Directed by Ben Wheatley, Kill List is different, refreshing, and mind-boggling.
Jay and Gal are ex-army friends and partners in crime. After a rowdy dinner party at Jay’s with Gal and his creepy new girlfriend in tow, he agrees to get back to business and take a big money job to help his disintegrating marriage get back on track.
The job in question is a murder contract and the targets are all responsible for various manifestations of evil, though it’s not always explained what some of them did. One thing they all have in common is that they are thankful to be killed by Jay. Something that not only confuses the audience but Jay himself.
The movie sneaks up on you and there is an uneasy hint of something growling beneath the surface, but the actors and their actions seem explainable on the level of ordinary reality.
Wheatley layers the non-action with skill, and really knows how to ratchet up the intrigue and though Kill List’s deception sometimes seems messier than deliberate, it has controlled mystery and its dreadful final image has a lasting resonance. Ben Wheatley not only knows how to make a movie, but he knows how to make three at the same time.
Kill List is a bit of a slow burner, but by the end you’ll realize you’ve been sitting in a fire pit. If you get excited by guessing plots when it comes to movies, Kill List will get the brain wondering what the hell is happening. And hell is happening.