Average criticWIRE grade: C+
Michael Winterbottom’s new movie “The Killer Inside Me” tells the story of a 1950’s Texan sheriff deputy, played by Casey Affleck, who succumbs to the criminal urges within him, and creates a storm of sex crimes and homicides that leave a bloody path in his wake.
Critics for The New York Times, Tribeca Review, and Variety generally agree that, while the film attempts to make something gut-wrenching out of its gruesomeness, the results are closer to gratuity. A.O. Scott says in his Times review “the violence is no more actual -or less stylized- than anything else in the movie,” and accuses the director of being “primarily concerned with what he can get away with”. Todd McCarthy writes for Variety that the film “should but doesn’t get under your skin and give you the creeps.” IndieWIRE’s own Eric Kohn provides the dissenting opinion, and argues that while some of the film falls flat, a few especially horrific moments embody the pithy note that the movie strives. He describes one such instance with the phrase “cinematic bittersweetness rarely offered such a subversive kick”.