Directed by Ben Wheatley
Starring Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley
Ben Wheatley’s debut Down Terrace was an unusual British crime thriller.
Set in Brighton, it married kitchen sink naturalism with moments of brutal violence and dark comedy.
For his follow-up, Kill List, Wheatley offers a similarly fresh take on the hitman genre.
Initially, it plays like a domestic melodrama about the ailing marriage of Jay (Neil Maskell) and Shel (MyAnna Buring), a result of Jay’s unemployment. But matters perk up when Jay is offered the chance to reinvigorate his career by ex-partner Gal (Michael Smiley).
Jay and Gal are hitmen, and Gal proposes a job for which there will be a hefty pay-day. Kill List reveals its true nature gradually.
As we go further with Jay and Gal on their murderous assignment, the tone becomes more cryptic – folk horror classics like Witchfinder General and The Wicker Man become surprising touchstones. For those willing to take the trip, Kill List is an unusual delight.