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Kill List - Hitmen, Revenge, Horror


Goose
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I'd never heard of this but it got mentioned by Harry Knowles while talking about the director's next flick (a comedy). He really rated it (I know, I know) but a quick look around and it seems it's getting equally strong reviews elsewhere (5* from Total Film). It's due out Sept 2nd.

Here's the opening paragraphs of their review -

Hitman Jay (Neil Maskell) hasn't lifted a trigger finger in eight months. Money's low, his wife's (MyAnna Buring) spirits are lower. Then best buddy/co-killer Gal (Michael Smiley) comes round for a roast and a chat in the basement. He's been offered a lucrative assignment: kill some people, on a list.

Moral salve? They're bad people, probably. Besides, it's time Jay "got back on the horse. "Anyone who saw jobbing TV director Ben Wheatley's 2009 feature debut Down Terrace - a galvanising mix of kitchen sink, soap, crime drama, Shakespearean tragedy and piss-taking comedy shot in eight days for £6,000 - will go into his slippery sophomore effort with a toehold on what to expect.

Just don't be surprised if that toe is then hacked off and sent to you in the mail...

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Here's a 3 minute clip which certainly has an ominous feel about it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video/2011/aug/15/kill-list-exclusive-clip-video

A couple of reviews I've read say the only thing that lets it down is the ending, which is very similar to another film from last year, though a poorly executed one. No idea what film it references but from the tone of that clip and trailer I'm thinking for some reason

A Serbian Film

Though reading elsewhere, it isn't. I won't mention the film it does seem to reference as that might spoil things.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Watched it last night at The Showroom Sheffield. It's a must see. Not as good as some of the films it's being referenced with - I think it's a better gangster movie than horror and he's not too good at action. But the dialogue. Man! Some really horrible people but they're so engagingly presented you're riveted. Really reminded me of early Takeshi Kitano, which is my idea of a high compliment.

Abracadabra.

Fishyfish - you may find the Sheffield setting a real kick too. It's basically shot within a ten mile radius of city centre. In the Q&A Wheatley mentioned seeing Four Lions the other day and cursing cos he realised he'd used some of the same locations. It doesn't matter.

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The final third almost ruined this for me, but thoroughly enjoyed up until then. As fireproofradiator says, the dialogue is exceptional and when it plays as a straight hitman film it's excellent but the forays into horror aren't anywhere near as successful.

Worth watching and Wheatley is definitely one to keep an eye on, but take the 5* hype with a pinch of salt.

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The final third almost ruined this for me, but thoroughly enjoyed up until then. As fireproofradiator says, the dialogue is exceptional and when it plays as a straight hitman film it's excellent but the forays into horror aren't anywhere near as successful.

Worth watching and Wheatley is definitely one to keep an eye on, but take the 5* hype with a pinch of salt.

Was coming in to write pretty much exactly all of the above - it unravels into being silly after what has been a pretty good film about hitmen. I turned to my wife at the end and she was laughing, which set me off. Turns out the film's cinematographer was sat behind us with some friends who sat in silence at the credits, letting out a huge cheer when her name came up on the screen.

A good film that has been getting slightly over-generous reviews.

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I loved the final third.

Once it started into folk-horror territory it got a lot more interesting for me. I didn’t dislike the first hour or anything but bickering hitmen are a bit played out. It reminded me a lot of the film Outcast the way it mixed grim, social realism and folk horror.

I liked the way a lot of the deaths (Gal, Shel and Sam) were shown early in the film in the toy sword fight.

It’s not as good as some of the reviews suggest and the finale is a bit confusing but it’s very good and worth seeing, I think. Also angry, Sweedish women FTW.

Has anyone seen the film Wake Wood? I’ve seem it mentioned in a few reviews of Kill List.

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Hey there.

Man.. the final10-15 minutes just ruined it for me. Total shite. I was sooo with it too, An hour into it, it had me by the balls bbut then it just pisses it all away with a fuckin half cocked pulled out of its arse generic as fook ending.

