Killer Joe (SIFF 2012)

What do you do when you’re in deep with your dealer and can’t see a way out? Why, hire a police detective-cum-professional hitman to kill your mother and collect on her life insurance policy, of course. But then what happens when you can’t pay your hitman? Well, if your hitman is Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey), you’re usually dead before you can wonder about that answer. But for Chris (Emile Hirsch), using his sister Dottie (Juno Temple) as a “retainer” seems to be a way to buy some time until the insurance money comes in. But what happens when even those plans falter? So goes the ride that is Killer Joe.

The cinematography and shot direction in this film are beautiful and scenes play out with a deliberate slowness, allowing McConaughey’s calculated movements to heighten the aura of suspense. Character development is surprisingly thorough for these folks living on the wrong side of the tracks, and you can begin to predict the downfall of each as it plays out on screen. Killer Joe was definitely an intriguing film, though the weak-stomached may find themselves averse to fried chicken after the credits roll.

Provided Film Synopsis
Oscar®-winning director William Friedkin’s second collaboration with Tony® Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts is an intoxicating thriller about a desperate young man looking to escape his drug debts and the sinister hit man he hires to execute an ill-conceived insurance scam. Auto mechanic Ansel Smith (Thomas Haden Church) and his waitress wife Sharla (a sensually direct Gina Gershon) share their cramped Dallas household with Dottie (Juno Temple), Ansel’s daughter from a previous marriage. Ansel’s troubled, alcoholic ex-wife Adele and their son Chris (an appropriately doltish Emile Hirsch) live elsewhere, but their fiscal woes soon bleed into the lives of the Smith family, both literally and figuratively. Desperate to pay off a $6,000 drug debt, Chris decides to bump off Adele for her insurance. He hires murderous lawman Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), and when he’s unable to afford the fee, the swarthy, sinister Cooper offers to accept sexual access to the virginal Dottie as a “retainer.” Fortified by strong, balanced performances, driven by a brazen blend of gallows humor and noir-ish tone, this provocative black comedy ends proceedings with a highly satisfying bang.

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • William Friedkin
  • Cast Members:

    • Emile Hirsch
    • Gina Gershon
    • Juno Temple
    • Matthew McConaughey
    • Thomas Haden Church
  • Countries:

    • USA
  • Languages:

    • English
  • Genres:

    • Black Comedy
    • Crime/Mystery
    • Cult
    • Erotic