With Director Ben Wheatley’s second Flick, he brings us a Genre mash-up of British Mike Leigh type improvised drama, some British Crime, and a smidgen of Horror. Jay(Neil Maskell) and Gal (Michael Smiley) are a couple of hired hit men whose last job was eight months ago in Kiev, which seems to have ended badly and messed Jay up in the head pretty badly. They both need to do another job to make some money and to pay the bills, especially Jay, since he also supports his wife, Shel (MyAnna Buring) and daughter. Gal and his latest girlfriend come over to dinner one night, so he can propose a new job to Jay. By the end of the visit Jay agrees take on the three hit contract with Gal. Get in, do the hits and get’er done, so he can go back to his normal family life with Shel who is aware of his profession.
The meeting with the Client almost goes badly as he grabs a hold of Jay’s hand and slices his palm open. He then proceeds to cut his own hand and the two of them let the would drip onto a paper contract. The deal is literally sealed in blood. Might have been the time to back out of this “what the fuck?” meeting and commitment to a client they both have never met. The banter between Gal and Jay is quite funny and realistic and a good majority of the flick was improvised by the three main leads. As the hits begin, Gal gets increasing more violent and brutal, and wants to back out of the job. He realizes that he is losing it and has a bad feeling about finishing the job.
The Kill List, to me, felt like more of a mood piece. A hallucinatory cryptic mind fuck that never allows you to know which way is up, as the situations they get into are not what they seem. It’s an unsettling and deliberately slow-paced flick that builds to a too quick of an ending that does not really add up. Even though the clues are there, it still feels rushed and messy. I had been hearing really good things about this flick, maybe too many really good things, as well as a little too much of the plot. I prepared to and really wanted to love it but I ended up only liking it, due to the fact that my expectations were maybe a little to high. What I am really saying of course, is that my expectations were too fuckin’ high and I should try not listen to and read all of the hype that some flicks garner! And just because I didn’t love it, doth not make it a bad flick per se. As I already told ya, I liked it.
So Says Dick Hollywood!
Kill List is currently on VOD and opens Friday Feb 3rd for a limited theatrical run in select cites.