The Killer Inside Me Reviews

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Clintus M.
Super Reviewer
½ May 4, 2015
"You don't fit the bill as a killer," newspaper man Joe Rothman (Elias Koteas) says to Lou, Casey Affleck's character. This severe underestimation epitomizes this melodrama, a brooding, mesmerizing period piece set in 1950s Texas. This admittedly controversial film should be a modern film noir masterpiece, but its graphic violence particularly against women may have doomed it to cult status. It's a twisted misogynist psychological thriller that depicts a sadomasochistic psychotic as well as I've ever seen on film. The aforementioned character is played by Casey Affleck, who continues to amaze me. His main character is kinky yet mysterious; he plays a sort of amoral calculating characters who both derives pleasure from and is disgusted by his horrible misdeeds. This film is brutal and seductive in equal measures, and although a period piece about small town 1950s Texas, its shocking brutality has a modern feel.
This is a more graphic version of The Last Picture Show meets Gone Baby Gone. The main character possesses an amorality rarely seen in film. He's so smooth his victims never see it coming, as he explains to one of them. Jessica Alba is wonderful, as his Kate Hudson-in a better role than usual.
The music, a combination of opera and western swing, creates a fantastically eerie mood also. I recommend this film to thriller fans, but be prepared-its extreme
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2013
Lou Ford: I got a foot on both sides of the fence. They were put there early and they stayed put. I can't move. I can't jump. All I can do is wait until I split, right down the middle.

Michael Winterbottom is a director who I can say, after only seeing three of his films, The Killer Inside Me being the third and A Mighty Heart and Road to Guantanamo being the other two, that I respect. It's rare that a director hooks you like that after only seeing a few of his movies, but Winterbottom is an extremely interesting direct. He doesn't shy away from material, that's for damn sure. Movies like A Mighty Heart and Road to Guantanamo show that off excellently. The Killer Inside Me does too. There's a lot of really disturbing and disgusting material, some shown and some hinted at, and also highly psycho-sexual.

A small town deputy sheriff hovers between two lives, his simple life as a deputy and the other part of him that comes out. We get a lot of backstory throughout the film that explains why Lou Ford has the killer inside him and it's done in a really clever and interesting way. 

While this isn't as good as the other two films I've seen from Winterbottom, I still really liked it and think it's highly underrated. I thought Casey Affleck nailed his role as Lou Ford. He came off as not just a believable psychopath, but a perfect psychopath. The supporting cast surrounding Affleck is interesting to say the least. We get Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty and Bill Pullman, along with some Texas accented character actors. None of them really help the movie at all, there all kind of just there, which makes sense given the main characters lack of empathy for other human beings. 

The Killer Inside Me is definitely worth a watch. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but it's a solid crime thriller with a surprisingly excellent performance from Casey Affleck. It has a nice pace and Winterbottom's direction is extremely clever. 
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2012
This is the first film from Michael Winterbottom that I've seen, so I will have to just judge it on its own merits and won't be able to see how it fits into his filmography as a whole. It's also the second adaptation of Jim Thompson's acclaimed 1952 noir crime novel, and this time, I'm actually familair with the source material.

And I'm happy to say that this does the source material a pretty good amount of justice, and, given the time when the film was made, it's able to really showcase the more grisly content of the story. Even then, the film garnered controversy for the violent content, but I'd really be amazed to know what people thought of it in the 1950s.

The story concerns 29 year-old Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford, all the people in his small West Texas town know him to be quiet, unassuming, and a decent guy. What they don't know is that, beneath the surface, he's a sociopath with a penchant for sexual violence and sadomasochistic tendencies. He gets involved in a scheme goen wrong, and ends up havign to pile with a big string of muders...all committed by him. And thigns get worse from there, since murdering seems to be the only way to get through the progressively dire situation.

In a lot of ways, this comes off like something the Coen Brothers would do (either Blood SImple or No Country For Old Men, especially), though this might be far darker, and especially more lurid, and definitely without a trace of quirk or really any kind of humor, black or otherwise. It's a thrillingly warped tale, and a great character study that really gets into the mind of a psycho. It does sometimes feel really emotionally empty and closed off from the characters, but even then, you can't help but feel engaged and really want to find out what will happen.

