Ben Wheatley's "Kill List"
"Kill List," the sophomore effort of British director Ben Wheatley ("Down Terrace"), has been unsettling audiences since first premiering at last year's SXSW Film Festival. The nerve-racking thriller, voted the best horror film of 2011 by Bloody Disgusting
, hits VOD January 4th via IFC Films
. It's our VOD pick of the week.
What It's About:
"Kill List" follows Jay (Neil Maskell), an ex-soldier turned contract killer who is pressured into a new assignment by his old partner following a disastrous hit job in Kiev. As they set out on their latest series of hits, it soon becomes clear that Jay isn't mentally fit for the job despite being handy with a gun (and other killing instruments). It all builds to a horrifying climax sure to leave you talking for days.
What Indiewire Had to Say:
"The narrative works so well on that level that it's practically a letdown when Wheatley abruptly shifts gears in the final scenes, heading in a bizarre, inexplicably cryptic direction that turns "Kill List" into a certifiable horror movie," Eric Kohn wrote in his review
. "Regardless of whether this transition works, it's effective in its ability to track the dissolution of one man's dissolution."
Also on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray this week:
On VOD, DVD and Blu-ray January 3
1 of 6
'Prairie Love' (VOD)
This festival prize winner follows a high plains drifter who happens upon a man lying unconscious in the middle of the road in North Dakota. When he awakes, he explains that he’s on his way to meet his pen-pal girlfriend for the first time, as she’s being released from prison. Desperate for a girlfriend of his own, the drifter hatches a plan to steal his new companion’s identity.
2 of 6
'Puncture' (DVD and Blu-ray)
Chris Evans does away with his wholesome image in this thriller by playing Mike Weiss, a talented Houston lawyer who also happens to be a functioning drug addict. His work gets personal when he decides to take on case involving a local ER nurse who is pricked by a contaminated needle on the job.
3 of 6
'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark' (DVD and Blu-ray)
Katie Holmes stars in this remake of John Newland's 1973 made-for-TV drama, widely considered a high-water mark for feature-length broadcast productions. Helmed by former comics illustrator Troy Nixey and aided by a screenplay co-written by Guillermo Del Toro, "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" tells the tale of a young girl, sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend, who discovers creatures in her new home.
Sony Pictures Classics
4 of 6
'The Guard' (DVD and Blu-ray)
Brendan Gleeson gives a hilarious turn as a foulmouthed village cop in this crowd-pleasing dark comedy from John Michael McDonagh. Don Cheadle plays a straightlaced FBI agent who enlists the help of Gleeson's character to track down a drug-smuggling ring.
5 of 6
'I'm Glad My Mother is Alive' (DVD)
French father-son directing duo Nathan and Claude Miller have assembled a tense family drama that provides a fresh take on familiar circumstances: An adopted son in search of his true lineage. As a middle schooler, Thomas isn't entirely happy with his well-meaning foster parents. Abandoned by his mother (Sophie Cattani) at the age of five, the 12-year-old Thomas grapples with early memories of a woman he never got to know.
6 of 6
'Contagion' (DVD and Blu-ray)
Steven Soderbergh assembles an all-star cast (Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard) for this tense, globe-trotting medical thriller. Watch this with some hand sanitizer by your side.