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June 2, 2010

Trailer Trash Talking - Vol#6 by Kristen Grillo

The Killer Inside Me - June 18th 2010
Starring:  Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba

 Originally screened back at Sundance in January and more recently at the Tribeca Film Festival this past April, The Killer Inside Me has been causing quite the stir. The film, based on the 1952 novel by Jim Thompson, is about a small town sheriff who lives an alternate life as a psychopathic serial killer. The film, much like the novel, is graphic and pretty violent with one scene in particular that seems to be raising an eyebrow or two.

You basically don’t get any of this from watching the trailer. As a matter of fact, before the watching the preview I never heard of the book and didn’t have the slightest clue as to what this film was about. The impression that I got while watching the trailer had me thinking it was about a dude with some women problems. Just your old fashioned infidelity story about a guy who can’t stay faithful to his broad and perhaps the pressure makes him snap, sending him on a one time murderous rage. If it wasn’t for a quick google search and a Stanley Kubrick quote that is briefly displayed during the trailer, I honestly would have no idea that this film was about a serial killer. And a psychopathic one at that. To me, that drops a whole different impression. Guys that kill because they can’t handle pressure (like that sissy-mary Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Match Point) and actual serial killing psychos are two different things for me. The trailer unfortunately fails to make the latter a perceptible point to the viewer. Unless you’re someone who is privy to the book, you’ll most likely walk away shrugging your shoulders and forgetting about it instantly as you reach for your good morning breakfast bean burrito. With hot sauce, of course.

What actually is catching my attention is this whole controversy about the film being misogynistic & brutal towards women. The scene that I was referring to earlier is one that takes place between Affleck & Alba, where Affleck’s character goes all Hustle & Flow on Alba and “whoops that trick”, so badly that she is practically unrecognizable. Winterbottom, the film’s director, has apparently taken a lot of heat for having this scene in the film. From what I’ve read around so far though, the book is just as graphic (and more) and the film is pretty true to its original story. I couldn’t help but think about another recent film which took a nosedive with critics and viewers alike because its version was actually “too light” compared to the novel it was based upon. The film I’m referring to is Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, where a young 14 year old girl is raped and murdered. Around the time of its release, there was some unusual chatter about the film being less powerful due to Jackson’s decision to omit the graphic rape and death scene that takes place in the book. “How odd”, I thought. People actually wanted to see that? (... Whoa.)

So before I leave you, a serious question/thought here: Why do you think it’s tolerable for books to be written with such graphic content but a thick dose of controversy seems to be stirred up whenever a film contains an equal or exact amount of graphic content in it? Which do you think leaves more of an impression and why? And just in case you don’t give a hooter’s twat about this debate…..

KMG’s Anticipation Grade – The Killer Inside Me: C (for catatonic borefest)


  1. Oh, this is the first I'm hearing of this film. Looks pretty good to me...I'm a pretty big 'other' Affleck brother fan. I'm in!

  2. "C"??? This movie looks pretty damn good, I think. Elias Koteas! Ned Beatty! Bill Pullman! All good actors... and Casey Affleck's grown into a pretty good actor himself. Plus, Jessica Alba could all kinds of get it.
    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Another twistedly graphic book that was toned down for the movie was 'American Psycho'. When I heard they were making a movie of that, I couldn't see them reenacting some of those scenes from the book for the big screen. And they didn't. But it didn't take away from the movie.

  3. You're quite welcome TL. Keep in mind, I'm just grading the trailer. This ain't no movie review. Granted the movie could be really great but the trailer left me bored. You can throw as many good people in there as you want to. My appetite was left empty. I'll go see it for sure though.

    I agree with you about American Psycho. I think that was the only film where I read the book and still equally liked the movie. Individually, they are both favorites of mine.