Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Kill List.

It comes to something when you have to confer with another website[1] to explain a film you have just watched!! I was fine until about half way through when it becomes completely incomprehensible. Ben Wheatley’s second feature film Kill List (2011), described as a British horror film, is an unsettlingly strange mix involving contract killing’s, a study in paranoia and devil worship. Well received by many of the critics, I’m not so sure?

The strange sign thats never really explained!
Jay (Neil Maskell) lives with his wife Shel (MyAnna Buring) and his seven-year-old son Sam (Harry Simpson) in an upmarket house, he has been unemployed since his last job in Kiev that by all accounts went terribly wrong. Shel complains that the money is running out and arranges a dinner party for Jay’s ex army buddy Gal (Michael Smiley); they apparently served together in Iraq. Over dinner, which is also attended by Gal new, rather weird, girlfriend Fiona (Emma Fryer) who when visiting the couples bathroom inscribes a strange sign on the back of a wall hung mirror, one we originally see during the opening credits. We learn during the meal that the two men are contract killers and that Shel has organised for them to meet ‘The Client’ to arrange for more work. This materialises in a contract to eliminate three targets, a Priest, a Librarian and a Member of Parliament.

The Priest is disposed of in a clean and efficient manner. The Librarian is discovered to have a stash of very hard-core pornography, which sends Jay completely over the top, resulting in the gruesome killing of our book person with a claw hammer, an act that leaves nothing to the viewer’s imagination. Jay then goes of on a freebie and kills the person who was responsible for producing the porn. Its when we come to the third person on the kill list, the MP, that things start to go haywire, and it was from this point onwards that I completely lost track of the plot.

When you go down to the woods tonight your sure of a big surprise.

Although ambiguous it’s not a bad film, well directed by Wheatley and well acted by all involved.  It never allows the viewer to take anything for granted, with a  complex narrative that invites questions that are not always answered. It has some extremely realistic violent incidents the worst of which has to be the hammer scene, not for those of a squeamish disposition, so be warned!

[1] www.holymoly.com

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