The Killer Inside Me / Le tueur en moi (Bilingual)
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Based on the legendary novel by pulp writer Jim Thompson, Michael Winterbottom's THE KILLER INSIDE ME tells the story of a handsome, charming, unassuming small town sheriff's deputy named Lou Ford (Casey Affleck). The film takes place in an idyllic West Texas town in the early 1950’s. As a lifelong resident, Ford has difficulty juggling his long-term girlfriend Amy (Kate Hudson), the prostitute named Joyce (Jessica Alba) that he mistakenly falls for, and the sociopathic tendencies inside him. In Thompson’s savage, bleak, blacker than noir universe nothing is ever what it seems.
Le candidat aux Oscarmd Casey Affleck (L'assassinat de Jesse James) livre la prestation la plus renversante de sa carrière dans ce drame policier où il y interprète un rôle controversé d'un shérif d’un petit village où les cadavres s’accumulent mystérieusement. Le Tueur en moi met également en vedette Jessica Alba (Les Quatre Fantastiques), la candidate aux Oscarmd Kate Hudson (Presque célèbre), le candidat aux Emmymd Simon Baker (Le Cercle 2) et Bill Pullman (Independance Day). Lorsqu’on lui a confié la mission de conduire hors de la ville une prostituée loquace et insupportable, le shérif comprit qu’il était plus simple de s’en débarrasser. Mais pour camoufler ce meurtre, il doit éliminer des témoins indiscrets, puis d’autres, et encore d’autres. Bien que la situation se complique davantage, il éprouve de plus en plus un plaisir diabolique à commettre ces atrocités abominables, beaucoup plus satisfaisantes qu’une simple arrestation. Inspiré du roman populaire de l’écrivain Jim Thompson (Les Arnaqueurs), Le Tueur en moi est « un solide suspense d’une classe à part » (Guardian UK) relevant les dangereux revers de certains hommes de loi impitoyables.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an extremely good movie that can also be a very "affective" movie to those who are watching carefully and really aren't aware of what to expect.
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SPOILER ALERT: My review is for those who have seen the movie and are puzzled or disappointed by portions of it, primarily the ending. For ease of recognition, I will use the actor's names, rather than their character names.
Casey's mother died when he was quite young and he was introduced to sadomasochistic sex by a baby sitter. As a result, he begins molesting girls much younger than himself and is caught in the act by his adopted older brother, who is revolted by his behavior. Subsequently, when knowledge of Casey's crimes become wide spread, his innocent brother, being older, is punished while he is not. When the brother returns (from jail?) he begins working on a construction crew and is killed through the negligence of construction magnate, Ned Beatty. All of this is sublimated within Casey's mind until the nightmare is awakened when prostitute, Jessica Alba, slaps him. She "becomes" the baby sitter and they rekindle the violent SM relationship from his past, but now Casey is a grown man and capable of handing out a much greater, escalating, level of violence.
Casey beats Jessica to death in order to conceal the murder of Beatty's son and thus avenge his step-brother's death. He is also symbolically punishing/destroying the source of his torment and pathology, the baby sitter whom Jessica has come to represent. His youthful experiences have rendered him a psychopath, devoid of conscience, and he is fixated upon immediate, personal whims, without concern for others. Violent murder is a logical progression in his awakened and rapidly escalating sadomasochistic fury. Watch how he covers the faces of both Jessica and Kate during sex, which is generally from behind, so he cannot see their faces. Is it so he can imagine that they are the baby sitter, or perhaps the child-victims of his youth? It's obvious that, in his mind, they represent other people and their faces contradict his mental images.
I believe from this point forward, Casey descends into utter madness and his actions have no logic but to his own twisted psyche. His murder of Kate serves no purpose, because the "purposes" of an insane person are inscrutable. As with the prostitute, he and Kate have engaged in an escalating sadomasochistic sexual relationship and he probably realizes that marriage is not a desirable situation for him, so he simply ends it with a level of violence and detachment that are both shocking and entirely predictable. You don't talk your way out of an engagement to an annoying 'fly', you simply swat it....and then find a fall guy to take the blame.
