Based on the novel by legendary pulp writer Jim Thompson, Michael Winterbottom’s THE KILLER INSIDE ME tells the story of handsome, charming, unassuming small town sheriff’s deputy Lou Ford.
Lou has a bunch of problems. Woman problems. Law enforcement problems. An ever-growing pile of murder victims in his West Texas jurisdiction. And the fact he’s a sadist, a psychopath, a killer. Suspicion begins to fall on Lou, and it’s only a matter of time before he runs out of alibis. But in Thompson’s savage, bleak, blacker than noir universe nothing is ever what it seems, and it turns out that the investigators pursuing him might have a secret of their own.
The Film Killer inside me is a good example of Film Noir. While successfully both boring the hell out of you and making you sick to the stomach with the grotesque scenes of violence it produces shock and awe to the viewer with dramatic shifts from calm serenity to outright evil.
Casey Afflecks’ portrayal of Lou ford, the disturbed West Texas Sheriff, is diabolically impressive and as a performance, is nothing short of outstanding. Jessica Alba portrays the naive, albeit troubled prostitute Joyce Lakeland, with the cast rounded out by Kate Hudson, Simon Baker and Ned Beatty.
I had to not consider this film for the last day after seeing it. Personally I felt the directors portrayal of the violent scenes was too good, to the point where I had to remind myself it was only a film and I developed a deep sense of hatred for what i was watching.
I have read elsewhere that the sheer level of violence in Killer Inside Me is noticeable moreso due to its infrequency but I must say the director, Michael Winterbottom, done too much of a good job with these scenes, portraying a reality many would rather not see in such rawness. The level and sustained nature of violence is not in my view integral to the storyline and it left me with nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth (which perhaps indicates the desired result).
Any woman who has ever suffered domestic violence I implore you not to watch this film. Whilst the portrayal of the female characters as weak willed punching bags I found disturbing it is, in context, relevant to a film based on a 1952 novel.
I have seen endless horrors or thrillers or films based on sociopaths; but never have I left feeling nauseous and bitter like I did after watching this.
Not for the faint hearted, a questionable use of violence, puncuated by thirty minutes of useless dialogue that makes one feel like they are reading the novel.
Despite these somewhat dire words Im giving The Killer Inside Me 2.5 out of five as it is still, a gripping portrayal of the mind of a psychopath.