"Name of Joyce Lakeland. Lives about four or five miles out on Derrick Road past the old Branch place."
"Oh, I know the old Branch place. She a hustling lady, Bob?"
"Well, I guess so, but she's - she's been pretty decent about it."The Killer Inside Me
—Sheriff Bob Maples and Lou Ford
is a 2010 psychological horror film based of the novel by Jim Thompson. It stars Casey Affleck (Lou), Jessica Alba
(Joyce) and Kate Hudson (Amy).
This film is unflinchingly violent and deliberately disturbing. It begins when the polite, seemingly normal Lou Ford is sent to encourage local prostitute Joyce Lakeland to leave town. The confrontation leads to him beating her with a belt, and their romance begins. Together they concoct a plan to scam money from the wealthy Chester Conway. But Lou secretly had an even darker plan for Joyce. He beats Joyce unconcious and shoots Chester's son, making it appear as if the two of them got into a fight. From there he must keep commiting more murders to cover up his crimes, and also, because he enjoys it.
Not to be confused with The Killer In Me
This film provides examples of:
- Asshole Victim: Chester Conway is an overbearing jerk and his son is wildly irresponsible but damn did They not deserve what happened.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Joyce's beauty is mostly destroyed after Lou is done with her. When she reappears at the end of the film, her entire face is covered in scars.
- Domestic Abuser: Lou has to be one of the worst in cinema history.
- Evil Is Petty: Lou sets up Elmer and hopes that Chester will live a long life of shame about what happened.
- Faux Affably Evil: Lou Ford never loses his puppydog eyes, southern drawl and gentlemanly ways, even when he's beating someone to death.
- For the Evulz: Why Lou does most of what he does.
- Freudian Excuse: The camera pans over the main character's bookshelf, lingering prominently on a volume of Freud. He immediately takes a bible off the same shelf, opens it, and finds forgotten photographs of his father's sadomasochistic relationship with the housekeeper, Helene.
- The Killer In Me: Interestingly, averted. Despite the name, it isn't an example of this trope, as it's told from the first-person perspective of a character who knowingly and admittedly is committing the murders in the story, and isn't hallucinating or hiding anything. Or is he?
- No Dead Body Poops: Averted. If you kill someone, and they needed to go to the bathroom at the time you brutally beat them to death, guess what happens?
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Lou gives one of these to both Joyce and Amy in graphic, prolonged, horrific scenes. And they both die. Except not really, because Joyce is revealed to be alive at the end, although disfigured—and then he immediately kills her for real.
- "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Joyce starts hitting Lou, Lou hits her back, and then shoves her down on the bed and starts beating her with his belt. It's awful... until he apologizes, looking shocked at himself, and she tells him it's OK and kisses him. They then begin an S&M relationship.
- Rape as Backstory: Lou's backstory is that he was the victim of sexual abuse and a sexual abuser
- The Sociopath: Lou, all the way.
- Villain Protagonist: Lou Ford is an accomplished serial killer and domestic abuser masquerading as an honest cop, and genuinely enjoys all the murders he commits.
- Violence Is Disturbing: There's a notorious scene where the Villain Protagonist graphically beats a woman to death for five whole minutes. Her face is mangled beyond belief when he's done.
- Your Cheating Heart: Lou two times Amy and Joyce