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The Killer Inside Me (2010)
Not Very Good
This is the third Micheal Winterbottom film I have seen along with 24 Hour Party People and 9 Songs. 9 Songs has a reputation as one of the most sexually explicit films ever to be released and this is something that Micheal Winterbottom I suspect is quite proud of. Obviously one of his next priority's on the list is to make one of the most violent. I have never read the source material from what I've heard is a pulp classic from the 1950's. This is a film that its reputation precedes it. I read that it received boo's when it was showed at Cannes due to its prolonged scenes of sadomasochist violence directed at women.
Now,Violence in film is not something that I am adverse too if used in a dramatic way that serves the movie as a whole or even as some form of b-movie entertainment. It really isn't something that I'm against in art so I had no problems is settling down to watch this film. The problem with The Killer Inside Me is that its just not very good. The casting of Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson is so misguided its untrue. You can almost hear their agents saying "You want that dark and edgy movie to give your career kudos? Well this is it girls!". The way that the film is shot is fine and the costumes and attention to detail is very good but the muddled script and some really atrocious performances make for a very confusing narrative and never seems to raise any worthwhile questions. I am a fan of ambiguity in the medium of film as it can spark the imagination and makes for a welcome break from more conventional narratives. However, with this film you just don't really care. You end up like the protagonist played by Casey Affleck, cold and unaffected.
Casey Affleck is not particularly good in this film. Making me think that his outstanding turn in the Assassination Of Jesse James was a fluke though that is maybe unfair. His mumbling delivery of lines and his subtle facial expressions may fool you into thinking this a good performance but one does think that maybe a different style of directing may of coaxed a better performance out of him. The scenes most memorable in this films are the 2 scenes of violence. Lack of musical score during these scenes is clever but I think that the makers of this film are deliberately going for some kind of shock and awe campaign to make the audience queasy. The problem with this is that you do not care for the characters of the victims as they are portrayed unbelievably two dimensional by the two female leads. You just end up watching with no emotional attachment to the characters at all. You are just watching horrific violence with no justification within the narrative itself but also watching as an audience member that just has no investment in the film at all. The film opens with a great title sequence. However, I quickly realised that the films acting, script and performances were well below par quite early on. The lack of performance and surprise and empathy just made it feel like a waste of time not just for the cast and crew but for a audience as well.
Controversial doesn't always make a film worth seeing.