Ok so “Kill List” definitely is a baffling movie. A masterpiece? Some would say so. If you look at the consensus as of this writing it’s at 73% positive on Rotten Tomatoes. It has worldwide critical praise. Now as for the audiences, the majority who have seen it are like “WTF? What a piece of shit!”. Anyhow I do get the reason many feel this way. Now I am not going to say it is because the majority of audience members are so used to Hollywood’s no brainer entertainment that when a thinking movie comes along their minds can’t wrap around it’s ability to do more then entertain. Ok , maybe I am. No, actually I am kidding. This movie does make you go “Wtf?”.
So how do we turn a WTF? Into an “AHHHH!!!! I get it”.
Ok, so first there are quite a few interpretations out there. Mine is one of them. Based on the research I did I think this is the correct one. (I am not the only one who has concluded this to be right.) I am going to give you two interpretations. The first is a good idea but does not fill in all the gaps like the second one does.
Here is the first one:
It’s all a dream. Now this is a good answer but not great. There are a couple times in the movie when it kind of makes you think. This is a dream.
Twice in the movie Jay is told to “Wake up, wake up, wake up!” the first time by his son, Sam and later by his wife, Shel. There is also some foreshadowing. The sword fight between Jay and Shel, with Sam on her back (Future scene.. hmmmm). The rabbit’s entrails supposedly left by the cat is similar to how Gal ends up. What was the point of the Christians at the hotel restaurant? Maybe they were manifested as the cult in this dream… if it was a dream. Another thing I noticed was there was one shot in particular of Jay and Gal getting out of the car and there is a huge rainbow over the car. We clearly see the beginning and end of the rainbow. Is this a reference that at the end of the movie we will find out what’s at the end of the rainbow? Or a reference to “The Wizard Of OZ”. Dorothy waking up to everything being a dream.. or not? hmmmm..
Here is the second interpretation that I believe is correct:
Jay and Gal have a background together in the military. They had a previous job that was in Kiev. It seams something went wrong because when it’s mentioned in the movie it’s like a cloud hanging over them. Something probably went wrong. We never find out what did happen though. Gal’s line “At least we’re not killing a toddler” might refer to something that went down in Kiev.
The “Hit job” they get from the latest client is not just another sereis of “hits”. The man that hires them is actually the leader of this cult that worships death and sacrificing oneself. The entire movie is a ceremony to complete the transformation of Jay into the Antichrist.
Right from the beginning we see Jay as a man teetering on the brink of madness. The outburst’s, his lack of compassion. However, at various points he tries to come back down to earth trying to make amends with his family. Yet he is always right there on the edge of darkness so to speak. There are members of this cult everywhere. One of them who has been obviously watching Jay, is Fiona. When she sees this outburst that he has at the dinner party she proceeds to go in the bathroom and mark the back of the mirror in essence marking him as the chosen one. It’s all part of the ritual of the Antichrist coming into the world. Taking the bloody tissue could be from when she probably killed the rabbit as one of the first stages of the transformation process. Jay thinks it was the cat who killed the rabbit so he cooks it and eats it. This would most likely put into motion the first stage of his so called “reconstruction” as stated by the cult leader. Accepting a sacrifice. (Unbeknownst to him)
Okay what about the victims thanking him?
Glad you asked. They are all part of the cult awaiting the arrival of the Antichrist. To see him and be killed by him is an honor and they know they are helping to bring about the reconstruction. Also, they are all pretty much everything that goes against good and decency. Hence Anti.
THE PRIEST – would be obvious. He is a representative of God. Yet in an Antichrist cult. Perfect sacrifice.
THE LIBRARIAN – Surrounded by knowledge. Books. Power. Yet, in a room in the library there are stacks of hardcore porn along with a tv showing homemade movies. The librarian filmed disgusting and horrific perversions that probably included children. The sacrifice of the librarian led to more. Through the librarian Jay goes after the people who helped him make the movies, sacrificing them also.
THE MP – A house in a secluded area. Sneaking up to the final victim’s house this is where the beginning of the end is. They see a bunch of naked and outfitted people in the distance carrying torches. Some have crowns of thorns on their heads down to the eyes, bleeding. Some wear wicker masks. All seem to be willful participants. One woman goes up on a tree stump willfully hangs herself and the crowd claps in unison. Jay at this point freaks out and starts shooting at them. They all start runnning toward him most getting shot down by him and Gal as they flee from the marauding crowd. Jay and gal end up in a sewer tunnel continuing to run away. Gal eventually gets stabbed and is gutted. Much like the rabbit earlier. Hmmmm. the weird part here is Gal asks for Jay to kill him. Jay does and we hear Gal say “Thank you” right before he dies. This part I am a bit confused. Was Gal a member all this time or is it just ironic? Not sure.
Jay eventually escapes the crowd and ends up home where is wife and son are. He has them hide and gives his wife a gun. The cult catches up with him and we see his house surrounded by burning torches. Jay is eventually captured.
THE HUNCHBACK – The final sacrifice on the Kill list. After Jay kill’s the hunchback it is revealed that it was his wife with their son on her back that was under the covered disguise. He has done it. The ultimate sacrifice… killing your wife and son. You are now their Antichrist. Remember the sword fight in the beginning? So the weird thing is. Her smile at the end. Shock? Horror? Disbelief? Acceptance. We know Jay just stands there emotionless. I searched the internet and found a tweet by the director that did say this… “shes laughing at sheer crush irony of it all. she is not in the cult”
Well there ya go!
My thoughts. What’s yours?