Ben Wheatley

Best movies: Down Terrace (2009), Kill List (2012)

Technically speaking, Ben Wheatley isn’t what you’d call a “horror filmmaker.” Despite the fact that his latest movie, the tremendous mind-fucker of a hit-man nightmare titled Kill List, is indeed a no-holds-barred scary movie, the England-born storyteller has no real previous experience in the fright genre. Furthermore, his 2009 debut, Down Terrace, is actually a bleakly funny must-see about an organized crime participant and his dysfunctional family—there’s nary a Fangoria-ready image to be seen.

Kill List, however, is the stuff of weak-willed viewers’ night terrors. Presented as an oblique puzzle-like narrative, Wheatley’s deeply troubling flick is a happy marriage of disconcerting music and sounds, intense performances, minimally used outbursts of gruesome violence, and religious disturbances. After Kill List, Wheatley could shit out a silent movie about Scott Disick and we’d fervently watch.