Casey Affleck really shines here as Ford, and his portrait of Ford is disturbing, unrelenting, super creepy, and absolutely some of his best work to date. Jessica Alba surprisingly is also good as the prostitute that Ford gets involved with who gets the whole messy situation going. She actually is pretty believable, and she should consider taking on more dark and edgy work like this. The rest of the supprting cast has a lot of notable names like Kate Hudson, Simon Baker, Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, and Bill Pullman, and they all deliver some decent work as well.

The soundtrack is sizzling, and really ecclectic, and the opening credits (set to the original version of "Fever" by Little Willie John) really got me excited right from the start, and from there the film kept on mostly delivering the goods. The cinematography and location work is fantastic, and the direction, well, it's not bad. The film meanders once in a while, but never really full on drags. It still keeps one's attention though, so yeah.

If you can stomach lurid subject matter, graphic content (often directed at females), and want to see one of the darkest and grittiest film noir thrillers out there, then defintiely give this a shot. I'm torn between 4 and 4.5, so let's give it the highest possible B+ ever.
Super Reviewer
June 18, 2012
Weary of its graphic depiction of violence that it has become renowned for, I avoided sitting down with this film for quite a while. However, I found Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of Jim Thompson's chilling & infamous noir to be a maniacal, but enjoyable ride.
Well-behaved & mild-mannered, deputy sheriff Ford (Affleck) oversees the goings on in an idyllic West Texas town. Oozing southern gentility, behind Ford's mask of sanity lies a lurid past and the sadomasochist tendencies that have haunted him ever since. Imbued with noir sensibilities and rich style, Winterbottom plunges the viewer into the cold calculations of a sociopath. He nails the 50's aesthetic with his use of muted colors and an exquisite set design. And, while it is only a minor part of the film, he crafts probably my favorite opening credit sequence of all time.
Affleck is also excellent here. Easily giving his best performance to date. However, he unfortunately shares a generous amount of screen time with Hudson and Alba, who in my opinion don't deserve such weighty roles.
While the script could have used a bit more doctoring and the ending suffered from some lackluster special effects, Winterbottom's adaptation is undeserving of the "art-house torture porn" label that it has been given.
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2011
Ok. That was one crazy movie. I had to put subtitles on just to understand what the heck Casey Affleck was saying. The violence in this movie was far more disturbing to watch than any of the horror/slasher movies I have seen in my life....mostly due to the realistic nature of the violence. Very bizarre movie, with even more of a bizarre ending...
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2010
The Killer Inside Me started off interestingly enough as a latter-day noir coming from the darkest of places. Unfortunately it got less intriguing as it got more confusing. The acting was alright considering the flaky story and character development the actors had to work with and whenever things seemed to get too far out of control a horrific and insanely brutal murder was there for the Don't-You-Get-It?-He's-Fucking-Insane crutch The Killer Inside Me seems to love leaning upon. Its worth watching but there's no payoff.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2010
Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba star. And all three do a wonderful job along with Elias Koteas as well.
Perhaps Jessica Alba's choice of films (The Love Guru, Meet Bill) should be more in question than her acting. With the solid remake of horror film The Eye, the very funny Good Luck Chuck and now as solid supporting actress role in The Killer Inside Me her performances seem as sharp as ever. Im not sure where the sense is in her criticism; perhaps it is because of the pretty face...
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
A very violent but interesting film. Kept you intrigued all the way through and didn't really dissapoint. Was quite enthralling and at times too hard to watch.
Super Reviewer
½ April 8, 2011
I didn't know too much about this film before I saw it. Just saw the cast line up and gave it ago. Only now after watching I can see what all the controversy was about. It's a re-make of a '76 film of the same name. A dark, disturbing, brutally violent yet gripping thriller. The violence towards women in this film was quite shocking and didn't need to be as graphic as it is. Otherwise this is a good thriller with a few twists along the way as a deputy sheriff in a small town has one psychotic episode after another trying to cover up his previous mis-doings! Once you're past the sex and violence this is an intriguing story.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2011
A remake of an older movie and its done very well. Edge of the seat drama, even though there is no mystery who the killer is. Lots of nudity and sexual scenes, so keep the little ones at bay. Casey Affleck plays a great in the closet killer. The story itself is well written, but the movie I can only give it 3 1/2 stars.
Super Reviewer
½ January 16, 2011
An intriguing film that really surprised me, taking a look at the mind of a psychopath while wisely avoiding easy reasons for his disorder. The brutal, overviolent murder scenes are shocking and disturbing, depicting with bold realism the whole extent of his cruelty.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2011
Cruel and unusual is a good way to explain this film. I was surprised at how much it didn't explore "The Killer Inside..." Affleck. All I gathered was that if your mom asks you to spank her when you are a little boy, you'll probably grow up to be a little fucked up. The performances are grand, but Affleck is so cold in this it's a bit hard to care. This wouldn't kill the film, if I could care about his victims. Alba stands there and takes a beating while saying "I love you". Again, why is she so blinded by love for Affleck? He wasn't THAT nice to her, or showed any feelings. The police are then so slow I don't see why I should care. It's a film where everyone kind of deserves to die. The plot lacks mystery or intrigue. Instead I watch Affleck run rings around the dumbest police in the world by simply killing more people. Oh, and women like a good beating.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2011
Has probably the 2nd most violent scene I've ever seen in a movie(the first being from "Irreversible", only movie that made me think it might be real, and made me feel wrong for watching it). Other than that one scene(which will probably be hard to watch for most) this movie sucks. It's slow as hell and the acting isn't that good. Waste of time.
Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2010
Having never read the book, I can't rightly say how much of its supposedly sharp psychology this film eschewed. On its own, it's remarkably shallow, a ball of tightly-wound noir atmosphere and very little else. There's some flirtation with Freudian philosophy that is almost embarrassingly overt, so much so that you want to give Michael Winterbottom the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was taking the piss out of the movie. Keeping the Bible next to ol' Sigmund's collected works? Come on, now. A hundred flashbacks to Lou Ford fucking little girls and spanking his mommy couldn't make his misogyny any more interesting, though. We understand that he hates women, and it's not a huge jump to figure out why, so why even bother with this mind-numbingly lame bit of "sub"text anyway? To address the issue of misogyny within the construction of the film itself, it's difficult to discern the intentions here. The violence upon women is far more severe than that of men, yes, which for plot reasons is justified. The way Winterbottom dwells on it is queasy, though, and with so little else going on for the audience to preoccupy themselves with, their beatings come across as narrative centerpieces. That's where we have to find our excitement, sadly enough.

