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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Barbarism begins at home!
Very good. Kill List is one of those films that almost becomes more enjoyable the following day after watching having had time to re-run it in your head. Kill List is a surreal, nightmarish tale of morality and descent into depravity. It has a very tight straightforward plot concerning two ex-army friends involvement as hired killers and their list of targets for their...
Published on 23 Sept. 2012 by All of them Witches

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Genre switch doesn't quite work
Kill List is a film of two halves, opening promisingly with a damaged ex-soldier back from Iraq to find he's no prospects and doesn't get on with his wife anymore. His way out comes in the form an opportunity to team up with an ex-army mate and turn hit man. He doesn't know who he's ultimately working for, but the more he learns of the victims the more reassured he is...
Published 8 months ago by You caught me procrastinating ...


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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Barbarism begins at home!, 23 Sept. 2012
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kill List [DVD] (DVD)
Very good. Kill List is one of those films that almost becomes more enjoyable the following day after watching having had time to re-run it in your head. Kill List is a surreal, nightmarish tale of morality and descent into depravity. It has a very tight straightforward plot concerning two ex-army friends involvement as hired killers and their list of targets for their new client. This story is interwoven with a sinister sub-plot involving satanic(?) imagery, some bizarre and unnatural reactions from the killers victims and almost everyone else they encounter, paranoia and barbarity.
Just about every relationship is dysfunctional at its inner core and though despicable in nature the characters also exhibit quite vulnerable even likeable sides early on until the gradual character erosion and exposure to their dark sides kicks in.
I'm a bit suprised at so many low ratings as even given the unusual direction the film takes towards the end the journey there is still fantastically acted and plot wise is very strong, disturbing and thought provoking. I look forward to seeing it again and I think that's pretty much a prerequisite given the subtlety of much of the inferences, unexplained references and symbolic nature of much of the strange events that occur.
A very good character study and plot driven horror that while it thematically resonates with some other films I didn't think it was derivative at all of any of them.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply brilliant..., 25 Mar. 2014
Nearly a year after a botched job, a hit-man takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings.

What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.....

This is one of those films that really lives up the hype and the applauds from the critics.

The first thing about this film is that it's one of the most un-nerving film experiences I have ever have.

It's by no means scary, but the film has so much stark imagery and connotations, the sense of dread is there from the start, and never lets up right until the end credits are over.

The performances in this movie are second to none, and it's true, there are some scenes when you really feel like you are intruding someone else's life.

But do your self a favour and don't read anything about this movie until you have seen it, it will spoil one of the most powerful, visceral experiences you could have from a British movie.

The Pagan symbols are revealed subliminally throughout the film at different stages of the film, and if you look through the occupations of the 'victims' it goes up right to the government, thus maybe indicating that this 'cult' feel guilty about the Brown/Blair botch up of the country, or maybe the killing of innocence of British society once the final reel is shown.

The ending is shocking and answers a lot of questions and kudos to the editing suite, they really focus on certain scenes and never cut away when you expect.

All in all it's a very unsettling piece to watch, but it's very powerful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Genre switch doesn't quite work, 18 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Kill List (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Kill List is a film of two halves, opening promisingly with a damaged ex-soldier back from Iraq to find he's no prospects and doesn't get on with his wife anymore. His way out comes in the form an opportunity to team up with an ex-army mate and turn hit man. He doesn't know who he's ultimately working for, but the more he learns of the victims the more reassured he is that he's on the side of the angels.

But just as he's about to knock off the last victim the film switches genre from realistic thriller to Hammer horror. Suddenly, he's on the run from hundreds, no thousands, of murderous naturists in Wickerman style face masks. Fortunately, he seems to have an endless supply of ammunition with which to dispatch them. I can't say I didn't enjoy it, but it was a bit silly.

Had Kill List stuck to being a thriller, we might have had an interesting time finding out who was behind the kill list and there's no reason why this couldn't have been a cult of some kind. After all these things to exist in the real world, just on a far smaller scale.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "A film about a horrible man who wins a hat", 17 Dec. 2012
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
It's easy to see why Ben Wheatley's sophomore feature Kill List won over British critics but found it much harder to woo audiences: it's a film with a lot going for it that really doesn't pay off and doesn't stand up to much examination. It's a film of surface pleasures, but of a very low budget indie kind - no big effects, set pieces or glossy visuals but strong characterisation, believable dialogue and excellent performances that give the illusion of eavesdropping on real life, all in the service of a genre that has long since turned into near-parody with over-stylised wisecracks and philosophising and comic book violence.

