Kill List (Ben Wheatley)

by Srikanth Mantravadi


Holy mother of god! Ben Wheatley is a certified auteur who is in total control of the medium mixing elements of family drama and hit man movies and then turning it into a bizarre cult horror movie. I say Wheatley is an auteur because of the mastery he shows in building this movie up; it is moodily shot, purposefully edited and smartly written (a lot of gallows humour). There is a confidence in the way things are staged and shots are framed; none of the roughness and wannabe-ness associated with some indie movies. There is a lot of gore; gore that is disturbing and not necessarily cathartic unless one is into sadistic stuff (where most movies cut away from violence to imply it, Wheatley has his camera firmly focused on the action while a man gets his head smashed or his stomach ripped). I did not know what to make of the ironical ending; it is not exactly a thought provoking movie but it is definitely an immersive, enigmatic experience.

I think what Wheatley was trying to show was the horrors of everyday life without any adulteration from genre tropes before, paradoxically, the movie does break into genre tropes. It is a brilliant movie; I enjoyed it thoroughly.