Thursday, April 5, 2012

kill list

Some films immediately strike me with their tone. There is something in the atmosphere that triggers my sense of safety and puts me at a sudden state of caution. And while it’s not exactly a sign of talent or inspiration to pull this off it signifies a certain way with the language of cinema. KILL LIST understands the importance of interjecting that teasing ominous dread to an otherwise routine film about everyday men who kill people for a living. It’s quite intriguing at times though I don’t know if I would consider the ending satisfactory.

I don’t want to get into it too much because I’d like for some of you to be able to see it with little to no foreknowledge of what waits ahead. The film is building up towards something and the film does a good job of disguising what that actually is. By the time it reveals itself I can honestly say that most viewers will find it at least a little surprising. What I liked is how well it handled the initial shock, the way the director used location and claustrophobia to add to the already mounting tension. What I found disappointing is the final five minutes in which anyone who had caught on to the film’s overt cynicism would be able to call it without much thought or effort. It simply exists to shock and appall and I don’t think it successfully does either.

Still, this is very good when it’s good and only disappointing when it flounders. It’s never bad. It’s never unfocused. I think if I were to go back and watch it again (which I won’t) I’d be impressed by how clear the vision really is here. The violence is extremely effective, especially a scene in which a blood oath in unexpectedly struck. I felt like I could feel the sharp sting of a clean slice. I urge anyone who wants to see this to avoid the Rotten Tomatoes site as a few of the reviews compare this film to a very famous one from the past and hereby ruin the surprise. I wish I hadn’t read that beforehand. B

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