31 Favorites #18: Kill List


I've written about my love of Kill List previously (warning, spoilers are rampant in that post!), but I'll say it again - Ben Wheatley's shocking genre mash up is one of the best horror films of the decade.

Kill List drops us right into the story without much explanation, but here's where we begin. Jay and Guy are two hitmen with a dark past, who are hired by a shadowy group to execute people on a kill list. Jay, desperate for money (to the point where his lack of a job is causing violent fights with his wife), decides to take it on. Only, things don't go as planned, and the two find themselves entangled in a plot much larger than themselves and what they ever could have imagined.

Kill List is a WEIRD movie. Like, super weird. From the very beginning, even though the film behaves as a gangster film, there are little touches of oddness that clue the viewer into the fact that everything isn't as it seems. And putting all of those little touches together probably won't happen for you until after the credits are rolling. Some people disliked the film because they felt it didn't make sense. And it's true - Kill List is nebulous in meaning and allegorical in nature. However, there IS a point to the madness, and further viewings will illuminate some missing pieces of the puzzle.

Stay with this one guys. It's worth it.

Three Things I Love About It:

  1. Kill List asks viewers to consider the limits and nature of evil. Is it evil to do absolutely anything to feed and protect your family? How far can you go before you're in the wrong?
  2. The film is eerie as shit. There's foreshadowing of what's to come quite early in the film, in what seem, at the time, to be meaningless incidents. And if that's not strange enough, each kill list victim Jay executes meets him with the mysterious phrase "Thank You." WHUT??? UGH.
  3. You've never seen a film quite like this one, I promise. It comfortably sits between family drama, gangster roadie film, and flat out horror so deftly that you'll want to go back and watch it again, if for nothing more than to see how masterfully Wheatley pulls it all off.