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on 23 February 2013
I have seen films that really are insidiously misogynistic in a way The Killer Inside Me is not, films that make light of the denigration of women, and I should also say that this film does crucially show the consequences of violence, a responsibility shirked by what I call the "arthouse rape" genre, in which dreamy, languid movies are finally topped off with a flourish of sexual violence, just before the credits, without a smidgen of curiosity about what happens to the victim afterwards.

Lou's chilling MO is summed up by his visit to a troubled young guy in a police cell, a young man who has guessed Lou's awful secret and wheedlingly asks if the victim "had it coming". Lou replies: "Nobody has it coming. That's why nobody can see it coming." It is a haiku of despair to be compared and contrasted with Gene Hackman's gunfighter in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven being told that he'd just assaulted an "innocent" man – Hackman snarls: "Innocent? Innocent of what?" Lou Ford is a poison cloud of violence infecting everything around him: this is a film with a carbon-core of horror and pessimism at its heart.
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on 28 February 2012
Some films come with their own baggage you learn about before seeing the film. `The Killer Inside Me' is one such film as I already knew it was meant to contain some harrowing scenes of violence that were borderline unacceptable to some people. After seeing the film I have to agree that there are some strong images in the film, but this is an 18 and everything is in keeping with the characters and the tone of the film itself. There is no revelling in violence; instead it shows the brutality of a man on the edge.

Casey Affleck as Lou Ford is this man. He is a Sherriff's Deputy in a small US town. He is pleasant enough to people and well liked, but inside he is tortured and driven to doing dark deeds. Affleck is excellent as the brooding Ford a likable psychopath who seems more broken than evil. He plays against a couple of female actors in Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson who do a decent job in difficult roles. However, this is Affleck's film firstly and director Michael Winterbottom's secondly. Winterbottom is a controversial and at times brilliant director. I would put `Devil' amongst his best works. He follows the source material well and literally pulls no punches with the violence. Does he go too far? I don't believe so. Seeing violence in a domestic setting is more harrowing perhaps, but I still see far worse in the multitude of violent 18 and increasingly 15 certificate films out there. Context is the key that make this film work.

`Killer' has an almost art house feel to it and this is reflected in both Affleck's unsettling performance and the story itself. You are asked to make some of the conclusions yourself and decide who you think is right or wrong. Ford is charismatic enough that you sometimes like him even though he is evil. This is an impressive thing to pull off and Affleck and Winterbottom should be proud. A dark and powerful film that will not appeal to everyone, but if you are looking for something challenging `The Devil Inside Me' is worth a watch.

