Casey Affleck goes noir & psychopatic in Michael Winterbottom's 'Killer Inside Me'

The controversy arising from this film is not without merit. The Killer Inside Me, finely directed by Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People, A Mighty Heart) has graphic scenes of violence against women, all done and justified by its main character Lou Ford- brilliantly played by Casey Affleck. Based on a popular 1952 Jim Thompson novel, the film is a dark nightmare through a psychopathic mind. Stanley Kubrick once said the novel was 'probably the most chilling and believable first person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered', which is a lot coming from a legendary director known for his grizzly and dark pictures. The high lit scenes only reinforce the darkness that hides behind the light & make the picture all the more cruel and torturous.

There are two particular scenes that everybody is talking about. One involves Lou hitting a woman's face -Jessica Alba- so hard and so strong that he ends up drilling a hole in her cheek. Another involves punching his pregnant wife in the stomach, so hard that the water ends up breaking and the wife -played by Kate Hudson- falters to her death in the kitchen room floor. Because the story is told in a sympathetic way towards its main character, there is a kind of easiness that unfolds in the film's linear structure. Lou is a man that believes that everything he has done is justifiable and compulsively right.
The film is at times slow and dull but its overall power gives it a small, menacing grip as it reaches its violent finale. Casy Affleck -a more talented actor than brother Ben- gives one of the year's best performances and only raises his reputation as one of the most underrated and gifted actors around at the moment. I can name hundreds of more enjoyable and satisfying movies but I cannot name as many that have this much of a punch in the gut effect. If the film falls short of the books ambitions, its interest lies in the darkened room its main character likes to lock himself in. Affleck is scary good in this one and he does the source material proud. Too bad the problems in plotting and editing prevent it from going even higher and stronger.