Kill List Blu-ray Review

Kill List hammers home the impact this Christmas season on Blu-ray. An odd choice for a release on Boxing Day? Might not be the on the foremost of your mind when you go out for the sales, but still there is no denying how powerful a film this is.

Director Ben Wheatley really knows what he’s up to here. Jay (Neil Maskell) is an ex-military man. He lives with his wife and young son in a comfortable home. But as their money has run out and jay has to go out and seek a source of income – hope comes in the form of his friend Gal (Michael Smiley) who brings them a contract job to do.

The two men go out on what is set to be a short list of hits they have to execute – but the further in they go the stranger things get for Jay and his life it seems is starting to fall apart along with his sanity.

Wheatley is clever enough to show you but not tell you anything. By the end you will have a vague idea of what is going on, just no idea why, but this is part of the films powerful ending.  Films in recent times have tried to shock audiences (films by Tom Six spring to mind) and many others try to provide clever twisty endings (films by Shyamalan or even last year’s The Last Exorcisim), and generally in recent times these have all failed. Kill list manages to do both. Wheatley uses restraint and also even the mundane to get the response he needs.  His lens travels around as if normal and it is in the normality of things that the clever stuff happens.

The extras on this disc include a few interviews and a short making of (which to its credit is just as brooding as the film itself – filled with test footage – even just shots used for lighting techniques), and there are two commentaries. One from the cast and one from the director and writer. Both are worth a listen – Wheatley in particular makes for an entertaining host, not rising above the odd chuckle from time to time.

The film looks great on Blu-ray and the sound works very well. And sound is a key ingredient here – so I’m pleased to say they have delivered a great track for one of this year’s best.

Steven Hurst

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