Winterbottom got the feeling of the film right; as a garish noir-cum-neo-noir it's treated handsomely, with the almost unnaturally high-key lighting at desperate odds with the insidious plot. Unfortunately, that's really all there is to The Killer Inside Me, as the rest of it simply doesn't hold up. Casey Affleck (the frontrunner for my Shithead of the Year award) mistakes sociopathy for vacancy and completely fumbles any attempt at demonstrating how a human can become so inhuman. Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson both squarely out-act him, which is horrifying in its own right, but Affleck's barely-there line readings torpedo what was a fairly thin movie in the first place.
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2010
This thriller film takes on cult writer Jim Thompson's bleak pulp fiction is, without question, superbly stylish and well acted. Casey Affleck's turn is astonishing, and while there's a hollowness that becomes disturbingly apparent as the story warms to its graphically sadistic, misogynistic cruelty, it remains a rewarding, if difficult, viewing experience.
But the viewers should be warned, the violence against women is uncomfortably brutal.
Super Reviewer
May 30, 2010
A brilliantly crafted film inside the mind of a killer. A film which has received a lot of criticism over the films violent content, and scenes which were argued to be necessary. I would argue against that. I think the violence in this film is totally needed, without it Lou Ford wouldn't be the character that he was. A brilliant cast with a incredibly performance from the vastly underrated and brilliant Casey Affleck and some great supporting performances from Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba. I also loved the use of music to portray Ford's emotions, which was brilliantly done. Look out for a strong yet brief appearance from Bill Pullman too! This one is well worth the watch!
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ December 20, 2010
This is an unsettling thriller that takes us into the mind of a psychologically dangerous deputy policeman (Casey Affleck). He patrols the small Texas city by day and kills for pleasure by night. The movie runs into a problem because the character doesn't have a semblance of any moral code, which sounds contradictory for a serial murderer. He doesn't kill for profit or to cover a secret or anything that would come across as identifiably rational. He kills because he feels he has to; he'll even kill the mistress he loves because he can't control himself. It's an upsetting premise that keeps the audience at a controlled distance throughout the film. There's an ongoing theme of extreme sexual brutality, and director Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart) seems to linger on extended sequences of sadomasochistic sex and ugly violence against women. There's some ugly stuff here, like watching Jessica Alba get her face pummeled for a solid two minutes. You just feel sorry for what Alba and Kate Hudson go through ("voiding a full bladder" is amazingly low on the list of awful these women endure). Eventually Affleck has to keep killing to cover his tracks, and the threat of getting caught provides some moderate tension, a relief from wallowing in cruelty. All of this ickiness would seem worthwhile if it felt like we were learning something about our disturbed lead. Affleck plays his opaque character rather flatly, making him free of charisma, empathy, and sadly, insight. He's just the same as a masked killer in a slasher movie. That's the worst disappointment in a film with so much ugliness.

