Star rating – 7/10
It’s not often I venture into the world of horror in my film watching, but Ben Wheatley’s ‘Kill List’ comes with such fulsome recommendations that I decided to give it a go. And it is low budget and gritty but very scary and unsettling, based as it is in a suburban normality that goes badly wrong when this claustrophobic world is fused with evil forces.
Jay (Neil Maskell) is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder of some kind, possibly from Iraq, possibly from his subsequent employment as a hit man on a mysterious job in Kiev. Financial pressures force him to reunite once more with his best friend and bluff Northern Irishman Gal (Michael Smiley) on another foray into the world of professional assassination with a list of people to kill. I did find the dialogue between some of the characters early on a bit difficult to follow in places.
And the baddies are not kept a secret for long – with Gal’s dinner date at Jay’s house confirming my worst suspicions early on that HR managers can be an evil force to be reckoned with. MyAnna Buring plays Jay’s wife Shel, who herself is ex army, and so a crack shot when she needs to be.
Things turn very creepy and nasty – to say the least. I wanted it to be over about half an hour before it was, but I think that was just because I didn’t want to be scared any more rather than the film itself being too drawn out. Strange people in wicker masks wandering through forests add to the high tension. This is very a very dark film, which does not by any means provide you with all the answers to the questions it raises, but leaves you wanting to forget that you wanted answers to them in the first place, if you see what I mean. Probably a great thing for true horror fans – after watching this creepy and disturbing film I am not sure I am really one of them.