Written by Luke Barnes
I’ve been looking forward to the new Ben Wheatley, lockdown, horror film for some time and now that it is here I am mixed. There are strong points to the film like the performances and the wider mythology set up, however that is underpinned by an extreme sense of pretentiousness and an ending that doesn’t make a lick of sense.
I easily think the best thing about this film is the performance from Reese Shearsmith who plays unhinged with an air of charm and homeliness so well that it is frightening whenever he is on screen the film really comes alive. The main duo are also very serviceable, but never really match Shearsmith.
Moreover, I enjoyed the focus on creating a new British myth, derived from older tales and a shared idea of the creepiness that can be found in wooded areas across the world. I thought the monster, if you can call it that, was interesting and I thought it was a wise decision to never show it and leave even its existence shrouded in mystery and ambiguity.
Where the film starts to fall apart is in it’s third act. At this point the film stops making sense and things just happen and we the audience are just supposed to go along with it and accept them; including but not limited to the film’s abrupt end that leaves more questions than answers. Moreover, it is also in this part of the film were the quasi-religious and certainly overly pretentious dialogue reaches a fever pitch and starts to become irritating.
Overall, the sensibilities of Kill List are there, but they have been perverted by art house ego.
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