Kill List(2011)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesday]
Ben Wheatley is a directing name I've been hearing about lately but I was unfamiliar with. Luckily, I found one of his first features "Kill List" streaming. It was not at all what I expected.
The basic premise is simple. Two retired hitmen decide to come back to the business when they are facing financial problems. They are given a list of names to take out together. Very simple. However, this film is anything but.
It begins with one of the most awkward dinner scenes I've seen since 'The Invitation', and it only snowballs from there. Our main character Jay is a prick. His best friend Gal is much more likeable, but is also a prick. Jay treats his wife like shit but they share a child and try to have a normal life.
Soon after the contracts start getting knocked off, Jay realizes his family is being targeted. Their cat is found hanging in their doorway, and much worse imagery that progresses throughout and mirrors the other events that are unfolding.
The hits start simple and grow complex. The middle of the film is a bit plain with a bunch of heated arguments, but then the ending accrues into this weird, folky horror showdown (see photo below for reference) and it just explodes in a very twisted fashion. It's almost out of left field and it certainly stings in the last 2 minutes on screen.
Overall it's a very strong debut for a director, but it's not the most original film in the world. It also features a lot of on screen animal violence - and I'm not cool with that, whether its fake or not. It's the one box of mine that gets triggered and removes an entire grade for me. But it's a good film to examine to see what this director is capable of, and I'm excited to see his newer projects he's worked on.
'Kill List' is currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra