“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: The Killer Inside Me (18s)

Sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is a soft-spoken, well-mannered Southern gentleman as he patrols his small Texas town, but Lou is not all that he seems. Ordered to run Joyce (Jessica Alba), a local prostitute, out of town, Lou batters the woman to death, then shoots dead the man infatuated with her - even though Lou himself was having an affair with Joyce.
  Based on a Jim Thompson novel, The Killer Inside Me is told through Lou’s eyes, and features a voiceover from Affleck that offers a chilling insight into the banal evil of a man who is a homicidal psychotic. Affleck’s understated performance is perfectly pitched, creating a sympathetic portrayal of a character who is utterly repulsive - the scene in which Affleck beats Alba to a pulp is harrowing, even by contemporary cinema’s standards. And yet the audience can perfectly understand why Lou’s sweetheart, Amy (Kate Hudson), might fall for him: he is tender, intelligent and well-educated.
  The director, Michael Winterbottom, recreates the small-town Americana of the 1950s with an unerring eye, giving the movie a dreamy quality that regularly flips over into nightmare whenever the switch flips in Lou’s head. A good cast provides excellent support, with Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, Simon Baker, Bill Pullman and Brent Briscoe all paying the price, in one form or another, for attempting to thwart Lou’s plans.
  Be warned that this is not one for the faint-hearted, as the violence has a perversely intimate quality to it that makes it utterly shocking. That said, as a crime thriller and a forensically telling psychological exploration of psychosis, The Killer Inside Me is a viscerally engaging experience. **** - Declan Burke

8 comments:

Paul D. Brazill said...

It looks like heavy going- apart from 24hr Part people Winterbottom's not big on the laughs- but it does look like one of the better Jim Thompson adaptations.

Mack said...

I saw an extended trailer and it looks to be very faithful to Thompson's book. Casey Affleck is how I imagined Lou Ford. Already I have heard one movie critic say that he hates it. Thompson is one of my favorite noir authors and I figure I need to see it.

Naomi Johnson said...

As a fan of Thompson's books, I'm ready to see this, but I'm not ready for all the protests sure to follow that it glorifies violence against women.

Declan Burke said...

Naomi - There's one scene in particular that was unsettling in the extreme, and I see movies every day, and I've seen some pretty rough stuff ... That said, Lou Ford is a psychotic, and the context of the movie makes this very clear. Someone would really need to be stretching the point about violence against women to make him a poster boy for their protest ...

Cheers, Dec

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

"There's one scene in particular that was unsettling in the extreme, and I see movies every day, and I've seen some pretty rough stuff"

I'm in.

adrian mckinty said...

I did NOT read the review. I've been looking forward to this and I dont want any spoilers. Except for the fact that obviously I've read the book and seen Coup de Torchon.

I'm guessing that you liked it.

Casey Affleck was the best thing about the Assassination of Jesse James

seana said...

I doubt I'll see it, but now I see Simon Baker's in it so I'm tempted. I probably better wait till video though.

jerseystylephotography said...

I'm a big fan of Jim Thompson, a big fan of this story and a big fan of noir. This is a most-definite must-see for me, especially since this story inspired some of my noir-themed photography. You may be interested in my blog post about this:

http://jerseystylephotography.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/friday-noir-inspiration/


Declan, jus found your site - I'll be stopping back often.