I have never been a Ben Affleck fan. He just doesn't move me and I find it hard to believe him when he is in character in a film. I had never seen his brother, Casey, in anything before I watched The Killer Inside Me (2010) this week.
Casey Affleck has the edge. You cant teach that. He simply has it.
In The Killer Inside Me, you can see it. He is such a good actor that he is 100% believable.
The Killer Inside Me is a period piece, set in 1952, in a small town in Texas. However, it is not really a period piece in that it was written in 1952 by Jim Thompson as a novel and just adapted in 2010. It does come off like something that was real within the times it was written and filmed. That is a big plus for this movie.
Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, who worked with Thompson on the script for the 1956 movie The Killing, praised the novel, stating that it was "probably the most chilling and believable first-person story of a criminally warped mind I have ever encountered."
This is not the first time the movie has been adapted to film. In 1976, Stacy Keach starred in the first film version of the novel. However, that movie was panned by most as not being able to capture the spirit and passion of the book, while this version hits on all cylinders. Most of that can be attributed to Affleck.
The New York Times said: "[The Killer Inside Me, 1976] is a mess, a movie that can't decide whether it wants to be a noirish mystery, a horror flick or a psychological thriller. "
We have to remember, that at that time (1952), the concept of the serial killer was not something the everyday citizen was aware of. And further, those that were were not police officers or upstanding citizens. For that alone, this made this movie unique. Even if all of those factors weren't present, this film can hold your interest from start to finish in spite of being just short of two hours.
The Killer Inside Me is not for everyone. There is graphic violence and it is very raw. The sex is very direct in the way it is presented and had very violent aspects to it as well. That was very necessary and not gratuitous, as it was the nature of the character and completely in line with the movie. The nudity is kept to a very minimum but the sex, while not terribly visual, is very graphic.
At the screening for this movie at the film festivals, many people left while it was playing complaining it was too over the top and graphic. The violence against women in this movie is also something that some can't stomach, as it is very disturbing and not for everyone. However, based on the main character, it was very necessary to complete the image this film aims for.
Kate Hudson, while a very fine actress, was miscast and looked out of place for the character. Jessica Alba was terrific and right on the mark. The rest of the supporting cast was adequate but not spectacular.
Casey Affleck really made the film with his portrayal. His accent is superb, but not over the top. His double image is played to perfection and really gives you the sense of the character, how volatile he is and how quickly he can turn on a dime. How that fools just about everyone he encounters if the premise of the film. No one who knows him can see the killer inside him, and he schemes and plots his way out of trouble because of it. In terms of serial killer movies, it is one of the best I have seen to date.
I highly recommend it, as long as you have a strong stomach.