“The Killer Inside Me” is a film that you’ve never heard of even though it seems like you should have. In spite of the popularity of its lead actors and gritty modern approach, critics and audience members found it difficult to watch due to its utterly disrespectful attitude toward women. I understand that it is staying true to its source material; however, director Michael Winterbottom made sure to show every detail instead of including the occasional cutaway to spare us a bit of disgust. Imagine “Pulp Fiction,” only the graphic scenes are fewer and far between but thrice the length. It didn't take long to realize that I should fast forward the explicit sexual content and graphic violence, but I didn't expect that I would skip 1/3 of the movie as a result! The entire story is predicated on an extreme level of violence toward women that is not socially accepted, and that is why this film is generally unknown. The strange thing is that, amidst these gut-wrenching depictions, a gripping story develops. Casey Affleck masterfully taps into a dark place to play the dual roles of nice guy and quiet psychopath. The rest of the acting was average with the exception of the moments when Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson endure their realistic beatings. These scenes are so believable that people had to wait in the lobby and come back in afterwards. One of the most interesting decisions by the director is to succeed the violence with unsettlingly upbeat music, giving us a window into the irrational mind of Affleck. In spite of its fascinating storyline and character study, I cannot recommend “The Killer Inside Me.” You must either skip 1/3 of the film to avoid the objectionable content or feel like a horrible person as you watch a man treat these women like animals. Either option will leave you sitting in silence as you contemplate the film’s realism. The imagery is powerful but goes beyond what we ever needed to see.
[Pictured: Affleck's powerful performance is clouded by shock-value imagery]