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The Killer Inside Me (2010)

3 Ratings: 4.3
Mystery & Suspense movie directed by Michael Winterbottem

No stranger to literary adaptations, Michael Winterbottom sinks his teeth into Jim Thompson's noir classic for this cinematic murder ballad. Set in 1950s Texas, the story centers on Lou Ford (Casey Affleck, chilling yet strangely sympathetic), whose … see full wiki

Genre: Drama
Release Date: June 18, 2010
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about The Killer Inside Me (2010)

An Impressive New Film

  • Jul 7, 2010
THE KILLER INSIDE ME is so well made and headed for acclaim that encouraging the public to view this film is an obligation for those who have seen it early. The story is difficult for many reasons: the story if terrifyingly real in the manner in which it is related in the first person, and the grisly violence alone will make many a viewer cast down their eyes. Based on the novel by Jim Thompson, the screenplay is one of those singularly superb pieces of writing (by John Curran and director Michael Winterbottom) that adapts not only the novel's impact but also employs the lyrics of country western music and the slangy conversation of West Texas in a manner that completely recreates an atmosphere that makes the story even more compelling.

Lou Ford (Casey Affleck, in a performance that shouts Oscar) is the town sheriff assisting the alcoholic and aging Sheriff Bob Maples (Tom Bower). Lou is a typically polite, courteous, gentlemanly 'good-ol'-boy', respected and admired by everyone in his podunk town. But there is something strange about Lou, something quietly dark that only is seen in his relationships with his girlfriend Amy (Kate Hudson): sadism is part of their physical moments. Lou is asked to run a prostitute out of town, a young girl Joyce (Jessica Alba) who lives in a small house on the outskirts of town where she quietly services the 'reputable men' - one of whom is Elmer Conway (Jay R Ferguson), an old schoolmate of Lou's who is inheriting his wealthy father Chester Conway's (Ned Beatty) mammoth construction business. Lou visits Joyce and despite some turns of sadistic behavior bonds with her and begins to see her on a regular basis. When the elder Conway wants Lou to help rid the town (and his son's reputation) of Joyce, a blackmail scheme ensues that leads to dire circumstances. Lou's 'killer inside' comes out and he calmly murders both Joyce and Elmer and then finds ways to cover the incident. He makes some errors in judgment that involve an old friend Johnnie Pappas (Liam Aiken) and a bum on the street (Brent Briscoe) and talks too much with labor union leader Joe Rothman (Elias Koteas) until his involvement is questioned by an investigator (Simon Baker). His home life with Amy is strained and Amy's presence begins to get in the way of Lou's sadistic behavior breaks until the entire situation becomes a crisis that ends in a bizarre manner.

Casey Affleck embodies the dark aspects of Lou with a completely realized portrayal: despite his crimes we stay with him, much the way the townsfolk do. His is one of those performances that stays with the viewer long after the film is over. The exceptional cast is excellent down to the smallest role. Director Winterbottom gives us a West Texas atmosphere that is pure dust and heat and midwestern politeness and ritual. He adds some elements to the story that make the character of Lou even more unreal: often in Lou's moments alone in his house the background music is classical music - Mahler's Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) and Strauss's haunting 'Four Last Songs' (as sung by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf I believe). It is a magical touch with another world outside the confines of the story.

Though many viewers may find the degree of physical violence severely disturbing, the manner in which it happens makes Lou's dark side more credible and allows us to believe the ending. It is a difficult film, but it is one of the finer films of the year. Grady Harp, July 10

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May 13, 2011
nice review! I've always been curious about this but never really felt drawn to take a chance and buy the film. Thanks!
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