Kill List is a British movie about a family coping with unemployment in the current period of economic recession. It is also a story about contract killers and the shadowy forces that control them and it is about relationships and the things people do to make them work or mess them up. I really enjoyed this film and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it so this will probably be a brief ramble so I don’t give away plot.
The film starts out feeling a bit like an episode of Eastenders with a couple who are obviously having financial and emotional issues constantly arguing and antagonising each other. I found this very annoying for the first 15 minutes or so as I always find scenes of domestic or relationship strife to be uncomfortable. For example, I tried to watch Carnage the other day and had to stop after 20 minutes as the constant tension and arguing was making me very uncomfortable. I suppose it is a sign that it is well written/directed/acted in this film that it made me uncomfortable enough to consider stopping watching. However, once their relationship is established, the plot moves on and the relationship becomes an important background to the rest of the action.
The main body of the story follows 2 friends as they work through a “kill list” given them by their shadowy employers. As you’d expect from a British film about contract killers, the result is gritty and bloody and not at all shy of showing the mental as well as the physical consequences of killing someone, or when you find out the reasons why you were paid to kill them.
Part of what I enjoyed about this film is the way that the sometimes shocking acts of violence would be interspersed with relatively normal domestic scenes, fixing a Jacuzzi, arguing over the shopping list, going to the doctors, play fighting with your son etc. All the characters have their various flaws and fears and problems which make them often less likable (or less easily detestable) than they probably would be in a Hollywood movie but also makes them feel more real. Being English, I love that all the locations are in the UK (I think it was all shot in Yorkshire) and this helped me to relate a lot more to the action and characters than if it were filmed elsewhere.
And there are a couple of good plot twists and I just love a good plot twist.
So all in all, disturbing and uncomfortable in parts but very enjoyable. This is becoming a too regular warning on my posts but don’t watch it if you are offended by blood, gore or violence.