I think the reason I reacted so strongly to it is that about halfway through I realised I had zero idea where the film was going. That is such a rare thing these days. The filmmaking was so confident and the character work so great I trusted the filmmaker. Things were never really explained but I figured they were all gonna link up and there would be some kind of great revelation at the end... but when said revelation turned out to be the so fuckin obvious and generic (not to mention not making a great deal of sense).. It just broke my heart. All those good feelings it built earlier.. the benefit of the doubt I gave to the vagueness and strangeness of certain moments all felt like IT WAS FOR SHIT! I felt used.

Not been so annoyed by a flick since CACHE..

Fucking gutted.

Despin out.

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  • 3 months later...

I just watched Kill List. I didnt know anything about it, and the ending surprised me a bit.

The movie is so unsettling, the way the characters are wholly unlikeable, they are like walking and talking stereotypes. The movie split opinions, some think its a new twist of the classic 'gritty British' thriller, others think its a 3/4 of a good movie with the last quarter gone bananas.

If somebody's seen it, and doesen't mind spoilers, lets discuss what the ending might mean!? I didnt quite get it.

So was he a member of a death cult? and his wife and child too? I dont understand if his wife was smiling or just shocked at the end. Was the other woman out to help him kill his family, or what?

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If somebody's seen it, and doesen't mind spoilers, lets discuss what the ending might mean!? I didnt quite get it.

So was he a member of a death cult? and his wife and child too? I dont understand if his wife was smiling or just shocked at the end. Was the other woman out to help him kill his family, or what?

His wife was obviously unhappy and he was troubled from the start.

The brunette bird was keeping an eye on them, and obviously thought that after watching the bust up at dinner that they could possibly be turned....

She pops round when he's off doing the job to turn the wife...

Which works....

He then at the end has no choice but to kill himself after killing his family...

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That's more or less how I interpreted it, but I don't think that the film benefited from the underexplanation at all. As people have said earlier - it's as if they didn't want to explain their contrivance, because it was all a bit daft.

Although,

I don't think that there was any real indication that he killed himself at the end, though. He was clearly some kind of folk hero to the cult (as evidence by the Librarian), so could easily have continued within the ranks.

The psycho zombie members were all a bit ridiculous, and the hackneyed presentation of the cult was a bit laughable, but so much of the film up until then was simply excellent.

The scene where two trained killers, armed to the teeth, ran from the cultists rather than mow them down, was a little too much to swallow, but I suppose it was that start of a whole segment that was a little too much to swallow.

I also saw the ending coming, much as I did with the similar ending in A Serbian Film. Though, as with that film, I was hoping that I wasn't right.

Worth seeing for a film that isn't great, but has many great bits.

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Yeah, I'm with the 'great until last 10 mins' crowd. Had no idea where it was headed and was so disappointed in the route they chose.

And it was crushingly obvious who he was stabbing.

Read an interview with the director who seemed to say

you can read it as a straight B-horror or that he's just gone completely mad or similar, and that he wanted to leave it open to interpretation, but I'm not sure either of those readings makes a lot of sense. Just seems like they weren't quite sure how to end it and so left it a little ambiguous for people to read deeper into it when there wasn't really anything to grab hold of.

Still, it was really tense and unnerving for the most part, and it continues to buzz around my head, so I'm glad in some ways that I saw it. But the ending felt cheap - notably, despite the low budget, the only part of the film that did.

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I've seen people use the 'madness' interpretation, but that's clearly a bullshit excuse. It's too poorly constructed to legitimately make that claim.

Madness is the new 'it was all a dream', just with some subtext that isn't even subtext because it literally displays the character's actions and desires.

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There was a dead rabbit? does it represent the shattered sense of community in our modern world?

I also thought he didnt kill himself at the end. The people who he was sent to kill thanked him, and his wife was kind of smiling after he stabbed her. was she really smiling? maybe she was just horrified. I can see someone giving a full blown allegorical explanation of the movie, such as "the death cult represents the emptiness of our lives" or something. I dont know. it was like a remake of hot fuzz in a sense.

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