Now here is where I strongly differ with all other reviewers....the ending. Casey is caught and sent to an asylum, where he whiles away the hours in his cell supposedly watching a strange slide show of pictures of his victims. We are effectively told the slide show is imaginary by the reaction of the nurse when he asks her to slow down the progression of pictures. Watch her reaction. This is a critical and widely overlooked point: the slide show is entirely imaginary, as is everything from that point on. He is not "saved" from the asylum by Bill Pullman (which excuses his otherwise preposterous bellowing), and he does not really return home to plot and execute the destruction of all his adversaries. Jessica is dead. She does not walk into his house and verify her "undying" love, and his tormentors (inexplicably unaware of the gasoline-soaked house) are not all neatly incinerated. This is all a product of Casey's twisted imagination....a glorious, fiery ending rather than the grim reality that his future was really to be spent watching an endless, imaginary slide show on the wall of his dingy madhouse cell. The ending rubs people wrong because it defies 'normal' logic. It is, however, a preposterously, insanely perfect ending when you consider where it actually occurred....in the mind of a psychopath.
Winterbottom has assembled an impressive cast including Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty, and Kate Hudson for this neo-noir piece. Affleck stars as a low-keyed and likable law enforcement officer who gets involved with a local prostitute and enmeshed in a murderous scheme. But to cover his tracks, further bad deeds need to be done--and Affeck seems to relish this new evil! It's best not to go into the specifics of the plot and to let the film unfold, but Winterbottom does not shy away from some explicit and surprising violence. It's unsettling, to say the least, but helps to establish an effective "anything can happen" feel!
Ultimately the success of "The Killer Inside Me" rests on Casey Affleck's shoulders. He is not the conventional actor one would picture for this role. Small in stature, relaxed in delivery (and enunciation)--his offbeat presence actually makes "The Killer Inside Me" even more intriguing. As he is not a predictable "leading man" or a particularly menacing presence, you're never quite sure what he's going to do. I found this lack of expectation to be quite invigorating and led me to accept and appreciate the twists of the film to a greater degree. To be fair, the film does get loopier and loopier--but I was happy to follow this sordid tale through to the completely over-the-top finale! KGHarris, 8/10.
I want to start by analysing the pivotal scene where Joyce is beaten by Lou. Proffesional reviews of this film have claimed, because of this scene, that it is a "slippery slope from kinky sex play to vicious homicide", that "sex might be hot for these guys, but it's always foreplay to death". Both these claims are, in my opinion, ridiculous. Feminists that write on the film claim that it portrays women as weak, through Joyce not fighting back. Though I agree that it does not portray a positive light on women in the film, it also has to be taken into consideration that these women are not portrayed as the norm. It is obvious from the beginning that Joyce is a character with severe mental problems and Amy (Kate Hudson) is not given a chance to fight back. Also it is evident that Lou is as weak and problematic as the two girls. The death scenes don't glamorize women's death scenes as is the norm and the claims that the movie is like an s&m porn movie are highly ridiculous. One reviewer said "You can be turned on, but only if you're also horrified". I did not find anything erotic about the sex scenes. They fulfilled their purpose of making the viewer uneasy.
The only main problem I found with the movie was that the flashback sequences were a little too unclear. I was not aware from my watching that the woman in these scenes was his babysitter as a child and I am still confused slightly about the murder of his stepbrother. I understood why he became so deranged by these scenes but they weren't entirely clear. That said, if they played much more of a part in the film they would have taken away from the present day circumstances.
The acting within the film was superb. Affleck shone as the deranged serial killer. I believed, he himself did not know why he was killing people. The main surprise of the movie, however, was Alba. I was originally turned off this movie because of her stiff acting in other works such as "Honey", "The Eye" and "Awake". Though she has said, on several occasions that she wanted to be seen as a serious actress, I did not see any conviction for this until now. Her portrayal of Joyce was both dramatic and nuanced. Hudson was also in top form as Amy, Lou's girlfriend and the rest of the supporting cast were well-acted with the one exception of Johnnie (Liam Aiken), though that can be excused because he was not seen often.
In conclusion, I think that "The Killer Inside Me" fulfilled its goal of leaving the viewer with a sense of unease and was a successful film noir, reversing the idea of the femme fatale slightly and is another example of Casey Affleck's rise in Hollywood.
