After becoming besotted with a prostitute living in a rural area of the county, a West Texas Deputy Sheriff named Lou Ford (Casey Affleck), is slowly unmasked as a psychotic and extremely dangerous killer in the mid 1950’s. Keen on plotting revenge for the death of his much loved step-brother, he uses the people around him to ultimately murder the son of Chester Conway (Ned Beatty), the town’s wealthy and well-known king of construction. A fascinating and thought-provoking murder mystery film that is certainly worth a watch.
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writers: John Curran, Jim Thompson
Starring: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Ned Beatty
As a fan of Casey Affleck, it did surprise me somewhat when I realised I’d not seen The Killer Inside Me – the 2010 release was based solely on a novel written by Jim Thompson and is described as one of the most “blistering and uncompromising crime novels ever written” and it’s fair to say that the filmmakers managed to do a good job when turning this complex and thorough story into a feature film.
For sure, the movie had big shoes to fill and I definitely think there were issues when it came to fitting all of the story and plot into the one-hundred and nine-minute runtime that the film was given. The plot was extremely convoluted in patches and as a viewer, you found it difficult to keep a grasp on what was happening and where the storyline was heading in general. Another slight criticism would have to come in the form of the dialogue and audio issues too – certain characters were difficult to understand at times, whether this was a sound quality issue or purely an accent issue is up for debate.
Something else worth noting would have to be the sheer brutality of certain scenes, most of which were unexpected and unbelievably shocking. It has to be said, they weren’t outlandish and gory, like many movies today, they were more understated and “realistic” – the type of violence that wasn’t easy to watch at all.
In regard to the acting performances, Casey Affleck was as impressive as ever in the lead role and certainly stole the show, while Jessica Alba was equally as impressive in her role as Joyce Lakeland. Elsewhere, Kate Hudson adopted the role of Amy Stanton and as previously mentioned, Ned Beatty portrayed Chester Conway.
Overall, a solid enough crime thriller that also managed to leave the viewer with a number of different possibilities when it came to the climax of the movie – many of which have been discussed at length on platforms such as Twitter and Reddit. The filmmakers also threw in one or two surprising twists along the way to keep things less than predictable. Maybe not quite a hidden gem for some viewers, but certainly a flick you should give a go.
“Why would I run the risk of losing a girl like you?”Lou Ford – The Killer Inside Me