ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – K – Kill List (2011)

Director: Ben Wheatley

Writer: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump (Screenplay)

Starring: Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Harry Simpson, Michael Smiley, Emma Fryer, Struan Rodger


Plot: Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Unsettling Thriller


Story: Kill List starts as we meet Jay (Maskell) who is married to Shel (Buring) with a young boy Sam (Simpson), the couple are always arguing and with Jay’s best friend and business partner Gal (Smiley) coming to dinner, a job offer is placed on the table.

The job for Jay & Gal who are hitmen that have taken a back burner after a job went wrong are sent to eliminate targets for their next client which leads them down a brutal path which will only leave them in complete shock.


Thoughts on Kill List


Characters – Jay is the former hitmen that is trying to move away from the job, one year after his final job he is talked into one more job which will give him enough money to cover the financial problems his family is going through. The job starts simple enough only for it to turn him into a paranoid angry man who is taking everything personally. Shel is Jay’s wife, she is frustrated with the fact he has spent most of their money forcing him to return to the work he was meant to leave behind, always arguing with him even though it is clear the love between the two is strong. Sam is the innocent young child of the two. Gal is the partner and best friend of Jay, he is the one that tries to keep his head on his shoulders, he sees his friend losing his mind and puts him back on track for the most part.

PerformancesNeil Maskell in the leading role is great because we see how he makes us feel as unsettled as his character is meant to be through the film. Michael Smiley as the main supporting character and he helps us understand how things needed to become calm through the bad times. MyAnna Buring as the wife is good without getting that moment that standout.

StoryThe story follows two hitmen that must take one job which seems simple only to take a dramatic twist along the way. This is a story which starts out on a path which you know the two hitmen are not the nice guys and soon things just get weird with every encounter things start to play out like they have never dealt with before which only grabs the audience to want to know what will happen next to the characters. this gives us an unsettling feeling from start to finish with a conclusion that will leave you jaw-dropped in true surprise with how everything ended up. This is from director Ben Wheatley who has always managed to give his stories a unique feel, this is why people will rave over this director for years.

Crime/HorrorThis movie takes us into the crime world in which Jay and Gal operate in as hitmen, we get to see how they go about this job, conduct kills, clean ups and get on with life. The horror comes from early hints in the film before showing us the true nature to everything going on which will become horrifying,

SettingsThe film shows us the settings used by the hitmen to be everyday locations where the predators they believe they are killing operate without anyone knowing. This helps us understand the dangers of not knowing everything about our neighbours.

Scene of the Movie –
That ending.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Jay isn’t the most likeable character.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most shocking and unsettling films you will see, it has suspense throughout and an ending you will NEVER forget.


Overall: Suspenseful treat.




Franchise Weekend – The Descent (2005)

decsnetDirector: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall (Screenplay)

Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nore-Jane Noone


Plot: A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Horror


Story: The Descent starts as we meet adventurers Sarah (Macdonald), Juno (Mendoza) and Beth (Reid) who after their latest adventure suffer a heart-breaking tragedy when Sarah’s husband and child are killed in a car accident.

On year later Sarah and Beth travel to America for Juno’s next adventure, joined by Rebecca (Mulder), Sam (Buring) and Holly (Noone) to go caving. Once in the cave the friends have only one way out, going down but this adventure turns into a nightmare when the girls discover they are not alone in this cave as they must escape from the predators living deep within the cave.

The Descent is one of the most popular modern day horror films out there and it is this because of how simple it keeps the story. we have 6 adventurers who get trapped caving only to have to fight for their lives against creatures from within the cave. This is all we need to create the tension needed in the film but we do also get an interpersonal dynamic between Sarah, Juno and Beth which is also key to decisions being made within the cave. It would be hard to not say this flawless but it is all you need in horror without complicating things.


Actor Review


Shauna Macdonald: Sarah is our adventurer that suffers a tragedy losing her family in an accident. One year later still suffering the effects she re-joins her friends to go on their latest adventure caving in America to try and forget the tragedy even just for a day or two. Sarah must use all her pent up emotions to fight of the creatures with the cave. Shauna gives us a brilliant performance in this role throughout.

Natalie Mendoza: Juno is the most adventurous of all the girls always arranging the trips. She is in Scotland when Sarah’s family dies and has been involved with Sarah’s husband. Her latest adventure brings the friends back together to go caving but her choice is to explore an unmapped cave which puts everyone’s life at risk. Natalie is a great strong character throughout this film.

Alex Reid: Beth is the best friend of Sarah who has been by her side all the way through the personal tragedy, she joins Sarah and clearly knows what had been going on between Juno and Sarah’s husband. She is the voice of reason between the friends being the oldest of the group. Alex is great in this role being the typical best friend needed to our main character.

Saskia Mulder: Rebecca is one of the other friends joining the trip who comes off like just one of the other three really. Saskia does everything she needs to in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Descent really has a small supporting cast with the other two cavers doing all they need to giving us a friendship we can believe between them all.

Director Review: Neil MarshallNeil gives us one of the best modern day horror movies that keeps the concept simple but the scares terrifying.


Adventure: The Descent gives us an adventure that turns into a nightmare with our girls all enjoying the adventurer’s way of life.

Horror: The Descent starts by making the horror feel like a trapped with no escape which is enough for a horror film but it soon escalates this to the next level by adding the creatures deeper within the cave, the horror is filled with tension building and jump scares and good old fashion gore.

Thriller: The Descent keeps us on edge from the moment the girls enter the cave to the final scene with the tension and suspense built up within.

Settings: The Descent uses the settings perfectly with most of the film taking place within the cave itself. This creates the claustrophobic environment.
Special Effects
: The Descent has great effects to when it comes to the kills with most being practical too.

Suggestion: The Descent is an absolute must watch for all the horror fans out there. (Horror Fans Must Watch)


Best Part: Tension building.

Worst Part: Not one

Scariest Scene: First full view on the creatures.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26 Million

Budget: $3,5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Afraid of the dark? You will be.

Trivia: The appearance of the creatures was kept secret from the cast members until the first scene in which they encounter them was filmed. When the cast were finally filming the scene where the girls encounter the crawlers, the girls were genuinely scared and screamed the building down, running off set and laughing.


Overall: Simply one of the great modern horror films.