Nate's Grade: C
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2010
You know, I'm almost positive that The Killer Inside Me had some kind of message or purpose.... But I'll be damned if I know what it was! I suppose we now know that it really isn't the best idea to cheat on one's fiance with a prostitute, and THEN make plays to elope with said prostitute. And it really isn't the best idea to kill people. Especially if you're going to frame someone else. That's just rude. I really did like the film, though. The novel was underwhelming, but the film is rather good. I liked Casey Affleck's portrayal of Lou. At first you can sympathize with him to a point. Even after the first murder you do not really hate him. But by the end, you absolutely hate him. There is no end to the depravity, yet he is absolutely normal. It's such a strange turnaround to have a "bad" character that is doing "bad" things for absolutely no reason, really. Generally when we see these types of situations there is some kind of defense that can be build. Lou ultimately supports the idea that some people are just born bad. That's all there is too it. The only real flaw the film has it that you never really feel everything closing in. I mean, the story moves along right to the close, but you never really FEEL it. There is never any sense of desperation, the possibility of being caught. You never feel the walls closing in. While I think there is a lot of genius in the work, it is just too detached and too flat. I love the ending, but still it just doesn't create enough of a reaction. Still, that isn't to say the film is a waste. It really is good, but has the potential to be much better.
Super Reviewer
August 14, 2010
Can not honestly give this a bad rating, as it is not a bad movie, but my goodness, it was horrible, and if I never have to see it again, I will be happy!
Casey Affleck is really coldly and creepily effective as a serial killer who goes about calmly killing people, some of them whom he supposedly cares about.
As a woman, this was hard viewing. Jessica Alba, in particular was hard to understand as a woman who seemed to like a bit of a beating - well she certainly got that here. That was a hard enough scene, but the one with Kate Hudson was possibly even more gruelling as she was his fiancee and she wasn't looking for it. There are plenty of male victims here also. This guy was like Dexter without the redeeming features.
Really, really nasty film, and that ending...
Aside from that, no fault to find with it, very well cast and looks great, Very well made film, just very hard to take.
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2010
A very dark and graphic film noir about a small town sheriff who slowly descends into a life of a psychotic killer. Michael Winterbottom does a great job directing this film, highlighting every unraveling moment of the sheriff's sadistic nature. Casey Affleck proves once again here with this performance that he is an underrated juggernaut of an actor... and leagues better than his big brother Ben. It's nice to see Jessica Alba step outside her boundaries and play a deep role, even for a prostitute. And for all you fanboys out there, you do get to see a little more of Alba than she usually bares.This film is very disturbing at times, and not easy to stomach. It's also very erotic which adds to the allure of the film. It also has one hell of an ending. The only thing that really holds this film back is some really poor special effects, and some scenes drag out far longer than they need to which make it some what boring and disenchanting. But all the violent sex scenes will probably hold your attention. Definitely a sleeper hit that will fall under your radar.
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