PG Cooper: The Killer Inside Me Review

Posted: December 4, 2010 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PG Cooper's Movie Reviews

Release date: June 18th, 2010

Written by: John Curran, Jim Thompson, and Michael Winterbottom

Directed by: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty, Tim Bower, and Elias Koteas

If you’ve been following this blog recently, you’ll know I’m sort of a Casey Affleck fan. His two breakthrough films of 2007 (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Gone Baby Gone) both made my list of the top 25 films from 2000-2009. In my write ups for both films, I praise Affleck’s acting each time. So at this point, I’m pretty keen to see anything he is in. Which brings us to The Killer Inside Me.

The Killer Inside Me takes place in a small west Texas town at some point in the 1950’s. Casey Affleck plays deputy sheriff Lou Ford, a seemingly normal and reliable citizen. But the truth is, Ford is actually a very dark and disturbed individual and a violent sociopath. At the beginning of the film, Ford has to run a prostitute (Jessica Alba) out of town. However, what ends up happening is the two start an affair together. The affair is what triggers Ford’s dark tendencies after they had been buried for years. The two end up getting swept up in a blackmail conspiracy which soon escalates to something much worse.

So as I said, Casey Affleck was the main reason I wanted to see this film. How is his performance? Well, to put it bluntly, it’s easily the best thing about the film. Who would have thought the annoying kid from Good Will Hunting would end up being one of the most talented actors working today. His performance here is just mesmerizing and you can’t take your eyes off him. He has to manage being both scary and creepy, yet also, strangely sympathetic. You feel really sorry for this guy. He really is a pitiful sight. Affleck’s performance is so good here, I really hope he gets an Oscar nomination for his work here.

The rest of the cast is…..okay. Yeah, their just okay, nothing really special. There aren’t any actors who I felt did a bad job or anything, but no one else even comes close to Affleck. Lou Ford is unquestionably the focus of the film, but more well-defined and interesting supporting characters would have been nice.

As for the story of the film. Well, I’m sort of torn here. On one hand, I find the character progression of Lou Ford to be intriguing and interesting. But the rest of the story was not very gripping. I just couldn’t get into the story and at times found myself getting bored. It’s not like it’s a bad story or anything, it just doesn’t pull you in the way it should.

This is the first Michael Winterbottom film I’ve seen, and I must say, I’m very impressed with him as a director. The film is very well shot and just looks cool. Winterbottom also does a very good job of creating tension and unease. Several people have complained about how disturbing the film is. I can’t see how one could criticize this as Winterbottom’s goal is to be disturbing. Admittedly, if this is not for the more sensitive audience. The film is at times very uncomfortable and brutal. But like I said, to me, that’s how the film should be. If it was fun and happy then we’d have a problem.

One element of the film that will definitely annoy some is the actual way the story is told. Lou Ford acts as are narrator and story-teller and the more he descends, the less the story makes sense. It’s not overly hard to follow, but at times the story telling can be frustrating. This reaches it’s boiling point during the film’s very strange climax. It’s such an over the top ending that part of me feels it isn’t suppose to be taken literally. But either way you slice it, the ending makes no sense and just left me bewildered.

Despite my many problems, it is hard not to enjoy this movie on some level. It’s a well made film that I appreciate it for that. Plus you have yet another incredible performance from Casey Affleck. I do recommend this somewhat, but be warned, this movie is not an easy or fun watch. Don’t watch it if you can’t handle the subject matter.

7/10

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