Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Killer Inside Me (2010)


Seemingly unassuming Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is liked by all those in the small town he grew up in. Always kind and helpful, he's a pinnacle in bettering the town. Of course there's just that one little secret: deep down, he's a killer.


It's interesting reviewing, and indeed having seen, this just after Harry Brown. While very dissimilar, they both deal with a very difficult question. Once you start down that dark road of murder, just how far will you have to go before you're ever done with it?

Part Burn After Reading, part Psycho, The Killer Inside Me is an interesting look at the mind of a sociopath, and sadist, and the strange road that takes him on. Brilliantly shot, TKIM walks no straight line, and answers no straight questions. Always deviating, directing, and forcing, it's at times slow, often often, and always in your face.

It's the kind of film that can be heralded by some as brilliant, but quickly distanced by others, by its own faults, or the sheer harshness of its content. It's safe to say the movie doesn't pull any punches. Headlined by a great Casey Affleck performance, TKIM is far more art, than entertainment, and with that we can debate its merits. Even if Affleck's character is a picture of emotional flatness.

For Winterbottom and Thompson feel no need to answer much in the way of questions. Context is hinted at, and the viewer is shown the general direction, but they don't lay any plot points out. Nor do they bother sticking to consistency. Then again when our narrator, and the man from whose scope we see the entire film, is an unreliable source (i.e. crazy) it's hard to say that's not intentional.

Though it is easy to say I didn't exactly love it (nor could I imagine this being a film anyone really "loves," so much as respects). If anything, The Killer Inside Me is a showpiece to many fine talents, with an especially noteworthy supporting turn by Tom Bower. If you're asking yourself What about Alba? Well, I can say she's play her role fine. Though there's a handful of moments where her void emotional range sticks out like a soar thumb (especially one crucial moment in the film).

Still, Winterbottom gets mileage for visuals when acting and plot run low. Not to mention a solid, and quick, pacing that'll keep you from turning it off.

Littered with sex, violence, degradation, and amorality, The Killer Inside Me is a visually captivating film weighed down by its own ambiguity and emotionless.

8 better thoughts:

Dan said...

I like Winterbottom as a director and this does sound interesting. It does however sound like one of those films that isn't easy to like which isn't surprising with a guy like Winterbottom who likes being subversive.

Alex said...

I think if it hadn't been for Affleck's excellent performance, I would have been completely turned off by this movie. It has some interesting ideas but just didn't grab me. You make some good points, but sounds like you appreciated it more than I did.

Clarissa Draper said...

Not sure about this one. I'll have to see a preview before I see it. Thanks for the review.


Sadako said...

Looks very cool. I want to check it out!

Danny King said...

I'm sorry to say I haven't been able to churn out a review of this one yet. I think Affleck is fascinating in the lead role, but the plotting of the film is a bit too focused on the mundane elements. Far more interesting to me is the nature of Affleck's character, which is only approached a few times. I realize that the ambiguity is part of the film's intention, but I think it's missing something by not delving into the character's mind more.

snobbyfilmguy said...

I think not delving into his mind more actually made Affleck's character more terrifying. Especially to the women in the in the film. This helped me sympathize with everyone in the film but affleck. Whether that's good or bad I'm not sure...enjoyed the film though.

Nebular said...

THE most disappointing movie of the year. I couldn't believe how bad it actually was. Great review though.

watch movies said...

First off, this is a film that is made with a lot of artistry, if little heart. It doesn't bore, the directing is efficient, and it has an interesting premise: a sheriff who is also a serial killer.It's shot in an arresting style, all headlights emerging from a dusty road, and people sitting alone at diners as in an Edward Hopper painting. So that's 4 good things.

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