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February 01, 2012

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bill

I saw KILL LIST a few weeks ago. It's really something, I think. I'm conflicted, though, because there's a plot bit towards the end that seemed off to me, though watching it on VOD at home does allow for the possibility that the connection was lost to me because, I don't know, maybe one of my cats was trying to fight a shadow or something.

But hoo-ee, that ending. Really chilling and disturbing and weird and awful. The use of occasional title cards throughout the film, announcing the next victim on the "kill list" in the simplest terms ("THE PRIEST" and so on) sets up the ending in such a clean and stark way that the final title card made me think "Oh fucking hell, what does THAT mean!?" As with the original WICKER MAN, the ending is so thoroughly effective that whatever quibbles I might have had up to that point were completely overwhelmed. I want to say one or two more things, but I very much do not want to spoil it, even slightly, for anyone.

Brandon

Yeah, I was utterly bored by the first hour of KILL LIST and then proceeded to say it may have the best/most surprising ending of the year. I haven't had the chance to see it again to pick up on anything I may have missed...

warren oates

It's not just WICKER MAN in that ending but RACE WITH THE DEVIL too (I should know!). And count me in as another fan of KILL LIST. A big and pleasant surprise. There's an aura of dread that hangs over the whole picture. I can't relate to Brandon's being bored. There's enough odd stuff going on from the get-go that I couldn't relax and was always eager to know what might happen next. The whole thing felt lean and tense and nightmarish to me. An exciting genre mash-up, a great thriller, a moody exercise in low-budget style and a very promising second feature.

rotch

Another fan of Kill List here. Just wanted to point out a minor irk. The movie shares many plot points with Srdjan Spasojevic's dreadful A Serbian Film, including the final twist. You can actually write a synopsis for both and just substitute "killer" for "porn star" and "kill" with "have sex", and the result would suit each film. And while I find the former to be a modern genre classic while the latter ham fisted trash, I just couldn't shake the feeling that I had seen this before.

On an unrelated note, I caught a screening of Chronicle yesterday and it was ok, but if there ever was a movie that could do without the whole "found footage" gimmick is this one. I stayed for a chat with the director afterwards and it sure seems that the whole reason for doing it is just for the visual effects to look cooler. Which I guess they do. But I had a hard time getting past the whole "who is recording this?" or "who turned that camera on?" thoughts. It sure was fun though.

Brandon

I guess I was trying to say how unbored I became as a result of being initially bored, if that makes any sense. Maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention (I knew absolutely nothing about the film ahead of time aside from the title and country of origin). I watched the relationship type drama with some interest, knowing the whole back-of-the-mirror thing had to come back in again somehow, but when the film shifted to a kind of farcical occupational documentary I was thrown enough to think that it didn't really know what it was trying to do or be. The ending made me question that I had missed something major, because it was yet another completely different direction (but so well executed).
It has been a few weeks since I have seen it and I can't really put all the pieces together again now (if it was even possible anyway).

Don R. Lewis

Great review, Glenn and I too am a huuuge fan of KILL LIST. It's so good I almost think it's a bullshit movie that's near pure viewer exploitation and games to lead you to the end. But you nailed that in the review as well. I'd watch it again right now if I had it in fact as I think it's a movie that might always reveal a new angle.

Frank McDevitt

An idiot friend accidentally spoiled the ending of Kill List for me. Is it still worth seeing even though the (incredible sounding) ending will be much less of a gut punch?

Mr. Ziffel

Holy shit...I just looked up HORROR HIGH on IMDB and realized that I saw that movie as an impressionable preteen over thirty-five years ago on Scream Theater (a Detroit area late-night television horror movie showcase), but it was titled TWISTED BRAIN. Ridiculously bad, but of course I loved it and checked every week for a repeat.

Looking forward to KILL LIST after reading your relatively spoiler-free review.

Joegross

CHRONICLE is the only movie involving superpowers (in the tights and fights sense, rather than, I dunno, Eternal Sunshine or something) I have ever really liked. High fives, everyone.

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