Starting out as a slice of life kitchen sink drama, becoming a thriller and gradually developing into a horror film, Neil Maskell is malingerer is persuaded by wife MyAnna Buring to get back to work with old army mate Michael Smiley because there's nothing left in the bank account. The work is well paid and local: kill three men in the UK. But these two don't behave like typical movie hitmen, more like commercial travellers, and it's that sense of the everyday observed that gives the film much of its power. Maskell argues with his wife in front of friends at dinner parties, gets pissed off when his credit card is declined at a hotel and finds corporate downsizing immoral while killing for a man who demands the contract be signed in blood. That's not the first hint that things are going to get a bit wickerish, but when his victims thank him even when he sets to work on them with a hammer, it's clear there's more going on than meets the eye. Or so it appears.

The reality is that there's actually less going on than meets the eye, but it's played in such a naturalistic style that it starts to convince you that it just might turn into something really special. All three leads are excellent, and even the supporting cast (which includes a cameo from Twins of Evil's Damien Thomas as a doctor) are convincingly naturalistic: even as the weirdness multiplies, they behave like recognisable human beings with all the light and shade and character flaws that implies. But the semi-improvised script is never as strong as the execution, particularly around the 75-minute mark when the film does a sharp u-turn purely to accommodate a very thin twist that doesn't really resolve or explain anything but just feels like it's there because the filmmakers thought it would make for a cool scene.

Unfortunately it's not enough, not so much because it leaves the hero as confused by what's happened as the audience but more because you come away with the feeling that it's just done for effect rather than as the inevitable result of the chain of events and the character's failings and that the reason there are unanswered questions is because the filmmakers haven't really thought it through that much. (The particularly weak director and producer's audio commentary does nothing to dispel the idea, especially compared to the amount of thought that goes into the alternate commentary by the cast.) Which is a shame, because for those first 75 minutes Kill List is shaping up to be a terrific movie and even after the final descent into silliness there's a lot to admire even if, as the film's cinematographer Laurie Rose noted, it's really just a film about a horrible man who wins a hat...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected., 10 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Kill List [DVD] (DVD)
Kill List has divided a few people and rightly so. The film is bold enough to come across as a gangster hitman film and then spin that on its head to become The Wicker Man and a horror crossover least when you are expecting it. What Kill List does promise is tons of graphic violence, the hammer torture scene is look away stuff.

Kill List is ultimately very entertaining and fairly gripping. Neil Maskell is excellent as the hitman on the edge slowly losing the plot and he is supported aptly by Michael Smiley and his onscreen wife MyAnna Buring.

The climax will either throw you to one side or form a grin on your face. All in all a very decent thriller.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Bad People Should Suffer", 4 Feb. 2012
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kill List [DVD] (DVD)
This is an independent horror drama from director and writer Ben Wheatley who has worked with comedians Steve Coogan and Jonny Vegas in the past, but this one does not have a foot in the realm of comedy. It is about two old army buddies, who decided to become hit men after their country no longer needed them. We join Jay (Neil Maskell) a year after a bungled job in Kiev. His acerbic wife Shell (played with brilliant complexity by MyAnna Buring) tells him all their money is gone, as he has not done any `work' for a year. He meanwhile only wants to cure his back in their hot tub; she insists he is making it all up and there is nothing wrong with him.

Then his old mucker turns up, Gal (Michael Smiley). They are having a dinner party and Gal has brought his latest flame Fiona, a mysterious one indeed who seems to enjoy pentangle like symbols. Well after a mass row, Gal invites Jay to go back to work. They agree and set off to meet their client. He gives them a hit list that includes a priest a librarian and an MP. They are not told their crimes and so Jay lets his imagination fill in the blanks. He is still traumatised from past experiences and seems to find some form of mental rehabilitation through inflicting violence. This he goes at with some very worrying gusto indeed.