Then whereas "Blood Simple" could almost be viewed as a comedy of errors, with everyone getting tripped and triggered at cross-purposes into bloody rejoinder - here the bloodshed is all the result of the one character's warping. The focus on the horror is so singular and intense that certainly all possibility of comedy is stripped from the scenes.
It's this aspect of the movie that gave me pause. Could such a monster really walk among us? Surely the man is a sociopath, and as "Criminal Minds/CSI" shows have convinced us - sociopaths are rife. But are there sociopaths who commit their acts with as little motive as this man does? There were obviously easier ways for him to solve his problems than by committing the cruelties we see. Neither did his cruelty seem to be aimed at satisfying any lust, any need for power and control, or anything as slight as a hankering for a cheap thrill. There's even a moment when he seems to have a back-handed regret about what he's doing - when he leans over a victim and reassures her that her ordeal is "almost over now." So why is he doing it?
And then I wondered if such women could exist who would really love such a person? The man is not physically prepossessing and doesn't seem to have any special charms other than his soothing southern drawl. He does say that he tried to be a good boyfriend for the relatively short time he spent with the women in his life. He congratulates himself on "taking them places they wanted to go and to movies they wanted to see." But is this enough to make women fall hopelessly in love with a man and to lend themselves to the full extent of his brutality with so little resistance? Or was this movie just an over-the-top misogynist's dream that wasn't telling me anything true about the world?
But reflecting on it, considering this movie as more than just casual entertainment and taking it as serious sociology - I had to admit that such people DO exist. There are people who do what they do simply because, in Edmund Hillary's famous line, "It was there." And there are women who feel compelled to lend themselves to extremes of violence. Feminist Andrea Dworkin said that a woman proves her love by her willingness "to be destroyed by the one whom she loves, for his sake." Scenes in this movie provide graphic, gut-wrenching illustrations of that observation.
Casey Affleck is riveting in his role. His quietude makes us lean in, in spite of ourselves, to catch his every intention. His calm, sinuous assurances, uttered even in the midst of his worst violence, will probably be etched in most of our memories. So when we are at our lowest ebb, in our darkest hour, we will, with a combination of false sympathy for ourselves and with a pepper spray of the sardonic, similarly reassure ourselves that "it's almost over."
Coincidentally, close on the heels of "The Killer Inside Me," I saw Affleck's portrayal of the man who shot Jesse James in the movie "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford." (Affleck seems to be very specifically typecast into playing southern characters named "Ford.") In "Jesse James," Affleck uses exactly the same voice, the same soft slurry that he uses in "The Killer Inside Me." But there is a mirroring quality to his acting that reflects differently depending on the tint of the movie he's in. In "Jesse James," his low-key elisions are just as engrossing, just as subtly premonitory of murder - but he nevertheless presents himself in a different cast. So you might want to make a Casey Affleck double feature of your evening, going from "The Killer Inside Me" to "The Assassination of Jesse James," watching him as two types of killers - if you have the stomach to watch such back-to-back betrayal.
Kate Hudson takes top billing in the lead female role, but ends up taking a back seat to the better looking and more talented--at least as far as this film goes--Jessica Alba. Alba plays a fiesty prostitute who manages to bring out the savage beast in Affleck's character and thus sets him off on his path of reckless killing. I won't discuss the plot more so I'm not accused of being a spoiler, but I'll just add that you might have to watch this one more than once to get all the details of the somewhat intricate plot.
The three lead actors are supported aptly by several other talented players, including Elias Koteas, Ned Beatty and Bill Pullman. But it's Affleck who steals the spotlight in his second role as a "Ford"--this time however, it's Lou instead of Bob and, although he looks just as innocent this time around, he is much more sinister and deviant in his actions (verus the cowardly Bob Ford he played opposite Brad Pitt in the 2007 film about the assassination of Jesse James).
"The Killer Inside Me" may be too over the top for conservative viewers and/or audience members easily offended by aberrant sexual violence and behavior. However, if that doesn't bother you, then I'd suggest cooking up some hot buttery popcorn and relaxing on your couch or in your favorite recliner while you spend a couple hours enjoying a modern release of film noir.