Ben Wheatley’s British indie pic, as tough as it is weird, got a buzz-worthy critical reception, but only a token Stateside release. It opens, like many a hit man tale, as a psychotic professional killer, with troublesome family issues, takes on a new assignment with an old partner after weathering a botched previous job. Act Two morphs into a freak out horror show when their second victim turns out to be involved in dealings even more heinous than murder-for-hire. Then, Act Three lands in, of all places, Wicker Man campground, for a trick ending that works too hard to shock. Wheatley gets credit for stretching his small budget, but his penchant for micro-managed jump-cuts grows wearisome (the jangle-factor soon dissipates). And must his cast delivery so much dialogue while eating? Hard enough to decipher what’s being said between mumbles & local accents. File this one under less than meets the eye.
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Add your own neat comic spin to the proceedings by noting how much the lead couple look like Kelly Ripa & (from certain angles) Ricky Gervais. Pointless, but amusing.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: While the films aren’t strictly comparable, Neil Maskell’s stressed out, explosive Dad, brought Terry O’Quinn’s great creepy work in THE STEPFATHER/’87 to mind. (Along with late Kubrick. Yikes!)