The Killer Inside Me DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 8.5
Audio 8.5
Special Features 4.5
Total 7.0
Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 105
Classification:
 MA15+
Reviewer: Simon Black

7.0


The Killer Inside Me

Jim Thompsonís 1952 novel The Killer Inside Me remains one of the most enduring, and confronting, works of American crime fiction.  The noir staple has been eyed by Hollywood directors for several generations, with the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando touted at various points for starring roles.  Burt Kennedy produced a fairly middling film version in 1976, Quentin Tarantinoís name was attached to a rumoured present-day adaptation for several years and talented Aussie auteur Andrew Dominic (Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James) went as far as penning a screenplay, though never saw the project through to completion. 

The task of directing eventually fell to Michael Winterbottom (Wonderland, A Mighty Heart), and his efforts ensure this important novel is finally given the credible onscreen treatment it deserves.  His 2010 film version sees Casey Affleck starring as sociopathic protagonist Lou Ford, a 29 year old deputy Sherriff in a Texan dustbowl called Central City.  Outwardly a paragon of small town virtue, Fordís laconic demeanour and endless cornball platitudes hide a terrifying interior world.   

Ford, it emerges, abused a young girl as a teen, a crime for which his older foster brother Mike took the blame in order to spare Lou a prison term.  ĎThe sickness,í as he calls it, abated over the years, however it comes flooding back when Lou crosses paths with local prostitute Joyce Lakeland (Jessica Alba, in something of a departure).  An inexorable sadomasochistic affair develops between the two, unbeknownst to Fordís longsuffering girlfriend Amy (Kate Hudson), and as the story progresses and Louís unspeakable tendencies assume a stranglehold over his behaviour, his life descends into a morass of appalling violence. 

Despite the not inconsiderable talents of Winterbottom The Killer Inside Me perhaps works better as a novel.  Its stark depiction of Fordís duality and the inner workings of his deranged mind are truly sinister on the page, and the sheer ugliness of his many abhorrent acts ensure that in spite of the brilliant, beautiful cinematography the film remains, like its central character, somewhat repugnant.  The ever-underrated Affleck brilliantly embodies Fordís double life, an ensemble cast which includes the indefatigable Ned Beatty and Tom Bower (Crazy Heart) put in universally nuanced performances and the film is undoubtedly powerful.  The brutal violence may cause some viewers to think twice, however.   

Audio & Video

No problems with picture quality; the letterboxed transfer is crisp and faultless.  The DD 5.1 surround audio is likewise impeccable and the soundtrack is excellent, with plenty of 1950s staples like Little Willie Johnís ĎFeverí sitting nicely alongside Melissa Parmenterís thoughtful, subtly potent score. 

Special Features

Interviews with Affleck, Alba and Hudson in which they discuss their characters and their motivations, as actors are wont to do, and a fairly insipid 25-minute behind the scenes documentary. 






 
 



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