FILM OF THE WEEK: Kill List
Film4, Sunday March, 11.15pm
If ever there was a film for which your soul should don a flak jacket and blast helmet before watching, it’s Kill List. For like the metaphorical minefield, although everything may initially appear normal on the surface, it quickly becomes apparent that one wrong step will leave you well and truly FUBAR-ed.
At the heart of Kill List’s combustible mix is ex-squaddie Jay, a veritable ticking time bomb liable to go off in people’s faces at any given moment, be it that of his scalding wife or those of the extremely unpleasant types he is contracted to kill. But this is no mere hit man movie; director Ben Wheatley resolutely defies convention to create a film so skin-crawlingly disconcerting in tone that by the time it’s over you may require a stint in therapy, never mind worrying about what genre it should be filed under.
From the familiarly domestic opening to its portrait of the British hinterland that Jay and best friend/fellow assassin Gal operate in, every shot oozes threat, ably assisted by Jim William’s fantastically unnerving score. Wheatley refuses to spoon-feed his audience – an approach that may leave the average moviegoer frustrated but will reward those who like their horror truly horrifying. While a post-credits helpline number should have been mandatory, Kill List is an acutely contemporary and original vision of hell on earth.
SET THE RECORDER FOR:
Channel 4, Friday February 28, 1am
Head and shoulders the best part of US comedy show Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary special a couple of weekends ago was the re-appearance of Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as twentysomething metal fans Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar – the stars of Wayne’s World. Not only did the two outshine pretty much every act that came before them, they also reminded us why Wayne’s World was pretty much the only SNL sketch truly worthy of two feature films. It’s just damned funny, and in an age where reboots are all the rage, how about giving Wayne and Garth a third outing, Hollywood?
Channel 4, Sunday February 21, 11:05pm
When it comes to films about subversive teenage rebellion, the US might think it has a trump card with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But 18 years previously the UK had made a film that makes it look positively conservative, and that film is Lindsay Anderson’s if… Although its snapshot of the revolutionary spirit that gripped the 1960s looks dated now, if…’s allegorical thumb nose to the traditional British notions of class and authority mean it has still retained its significance after all these years. Just ask David Cameron, who, rather bizarrely, claims to admire it.
Film4, Friday March 6, 10:50pm
South African director Neill Blomkamp has caused a bit of a buzz amongst the movie-going community after he confirmed he is to direct a new installment of the Alien/Aliens franchise. Although his last film – the Matt Damon-led Elysium – was disappointing, if Blomkamp can rediscover the magic of District 9, his debut feature, then we are in for a treat. An exciting science fiction movie that is also a subtle critique of apartheid and segregation, District 9’s combination of awe-inspiring special effects and well-drawn characters are what make it a superior example of the genre.