Killer Joe is a roller-coaster of a movie. At first it seems like a dark comedy, then a crime drama plot starts to uncover, and by the end it becomes downright terrifying. I'm a sucker for these kinds of movies and Killer Joe absolutely nails everything it goes for. This kind of story couldn't be pulled off without the right director. Thankfully William Friedkin knocks it out of the park. You can smell the white trash emanating from the screen. Every detail of every action is given the right amount of attention; every shot has purpose. Not one second is gone to waste. And in order for a story like this to truly resonate you'd need competent actors, and I don't think you could find a more perfect cast for Killer Joe if you tried. McConaughey is absolutely mesmerizing as this badass detective who's a hit-man on the side. The story revolves around a trailer trash family and their plan to exploit an insurance policy on the husband's ex-wife because the son got wrapped up in a bad drug deal, so they hire Killer Joe to do the job. Little do they know, Killer Joe does not f*ck around.
It's a graphic movie but it's not gratuitous. There's a reason for everything that is shown. And the narrative slowly builds to an explosive climax that leaves you flabbergasted. Seriously, the final scene in this movie which is about 10 minutes long, is absolutely phenomenal. Shocking, riveting, unsettling. Matthew McConaughey is downright villainous in this role. It's hard to call him a "villain" because he's straightforward in his motivations, much like it's hard to call the family the "heroes" because they're a bunch of moronic assholes, except the daughter who just doesn't know any better. The line between good and evil is blurred to the point of nonexistence, with Joe epitomizing this duality being the half detective half gun-for-hire hard-ass that he is. It's quite poetic, really. The characters in this movie are scum, and they all get what's coming to them.
Killer Joe is a lot of things, but one thing it's not is scatterbrained. It's entirely focused and cohesive. All the genres it glosses over fit right into this depraved story arc, and it grips you to the screen from beginning to end. This movie certainly isn't for everyone, but if you can stomach Killer Joe, you won't soon forget it.