What unfolds gets darker and darker as the violence escalates and things are seen in their true light. This is one from the school of seventies horror with a sort of cross between the classic `The Wicker Man'The Wicker Man - Director's Cut [DVD] and Peter Fonda's lost classic `Race with the Devil'Race With The Devil [DVD]. There is plenty of disturbing violence, language that a docker would baulk at and some brilliantly tense scenes. The soundtrack works too, even though at first I felt it was trying to be too spooky with echoey voices all over the place. By the end you will not notice as everything coalesces to a climax that kept me guessing.

Not a straight forward horror as there is a lot of life drama too and some exploration of the mental luggage that people acquire who have been in stressful situations. All of the acting was above par and a lot is left unexplained, in that you automatically fill in the blanks. I actually thought this was really good. Also a note on funding, this was a collaboration with the UK Film Council and Channel 4 who should be praised for their involvement, it's a shame the Council is being abolished. If you like the new wave of Brit horrors then this is up there with the better ones.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NAKED PAGANS!!, 6 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Kill List [DVD] (DVD)
I half liked this movie. The set up is simple. A pair of hitmen are hired by a secretive organisation to kill unpleasant types. The syle is sort of interesting
Sadly, it turns out that making a hard edged horror in the style of a BBC drama doesn't really work. Instead of making the shenanigans involved seem more nightmarishly believable it simply made them look grafted on. Let's be honest this searing slice of gut wrenching modern "terror" involves naked pagans, hit men, gruesome deaths and occult ceremonies! I ask you, does getting the corpse of Dennis Wheatley to write a Ken Loach movie seem like a good idea to you? Because that's what this film is! Ken Loach meets Dennis Wheatley with Paddy and Rory as hitmen!!!
The kill List set out to be bold and different. And, to the extent that it fits in with a new wave of Euro-horror rather than Britain's recent spate of comedic splatter romps, it is. Unfortunately, it's also all a bit overwrought and flat. Having said that, I am a seasoned horror nerd and I've gone way past the point where "brutal" horror instantly impresses me with it's "darkness". The result is that I tend be drawn to things like interesting camera work, the over all aesthetics involved, characters, odd ideas, a bit of kinkiness and just being entertained. The irony is that just about the only "horror" that actually spooks me these days are the traditional ghost stories I used to think were a bit lame.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unremittingly grim but worth a second watch, 20 Aug. 2013
This review is from: Kill List [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film on the recommendation of it's countless euphoric reviews. When I first watched this I almost forgot it had been labelled as a horror film and was thoroughly engaged in a nasty crime film, however the last 20 minutes or so reminded me that this was not the case. A lot of comparisons have been drawn to the original wicker man film which I think is massively unfair on both films, yes there's a common element, but I wouldn't say that it's plot or structure has anything remotely similar. It's not an easy watch, and I didn't fathom it's secrets until I watched it again. There is no Hollywood pay off in this film, nothing that neatly ties up all the loose ends and you are left to compute what has happened when the credits roll. A second viewing gives a much broader insight into what happens and without completely ruining the film this is what I urge the one star reviewers to go back to it. It's depressing, it's unpleasant, it's insanely violent in a grim realistic way but definitely worth watching... Twice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An experience., 22 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Kill List (Amazon Instant Video)
Different but not a film I would keep or bother to see again. It was recommended on another DVD given to me, about a couple on a camping/killing spree which was also wierd, but again different.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Horror, 5 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Kill List [DVD] (DVD)
Kill list is an absolute gem of a film. Its basic premise seems like something you've seen time and time again. But theres so much more going on here. I would consider the film to be more of a horror film than a thriller or action movie. In fact this is how horror should be done. The disturbing and unsettling atmosphere, slow pace and constant sense that something truly terrible is about to happen, creates a genuine sense of dread that runs throughout the film and you know its going to climax in horrid a way, and that theres a terrible secret to be revealed. I would say its more of a horror film that other movies classed as "horror". To me, sped up ghosts that vibrate and shake their heads, killer clowns and gore are not what defines horror. This does. It feels real and from the very opening with the awkward and violent dinner party it sets the stage for an increasing sense of tension that only gets worse the more you understand, and ends in a way no one can see coming. The dialogue is prefectly written and executed with some genuinely funny and well delivered humour. The acting is great and all of the characters feel human, flawed and rich with different emotions. It feels like these people have history. The film keeps you guessing, keeps you on edge and its just awesome. Its easily one of the best modern British films in years
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Kill List [DVD]
Kill List [DVD] by Ben Wheatley (DVD - 2011)
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