Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Killer Inside Me

I’m quite sure that Stieg Larsson would not have liked Michael Winterbottoms first fully US-shot film The Killer Inside Me (2010) as Stieg was adamantly opposed to violence against women and Winterbottoms film has courted adverse publicity and a certain amount of outrage for that very reason. John Curran and Winterbottom faithfully adapt the movie from Jim Thompson’s 1952 novel with great period detail in the classic Hollywood noir tradition. The story, set in the curious small town world of Central City in the West Texas of the 1950’s, unfolds through the eyes of Lou Ford. Ford appears to be a clean cut, slow talking, polite and an understanding deputy sheriff but under the surface our lawman is a man menaced by a secret sickness with a taste for extreme violence and rough sex, the man is also a rapist and a killer.

Lover or killer?
The violence in this movie steers the film away from being an entertaining yarn into something very dark and disturbing. The aggression is primarily against women with one particular beating the worst single act of screen brutality I’ve seen since Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible (2002). Our own British Board of Film Classification, when giving the film a 18 certificate stated ‘Although several scenes are very strong and impactful with the potential to cause offence to some viewers, the scenes in question do not endorse or eroticise sexual assault or pose a credible harm risk to viewers of 18 and over’ The violent behaviour is certainly far from being titillating. You pay’s your money, you takes your choice.

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