EIFF 2012: Killer Joe


You may never eat fried chicken again after watching William Friedkin’s opening film of the 2012 Edinburgh International Film Festival. The tone of the film is set straight away as we open on a disgusting looking trailer park in the pouring rain, a desperate and angry man hammers on a trailer to eventually be met by Gina Gershon naked from the waist down. This is a darkly funny film that can be shocking in parts, sad in others and everything feels dirty. Starring a strong ensemble cast with Matthew McConaughey at the centre in a creepy and sometimes scary performance. McConaughey is better than he has ever been as Joe with the rest of the cast also putting in stellar performances; Juno Temple plays the perfect balance of unstable and innocent, Thomas Haden Church and Emile Hirsch are a brilliant double act as dense father and son and Gina Gershon plays a wicked step mother. The plot of the film is a sort of bleak fairy tale about a hateful family trying to solve their money issues. Chris (Hirsch) needs money fast and so goes to his father with a plan to murder Chris’s mother and collect her insurance money. This is where Joe comes in; being a cop who kills people on the side. The one catch is that Joe wants his money up front or a retainer and unfortunately Chris’s sister Dottie (Temple) is Joe’s desired retainer. This film is worth watching for the acting alone, but see Killer Joe for trashy fun, a grotesque family drama that is extremely difficult to watch in parts but trashy fun none the less. Just

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don’t plan to eat at KFC afterwards.

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