Kill List (2011), stars Neil Maskell as a hit-man and an even more “off-his-trolley” hit-man than the one he plays in Utopia (2013). This low-budget British horror movie from newish director/writer Ben Wheatley is about a couple of hit-men working their way down a kill-list and increasingly being manipulated by sinister forces.
So, the problem with this film is that I felt that it didn’t know what it wanted to be. Thriller, horror, crime, action? You don’t really know until well into the dinner party scene. Towards the end, the movie then turned into a Wicker Man/Quake combo meal.
Overall okay, but just not that scary. And by scary, I mean that I want a horror film to make me look over my shoulder. For example, I watched this movie, late on a cold night, caffeinated and tired, in a hotel in part of the country that is completely unfamiliar to me. This was the ideal atmosphere for me to be scared out of my pants, but it just didn’t happen.
The trouble is, I think that the intention of the movie was to leave you feeling uneasy and I wasn’t. If this all seems a little harsh, I will give Ben Wheatley one last compliment. The bit with the hunchback worked and it’s still with me. Brrr!
RED (2010), starring Bruce Willis, on the other hand, was very entertaining and after watching it I now want to read the graphic novel it was based on. Briefly, Willis is a retired CIA hit-man who may know something he shouldn’t and is thus yanked out of retirement by an assault on his suburban home.
I really like this movie, partly because it is just simple fun. The all-star cast excel; the high points are Helen Mirren looking super-sexy wielding a humongous machine-gun and John Malkovich’s crazy, violent, child-like and weirdly endearing Boggs (and his pig).
One other reason to like this movie is that it shows that older doesn’t necessarily mean over-the-hill in. In fact, I talk about this idea while discussing the excellent Robot and Frank in the podcast in episode 11.