Killer Joe Reviews
Throws down a dare by expecting its audience to be the cool connoisseurs of the story's "comic" outrageousness, then rubbing viewers' faces in close-up scenes of brutality that reasonable people ought not to be able to watch.
Friedkin, a son of Chicago's working-class South Side who has swerved back and forth over the thin blue line of order and chaos throughout his career, is a fine fit to the material.
That everything should go wrong is no surprise, but the wrong turns are taken so viciously -- Gershon, in particular, is appallingly treated, in closeup -- that they lead the film, adapted from the play by Tracy Letts, to the brink of abusive farce.
The film harks back to the low-budget chamber pieces of Friedkin's early career, and he creates a perfect storm of montage and character interplay within a confined space, which culminates in a disturbing loss of humanity.