The Killer Inside Me (Blu-ray Review)

There were two main reasons why I wanted to see, own and ultimately review The Killer Inside Me on Blu-ray.  Anyone that knows me can probably guess the first reason with little to no effort on his or her part, Jessica Alba.  Yep, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, the lovely Jessica Alba graces us with her beautiful presence, her sultry poise and her pouty lips.  And much like the IFC Film before it, The Human Centipede, this feature garnered and generated a lot of controversy over its depiction of onscreen graphic violence. We’ll talk a little more about that very soon, but in essence, there’s really nothing more satisfying than tackling a film that is controversial in this day and age, and as an added bonus, stars a little slice of heaven, Jessica Alba.  So now that the stage is set, your pallet is whet and my proverbial candles are burning, it’s time to talk shop, IFC’s The Killer Inside of Me on Blu-ray.  Let’s get started.


I just found this out, shows you how much I know about movies, that The Killer Inside of Me is an adaptation of the 1952 novel of the same name by Jim Thompson.  There’s also a bit of history in regards to the production of this film.  It seems that over the years, numerous filmmakers have attempted to adapt this novel to the big screen and big names were attached to these screenplays such as Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Tom Cruise, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman, Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis, but as you can guess, nothing ever materialized.  Heck, at one point, even Quentin Taratino was attached to adapting this screenplay, but due to the film’s graphic violence, it was scrapped as a result to be sensitive to the American public circa post September 11, 2001.  So now, let’s fast-forward almost ten years.

The Michael Winterbottom directed feature stars Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty and Bill Pullman.  It premiered at Sundance this year and later saw a limited theatrical engagement and Video On Demand (VOD) release (that’s how I caught it originally) in June.  And supposedly, I did not know this either; the movie was released as a Blockbuster Exclusive DVD and Blu-ray rental this past August.  Geez, I wish I would have known about that one instead of suffering through the horrible quality and stereo sound of the VOD release.  But I guess it’s all water under the bridge as they say because now I’m the proud owner of the film on Blu-ray and I get to write all about it and you have to read every word I type.

This is the hard part.  How do I effectively describe the basic premise and/or plot of this very eccentric, but rather dark, brooding and slow moving drama?  Well for starters, there’s this Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford guy (Affleck) who basically has everyone fooled.  The town folk think of him as the nicest and most thoughtful guy.  They really couldn’t be anymore wrong.  He may come across a bit drab, but no one in their right mind would ever suspect him of being a killer.  But that’s simply because no one knows the real Lou and the “sickness” he suffers from.  Yes I said sickness.  The guy is a complete sociopath, to say the least.  Simply put, he’s a Texas lawman with a dark, deep and shocking secret.

“You ask an unpleasant question bud, you might get an unpleasant answer.”

So when Lou’s boss instructs him to visit a prostitute’s residence (Alba), a hooker he is already secretly involved with, to deliver an ultimatum that she must leave town, that’s when the proverbial “sh!t hits the fan, literally.  Joyce’s (Alba) reaction to Lou’s request leads to a whole bunch of face slapping and then to some wild kinky sex.  I know.  How did we get there?  It’s quite a show folks…quite a show indeed.  The sex is both violent and rough, but apparently, that’s the way Lou and Joyce likes it.  Who are we to argue?  Well things get a little complicated, to say the least, when Joyce and Lou formulate a plan to not only leave town, but secure a little money in the process.  And oh yeah, did I forget to mention that Lou also has a serious girlfriend/sort of fiancée on the side, Amy Stanton (Kate Hudson)?  The wicked web one weaves when being deceptive, huh?  Well anyway, let’s just say that things get really complicated when Lou alters plans, beats poor Jessica Alba (sorry I mean Joyce) to a bloody pulp and goes on a wild killing spree all the while trying to cover up his tracks and any unfortunate mistakes made along the way.  Certain people, I won’t say who, start to wise up and suspect Lou of foul play.  But it can’t be sweet and innocent looking Lou, can it?  The hunt is on!

“A weed is a plant out of place.”

