9 out of 10

Released: 2nd September 2011

Director: Ben Wheatley (Freakshift / Free Fire / High-Rise / Dr Who (TV) / A Field In England / Sightseers / Down Terrace)

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.



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