Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is a Deputy Sheriff in west Texas in the 1950s. He’s also a homicidal, sexual sadist with possible pedophilic tendencies.
But, you know, nobody’s perfect.
Ford is level-headed and even-tempered–just what you want in an officer of the law. Everyone trusts him. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a small town where everyone has known everyone forever.
His sheriff asks him to check up on a prostitute named Joyce Lakeland (Jessica Alba) who’s been selling her wares on the edge of town. Ford drives out to meet the young lady. They have a chat, during which she gets a little mouthy, and the next thing you know he’s beating her with a belt and having violent sex.
So then they’re a couple.
People want her out of town but she says Ford wouldn’t go with her. It’s a question of money, but she can get that. See, she’s having an affair with the son of a rich and powerful man named Chester Conway (Ned Beatty) and she is happy to blackmail him if it means she and her new love can run away together.
But there’s the whole thing about Ford being a homicidal maniac. Those sorts of people don’t need reasons for doing the things they do.
Some Bad Things happen. And a Smart Person shows up in the form of district attorney Howard Hendricks (Simon Baker) who’s pegged Ford from the start and they dance a bit trying to out-think one another.
As will happen when you lack empathy, the bodies begin to pile up, however. And a pile of bodies will cause a stink (metaphorically speaking in this case).
Poor Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford. If only he were active now when he’d have groupies, rather than sixty years ago when killers were vilified as being pure evil.
Adapted from the Jim Thompson novel of the same name released in 1952, The Killer Inside Me is not a happy tale. There’s no reason given for Ford’s proclivities–nothing damaging enough to make him into the psychopath he is, anyway. Which is something I liked about the film.
It’s a grim little piece and the violence is not pretty. Kink-wise there is very little–I watched this because it was on the Wikipedia page on films with BDSM in–and there are really only two scenes. The first time Ford and Lakeland meet, he beats her with a belt and they have sex and another time he puts a belt around her neck when he fucks her from behind. She is into pain with her sex so that is a-okay with her.
If you need a trigger warning for graphic violence against women then here it is because there are other times that are…non-consensually violent. And graphic. And involve trusting women who have no clue the man they adore would do what he does.
With that caveat in mind, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it to anyone who appreciates films that are unafraid of exploring the darker side of humanity.