This is not a pleasant movie, I will state that right away. Even for someone as desensitized as me, it is outstandingly graphic and worthy of more than a few good winces and legitimate cringing.
Though I have not read the story by Jim Thompson, The Killer Inside Me is a look through the eyes of a true sociopath, who's tertiary good nature quickly disintegrates before the eyes of his hometown as his lust for chaos and violence grows. Lou Ford is a Sheriff's Deputy in a small town called Central City and a Devil in Plain Sight
if ever there was one. Our first glimpse into his true nature begins with him unexpectedly falling into a sadomasochistic love affair with a local prostitute. Eventually the two plan to rip off the state governor and his son by stealing their money and running away together. Lou, who clearly is not as sweet as most would believe, has plans of his own.
A lot of people end up dead by the end of it.
While the concept isn't entirely new, Thompson's characterization of rural crime is fascinating and the raw reality of a person like Lou Ford is terrifying.
This might be the best acting I've seen from Casey Affleck, he plays it to the bone. Jessica Alba is as creepy as she is beautiful here playing Joyce. Kate Hudson was also splendid as Lou's unassuming girlfriend Amy. The small town characters are all well-acted. Elias Koteas and Simon Baker star as the only two men who are able to see through Lou's innocent facade, though one is more moral than the other. Ned Beatty is typecast again as a rich, obnoxious, southern man of power. And Bill Pullman turns in a very small but entertaining performance later in the movie.
The real intrigue here is that we don't really know what drives Lou to do the things he does. Despite being surrounded by motives, you can't pinpoint exactly what he aims to achieve by lying, stealing and murdering as methodically as him. Love, money, revenge, or even logic don't factor in, his evil is innate and motives are just excuses for him to do what he does. Because of this, he seems even crazier than his crimes would suggest (which is saying something). What's scarier is that it feels real.
If I had a complaint, it would be that the ending seems tacked on and kind of unbelievable.
This was good, but hard to watch. Not sure if it was worth it, though.