James Mudge’s Best and Most Disappointing Films of 2011

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The Best Films of 2011

Michael Smiley in Kill List (2011) Movie Image

Kill List

“Kill List”, from British writer director Ben Wheatley, is easily one of the year’s most savage, bizarre and memorable films. Mixing “The Wicker Man”, hitman crime drama and the domestic angst of Wheatley’s much praised feature debut “Down Terrace”, the film is a sinister enigma of occult themed madness and violence. Neil Maskell is superbly believable as the increasingly deranged Jay, a down to earth contract killer in middle England who takes on a series of jobs with comrade in arms Gal (the equally impressive Michael Smiley) that gradually drag him into unimaginable darkness. Although the film shows certain similarities with “A Serbian Film”, it’s a truly original work, with Wheatley’s grounded script and taut direction balancing banal suburban drudgery with extreme bestial violence (including some of the year’s most wince inducing gore and torture scenes) to stunning and often darkly amusing effect.

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