Kill List ★★★★

Fantastic. One of the best British films in years, and just gets better every time I watch it. For some reason, it's criminally underrated, but given the subject matter, it's no surprise that 'Kill List' didn't get a wide cinema release.

On the surface, the story seems simple: two (ex-military) hitmen take on a new assignment for a bunch of shady businessmen, but there's so much more to it than that. It starts off as one thing, but morphs genres and ends up at a place that you couldn't possibly predict.

It's always pleasing to find movies that don't pander to the audience, and Kill List is no exception. There's no join-the-dots exposition or dumbing down - the director gives the audience credit for making sense of the story, which seems to take a strange turn in the third act, but on reflection, it's clear that everything is set-up throughout the story.

I love the dense atmosphere of slowly-building dread that pervades the movie, and the intelligent visual foreshadowing is also a treat. Both are complemented by disconcertingly effective use of slow-mo, and a hyper-realistic, (almost claustrophobic) visual style.

The story - which is, admittedly, downbeat - is also punctuated by a few bone-crunching moments of full-on, 'look-away from the screen' violence. It's not gratuitous, though; it's violence with consequences, and integral to the character of Jay, played by Neil Maskell.

And what a performance. Maskell has a real presence on screen, and he, along with Myanna Buring, and Michael Smiley, really elevate the material. The characters make the film, and it wouldn't work as well if the they weren't extremely well-drawn (and oddly likeable).

Granted, it's not for everyone. It's one of those 'love it or hate it' movies, but I genuinely believe anyone who enjoys good, quality cinema will appreciate Kill List.

Great ending too :-)

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