I saw the BluRay version of this film and the period setting and open vistas looked great in HD.
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on 26 November 2015
This is a good film, well made.Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba do a great job in the lead roles. The story is good, the killer is unexpected considering his profession. Things start to unwind as suspicion eventually begins to fall on him, but he keeps his cool well right up to the end. The finale has flare and is surprising. The violence is stomach churningly good. The creators have not shied away from showing a man viciously beating a woman on screen, more than once. The extras on the disc are interesting and give a little insight into how the actors felt and how the film was made.
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on 21 July 2015
Fully aware that I'm much to late to the party but it's just struck me that it's all about adaptation. I'm a great admirer of Jim Thomson but a faithful, literal translation - which this more-or-less is and is usually to be welcomed - is well-nigh intolerable on screen, because film is too literal. Film photographs the real world in the third person, even if the direction and acting distort that for their own ends, but in the book Thomson guides us into the protagonist's diseased subjective mind with words in the first person, something that film is probably incapable of achieving.
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on 7 August 2012
I'm staggered by some of the reviews here. So it's surprisingly not a date night film? So it's surprising that a film about a sociopath isn't always an easy or pleasant watch? Wow it's even surprising to some that there are accents in an American film? So let me understand you wanted to see a good time film in cut glass English accents which made murder and violence fun? Wow maybe it's just me but you maybe just need a bit of a reality check.
I cam to this film with a strong element of caution as the violence to women had been well trailed, and I'm no fan of voyeuristic violence like Saw or strong bleak violence like Wolfs Creek, and violence for violence sake is okay in your average zombie flick, but with real people not so much thanks. But this film is really fantastic. Casey Affleck is a wonderful lead character, he makes his character utterly believable, a sociopath among us, almost invisible to the world, but stalking, violent, and yet strangely charming (and hey sadly sociopaths are often exactly that). His portrayal is absorbing, a career defining moment. Both lead female actors are also extraordinary in their parts, Kate Hudson long suffering and victim but always believable, and Jessica Alba as the much darker warped character that is counters the Casey Affleck role. All three performances of the highest standards, the script is dark but enthralling, oh and god yes it's a bit hard to watch at times, but then again the violence never seems self relishing or self serving.
The plot is dark and weaving, the atmosphere dark and brooding, and the film a total success.
Don't watch if you are easily offended, don't watch on a first date, but do watch if you like great films and great acting.
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on 23 November 2010
This is a brilliant but uncomfortable film. Uncomfortable because it shows graphically and uncompromisingly the career of a violent killer from his viewpoint and you end up fascinated and a bit queasy because Casey Affleck is so good he invokes a feeling of sympathy. The girls, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson are superb. You wince and cringe for them when they are attacked and yet vaguely understand when they still claim to love their attacking monster lover. It gives some insight into the problem of "battered wives" who wont inform on their attacker. The various support players blend in beautifully, including the delectable Simon Baker who manages to tone down the wattage of his incandescent personality to play the quiet nemesis of the "hero". The arid scenery, perfect period small town small choices setting and strong Texan accents also add to the compelling atmosphere of this disturbing film. And speaking of disturbing....the most disturbing thing of all is the fact that when at the end the "hero" claims to love his battered victim Jessica Alba, you believe it.
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on 15 May 2013
great film all round. it would have been a 5 star if the ending matched the rest of the film. I won't spoil it but the end seems to tie things up in a very quick and easy way really without any real thought as to how best to end it and leaves a feeling of "he wouldn't have done that" or if the premise it seems to have gone down really happened then it would have been over without others dying along the way.
I'll say no more, as i say it's a good film but a little more thought could have gone into the ending.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 June 2014
Having tried his hand at 'most' film genres (social-realism, sci-fi, political 'documentary', racial drama, psychological drama, 'biopics' of various hues, etc) I guess it was only a matter of time before eclectic British film-maker, Michael Winterbottom, had a go at US noir/hardboiled fiction and whilst this 2010 adaptation of Jim Thompson's uncompromisingly violent 1952 novel of the same name does have some redeeming qualities, for me, it is very much a mixed bag.

Of course, by choosing such a pessimistic tale with Casey Affleck's irredeemable sociopath and S&M fan, Texan sheriff Lou Ford, as its central protagonist, Winterbottom was always likely to struggle vis-à-vis audience sympathy. To then compound this by throwing in some OTT sadistic violence against women, plus struggling to convincingly portray some of Thompson's more outlandish plot points only serves to detract rather from Winterbottom's final product. That said, the film does have a number of positive attributes, notably an outstanding cast. Affleck continues to impress (after his great turn in The Assassination of Jesse James) as the sadistic, deadpan nutter ('The trouble growing up in a small town is everyone thinks they know who you are') with a penchant for Mahler and a troubled past, whose attempts to frame others for the sadistic murders of lovers, Jessica Alba's prostitute Joyce Lakeland and Jay R Feguson's local businessman Elmer Conway, lead him into betrayal and further bloody killings. Elias Koteas is particularly good as the journalist Joe Rothman, who has the gen on Ford, Tom Bower similarly good as the 'old-timer' sheriff Bob Maples, whilst Ned Beatty's local Mr Big, Chester Conway (father of Elmer), is rather underused.

The look and feel of Winterbottom's film is also impressive, via Marcel Zyskind's evocative cinematography and Melissa Parmenter and Joel Cadbury's by turns eerie and (darkly comic) country and western score. Affleck also has some nicely ironic lines courtesy of John Curran's script. In the end, The Killer Inside Me comes over as something like an 'American Psycho in Texas', whilst also reminding me a little of William Friedkin's recent Killer Joe (in which Matthew McConaughey was equally impressive as another impassive psychopath).
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on 28 October 2013
A perfect movie from the opening credits to the ending ones, this is such an interesting movie, one that can be viewed many times and never hit the f/f button. Casey Affleck is a revelation and mesmerising to watch, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson are both equally amazing, all three characters together play off each other with such sublime ease that you really loose yourself in the story...just how many movies can do that? I know the subject matter caused controversy which I don't really understand why, there are people who enjoy extreme physical displays of affection and the movie clearly shows that the abuse was consensual.
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on 7 June 2014
Was not quite to expect from this film noir, I no the bbfc had a problem with the violence towards women ie a very long and prolonged beating to death of jesssica alba by casey afleck.This worth a watch a very dark thriller with good performances by all involved but be warned this has some very disturbing scene,s of violence.Very good picture 2.35.1 ratio.
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