List Film

Kill List (3 stars)

Genre-schizophrenic crime spree lacks clarity

Kill List

(18) 95min

Down Terrace director Ben Wheatley second feature is another tale of crime, skullduggery and mystery. Kill List is one of those movies that starts off in one genre (kitchen sink drama) and turns into another (horror). Robert Rodriguez’ From Dusk Till Dawn attempted something as generically schizophrenic as this and like with that film your enjoyment of Kill List is going to depend on your ability to overlook certain narrative deficiencies and the fact that many of the more interesting set-ups are simply abandoned.

Wheatley uses jump cuts and close camerawork to excellent effect at a dinner party in which hard up former soldier Jay (Neil Maskell) and his Swedish wife Shel (MyAnna Burning) host his hit man best buddy Gal (Michael Smiley) and his new girlfriend Fiona (Emma Fryer). Jay and Shel fight over the fact he hasn’t worked for eight months so when Gal suggests they murder people on a kill list for money, it seems like a good idea. Wheatley cycles through the genres as the killing spree begins, but the ambiguity that is initially its strength becomes a weakness by the end.

General release from Fri 2 Sep.

Kill List Trailer

Kill List

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • UK
  • 18
  • Directed by: Ben Wheatley
  • Written by: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
  • Cast: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring, Emma Fryer

One of those movies that starts off in one genre – kitchen sink drama – and turns into another – horror, Down Terrace director Wheatley's second feature concerns a hard-up former solider under pressure from his girlfriend to bring home the bacon who, at his best friend's suggestion, turns to contract killing as a way to…

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