A little while ago my roommate and I decided to watch a movie. On a whim, we found a movie we knew nothing about, read the basic plot summary, and went from there. No trailers, no reviews, just the basic idea. What we got was a film that blew us away, and left us feeling severely uncomfortable.
Directed by Ben Wheatley, “Kill List” is a British psychological horror film about two experienced hit men undertaking their final job. The film is roughly 90 minutes long, and goes from 0-100 halfway through.
The film begins with Jay (Neil Maskell) arguing with his wife (MyAnna Buring) while their son listens from the other room. Things get very heated very quickly, and we already see that Jay isn’t completely stable.
The film goes on, and Gal (Michael Smiley), Jay’s partner and best friend, shows up with a date for a dinner gathering hosted by Jay and his wife.
Things happen, and eventually we’re shown Jay and Gal talking about the job they’re about to do, then a flashback of them meeting with The Client (Struan Rodger). Jay, but not Gal, signs their contract in blood at the request of The Client.
The film then follows Jay and Gal as they take out three targets: The Priest, The Librarian, and The MP.
With each target, a sinister, deeper plot is suggested at. Each target has something linking them to one another, and it’s ludicrously unsettling. In fact, about halfway through the movie (when we meet The Librarian), I had shivers running through my body at the discovery of The Librarian’s obscene archive.
Jay and Gal successfully take out The Priest and Librarian, but are too disturbed by what’s going on to pursue The MP (spoilers, but it’s frightening and definitely surprising). They meet with The Client to try and terminate their contract early, and subsequently have their lives and the lives of their families threatened.
Left with no choice, the two continue the job. At this point, the movie hits you with more and more disturbing imagery, and ramps up the creep factor of the plot, the characters, and everything else.
Before my roommate and I even finished the movie, we agreed it was one of the scariest films we’d ever watched. The sound design in the middle and towards the end paired with the horrific imagery made for some of the most unsettling cinema I’ve ever experienced. And it was incredible.
I definitely wouldn’t recommend this movie for squeamish folks, or those who can’t handle truly unsettling imagery based in reality. The ending will leave viewers unhappy and uncomfortable, but that makes it so much better. “
Kill List” is a shocker, and pulls no punches. It’s truly scary and memorable. It’s not on Netflix, so you’ll have to do some work to watch it, but it’s worth it.