Chris (Emile Hirsch) is in a spot of trouble. He owes some money to the local drug baron, but can't quite afford the amount required to stop him being murdered. Thankfully, his mother has a life insurance policy that could get him out of this mess, and there's a man around town named Killer Joe (Matthew McConaughey) who can off someone with no questions asked. A deal is made, but Chris soon finds out that it's not too clear cut, and things don't always turn out rosy in murder and insurance fraud.
Killer Joe is a dark movie, and not just in terms of plot. It's physically very dark and murky to look at, in the few scenes with sunshine I felt slightly blinded. Still, the bleak visuals certainly match the tone of the film, with twisted characters and sadistically violent scenes. There's just a complete sense of anguish and foreboding that's present throughout the whole thing.
The performances are what make this though. McConaughey is great, drawling his way through his well crafted speeches, turning into a psychopath at appropriate intervals. It's a very different role from any I've seen him in before, he didn't even take off his shirt. Just kidding, of course he took off his shirt. Hirsch is also pretty good in the fact that he makes me want to punch his snivelling character in the face. By the end you kind of want everything to go right for Joe, because he's the coolest one of the bunch.
So yes, Killer Joe is a dark, violent movie with some really great characters, but it still feels a little empty. The plot isn't too complicated, and even at just over one and a half hours it still feels significantly padded. It really shows that it's based on a play, as while the dialogue is pretty good most of the time, it just goes on for too long. Still, I enjoyed the movie. It just didn't hold my attention at times when a lot of random conversing was going on. If you like your movies dark and dingy, this definitely fits the bill.
My rating: 4/5