The Killer Inside Me (2010)
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Writers: John Curran, Jim Thompson
Stars: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson
Reviewed By: Adam Griffith
Viewing Method: Streaming on Netflix
Wow I was not expecting that at all. Right out of the gate let’s make it clear that this film is pretty hard-core and not for the faint of heart. This film is gonna punch you right in the gut and a lot of viewers are going to be turned off by the content. It’s important to remember that this is a film adaptation of bad-ass pulp writer Jim Thompson. Lets just say author Thompson is not know for his subtlety or flowery literary prose. A few of his other works have been turned into films. If you enjoyed The Getaway and The Grifters you might get an idea of the subject matter that this film is dealing with.
Our hero is Lou Ford (Affleck), a small town back-water Texas sheriff’s deputy. Lou is a quiet and reserved man who has a positive reputation in town as a gentleman. He is engaged to a local school teacher Amy Stanton (Kate Hudson). His free time is spent listening to classical music, playing piano and reading from his father’s extensive library of classic literature. Lou is the type of guy that is more than willing to help you out in pinch or do you a favor and keep his mouth shut about it.
Lou is instructed by his boss Sheriff Maples (Tom Bower) to go and check up on a woman, who has moved to the outskirts of town and allegedly opened up a house of ill repute. It seems the holy rollers in town and the towns most prominent citizen Chester Conway (Ned Beatty) are upset about having someone practice the worlds oldest profession. In fact Conway is upset that his son Elmer has become infatuated with this woman. A duty bound Lou drives out to assess the situation.
When Lou arrives he is initially mistaken for customer by Joyce (Jessica Alba). When Lou informers her that she needs to get out-of-town by sundown and not come back, she erupts into a violent rage, punching Lou repeatedly. When Lou retaliates with his belt on Joyce’s ass it seems pretty shocking and out of character. However, when Joyce turns out to be into that sort of thing the two end up in bed together doing the horizontal cha-cha. Lou and Joyce are soon hooked on each other and carrying on a torrid affair. Don’t judge the love as I am fond of saying.
Lou’s fascination with Joyce soon begins to cause suspicions to arise with Amy. She senses that something is amiss with Lou. Through a series of flashbacks and daydreams it is shown that all is not as it appears with Lou. Despite his calm demeanor and upstanding citizen status in town Lou has some serious issues and axes to grind. It is slowly revealed that Lou is in fact a sociopath completely devoid of empathy. Then the fun really starts. Affleck continues to portray Lou as a stoic figure despite his world swirling out of control around him.
This is certainly not the type of film that is going to be everyone’s cup of tea. There are some fairly rough scenes depicting sadomasochism, whippings, choking with belts, slapping around and other stuff that is going to get some folks in a tizzy. Strangely, despite all the sex there is not much in the way of actually nudity. Instead we get an awful lot of conveniently placed blankets and sex with brassiere’s left on. The lack of nudity sort of left me scratching my head considering the subject matter, R rating and violence. O yes the violence, it is real brutal and not for the faint of heart. I must confess it caught me off-guard and I had some difficulty watching some of the scenes. While some may complain that we never really get to see what is going on inside Lou’s head, that is sort of the point of the film.
While I cannot with a good conscious recommend this film to everyone. If you are the sort of film buff that enjoys a film noir, pulpy, psychological thriller you may want to give this film a watch. That is of course if you can handle the sadomasochism, brutal depictions of violence against women and the look inside of what makes a sociopath tick. I am giving this film two belt lashes to Jessica Alba’s fine derriere.