Cheat Sheet: Ben Wheatley


Ben Wheatley

Date of Birth:


Place of birth:

Billericay, Essex

Special moves:

Writing and directing

Films include:

Down Terrace, Kill List, with The ABCs of Death in production.

What you probably already know:

Not much! Although you might know that he co-wrote and directed the most unsettling thriller of the summer, Kill List, which follows an ex-British soldier on his last job as a hitman. The film itself is downright freaky, and the critics seem to think so too…but in a good way. Wheatley managed to capture audiences with unexpected plot twists, jarring time lapses and strange soundtracks, maintaining a continuous feeling of unease throughout.

What you may not know:

Kill List wasn’t Wheatley’s first film. He made his motion picture debut in 2009 with the black comedy, Down Terrace, which was allegedly filmed with a shoestring budget of £6,000. This makes the success of the title all the more impressive, and Wheatley scooped up 3 awards for his hard work.

Mr Wheatley is positively gushing with creativity – he has created short films, written the scripts for TV series Time Trumpet and BBC 3 sketch show The Wrong Door (featuring Brian Blessed!), directed a number of advertisements (four for Phones4U) and even created viral sensations that have bombarded YouTube with headphone flossing cats…amongst other things. All of his projects can be found on the blog Mr and Mrs Wheatley (daaaw) which was jointly created with his wife, Amy Jump. And guess who co-wrote Kill List with Wheatley? The female Wheatley of course!

Ben Wheatley quote:

“I would be a rubbish contract killer as I can’t drive. Though I suppose it didn’t stop Tom Cruise in Collateral. You’d end up wasting a lot of money on cabs”.

What to say at a dinner party:

“Ben Wheatley’s Kill List is a refreshingly different type of horror film, adding a social commentary of the after-effects of war on the soldiers and also provides a realistic outlook on small businesses in this current climate.”

What not to say at a dinner party:

“The way that bloke killed that other bloke was mint.”

Final Thought:

Although he may be rather ingénue on the film scene, critics have already dubbed him as one of the best British directors working today. His variety of work is nothing to scoff at either; from kooky comedies to gangster dramas, Wheatley always manages to surprise. His capability to produce these award-winning films using tiny budgets proves that he understands the needs of the audience, and can win us over with his creative juices rather than blockbuster effects.

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