Helena Howard gives one of the most electrifying performances I have seen all year. Her stunning turn in the film coupled with Josephine Decker's bold direction creates a mesmerizing and unforgettable work. What starts off as a film about the complexities of mental illness evolves into a stirring commentary on white appropriation of other people's experiences. Effortlessly blurring the lines between what is going on in Madeline's head and the reality of those around her, Decker effectively provides an emotionally resonating look at mental illness that never feels exploitative.
Trashy and surprising all at the same time. Feels more like a play at times than a film, but the performances are fantastic. Killer Joe is not a film that cannot easily be recommended to most people. However, those willing to take a risk are in for an experience they will not soon forget.