Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a pillar of the community in his small west Texas town, patient and apparently thoughtful. Some people think he is a little slow and maybe boring, but that is the worst they say about him. But then nobody knows about what Lou calls his "sickness": he is a brilliant, but disturbed sociopathic sadist.
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The Killer Inside is a chilling piece of pitch black film noir. Based upon the Jim Thompson novel of the same name, it's a portrait of a man with many dark secrets. Casey Affleck plays Lou Ford, a deputy sheriff of Central City, a small texas town. Lou is given the thankless task of paying off a local prostitute, Joyce Lakeland, played by Jessica Alba. Chester Conway (Ned Beatty), Central City's big wig, wants her payed off and run out of town after word leaks out that she's been carrying on with his son, Elmer Conway. Lou, however, has plans of his own.
What lies behind Lou's kind eyes and southern gentleman exterior is a cold blooded killer. His simple task of paying of a whore leads to murder and cover up. Casey Affleck perfectly portrays a man who is slowly coming apart at the seams. As in his previous role as Robert Ford in Jesse James, he exhibits that great ability to portray men of potentially violent unbalance. Something is not quite right with this Lou character, and no one can quite place thier finger on it, until it's too late. His kindly facade is coming undone, slowly revealing the killer that lies beneath.
Most of the cast gives good performances here. Even Bill Pullman is effective in his very few minutes of screen time here. Kate Hudson, taking a break from her typical rom-com dreck, is good here as well. The only weak spot is Jessica Alba, who is typically unconvincing as Miss Lakeland.
There was much hysteria upon the films release concerning the film's depiction of violence. I will aknowledge that the violence is at times disturbing, but I think it's extent has been widely overstated. Much of the worst violence takes place off screen. You never really see the infamous beating, but I think it's done so effectively that people are convinced they have. Like Pyscho and Reservoir Dogs have shown before, the most effective use of violence is simply suggested and not shown.
It's clear that much of the controversy has been the violence that is inflicted on women. One claim that the film is misogynist, but that's missing the point. Portraying people who hate women, does not make the film misogynist. If that were true, then any film portraying racism would have to be racist. Critics have to seperate the film's content from it's point of view. There is a difference that should be recognized.