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DVD: Kill List | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Kill List

DVD: Kill List

A bold hybrid of a film which teases, twists and terrifies

'Sullying the everyday with the strange': MyAnna Buring in ‘Kill List’

Filmed and acted with suffocating intensity, Ben Wheatley’s second feature (after 2009’s Down Terrace) is a macabre mutation of horror and crime thriller. Stripped so bare exposition-wise that it’s jolting and intentionally enigmatic, Kill List is a ferocious, promising piece of filmmaking which drenches its audience in various shades of darkness.

In Kill List Jay and Gal (Neil Maskell and Michael Smiley) are two soldiers turned hitmen, returning to their dirty work after an eight-month hiatus; we learn that their last contract, in Kiev, was unspecifically bodged. Jay has a volatile relationship with his wife Shel (MyAnna Buring) and a young son Sam (Harry Simpson). His state of mind is shown as being desperately fragile and Maskell plays him with terrifying conviction. Although it’s a film best enjoyed with minimal prior knowledge, it suffices to say that initial bursts of professional (albeit increasingly unhinged) violence eventually give way to something altogether more bizarre and nightmarish.

Kill List is oppressively menacing with bursts of consolatory dark wit and, though it often confounds, in its final moments is perhaps a little too derivative. However, in its imaginative sound design and fragmented presentation it has a nice line in sullying the everyday with the strange. Extras on the disc include two very relaxed, giggly commentaries, in stark contrast to the style of the film itself: one with the three leads, and one with Ben Wheatley joined by his wife and the film's co-writer / editor, Amy Jump. There are also interviews and a “Making Of” featurette, which is frustratingly brief and as wilfully cryptic as the film itself.

  • Kill List is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Boxing Day

Watch the trailer for Kill List

Kill List is oppressively menacing with bursts of consolatory dark wit


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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