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Review: The Killer Inside Me

The Killer Inside Me
5 years agoby:
9 10

PLOT: On the surface, Lou Ford (Casey Affleck), a deputy sheriff in a sleepy West Texas town, seems like a swell guy. He`s friendly with the locals, soft-spoken, intelligent, but alas, that`s just the surface, as Ford harbors a dark secret. Turns out, Ford`s completely psychotic, and prone to bursts of uncontrollable violence.

REVIEW: THE KILLER INSIDE ME is going to be one hell of a polarizing film. That was painfully evident at the Sundance gala for this, as during the Q & A, one audience member chastised director Michael Winterbottom, and the Sundance committee for allowing this film to be seen. As far as I`m concerned, that audience member totally missed the point of what`s easily the best film I've seen at the Sundance Film Festival so far.


Michael Winterbottom`s crafted a film which, I think, might be his masterpiece, out of a great old piece of pulp fiction written by the hardest-boiled writer to ever put pen to paper, Jim Thompson (other Thompson adaptation include a previous version of KILLER INSIDE ME, as well as THE GRIFTERS, and THE GETAWAY). This is a tough tale, with Affleck playing one of the scariest psychopaths I've even seen, mostly due to the fact that he`s so damn likable.

You see, Ford doesn't believe he`s a bad guy, but at the same time, he`s smart enough to know that what he`s doing is bad. Yet, his sadistic streak runs so deep that at times, he becomes a monster on the same level as Patrick Bateman from AMERICAN PSYCHO or Hannibal Lecter. This is perfectly illustrated in a scene which had people storming out of the theatre, where Affleck viciously pummels Jessica Alba, in painfully gruesome detail. Afterward, people were complaining about how repulsive it was, but they're missing the point, as it`s SUPPOSED to be repulsive. Winterbottom`s not making torture porn like the HOSTEL films, and this is a serious look at the mind of a psychotic, and is NOT meant to titillate.

In the lead, Casey Affleck is nothing short of extraordinary. This fully delivers on the one-two punch he had in 2007 with THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, and GONE, BABY, GONE. This is an extremely challenging role, as in the hands of any other actor, it would have been impossible to follow the character around for two hours. With Affleck, you really get a look at his twisted psyche, making this one of the most disturbing characters I've ever seen depicted on film, as I don't find it a stretch to imagine people like this actually exist.


Special note also has to be made of both Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson, who play Ford`s two lovers/victims, as they both made a VERY brave choice by appearing in a film that`s way outside their comfort zones. Hudson hasn't been this good since ALMOST FAMOUS, and she so disappears into the role that, if I hadn't known ahead of time it was her, I would have never recognized her (amazing what a good director and some hair-dye can do).

Meanwhile, Alba acquits herself very nicely as the randy local prostitute, who`s drawn to the psychotic Ford through her own masochistic streak- perfect summed up in a widely circulated clip from the film where Affleck whips her with a leather belt. Alba`s excellent here, and proves that she`s more than the pretty face (and smokin`bod) she`s been pegged as over the last few years.


As for director Winterbottom, I`m VERY curious to see what this is going to do for his career. Anyone who`s seen other films he`s done, like 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE, A MIGHTY HEART, & TRISTRAM SHANDY, have to know that, in his hands, this is not going to be anything even remotely resembling a conventional drama. Hopefully, people with go into this with an open mind, but I have my doubts. It has to be said, Winterbottom does wonders with the large canvas he has to work with here- with the film having the look of a film made in the fifties (the era depicted in the film), right down to the Saul Bass style opening titles, and the kick ass Rock-a-Billy soundtrack. Throughout the film, I kept thinking about director Sam Peckinpah, as this really feels like it could have been one of his films. However, it should be said that in his own Thompson adaptation, the original Steve McQueen GETAWAY, Peckinpah made certain concessions to the studio, and toned down the novel considerably, which Winterbottom does not do here.

I really hope that this film doesn't get unfairly tainted in the light of some inevitably negative reactions that will surely come out of the fest. This is just one of those films that truly is not for everyone. Many with loathe it, but hopefully, just as many will love it.

RATING: 9.5/10

Source: JoBlo.com

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-1
4:25AM on 06/19/2010

Loved it

Can only see Inception beating it for my favourite movie of the year
Can only see Inception beating it for my favourite movie of the year
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11:16AM on 06/18/2010
Got a chance to see it on IFC on demand. I was underwhelmed but it was still good. The violence isnt that crazy either, it just happens to be aimed at women
Got a chance to see it on IFC on demand. I was underwhelmed but it was still good. The violence isnt that crazy either, it just happens to be aimed at women
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-3
8:36PM on 01/26/2010

wow

That looks JUST LIKE jennifer lopez in that first picture, doesn't it? I just IMBD it and she's not in it. I can't believe that's not here. Bizarre how much it looks like her though.
That looks JUST LIKE jennifer lopez in that first picture, doesn't it? I just IMBD it and she's not in it. I can't believe that's not here. Bizarre how much it looks like her though.
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7:36PM on 06/19/2010
That's because it's Kate Hudson. Amazing what a quick glance and some weird lighting can do eh?
That's because it's Kate Hudson. Amazing what a quick glance and some weird lighting can do eh?
+0
6:19PM on 01/26/2010

cool beans

sounds crazy, makes me glad i live in a major city as that raises the chance of it being shown near me.
sounds crazy, makes me glad i live in a major city as that raises the chance of it being shown near me.
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5:42PM on 01/26/2010
Can't wait to see this. I had a bf that kept this book next to his bed and kept saying how good it was. I read it and loved it - but I did dump him afterward!

I hope they did the book justice.
Can't wait to see this. I had a bf that kept this book next to his bed and kept saying how good it was. I read it and loved it - but I did dump him afterward!

I hope they did the book justice.
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-2
4:24PM on 01/26/2010

count me in

review makes the movie sound especially intriguing! cant wait to see if affleck topped bale's american "psycho".
review makes the movie sound especially intriguing! cant wait to see if affleck topped bale's american "psycho".
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3:20PM on 01/26/2010
cant wait to see it
cant wait to see it
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1:13PM on 01/26/2010
Sorry, but I have to say it: I TOLD YOU SO! I told you that Jessica Alba is a better actress than she's given credit for and all she needs is a really great, juicy role to prove it! :)

Also great to here that Hudson is doing great work again. I so loved her in Almost Famous but, alas, she's been coasting ever since. I'm happy to see her not in this case.
Sorry, but I have to say it: I TOLD YOU SO! I told you that Jessica Alba is a better actress than she's given credit for and all she needs is a really great, juicy role to prove it! :)

Also great to here that Hudson is doing great work again. I so loved her in Almost Famous but, alas, she's been coasting ever since. I'm happy to see her not in this case.
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8:43PM on 06/18/2010
I agree with you on both points.
I agree with you on both points.
+0
10:02AM on 01/26/2010

Wow...

I don't know what to say but... WOW! Sign me up!
I don't know what to say but... WOW! Sign me up!
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+0
8:24AM on 01/26/2010
Casey Affleck is incredible. I can't wait to see this film, sounds intriguing.
Casey Affleck is incredible. I can't wait to see this film, sounds intriguing.
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