The List is the first English feature film coming to us written and directed by German filmmaker Klaus Huttmann, once nominated for the Palme D’Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for his short film entry “Der Schwimmer”. His new film, based in the UK and filmed in South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester,England, has a universal story that can be tailored to fit into the society of just about any modernized country around the globe. The concept that Huttmann used was one that comes off as both original and believable. While there has been more than a few internet themed thrillers and horrors, this film tapped into the root of evils that so often gets overlooked and goes unpunished, the greedy, unethical actions of politicians & the corrupt heads of the financial world who come to make up “The List”

The film centers around Christopher Corwin (Anthony Flanagan), a family man in his mid 30s who owns a small advertising agency. After a crushing defeat in a court case against a large conglomerate, he sets out to get some justice in the form of public opinion by creating and launching a website called THE LIST. This site permits users to label corrupt individuals in public life and award them points as to how much of a menace they are in the form of voting. This website becomes a massive worldwide success compiled with the most loathed politicians, CEOs and bankers. Before Christopher even gets to celebrate his fame and recognition, the person at the top of “the list” gets abducted. The killer films the execution and releases it to the media. As the public’s opinion starts to change and threats are made against him, Christopher races to undo what has been done.

While the concept is fascinating, the film seems to have been lacking the proper resources to fully develop the potential of it’s premise. The production value was passable, but lacked any real flair or excitement. As for the acting, again it wasn’t exceptional, Flanagan held most of the screen time and did his part, but I can’t help but think that some of the blame lay solely on the writer/director. While the film was entertaining, it didn’t have an edge of your seat level of suspense. The character development was a bit thin. At one point I had almost forgotten about the family, the supposed threat to them didn’t feel serious, although there was a scene of some dubious car vandalism. I strongly feel that if an established director had taken the reins or if it had been a US based film of this nature it could have been much more effective in creating suspense. It wouldn’t surprise me if this sort of premise was revisited some time in the future.

Grade: C

Reviewed by Jim Davis, special to Influx Magazine.
Director: Klaus Hüttmann

Writer: Klaus Hüttmann

Stars: Sienna Guillory, Clive Russell, Rebecca Ferdinando