Movie review – Killer Joe, The disturbing Texas underbelly

2013-07-07 14:00

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Film: Killer Joe (Nu Metro)

Director: William Friedkin

Featuring: Matthew McConaughey, Emilie Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon and Juno Temple

Rating: 6/10

It’s not that Killer Joe isn’t a well-made, well-directed and well-acted film; it’s that you’ll need a long, hot shower with industrial-strength soap after the movie to get rid of the stench of these characters.

Based on Tracy Letts’ play of the same name, it is perhaps the most violent, unrelenting cautionary tale about being bad, doing bad things and coming to a very, very sticky end.

Also, the nudity is ugly, the people are uglier and perhaps the most scarring thing of all is you will never ever be able to eat fried chicken again.

Matthew McConaughey – always handsome but also always as wooden as my dining room table – is odiously good as the dangerously creepy cop-slash-assassin Joe.

Chris (Emilie Hirsch), a snivelling, cowardly drug pedlar, hires Joe to kill his nasty mother for her life insurance after she steals his stash of cocaine and puts him in life-threatening debt.

This is all planned with the buy-in of his dad, Ansel (Thomas Haden Church), and his stepmother, Sharla (Gina Gershon) – both hoping for their cut.

With no money upfront to give to the ruthless Joe, the family offer up Dottie (Juno Temple), Chris’ sister, as collateral.

Dottie’s a little slow (on account of her mother trying to smother her as a child), but she’s the only one in the family with even a spark of humanity and even that spark is constantly in danger of spluttering out.

Directed by William Friedkin, the man who made the original Exorcist movie and won an Oscar for The French Connection, Killer Joe is good – it’s just not very nice and I wouldn’t risk it unless you have a strong stomach for the slimy underbelly of our kind.

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