10 Coolest Hitman Tactics In David Fincher’s The Killer, Ranked


WARNING: SPOILERS ahead for The Killer.




  • The Killer in David Fincher’s film uses everyday objects in creative and unexpected ways for his assassinations, such as a heart rate monitor and a dog sedative.
  • The protagonist’s arsenal includes a silenced sniper rifle and a buried safe in his backyard, showcasing his strategic planning and preparedness.
  • The Killer demonstrates improvisation by using a random fire poker as a weapon and disguising himself as a waste management worker, showing his resourcefulness and adaptability.

The unnamed assassin in David Fincher’s The Killer employs several unique and surprising uses of everyday objects in his profession. Michael Fassbender’s eerie and unblinking protagonist is a highly strategic hitman who tries to the best of his ability to stick to his self-imposed code of success despite the film opening up with his first ever misfire on the job. The resulting film becomes a slow-burning spiral of avoiding collateral damage from the botched job, eventually evolving into a full-blown revenge story told through Fincher’s sharp and meticulous lens.

There are several creative methods of murder that Fassbender’s protagonist demonstrates in The Killer, which is actually a point he makes through the voiceover narration early on in the film. The unnamed assassin tells the viewer that he takes a sinister enjoyment in finding innovative ways to dispose of his targets. The title sequence of The Killer features the various other strategies that the protagonist has seemingly used up to that point, including fiber wire, poison in syringes, and various staged accidents. Fincher’s new movie also creepily features several real-life services such as Amazon and WeWork to aid the hitman’s objectives, adding a dark realism to the film.

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10 Heart Rate Monitor

Heartrate monitor in The Killer

The Killer uses a heart rate monitor in the movie in order to make sure his heart rate is below a certain threshold in order for him to make the most accurate shot. The Killer claims that in order to create no discrepancy or room for error in the vintage glass of his sniper rifle scope, his resting heart rate must be at 60 bpm or lower to ensure a guaranteed hit. Apparently, something wasn’t exactly correct with the missed shot at the beginning of the movie, meaning that his heart rate could have jumped up right at the last minute. Still, it’s eerie to see a common health and exercise device used for such a dark purpose.

9 Dog Sedative

Dog sedative in The Killer

Many of the Killer’s methods are largely DIY, including the impromptu dog sedative he made up out of hamburger meat and several brands of sleeping pills. In the scene before going into the Brute’s house in Florida, the Killer also bought a 40 oz bottle of malt liquor, but it’s unclear whether that was an ingredient in his dog sedative or whether it was purchased for personal use. Regardless, the Killer’s dog sedative did the trick on the Brute’s dog, Diva, allowing him to infiltrate the Brute’s house for an adrenaline-pumping fight.

8 Silenced Sniper Rifle

the killer film

One of the most classic weapons in the Killer’s arsenal is his long-range sniper rifle, which is equipped with an impressive scope that he also uses as a telescope in the early scenes of the film. The Killer’s sniper rifle also features a detachable silencer or “potato” as it’s referred to by an arms dealer in the film. The Killer seemed to be trained to use the deadly weapon at both short and long ranges, as evidenced by the near fatal encounter with a mailman at the WeWork office.

7 Buried Safe In Backyard

Backyard safe in The Killer

After the Killer returns to his hideout in the Dominican Republic, he realizes that his presumed girlfriend Magdala is gravely injured as a result of his misfire. Determined to take matters into his own hands, the Killer digs a hole in his backyard in a seemingly random location to reveal a hidden and locked safe buried a foot or two below the surface. The Killer uses his fingerprint to open the buried safe in the backyard, which is an innovative place to keep one in case of an emergency. He retreives weapons, passports, and credit cards, enabling him to retaliate swiftly.

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6 Fire Poker Weapon

Fire poker in The Killer

Despite the Killer’s repetitive mantras that constantly say not to improvise, one of the best weapons that the assassin uses in the film is a random fire poker at the Brute’s Florida house. As he and the Brute fight to the death, the Killer smartly sees the fire poker weapon and uses it to seriously injure the Brute, swinging it with all his might at the very large man. This is one of the cases in which improvisation not only works for the Killer but also ends up saving his life.

5 Waste Management Disguise

Michael Fassbender in disguise as a recycling collector in The Killer

The best disguise used by the Killer throughout the movie was that waste management worker outfit that made him blend in seamlessly and gain access without suspicion into Hodges office. The Killer somehow obtained a legitimate waste management uniform with a hat to match, as well as fabricating a badge and a garbage barrel he bought from a hardware store. It’s a surprisingly simple outfit that the Killer knew would be just good enough to work while also giving him an easy way to dispose of Hodges’ body.

4 Paint Can Disposal

Paint can in The Killer

After killing Hodges and Dolores, the Killer takes his rented sprinter van onto a ferry where he smartly disposes of a suspicious paint can. It’s unclear exactly what was in the paint can that the Killer pushed off the railing inconspicuously into the murky waters below. However, whatever was in the can was directly related to the deaths of Hodges and Dolores and would certainly have acted as evidence against him. The paint can disposal method was a creative and guaranteed way of getting rid of the contraband with low risk of detetcion.

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3 Storage Unit Supply Room

Storage unit in The Killer

The Killer darkly jokes in the film about having his storage unit, which is full of license plates, weapons, passports and credit cards, discovered in an episode of Storage Wars. The Killer’s storage unit supply room is an impressively organized asset that the Killer likely set up for himself in case of an emergency like the one that takes place in the film. Having multiple options for license plates, credit cards, weapons and passports is essential for the Killer’s objectives, and is a cool idea to have in a seemingly normal storage unit container.

2 Key Fob Copier

Key fob copier The Killer

The key fob copier that the Killer uses to break into Claybourne’s penthouse is a cool and creative idea that is even more terrifying by the fact that the assassin ordered it on Amazon. This hitman tactic in particular drives the central point home in Fincher’s film, highlighting the idea of how simple some parts of the Killer’s job would be in the real world. It also points at the sinister nature of ordering something online without having anyone question the intentions of the purchase, as the Killer’s acquisition of the key fob copier was completely legal while his use of it is another story.

1 Nail Gun Weapon

The Killer with a nail gun

By far the most innovative use of an everyday item used for the Killer’s purposes is the nail gun. The Killer uses it for multiple purposes in the scene with Hodges, including an intimidation device, an evidence destroyer, and a murder weapon. The Killer’s use of the nail gun as the inconspicuous murder weapon is arguably the most shocking use of any object in the film. It ultimately acts as one of the most innovative and creative hitman tactics in Fincher’s latest film.

  • The Killer Movie Poster

    The Killer (2023)

    Release Date:

    David Fincher

    Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Kerry O’Malley, Charles Parnell, Lacey Dover, Monique Ganderton, Sala Baker


    118 Minutes

    Action, Adventure, Crime

    Andrew Kevin Walker

    Story By:
    Alexis Nolent, Luc Jacamon

    Plan B Entertainment, Boom! Studios