The Something Something Film Review

Some films have that special something, and some films seem like they stepped in something. Allow me to help you know the difference, and maybe find you something good to watch.

Kill List (2011)

Kill-List-Studiocanal-DVD-e1324663321155KILL LIST unrated / one hour and 35 minutes / directed by Ben Wheatley / written by Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump / actors: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring

Over the course of this mysterious little dark and British film, many other films come to mind: IN BRUGES certainly takes the driver’s seat (as both films are dark comedies about a pair of hit men), but KILL LIST is not so easily understood. And not so easily embraced. There are elements of Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT, Nicolas Winding Refn’s PUSHER TRILOGY, and Jonathan Glazer’s SEXY BEAST, among others.

It is a weird animal, KILL LIST, full of surprises that I won’t even begin to spoil for you. I will warn you, however, that the violence is quite brutal and graphic. This takes the romanticized Hollywood-view of “hit-men” and takes off the kid-gloves. And the way the film is shot and edited will leave you more than a little uncomfortable.

vlcsnap-2014-05-28-02h17m10s8There is a kind of documentary-feel to it at times, lending it a MAN BITES DOG (1992) flavor, but the cinematography also allows for some really inspired and creative shots.

It is a family-study, a crime film, a black comedy, and a horror-thriller, and it moves between tones with confidence and style.

It is a wild ride, and the director (Ben Wheatley) has certainly made a strong impression on me as someone to keep a watch on. He did one called SIGHTSEERS (2012) that was an inky-black good time, and one called A FIELD IN ENGLAND (2013) that has just been released, and I want to see it all the more after experiencing this.vlcsnap-2014-05-28-02h10m24s20

Really, despite all these comparisons to other films, KILL LIST is a mutant. It is a unique creature that needs to be seen. But I could still list other films that it invokes. You want more? Jim Jarmusch’s THE LIMITS OF CONTROL (2009) and THE WICKER MAN, ideally the 1973 version. Both for different reasons, obviously.

KILL LIST is probably not something you’re going to hear much about elsewhere. It doesn’t fit neatly into genres, it doesn’t wrap anything into a bow, and you won’t feel good about the journey.

vlcsnap-2014-05-28-02h12m48s201But it’s IMPRESSIVE. It’s CREATIVE. It’s POWERFUL. And to me that makes for great film.

 

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