Release Date
June 25, 2010
Michael Winterbottom
John Curran
Based On The Novel By
Jim Thompson
Distributed By
IFC Films
$13 million
Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated R disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content and some graphic nudity
109 minutes

The Killer Inside Me

Michael Winterbottom got the cast right but with the brutal violence that occurs toward the female characters, the director of The Killer Inside Me has a large hill to climb in gaining a captive audience. Having been openly ridiculed by an audience member at Sundance, Winterbottom delivers a 1950’s novel to the big screen to a chorus of criticism.

In true noir fashion, Casey Affleck plays small town deputy Lou Ford brilliantly. Affleck adds a richness and depth to his character, where even his physical appearances makes him appear overwhelming and underwhelming all at the same time, a trait of Lou that is transparent from the first hint of instability. Though Lou’s sanity is easily under question, to the town, he serves as the quiet nice guy. When Lou is sent to chase the local whore, Joyce (Jessica Alba), out of town, he ends up developing a passionate masochistic relationship with her instead. Alba delivers a short but insatiable performance that leaves you wanting more.

Ultimately, a murder is committed by Ford, slowly deteriorating the few true relationships he actually has, including the one with his lover, Amy Stanton, played by the adorable Kate Hudson. Hudson’s role in the film allows her to escape her typical romantic comedies and shed light on her true acting ability while giving the film just that extra hint of humble stardom. Slowly unraveling, the entire town eventually finds out the true nature hiding inside of Ford, producing an ending that could only come from a 1950’s novel.

Look at the cover of the film and tell me it doesn’t look the slightest bit intriguing. Though the extensive grotesque brutality does leave one feeling nauseous, one must also look passed this minor speed-bump and enjoy the piece as a whole. The Killer Inside Me does offer scenes that challenge most gory horror flicks, but those portions ultimately exist in the novel and in all honesty, Winterbottom should be commended for taking a leap of faith with the authenticity that he brings to the action described in the original written words.

Taking Wikipedia information with a grain of salt, the encyclopedia-replacing website discusses the multiple attempts to get the film off the ground dating back to 1956. Here is a chart of the directors that were interested in the film along with the actors that were being pursued:

Director: Unknown
Lou: Marlon Brando
Joyce: Marilyn Monroe
Amy: Elizabeth Taylor
Why it never happened: Monroe’s death in 1962

Director: Unknown
Lou: Tom Cruise
Joyce: Demi Moore
Amy: Brooke Shields

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Lou: Brad Pitt
Joyce: Juliette Lewis
Amy: Uma Thurman
Why it never happened: September 11th, 2001 occurred and the plot appeared too violent

Director: Andrew Dominik
Lou: Leonardo DiCaprio
Joyce: Drew Barrymore
Amy: Charlize Theron
Why it never happened: Dominik did Assassination of Jesse James instead

After 2003
Director: Marc Rocco
Lou: Casey Affleck
Joyce: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Amy: Reese Witherspoon

Director: Michael Winterbottom
Lou: Casey Affleck
Joyce: Jessica Alba
Amy: Kate Hudson

The Killer Inside Me screams award-winning, but with the unfortunate response to the violence, the film will remain a silent cult classic, only enjoyed by those with an open enough mind to accept the brutal honesty depicted in the film. Absolutely stunning and emotion evoking, The Killer Inside Me is guaranteed to cause for discussion among all those that dare to view it.

[Directed by Michael Winterbottom] [R] [109 mins] [25 June 2010]

Leave a Reply