THE KILLER INSIDE ME – Sundance Movie Review
I just watched the world premiere of THE KILLER INSIDE ME, a feature adaption of Jim Thompson’s novel of the same name. The movie stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson.
Writing a review for The Killer Inside Me is a delicate task as it is not an easy movie to watch. The story depicts the downward spiral of a mild mannered Sherif Deputy named Lou Ford (Casey Affleck). Ford meets a prostitute Joyce played by Jessica Alba and after a very rough introduction, begins a torrid love affair with her that ends in a brutal and deadly way. From then on, things go from bad to worse as Lou is starting to be surrounded by a pile of dead bodies and he doesn’t seem to know how to stop. Think of this as a season of the Showtime Hit Series Dexter but in this case, Dexter is just a serial killer who is trying to get away with murder and not avenge anyone.
The Killer Inside Me is a movie is filled with unspeakable violence and controversial scenes that make you cringe and feel uncomfortable. Weirdly enough, it is also filled with moments of tenderness, especially between Lou and the women in his life. This creates a very strange balance that allows to not completely hate the character of Lou. In addition, Casey Affleck does a masterful job of wielding the right set of emotions throughout the movie. Although he displays a thin veil of stoicism, you can see that behind it there is a lot of anguish and despair. Overall, his performance makes the character believable as a psychotic killer who feels justified in what he is doing, yet also feels remorseful.
Affleck is not the only one bringing a solid performance. Jessica Alba shines in this movie as she portrays a seductive and smitten prostitute and Kate Hudson shows a lot of maturity and sweetness in her role as Lou Ford’s official girlfriend. These ladies both are subjected to an unspeakable treatment by Ford and these actresses delivered on that pretty well. Also a honorable mention to Mr Simon Baker whose role as the DA in this movie doesn’t stray too far away from his TV role as The Mentalist so that should please his fans. (Fun fact: it’s funny to hear him speak with a southern accent).
All and all, The Killer Inside Me is a brilliant movie with strong and believable characters and a powerful story. It is certainly not a movie for everyone, especially if you tend to be squeamish around violence, however I would recommend that you see it if you want to see some fantastic acting and a brilliant story.
PS: After the screening, some members of the audience were somewhat outraged by the level of violence against women in the movie. The director explained that the violence was in the book and that it was portrayed as faithfully as possible. Although that was a satisfactory answer in my opinion, some members of the audience still felt uneasy about Winterbottom’s choice of graphically showing the violence against the women in the movie. My personal take on this is that violence is violence and that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a man, woman or child, it is always hard to watch. If Winterbottom had decided to hide the violence and only hint at it, I think it would have taken away from the movie and no one would have felt the sense of horror that you felt after watching Lou Ford act the way he did.