Before moving on, I feel it is my civic duty to discuss and address the controversial nature of this film and the extreme onscreen graphic violence portrayed within.  Was it all necessary?  Probably not.  We could have gotten away with implied moments and cut shots, but was it realistic?  Absolutely.  I have to admit, seeing Jessica Alba’s face used as a punching bag was a little unnerving even for a horror fan like myself.  Alright, forget I said Jessica Alba for a minute.  Seeing anyone’s face used like a punching bag as it was in this film would be disturbing to me.  These are roles you would never expect to see Jessica and Kate in.  That’s what makes this movie so good.  It is daring, bold, different and not afraid to push the envelope.  It’s definitely not going to appeal to everyone, but this isn’t the popular summer hit Inception ladies and gentlemen, hence the title The Killer Inside Me.  It’s a little bit country and a whole lot of rock’n’roll.  It’s like the nitty gritty of No Country For Old Men meets the hot summer drama of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, minus Ashley Judd (but Ned Beatty is still in it).  Got it?  Get it?  Good!  Okay, now that I have got that off my chest it’s time to move on to the Blu-ray vitals.   Race you to it!


I was very surprised by how good The Killer Inside Me looks on Blu-ray.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with this being my first IFC Films disc I’m reviewing on the glorious Blu-ray format.  All I had to go by was the dreadful looking VOD presentation I saw of this back in June.  So to see it (and Jessica Alba) look this good was really a pleasant surprise.  IFC brought the soon-to-be cult classic to the Blu-ray format with an AVC MPEG-4 video encode transfer and a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation.  The beautifully framed transfer managed to catch every imperfection in the skin of Alba, but I didn’t mind it one bit.  It makes her look more human rather than those airbrushed magazine covers she graces.  I saw freckles on her where I have never seen them before.  That’s how I know this Blu-ray presentation was worthwhile of my attention (insert smiley face).  However, that’s not to say everything about the video was grand, but I’m just stating the obvious first.  I mean that’s why we are all watching this, for Jessica Alba, right?  I’m just kidding.

So anyway, should I start with the good or the not so good?  Ah heck, let’s get the not so good over with.  Black levels are definitely by far not the deepest I have ever seen on a Blu-ray, but I think it goes hand-in-hand with how the overall presentation really looks.  And what I am really talking about here is artist intent.  There’s no doubt from the very first glance of the desert landscape within the film that you are looking at a period piece.  If the old cars did not give that away, then maybe the dull, drab and somewhat washed out tone of the picture did.  But that’s okay.  I’m perfectly okay with this.  Despite the somewhat flat appearances of the footage, the artist’s intent here really does its job effectively in making you feel like you are in the middle of a period piece and I like that.  I like it a lot.

Despite the wish washy appearance of the footage at times, I don’t believe it could ever look better than it does here.  The skin tones all appear normal and there is never any obtrusive grain getting in the way.  That’s another big plus, in my opinion.  Also, the roads and desert plant life look breathtakingly beautiful, sharp and detailed in the wide landscape shots.  Perfectly captured also is the fine texture in the hats and clothing during closeups.  And last but not least, for the pore whores, there’s some of that too!  So overall, if you are looking for a faithful old-fashioned presentation of the film, as it was intended to be seen, look no further than this Blu-ray release.  It’s The Killer Inside of Me at its absolute best.


IFC rounds out the Blu-ray A/V presentation with a solid, although not aggressive, 5.1 DTS Master Audio surround track, not the Dolby Digital 5.1 that’s mistakenly listed on the back of the cover art for some strange reason.  That was definitely a huge sigh of relief when I uncovered this.  This is not your bang bang shoot ’em up big budget action movie so grading this one is pretty easy.  I hate this expression, but “it is what it is.”  The surround track is pretty straightforward and simple.  Rears are always active throughout, but no real explosive subwoofer attacks are anywhere to be found.  But remember, that’s okay.  It’s not supposed to be high octane.  Dialog is always loud, clear and intelligible.  There’s always a rustle in the bushes behind you, a train whistling in the background and what was the most impressive moment was a loud beeping car horn that came from the rear and scared the bejesus out of me.  Ha ha.  At least I am man enough to admit it.

