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Kill List (2011)

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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.

Director:

Ben Wheatley
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4,248 ( 1,011)
3 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Neil Maskell ... Jay
MyAnna Buring ... Shel
Harry Simpson Harry Simpson ... Sam
Michael Smiley ... Gal
Emma Fryer ... Fiona
Struan Rodger ... The Client
Esme Folley Esme Folley ... Hotel Receptionist
Ben Crompton ... Justin
Gemma Lise Thornton Gemma Lise Thornton ... Kiera
Robin Hill ... Stuart
Zoe Thomas Zoe Thomas ... Hotel Waitress
Gareth Tunley ... The Priest
Jamelle Ola Jamelle Ola ... Hotel Receptionist 2
Mark Kempner Mark Kempner ... The Librarian
Damien Thomas 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Swedish

Release Date:

2 September 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Halállista See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,838, 5 February 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,297, 4 March 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warp X,Rook Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Jay rips off the table cloth was taken from several episodes in writer Amy Jump's childhood. See more »

Goofs

In the hotel lobby, Jay uses a chip and pin payment for their room. It is obvious that the Visa card being used is put in the wrong way round. The chip is directly below the Visa logo in the top left hand corner of the card which can easily be seen whilst in the card reader. See more »

Quotes

Jay: You're giving me indigestion.
Justin: Oh, sorry.
Jay: Apology accepted.
Justin: Sometimes God's love can be hard to swallow.
Jay: Not as hard as a dinner plate.
Justin: God loves you.
Jay: Does he? Well, tell God from me if you're the kind of people he hangs about with, stay out of my way. No more guitar, mate. Not in restaurants. There is a time and a place. And your time and place is in a very isolated location, where no-one is likely to be for about a fucking hundred years. Ok? Because Jimmy Hendrix you ain't.
Gal: Very sorry about my...
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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

Our favourite movie of Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness Series
19 September 2011 | by thesubstreamSee all my reviews

Lodging itself eventually in the creepy-people-doing-creepy-things tradition of religious/occult horror films like The Wicker Man and Rosemary's Baby, director Ben Wheatley's hit-man horror flick Kill List comes on, initially, like a bad-boy bit of British Social realism.

It's rough around the edges, shaggy and idiosyncratically edited, with dialogue so unpolished and authentic-seeming that it's occasionally hard to decipher. It's filled with a handful of legitimately great performances by actors allowed to work improvisationally, seemingly, lending the first half of the film an incredibly charming unpredictability, a low-key volatility that had me bouncing back and forth between moments of disturbing darkness and happy familial pleasantries. Then it gets really crazy.

Jay and Gal are ex-army, estranged friends and partners in crime. Eight months after a disastrous (and mysterious) gig in Kiev, Jay's home life is disintegrating, and after a raucous dinner party with his ex-partner and his creepy new girlfriend he agrees to get back in the saddle and take a job. They're given a list - three targets - and soon they're settling back into a charmingly macabre groove, carousing "salesmen" on the road from town to town and target to target. But after an inadvertent discovery during a routine bit of hit-man work derails their plans, the pair realize they may be part of something much bigger - and much darker - than a back-room murder-for-hire.

Kill List a stunning piece of very smart genre filmmaking. Wheatley not-so-gently inserts chunks of spooky, disturbing horror into what's already a charmingly dark kitchen sink drama. It's this transition - that either a social realist framework can be twisted into a framework supporting high horror or that a horror film can work filled with improvisational dialogue and broody bits of working-class British anxiety - that makes the film such an immense, jarring pleasure.

Will it work for horror fans used to slick, post-'80s supernatural spookery? Will Ken Loach fans do with a little blood and forest horror? Who knows. For fans of both, it's a stunning - literally - hybrid, something completely unexpected, a real discovery. Kill List is a brilliant idea, brilliantly well executed.


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