Matt Adcock’s film review: Kill List
“They are bad people – they deserve to suffer.”
What if there are malign, crazed occult forces at work behinds the scenes of our society?
Wouldn’t it be unnerving if they employed hit-men to take out people they deemed worthy of death – on a ‘Kill List’?
Step into the world of ex-squaddie Jay (Neil Maskell) he’s suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress disorder and although he and his pal Gal (Michael Smiley) are assassins for hire, he hasn’t been able to kill anyone for at least eight months.
The film start as Gal and his odd girlfriend Fiona (Emma ‘PhoneShop’ Fryer) have dinner with Jay and Swedish his ex-military missus Shel (MyAnna ‘The Descent’ Burning).
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Things are not good with Jay and Shel – the meal is so naturalistic and charged with ill feeling that is one of the most painful domestic scenes ever committed to film.
Anyway, Gal gets Jay to agree to take on a lucrative hit – to wipe out three people on a kill list for some sinister old geezer who writes his contracts in blood.
The film works through escalating ‘hits’ buoyed by the believable and likeable buddy banter of the two leads.
There is a classic scene where the two have an alteration with a group of guitar happy Christians in a hotel restaurant – which alludes to a spiritual battle taking place behind the scenes…
Before you write Kill List off as a quirky Brit gangster flick – there is the growing palpable sense of unease that I haven’t experienced as deeply since the voodoo feel of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
And yes Kill List morphs into a full-blooded horror film at the end, which left the audience in shocked, stunned silence with a grim sucker punch ending.
The cult elements of the film aren’t worked as satisfyingly as might have been – indeed one of the mates I saw this with was left cold by the whole low budget, exposition less natural feel.
But for those willing to embrace shocking violence, forgive slightly lumpy plot transitions and seek enjoyment in a weird and darkly funny British horror – Kill List marks itself out as a heavyweight viewing experience.
Think The Wicker Man (original), mixed with House of the Devil and Dead Man’s Shoes, set in a recession era modern day Britain and you have something altogether more interesting than most sugar coated supposed horror recent efforts.