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The Killer Inside Me

Year: 2010
Production Co: Muse Productions
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writer: John Curran
Cast: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Bosworth, Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, Simon Baker, Bill Pullman

Unlike the films of Tim Burton, James Cameron and many others, Michael Winterbottom is one of the most interesting directors working because every film he does is completely different from the ground up. Watch Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, 9 Songs and A Mighty Heart and you'd have no idea they're from the same filmmaker. He works across genres and across styles and visually nails them all.

He does the same here creating a small Texas town in the 1950s and the seemingly straight-laced young lawman Lou (Affleck) who patrols it. Though engaged to a wonderful girl in town (Bosworth), Lou embarks on an affair with a hooker who lives out in the desert (Alba), with whom he acts out some very freaky fetishes thanks to the influence of his mother (which we see in flashbacks).

There's a blackmail plot going in involving the hooker, a childhood friend of Lou's and his friend's father (Beatty), who's a local bigwig, but I found it too hard to follow. I'm sorry I couldn't pick it up either, because it all seemed to be informing the characterisation. With Affleck's lilting voice and understated approach to the role I spent most of the time trying to work out if it was a story about a smart guy with a plan and a very mean streak or an Ed Gein-style psychopath.

Affleck is terrific as always and while two notorious scenes are getting all the attention and critical comment, there's more here – it's just a little hard to make out.

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