The Killer Inside Me (US-UK-Sweden, 2010)

It can't get much more noir

A faithful adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel, well shot with great performances; what’s not to like? I’m not sure but I didn’t like the film though it should be seen. To an extent I guess it’s ennui, having seen so many noir, however this movie does raise the stakes with its representation of violence.

Noir is always violent but Winterbottom shoots the beatings so we can’t avoid seeing the consequences. It is violence against women but only someone in need of treatment could enjoy watching Casey Affleck’s Lou beating the shit (almost literally) out of Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson. It’s right that representations of violence be disturbing.

I’ve never warmed to Thompson as a novelist and I suspect that’s my problem with the film. The narrative wanders somewhat but I guess that’s me wanting something the film wasn’t offering.

It’s good to see actors such as Alba and Hudson putting themselves in such edgy material; Affleck is ideal as the edgy ‘nice guy on the surface’ – ‘evil bastard underneath’. And Winterbottom proves he’s one of the most interesting British directors… again.

Bechdel test: Fail.

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