagerly awaiting the climax after a slow but interesting first hour..Which i rated 6/5! Then the last 20mins happened!! SPOILER ALERT!! What a pile of c==p.. Please do not judge British movies on this! I wanted it to be a success and maybe with a bit Hollywood sprinkle it may have been average!! But if i had a movie Kill List never to be viewed by intelligent life forms...This would be Top 10!
Kill List is the most intriguing film I saw in 2011. Its mix of dark
themes and black humour really translated well on the screen. The thing
i felt was most enjoyable about it was the ever impending sense of doom
that hung over the whole film, it was uncomfortable and difficult to
watch which really complimented the events of the story.
Ben Wheatley really made his mark with Down Terrace a film that also made for uncomfortable watching and this film really steps up in terms of directional adversity. Really enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone who is after a really refreshingly original story with strong and captivating performances. For me an 8 out of 10!
Horror films are usually my favourite genre of film. I love horror
films because if done well, they can challenge your mind and explore
subjects of life we often don't want to explore. That said, a lot of
horror films are rubbish and for some reason, in the last 15-20 years
horror a lot of horror films just copy silly clichés. It's as if the
directors and writers who are making these horror films don't really
care. Kill List has done what not very many horror films do nowadays.
Instead of darting the film with scary monsters and cheap scares all
the time the storyline itself builds and builds into a realisation of
pure horror. Without giving anything away, other films that managed
this particular type of horror that stays with you after the film has
finished would be Eden Lake, Don't Look Now and Wicker Man.
I've seen the most common complaints about this film being two different stories and I shake my head at you people. What a daft complaint to have. It's as if you can't comprehend a film if it strays outside the norm or if a writer thinks outside the box.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all i don't write many reviews, but this film has generated so
much debate in our house and amongst my friends that i felt i had to
share our thoughts with you all.
I'm not going to repeat the synopsis, that's been covered in great detail throughout IMDb. What i will try to do is explain what i thought was happening. I felt throughout the film there was a theme involving children. I think whatever happened in Kiev was bad, and likely involved a child or innocent person(s) getting caught in crossfire.
I don't believe the first two target were innocent. I actually believe they were part of the cult and we're both aware of who the hit-man was (and what he would become). The vicar was possibly a paedophile and librarian was likely a distributor of child porn, this sent the main character over the edge and brought about flashbacks of what had happened in Kiev.
Maybe the cult upon hearing about what happened in Kiev set about a plan for the main character to kill his own son and thus be welcomed into the arms of the cult? (as king or leader? what was with the crown?)
There are still loads of questions that still remain unanswered - why did the main character show no emotion when he found at what he did at the final scene, why did his wife laugh?....was she involved? why did only one of the hit-men have to sign in blood?
That's it - i welcome your thoughts
Down-on-his-luck contract killer Jay (Neil Maskell) and his best pal
Gal (Michael Smiley) accept an assignment that slowly draws them into a
world of satanic horror from which there is no escape.
Kill List's choppy editing style, intense characters, gritty atmosphere, improvisational performances, and gut-churning moments of extreme brutality all make for a very uneasy viewing experience, but once director Ben Wheatley introduces his film's satanic element, its a growing sense of familiarity that makes for a less than comfortable watch.
To put it another way, the film is bordering on brilliant until Wheatley's influences become blatantly obvious, after which it loses much of its initial impact. As Kill List progresses, it becomes possible to draw more and more parallels to several other horror titles, most notably Race With The Devil, The Wicker Man, and A Serbian Film, and as a result the film is difficult to admire as a whole.
Fans of really violent movies should check this out purely for one incredibly nasty scenea well executed, extremely vicious hammer attack that leaves the victim with several irreparably broken bones and his brains on the outsidebut be prepared to feel more than a bit frustrated by the time the film's final predictable twist is brought into play.
9/10 for everything up to the 'torch-light procession through the woods' scene, 3/10 for the rest; although this averages out at a fairly respectable 6/10, it's still a disappointing score for a film that, for a while, looked like it might have been a modern classic.
I wish there was an option to give this movie zero stars, or negative stars. Kill List is absurdly bad. It's a cloying, desperate attempt at making a movie full of symbolism and meaning. But its makers have only succeeded in making a movie that falls apart at its end as it tries to leave the viewer with some sort of ethics or morality lesson. If I could gather every copy of this movie in existence and destroy them, I would do so as a service to humanity. Even if the message succeeded, it is so obvious as to be useless. Watch this movie at your own risk and be prepared for a completely unsatisfying ending that renders the whole viewing experience a waste of time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
OK, Iam a big fan of horror movies, slashers to be specific. But I also
like thriller movies. Crime movies have always been neutral to me. So,
I had all the three genres that suited me. When I saw the ratings
(6.2/10 at the time) which is a decent rating for a horror movie, I was
happy to see a fine horror movie after a long time. So, I got a DVD.
When the movie started, I was fully prepared to be horrified and
The movie starts with a slow pace. Yes, perhaps a new way to present the horror movie. I was ready to be horrified, fully. The movie goes on, goes on , and goes on, and it keeps on going. I don't know what the hell Iam watching. Is the fight between a couple is worth to be horrified of? Let's talk about thrillers. Where the hell would any one find the thrilling scenes in the movie. Guys seriously this movie might be good , but for the genres mentioned for this title, the movie is hell lot disgusting. It's never horrifying and never thrilling. It is just what is is. And it is what I have no idea. If the producers read this review, please consider my one request "Don't fool your audience by giving wrong genres to your movies". This movie was just a waste of time for me, SO will it be for you, if you are looking for a genuine horrifying scenes in the movie.
I have given this move 1/10.For me, this movie was not worth 1 even, but I gave this movie a rating of 1 just because of its ending, which was a quite bit unpredictable. The last few minutes of the movie are horrifying and thrilling too. When the killer kills his own wife and children, I don't know what the heck happens. What was its implication?. It, not being a drama movie is being a hell lot dramatic!!! That's what makes this movie a worst one for me. It is never parallel (or faithful) to its genre I have only a few last words for this movie : This movie might be good, but if you are watching it just because you like its genres, then you are being fooled. This movie is not what it should be, a horrifying , thrilling movie.
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'???!!!
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