Kill List review

A layabout husband, father, and, oh yeah, hit man, accepts a peculiar assignment to whack a group of oddly behaved individuals, a job that is far from straightforward and that carries horrific ulterior motives.

Writer-director Ben Wheatley applies a similar style to his even more miniscule budget predecessor, grower Down Terrace, but does so on a much more ambitious scale. His directorial approach is gritty and immersive and happily marries with a script that is intelligent, with only the most subtle of clues along the way, and well structured and focussed on the job at hand at the same time as being malleable enough for the actors to frequently improvise. The end result, then, is incredibly naturalistic, perfectly aiding thrills and the increasingly eerie atmosphere.

It isn’t every day that a British gangster-thriller-horror toddles along and this dark bastard of genre parents is a seriously depraved film. It is also the most deserving of an 18 certificate our cinemas have gifted us in some time. If a selection of sharp and blunt implements repeatedly and graphically making violent contact with various body parts isn’t to your taste then it’s probably best to let the film toddle on by. If you can stomach the scotch bonnets, though, Kill List is thoroughly engrossing, exhibits artistic merit in abundance and is a potential classic in the making.

4 out of 5

6th Sep 2011 | Official site | On IMDb