Special Features  

If The Killer Inside of Me lacks in any area, it’s in the Special Features department.  That’s not a deal breaker for me, but for some Blu-ray purists who love any and all extras, they may be a tad disappointed.  Alright, they will be very disappointed.  But ask yourself the following.  What’s more important, the movie or the special features?  I hope you all said the movie.  Anyway, the choices below are less than optimal, but I was very happy to see a Jessica Alba only featurette (insert smiley face).  So I’ll stop wasting your time and just tell you already what all you can find.  Okay, I’ll get right to the point.  There are only four special features to be found, but anywho…here we go…

The following three featurettes all play the same generic EPK-like monologue trailer, but interjects interviews with the stars showcased with each.  Jessica talks about how the 1950’s were, Kate talks about how much she enjoyed the script and Casey also talks about the script and how this was such an interesting part for him to take.  Sadly, all three featurettes, even the Alba one (insert unhappy face), are in Standard Definition.

  • Making of with Casey Affleck (SD, 2:49)
  • Making of with Jessica Alba (SD, 2:44)
  • Making of with Kate Hudson (SD, 2:55)

Just when you thought the Special Features package was a total loss, God bless High Definition.  I am happy to report the film’s full theatrical trailer (2:33) is presented in glorious HD.  Kudos for this, at least!

Above is a screenshot of the disc’s main menu when spinning in your Blu-ray player of choice.

Final Thoughts  

So there you have it.  Everything you have ever possibly wanted to know about IFC’s The Killer Inside of Me can be found above.  So what do you think?  You ready to take the dive with a Blu-ray purchase or are you skeptical about it?  Truth be told, it’s a very unique film and possibly an acquired taste for many, but I seemingly enjoyed it as I watched it now for the third time.  Putting aside my personal interests in Alba, I found the film to be very edgy, risk taking and “weird,” just the way I like it.  Many people will probably be turned off by the aggressive brutality and stone cold nature of Casey Affleck’s character, but that’s what gives this film its charm (LOL) and gritty realism.  If you are teetering on the edge of buying this, but you just can’t conclusively make up your mind, then I would at least recommend giving this a spin via your local Blockbuster, Netflix streaming account or whatever rental access you may have.  But heed my warning.  If you want the absolute BEST presentation of The Killer Inside Me, then you are going to want to pick this one up on Blu-ray, no doubt.


Bring home The Killer Inside of Me today!


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

11 Responses to “The Killer Inside Me (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    I hear Jessica Alba is in this.

  2. Brian White

    You don’t say 🙂

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    I’m a fan of Michael Winterbottom and this is in my queue, but didn’t hear great things about this one. I like Casey, but the Alba/Hudson combo…at least there’s something to look at.

  4. Sean Ferguson

    I have no interest in this. But, if I had to pick between this and the human centipede movie I guess I would pick this.

  5. Aaron Neuwirth

    Oh god yes.

  6. Brian White

    Have you ever seen THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE Aaron? It’s rather quite good. It’s definitely a great new entry into the horror genre, but more about that later 🙂

  7. Aaron Neuwirth

    The Human Centipede is literally the only horror movie that makes me literally sick just thinking about the premise.

  8. Brian White

    That’s the point though. You have to see it. It’s fantastic! Most of the gross stuff is implied and not shown. Trust me. It’s worth a view before part 2 comes out next year. 🙂

  9. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, and just the implication makes me physically ill, thinking about it as I’m typing. I’m all for horror, but I don’t want to vomit. I’ll say this – I can credit the film for already getting to me without having seen it.

  10. Sandy

    i thought this page was for comments about The Killer Inside Me – NOT Centipede. With all the stars in this movie, why did it not get a big release? I’ll definitely check it out.

  11. Brian White

    @Sandy…I think we got on the topic of CENTIPEDE because it is also distributed by IFC Films. KILLER INSIDE ME briefly came to the Cedar Lee by us. It did not see a broader release because it is an independent film, and a very controversial one because of the violence shown within.