Kill List

Kill List: after taking a break from contract killing, money problems force a hitman back into the game, but this list isn’t as simple as it first looks. Never before has a film rattled my cage like this. There’s a very heavy sense of doom heaped upon you, primarily through a clever soundtrack that’s part classic horror and part ultra-modern – white noise & distortion while all digetic (in picture) sounds are muted – a great effect to keep the audience unsettled. I was genuinely scared in parts and had to take deep breaths now and again for no real reason other than it was so tense; very strange for a film to get this reaction. It’s an unbelievable display of what a good director (Wheatley), and good actors (Maskell & Smiley), can put an audience through The story is intriguing from the first frame of the symbol, and plenty of hints dropped through the runtime, without much basil exposition. The only disappointment was several aspects of the ending; after 70 minutes of slow-boiling, grim, ultra realistic, impending danger, the final 20 minutes feel a bit wild, and the scream/costume effects (from the tunnel scene in particular) don’t match the rest of the film. Despite some minor niggles, Kill List is a superb film: tense, unsettling, uneasy, ultra-violent (guns, hammers, knives)  – it’s not for everyone, but this is without a doubt one of the best thriller/horror I’ve ever seen.

Score: 8.5/10

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3 comments
  1. I’m with you about the ending, but I think I was more letdown by it. After such an excellent build-up, that was the best they could come up with? And how wince-inducing was that torture scene? Good stuff.

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    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Agree that the ending was weaker than the film, and a bit/lot ridiculous – still loved the most of it. Intense.

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  2. Andrew said:

    This is a fantastic piece of horror/thriller cinema that exemplifies how important attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship both are when making a movie. The climax appears to come out of nowhere only if you haven’t been paying attention to what Wheatley has been up to the entire film. Love it.

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