Friday, 2 September 2011



The hype that's come with this new British horror/thriller/drama is frankly absurd. Look at the poster quotes: "One of the best British thrillers in years", "A gut-wrenching chiller", plenty of four and five star ratings. Now, I'll happily admit that opinions are subjective and personal, but really, honestly, this film is absolutely nowhere near as impressive as made out. It's not a bad film, but it's scarcely a classic and I seriously can't imagine (hey, like I'm any kind of authority on these things) it lasting in the public consciousness more than couple of years.

It starts with Jay (Neil Maskell), ex-military and now hired assassin, lured back into the hitman game with the promise of good money and simple hits: he clearly loves his wife (MyAnna Buring) and young son but needs to provide for them so takes the Kill List. The first target for him and his ex-army colleague and partner is The Priest, which goes pretty simply. But the second, known as The Librarian, is a curator of illegal and violent child pornography and that's when Jay goes "off list" - finding and executing the man behind the trade in this material. And the third - the MP - is when it all comes crashing down as the film suddenly changes gears into the apparent world of pagan cults and sacrifices....

So for much of the time it's like a British version of A Serbian Film (in terms of structure but mercifully not the extreme sexual imagery) that plays like an upmarket Danny Dyer movie in which Jay shouts and rants and kills people, and then in the last reels it suddenly becomes The Wicker Man. It's an odd mix and it doesn't really come off; the gear-change is too abrupt and the final moments don't really seem to make any sense. That's a shame, because up to that point I was finding it reasonably engrossing and involving. Don't believe the hype: it's good, but it's quite definitely not great.


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