Brian Kessler, a journalist researching serial killers, and his photographer girlfriend Carrie set out on a cross-country tour of the sites of the killings. Sharing the ride and their expenses are Early Grayce, a paroled white trash criminal, and his girlfriend Adele. As the trip progresses, Early begins to appear more and more unstable, and Brian and Carrie begin to fear that they may have a real-life killer in the back seat of their car.Written by
Scott Renshaw <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We first see Early's pistol laying in a bag on the car's back seat. A closeup clearly shows it to be a parkerized U.S. military World War II M1911A1 (with commercial grip panels). But later, when Early and Brian are firing it at an abandoned building, Early says it's a Japanese pistol. See more »
European release and US video/laserdisc unrated versions feature about one minute of additional violent footage not present in US theatrical R-rated version. Unrated version of sex scene between Brian and Carrie is slightly longer and more explicit than the R rated version. See more »
I had seen 'Kalifornia' before (must be about 10 years ago) and I still remember to be very impressed by it. That's why I wanted to see it again and all I can say is that it still hasn't lost its power, even though I'm used to a lot more when it comes to movies than that I was ten years ago.
'Kalifornia' tells the tale of the writer Brian Kessler and his girlfriend Carrie Laughlin, a photographer, who want to move to California. But instead of stepping on a plain and flying right to the state where they say it never rains, they choose to make a trip by car. He wants to write a book about America's most famous serial killers and she will make the matching pictures. But because their car uses an enormous amount of petrol, they decide to take another couple with them, so they can spread the costs of the trip. Only one couple has answered the add, so they will automatically be the lucky ones. But they haven't met each other yet and when seeing the other couple for the first time, when their trip has already started, Carrie is shocked. Without wanting to be prejudiced, she can only conclude that Early Grayce and Adele Corners are poor white trailer park trash. She definitely doesn't want them in her car, but Brian doesn't really mind to take them with them and decides to stop and pick them up anyway. At first the couple doesn't seem to be that bad after all, but gradually Early Grayce changes from a trashy hillbilly into a remorseless murderer...
Not only is the story very impressive, so is the acting from our four leads. Brad Pitt is incredible as Early Grayce. His performance in this movie may well be his best ever. The same for Juliette Lewis. She plays the childish and naive girlfriend that doesn't want to hear a bad word about her Early and does that really very well. But David Duchovny and Michelle Forbes are a surprise as well. They both did a very good job and I really wonder why we never heard anything from Forbes again since this movie, because she really proves to have a lot of talent.
Overall this is a very good and impressive psychological thriller with a very powerful story, but because of the graphic violence, I can imagine that it may not be to everybody's taste (although I don't really see another way how to portray a serial killer in a believable way). Personally I really liked this movie a lot and the violence never bothered me (it's a part of the story that's too important to be left out). I reward this movie with an 8/10.
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