The Killer Inside Me

June 8th, 2010


The Killer Inside Me

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Still of Casey Affleck in The Killer Inside MeStill of Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson in The Killer Inside MeJessica Alba and Kate Hudson at event of The Killer Inside MeStill of Jessica Alba in The Killer Inside MeStill of Jessica Alba in The Killer Inside MeCasey Affleck at event of The Killer Inside Me

A West Texas deputy sheriff is slowly unmasked as a psychotic killer.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6.2/10 (15,626 voted)

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Stars: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba

Sadism and masochism beneath a veneer of revenge. Lou Ford is a mild-mannered sheriff's deputy in a Texas oil town in the mid 1950's. His boss sends him to roust a prostitute living in a rural house. She slaps him; he hits her, then, after daily sex for the next few weeks, he decides it's love. She's devoted to him and becomes his pawn in a revenge plot she thinks is to shakedown the son of Chester Conway, the town's wealthy king of construction. Lou has a different plan, and bodies pile up as murder leads to murder. The district attorney suspects Lou, and Conway may have an inkling, but Lou stays cool. Is love, or at least peace, in the cards?

Writers: John Curran, Jim Thompson

Casey Affleck - Lou Ford
Kate Hudson - Amy Stanton
Jessica Alba - Joyce Lakeland
Ned Beatty - Chester Conway
Elias Koteas - Joe Rothman
Tom Bower - Sheriff Bob Maples
Simon Baker - Howard Hendricks
Bill Pullman - Billy Boy Walker
Brent Briscoe - Bum / Stranger
Matthew Maher - Deputy Jeff Plummer
Liam Aiken - Johnnie Pappas
Jay R. Ferguson - Elmer Conway
Ali Nazary - Max Pappas
Blake Lindsley - Waitress
Zach Josse - Lou - 13 (as Zachary Josse)


Official Website: Official Facebook | Official site |

Release Date: 8 June 2010

Filming Locations: Cattlemen's Steakhouse, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £124,006 (UK) (6 June 2010) (72 Screens)

Gross: $214,966 (USA) (15 August 2010)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Sam Riley auditioned to play Lou Ford.

Continuity: When walking back to his car after the first murder, Lou is carrying only his hat. When the camera angle changes to show him from behind, he suddenly has a wooden plank in his hand for no apparent reason.

[first lines]
Sheriff Bob Maples: Name of Joyce Lakeland. Lives about four or five miles out on Derrick Road past the old Branch place.
Lou Ford: Oh, I know the old Branch place. She a hustling lady, Bob?
Sheriff Bob Maples: Well, I guess so, but she's - she's been pretty decent about it.

User Review

far from perfect, but watchable

Rating: 7/10

First off, this is a film that is made with a lot of artistry, if little heart. It doesn't bore, the directing is efficient, and it has an interesting premise: a sheriff who is also a serial killer.It's shot in an arresting style, all headlights emerging from a dusty road, and people sitting alone at diners as in an Edward Hopper painting. So that's 4 good things. However the lack of suspense does get to you after a while; if you establish that the protagonist is a monster from the get-go, you are not going to get a lot of ambiguity, and therefore no tension. Towards the end you are sort of just waiting for more violence to break out, which is inevitable.

Ah yes, the violence. On this I differ from a large majority of the public, who seem to find it terribly gratuitous. I thought it is shocking, but that it is not entirely a bad thing. Yes, the scene of Jessica Alba being beaten to pulp will disturb, but then again i thought it was crucial to the story as well. What I do object to is the lack of conviction in the tone. As a serious study of a disturbed human being, it doesn't quite go far enough. David Lynch has definitely gone further. As something in the noir tradition, it falls short, capturing the style but not the world-weariness and the intrigue. (in fact, teenage noir Brick succeeds more on this level than The Killer inside me) And as a black comedy (whenever something terrible happens the banjos will kick in to give the film a perverse comic twist) again it doesn't go far enough (the Coen brothers are much better at this sort of thing, ultra violence shot through with humour). The last shot in which everything goes up in flames is almost laughable, but not in the right way.

That said, this is an accomplished effort from a director who clearly knows his material well, and Casey Affleck gives an effortless performance as Lou Ford. And I like the often seamless segue from sex to violence and back to tender embrace; it illustrates perfectly the dynamics of S/M, if nothing else.

One funny thing is the audience reaction. I saw this at the Hong Kong film festival, amongst a mostly appreciative audience. Nobody booed; in fact, there were lots of clapping. Distributors take note: this film might have a lot more prospects in Asia than in Europe/U.S.A., where violence on the screen is in fact quite common and quite widely tolerated. There were lots of laughing ; I think a lot of people felt that they were watching some sort of black comedy. Just an interesting cultural observation, as I have heard that the film produced very negative reactions at both Sundance and the Berlinale.

So, in conclusion, definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but well worth a look if only to see how a twisted mind works. It's a good portrait of a disturbed man, even if the story is, ultimately, inferior to the character.


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