- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: MPI Home Video
- Blu-ray Release Date: September 28, 2010
- List Price: $29.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
This 2010 film, directed by Michael Winterbottom (9 Songs; A Mighty Heart) made the film festival rounds at Sundance and others and caused a bit of a stir due to its violent content. Based on the 1952 novel, The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson, this outing is actually the second go-round for this story on film. There was a 1976 version that starred Stacy Keach in the lead role. There had been previous attempts to interpret Thompson’s novel, including one with Marilyn Monroe, and subsequent attempts after Stacy Keach, one headed by Quentin Tarantino, which was subsequently scrapped.
The story, a psychological thriller about small town Texas deputy sheriff-cum-serial killer Lou Ford (played here by Casey Affleck) should be a taxing, emotionally draining one, but Winterbottom’s stylishly distant style leaves theses characters with all surface and no depth. As the story begins, we learn that Ford is a pillar of his community and he has been asked to run prostitute Joyce Lakeland (Jessica Alba) out of town. But Lou’s violent, misogynistic, sexual tendencies and a past concerning his stepbrother being killed by the townspeople get him into trouble. He gets involved with the prostitute he’s supposed to pay off, kills her, and kills his friend, setting it up to look like a lovers’ spat.
The film then tracks his cover up, the investigator on the case (Simon Baker, The Mentalist) and gives glimpses into the violent, sexually troubled past of a killer that is supposed to add depth of character; none of this works. The Killer Inside Me is intriguing, to be certain. It looks beautiful and it shocks with its unapologetic violence, but it never gets beyond the mere surface of why Lou Ford is who or what he is other than some pop-psychology. It’s also to be noted that Kate Hudson as Lou’s secretly abused (and she likes it, apparently) girlfriend is tragically underused and misused as a talent.
This film’s dull, soft production is not going to amaze with its picture quality and the 2.35:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encoding often looks flat and out of focus, but it still retains a film-like quality unhindered by compression artifacts. Black levels are more toward the grayish side, however, and colors are a bit suppressed.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is hardly different from the LPCM 2.0 stereo mix that is also available on this release. The surround channels are practically silent throughout, with only the extremely rare use for some discrete sound effects, which makes them sound out of place. It does provide clean dialogue and a wide stereo soundfield.
The supplements for The Killer Inside Me come wrapped in the guise of three “making of” featurettes that are really no more than very brief, IFC Films promos, in addition to the original theatrical trailer:
- Making of with Casey Affleck (1.33:1; 480l/60; 0:02.49)
- Making of with Jessica Alba (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.44)
- Making of with Kate Hudson (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.55)
- Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
The Killer Inside Me could have been so much better than this. There is potential dripping from this beautifully shot and well-acted film, but the depth is never attained and its resolution feels ham-fisted and rushed. Still, if you’d like to see what all the fuss is about, this Blu-ray release from MPI will serve it up quite nicely.
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