Friday, June 25, 2010
The Killer Inside Me
Like the saying goes: "If it disturbs you, it's art." That certainly could be said to British director Michael Winterbottom's controversial "The Killer Inside Me" (USA 2010 | 109 min.). Despite how you criticize or analyze the undertone of the film's graphic violence toward women, you will not leave this film without being eerily shaken by the killer inside the protagonist.
The film is based on Jim Thompson's pulp fiction novel that is written in 1952, but set in 1958 in a small town in Texas, where people speak as if they have marbles in their mouths.
Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) not only speaks as if he hides something in the mouth, but also with a creepy hoarse sound, even he talks politely and calmly. His late father is the only doctor in town, leaves him the house, the opera disks, plenty books, and many dark secrets.
Chester Conway (Ned Beatty) is a powerful owner of a construction company. His son Elmer (Jay R. Ferguson) is involved with a prostitute Joyce (Jessica Alba). To avoid the exposure of the scandal, Chester bribes Lou to drive Joyce out of town. However, when Lou shows up at Joyce's door, he falls for her and begins to have rough sex regularly with her, disregards his long time girlfriend Amy (Kate Hudson).
After Lou learns from a union leader that Chester is responsible for his foster brother's death, he begins plot his masterminded double-crossing scheme to revenge, by unleashing the evil under his dandy appearance. This once quiet little town starts to pile up dead bodies, thanks to the killer inside Lou.
The plot is complex and sometimes confusing. A few flashbacks hardly tell the audiences who they are, much less provide clues for Lou's behavior. Couple overly stretched horrific violent scenes, which causes the most controversy, make the film look like pornography, on violence.
However, Casey Affleck's brilliant portrait of Lou as the cold-blooded serial killer is memorable and chilling. Listening to him talking, you will feel the chill comes up to your head from your spin, especially when he talks charmingly and softly. Some people's strong reactions to the brutality precisely validate the effectiveness of the character he plays. If Casey Affleck does not have a partner in real life yet, he probably never will after this role, because he is so convincing that people will remember the killer inside of him.
The film creates a monster, and the monster upsets people big time.