Director: Ben Wheatley
Screenwriter: Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump
Jay (Neil Maskell), the protagonist of Ben Wheatley's Kill List, isn't an easy guy to like. The unemployed ex-hitman is something a bum, constantly arguing with his wife, Shel (MyAnna Buring). When he's not practicing domestic dysfunction, Jay, back on the job, is murdering random strangers on assignment just to make some dollars. Cold and hardened, he's about an antiheroic as lead characters get.
Still, it's hard to say he deserves his fate. Along with his partner, Gal (Michael Smiley), Jay discovers that his final target is part of a cult. Some awful events transpire (none of which we'll spoil here), leading to Jay getting knocked unconsciousness while investigating some goings-on outside of his cottage. And when he awakes, the real nightmare begins.
Shortly after he comes to in a field, surrounded by masked cult members, Jay's de-clothed and given a straw mask to wear. Then, a "hunchback," covered in a long white sheet, steps to him with a knife, prompting a fight that Jay wins. Turns out, the "hunchback" is actually Shel with their son, Sam, strapped to her back. In defeating his foe, Jay has unwittingly killed his family. As for Shel, her last breaths are spent laughing at Jay. By killing his wife and kid, Jay's become the cult's new hero. They crown him. It's the final punctuation mark on one of cinema's bleakest endings ever. —MB