William Friedkin is an incredibly talented director who made his first big stand out movie for me in The Exorcist. Since then he has piled up a slew of fantastic films over his lengthy career the latest of which is KILLER JOE starring Matthew McConaughey.
Killer Joe is the Antichrist of psychological thrillers with a story that is creepy, tragic while being grounded enough in reality to be plausible. Making it even creepier!
When 22 year-old drug dealer Chris ( played by Emile Hirsch) has his stash of drugs stolen from him by his mother, he has to come up with six-thousand dollars quick, or he’s dead.
Desperate Chris goes to the trailer-park to see his father, Ansel (Hayden Church who delivers his typical bad ass performance), and he lays out the plan. Chris’s mother, who everyone hates, has a life insurance policy that would clear up his debt and make them all rich, at least rich in trailer park terms.
The problem is that Chris’ mother is very much alive. Enter Detective “Killer” Joe Cooper, a hired hit man with a penchant for violence and sadism.
I have never been a huge fan of Matthew McConaughey’s and think that his film Magic Mike says alot about his career focus. Its all about the ladies. That said I have to say KILLER JOE is easily one of his best performances and he transitions perfectly into the role of psychopathic killer for hire.
William Friedkin has managed to turn in a movie that is truly unique and adds an interesting twist to the psychological thriller genre. Every single actor in the film is outstanding delivering some of their best performances especially Church, Juno Temple and Hirsch as a hillbilly family who get in way over there heads with Killer Joe.
This is the farthest thing from The Exorcist and its a big stretch to call it a horror movie but I think that horror fans who loved movies like Frailty, Surveillance and American Psycho will love Killer Joe.
It has questionable rewatch value but it definitely is a movie that genre fans should see at least once and I for one would really enjoy a sequel.
If anything William Friedkin’s KILLER JOE will make you never look at KFC the same way again.