Oct 28, 2014

26 of 31: Kill List (2012)

A vain attempt by a formerly prolific blogger to review 31 new (to me) horror films in the 31 days of October. We did it last year and it was a gas. Can we do it once more? Let's find out.

Platform: Netflix on Roku
Starring: Neil Maskell, Michael Smiley, MyAnna Buring

Jay and Gal are a couple of former soldiers, back from Iraq and working as hit-men. While Gal is easy-going, Jay has been deeply affected by a mission of theirs that went bad. He hasn't worked in close to a year, and he and his family are running out of savings. Jay's wife arranges a dinner party with Gal and his new girlfriend, Fiona. She hopes that Gal can convince Jay to take another job and support his family.

The dinner party has it's ups and downs, but it ends with Jay agreeing to the new job. Not before Fiona, who resembles a bit of a Goth, carves a crazy Blair Witch-y symbol on the back of the bathroom mirror. Oh and collects some scraps of toilet paper that Jay had used to clean up some bloody nicks on his face after shaving. You know...normal dinner party stuff.

The hit-men meet their client, who somehow knows about the last job that they did and how it all went wrong. He surprises Jay by slicing his hand and insisting that they seal their contract in blood. That's always good. The contract is for three kills. The first goes fairly easy, although the target seems to recognize Jay. He also thanks him before the deed is done. Weirdo. Same thing happens with the second target, although that one is much more complicated due to some particular circumstances that are too horrific for even these dangerous men.

Things begin to unravel at this point. They and their families lives are threatened when they decide to opt out of the contract. You remember...that contract that they sealed with blood. So they agree to finish the job. Fates are accepted, destinies met, stuff like that. But not before it all gets really weird. Like Wicker Man meets Straw Dogs weird. I think I'll leave it at that.

It's a low-key film that probably could have benefited from a larger budget, and maybe a bit more exposition. The main character isn't very likable, in fact he's downright unlikable. So that's a bit of problem, even if his mate Gal seems OK. Well, they ARE hired killers, so... I kinda saw where the whole thing was headed early on. I say "kinda" because I was only kinda right. Did I mention that the film got really fucking weird in the third act? Yeah, there were a few things there I didn't see coming.

Check it out and enjoy the insanity of that last act.

Verdant Dude Rating: 3 out of 5 pumpkin ales

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