9 out of 10
Released: 2nd September 2011
Cast: Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Michael Smiley, Emma Fryer, Mark Kempner, Gareth Tunley, Ben Crompton, Robert Hill and Struan Rodger
Writer: Ben Wheatley & Amy Jump
Trailer: KILL LIST
Given time Kill List will be looked on as one of the best British horror movies of all time. Out of all of my friends, I know of one other person that has managed to see it yet. A true original, this tale of a traumatised hitman played by Neil Maskell (WILD BILL – 2012) accepting a straightforward ‘kill-list’ to get back on the horse. Alongside a trusted co-hort and fellow killer, Michael Smiley (OUTPOST) the series of jobs seem straightforward. But who is the client, who are the victims and why do they thank the killers before their execution?
Comparing it to one of the greatest UK horror movies of all time will do this great Brit-Pic a disservice but it does cover some similar ground plotwise to The Wicker Man (1970). But before you write this off as yet another pagan-rites horror please consider these points. The director Ben Wheatley, along with his co-writer Amy Jump have weaved one of the most tantalisingly strange and scary web for many a year. The shear level of terror and the inexplicable kept me glued. The violence is made all the more disturbing by the reality in which the film has parked itself. Characters are straight out of a Ken Loach film, bickering about supermarket prices and bad backs, whilst assembling guns. This is no hip sub-Tarantino flick though. There’s no Hollywood gloss here. An off-beat and creepy soundtrack put it firmly on the horror radar. An extremely commendable performance from Neil Maskell, who usually sticks to UK gangster movies, make this most watchable. Its easily a career best so hopefully this will begin to open doors for him.
The last quarter is so full of WTF-moments and the ending will leave you gasping for air or scratching your head. Probably both. Its definitely not one for your Mum. But having seen so many thrillers and horror movies, to be rewarded with such a bold challenge to the genre conventions is great. The director previously made Down Terrace. Those familiar with his debut may think that they know what to expect. But he has progressed on from his ‘violent Mike Leigh’ tag. Whilst his debut is to be recommended, this is next level shi*t. This is where the bar is currently set for UK horror.
9 out of 10… F’ ing amazing.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Neil Maskell: In Darkness, The Mummy (2017), King Arthur – Legend of the Sword, Level Up, High-Rise, Humans (TV), Hyena, Open Windows, Utopia (TV), Dates (TV), Evil Never Dies, The Rise, Pusher (2012), Turnout, Ghosted, St. George’s Day, Piggy, Kill List, Wild Bill (2012), Bonded By Blood, How To Stop Being a Loser, Jack Falls, Tony, Doghouse, Paintball, Rise Of The Footsoldier, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, The Football Factory, Nil By Mouth
- MyAnna Buring: Ripper Street (TV), The Comedian’s Guide To Survival, Lost In Karastan, Banished (TV), Hyena, Downton Abbey (TV), Breaking Dawn – part 2, Devil’s Playground, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Doomsday, The Descent
- Michael Smiley: The Devil Went Down To Islington, Birthmarked, Jawbone, Free Fire, Tank 432, Orthodox, The Aliens (TV), The Hallow, The Lobster, Luther (TV), Glassland, Black Sea, We Are The Freaks, Svengali, For Those In Peril, The World’s End, A Field In England, The ABCs of Death, Shell, Kill List, Burke & Hare, Down Terrace, Outpost, Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, Spaced (TV)
- Mark Kempner: The World’s End, Down Terrace
- Gareth Tunley: The Ghoul (dir), Bill, Down Terrace
- Ben Crompton: Blood (2013)
- Robert Hill: Down Terrace
- Struan Roger: 7Lives, The Madness Of King George III, The Innocent Sleep, Diamond Skulls