Kill List (2011)

Kill List is one of those movies that you should see with as little knowledge as possible. If you like a slow burn thriller that hits you and stays with you way after the credits roll then skip this review, skip any other review, skip the trailer and go watch this movie right now. But if you need a bit more conviction then read on.

Jay (Neil Maskell) is a man who is struggling to keep his family and his finances in order. After an argument with his wife Shel (MyAnna Buring) at a dinner party, Jay decides to take up a job that his best friend Gal (Michael Smiley) puts forward. So Jay once again takes up the mantle of a hit man and begins to check off the kill list one by one.

Ben Wheatley’s exhibits a masterful example of how to build suspense and unleash it in one unrelenting blast. The film starts off as a family drama about a man trying to keep his life together and then forms into a thriller about a hit man which then proceeds to rapidly transform into a full out horror film. The film is so successful as an atmospheric horror film because of the acting and setting. The cast is spot on as they own the screen whenever they're on most notably by Ben Wheatley as Jay who seems like a nice person before we see him pummel someone to death.

Two hitmen relaxing before the storm.
Two hitmen relaxing before the storm.

The pacing of the film can be a problem for some people because the first half is mainly focused on showing Jay’s life and family beginning to dissolve which can drag a bit. The other problem some might have is that this is a UK film and the actors all speak in a really deep British accent which might make it hard for some to understand what’s going on.

Overall the film can be really confusing and frustrating once the twist ending comes in because not much is explained, so your left in the same state that the characters are in and that's a good thing. With that being said Kill List is still a film that should be watched by anyone who likes a really tense thriller or just anyone who likes horror films, 4 out of 5.


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