You may say that I don’t have to be confused, but for this movie, I assert and say – I have every right to be confused, or as my name suggest – every right to be confusciouss.
I have no idea whether Killer Joe is a funny, or dark, or disturbing, or just a terrible movie. What I do know is that I love… wait a sec, I’ll get to that bit later.
Directed by William Fredrick (director of The Exorcist), it stars Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church, and Matthew McCaughey.
The plot is simple – Chris Smith is in trouble and if he doesn’t cough up money – he’s dead. So he cooks up a scheme and gets his father, his father’s wife/Chris’s step-mom, and his disturbed/not right/mentally challenged sister, Dottie in on it. The scheme is this – kill off his real mother/father’s ex-wife, get her insurance money, and get rich. The only problem is that they have never killed anyone – so they hire Killer Joe Copper, a cop and a contract killer (a two in one combo!). And that’s when shit starts going bad.
The Humour/Dark Humour
Idiots, idiots, idiots.
I’m not confused about this – the Smith family is a bunch of idiots. In that idiocy – there is humour. This is thanks to the script and wonderful acting from Thomas Haden Church (the father).
Oh, and you will feel pity for the dark hole that the Smith family digs for themselves and the bed that they have to lie in. It’s stupid stupid, stupid, you will hate them for their idiocy.
In Comes Killer Joe/And the Horror
Have you ever seen Matthew McCaughey play the villain? You will now. And he plays it with haunting terror. Killer Joe is a classy and an efficient character and Matthew McCaughey ensures that Killer Joe reeks of it.
Killer Joe is a terrible man and… he… crap… no spoilers, but there are two scenes in the film that sent shivers down my spine– one is in the middle (hint: ******ism) and the other one is… at the end. And, Matthew McCaughey, he has made Killer Joe to be hated by the very depth of my heart.
Chris and Dottie Smith
Special mention to these two characters – Chris, played by Emile Hirsch and Dottie, played by Juno Temple. I’ve always like Emile Hirsch (lead role in Speed Racer and Into the Wild), and my respect for him has increased. The depth that Chris has is immense and so human.
Playing a disturbed/mentally ill/retarded character is difficult and Juno Temple kills it. It’s a beauty to see her interaction with Chris and Killer Joe. And, it’s freaking difficult to know/guess/know whether Dottie is stupid or, smart, or retarded – watch it and tell me if I’m wrong! What I love is how the character deviates between mature and childish – and you can’t really tell if she’s retarded.
This is a story of a stupid family, with a stupid idea, with stupid greed – but still – I suppose – a good family with a dog eat dog attitude (confused? – well watch the movie and find out what makes the Smiths fuck-up). And, Killer Joe is a horrifying product of their fuck-ups. In the end – the biggest confusion that you will have is a moral one – of who the hell is right – The Smiths or Killer Joe? Moral dilemmas are the bloody worst – watch, watch, watch and help me out. Who is wrong? Who is right? And why and how are the Smiths so fucked!?
PS: If you think this review has spoilers, think again and maybe you can help me figure out – do the Smiths deserve to get fucked? And how do they get screwed? Annnnd, do you really want to be badass Killer Joe?