Director – Michael Winterbottom
Cast – Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson.
Release Date – Out Now
Part of Michael Winterbottom’s interest for the audience is how he is contently changing between genres. Now he has turned his attention from music to Noir by adaption pulp fiction writer Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me.
The story follows Lou Ford played by Casey Affleck (who isn’t to far in this role compared to his Bob Ford in The Assassination of Jesse James ), a quiet, hardworking cop in a small town in Texas as he falls in love with a prostitute Joyce played by Jessica Alba whilst also juggling girlfriend Amy played by Kate Hudson. As exciting as this could and should have been within the first half an hour I was turned off of the whole film. And I was never picked up again.
Lou isn’t just a simple man, inside him he literally has a killing side which is brought on by something we never find out. Lou lives in his fathers shoes, he lives in his house, reads his book and even sexually abuses the same woman his farther did. This unprovoked madness he seems to have just falls short of the audience being interested in this side to him. Within the first thirty minutes he viciously murders Joyce in a very graphic. Sight & Sound magazine (which is a view I and every film fan should take on board) noted that this graphic violence where done how they should be in contracts to the cartoonish violence form Tarantino but I’m afraid it doesn’t work and it is complete misogyny. You can’t gloss it up. The woman in the movie are portrayed as weak, sexually obsessed and who come back for more spankings and kicks to the stomach. Whilst the women are being kicked around the deaths which happen to the men are quick and brief and involve a gun shot to the head and an off screen hanging.
The story drains on and soon becomes boring and that as well as the unnecessary sex scene and violent attacks on the women characters makes the whole experience an endurance test. The only redeeming factors are Casey Affleck’s performances when he’s not spouting “I love you” whilst laying into his poor victim, and the end but those two aside the movie is nothing more then misogynistic pornography.
Winterbottom and Sigh & Sound are trying to defend the violence by saying its staying true to the novel but fifty years after the books release we should know not to convey something as horrific and unnecessary. But even more surprising is how the BBFC let the film slide without any cuts. Cuts where needed and so was a good editor to keep the pace going because you can judge a film by how many times you look at your watch. And during The Killer Inside Me it happened a lot.