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?
Based on the legendary novel by pulp writer Jim Thompson, Michael Winterbottom’s The Killer Inside Me tells the story of a handsome, charming, unassuming small town sheriff’s deputy named Lou Ford (Casey Affleck). The film takes place in an idyllic West Texas town in the early 1950’s. As a lifelong resident, Ford has difficulty juggling his long-term girlfriend Amy (Kate Hudson), the prostitute named Joyce (Jessica Alba) that he mistakenly falls for, and the sociopathic tendencies inside him. In Thompson’s savage, bleak, blacker than noir universe nothing is ever what it seems.
The Killer Inside Me is an American film adaptation of the 1952 novel of the same name by Jim Thompson. The film is directed by Michael Winterbottom and stars Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, Simon Baker, Matthew Maher, Bill Pullman, Rosa Pasquarella, Blake Lindsley, Zach Josse, Arletta Knight Fink. At its release, it was criticised for its graphic depiction of violence directed toward women.
About the Story
In 1952, Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is a pillar of the community in his small west Texas town — patient, dependable, and well-liked. Beneath his pleasant facade, however, he is a sociopath with violent sexual tastes. As a teenager, Lou was caught raping a five-year-old girl in the back of a parked car by his adopted brother Mike, who pleaded guilty to the crime and served prison time to protect Lou. After being released, Mike was hired by the construction firm of Chester Conway (Ned Beatty). Mike died on the job after slipping and falling off a beam through several floors in a building under construction. Lou believes that Conway planned the accident.
At the request of Sheriff Bob Maples (Tom Bower), Lou visits Joyce Lakeland (Jessica Alba), a prostitute who is having an affair with Conway’s son, Elmer (Jay R. Ferguson). When Joyce objects to Lou’s treatment of her and slaps him, he throws her on the bed and uses his belt to beat her until her buttocks are bruised and bleeding. Joyce enjoys pain, and she and Lou begin a passionate love affair. Joyce suggests that Lou would never leave town with her, but they devise a plot to extort $10,000 from the Conways.
Sheriff Maples and Chester Conway ask Lou to oversee the pay-off. Lou has another plan: he brutally beats Joyce to death and when Elmer arrives, Lou shoots and kills him. He then plants the gun on Joyce, hoping to make the scene look like the two have killed each other. Joyce survives the ordeal, however, and Conway announces his intention to see her executed for killing Elmer.
Lou’s reputation begins to falter: his long-time girlfriend and fiancee Amy (Kate Hudson) suspects that he is cheating on her, and the county district attorney Howard Hendricks (Simon Baker), who has arrived in town to investigate the murders, suspects that Lou could be the killer. Lou is asked to join Sheriff Maples and Conway in taking Joyce to hospital in Fort Worth where doctors can operate on her; Conway wants her alive so he can interrogate her as soon as possible. Lou waits in a hotel room while the surgery takes place. Maples arrives to tell him that Joyce died on the operating table. Lou and Maples return to west Texas by train.
The Killer Inside Me (2010)
Directed by: Michael Winterbottom
Starring by: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, Simon Baker, Matthew Maher, Bill Pullman, Rosa Pasquarella, Blake Lindsley, Zach Josse, Arletta Knight Fink
Screenplay by: John Curran, Jim Thompson, Michael Winterbottom
Production Design by: Rob Simons, Mark Tildesley
Cinematography by: Marcel Zyskind
Film Editing by: Mags Arnold
Costume Design by: Lynette Meyer
Set Decoration by: Jeanette Scott
Music by: Joel Cadbury, Melissa Parmenter
MPAA Rating: R for disturbing brutal violence, aberrant sexual content and some graphic nudity.
Distributed by: IFC Films
Release Date: June 18, 2010