Michael Winterbottom’s controversial film is at times hard to watch, with its brutal depictions of violence. The Killer Inside Me, however, is for the most part a well-crafted drama, with strong performances from its cast.
Centering on a deputy sheriff in a small Texan town, The Killer Inside Me explores the mind of this psychologically damaged individual. As the film progresses, the extent of his psychosis becomes more apparent…
The character of Lou Ford is a complex and intriguing one. His cool exterior is gradually ebbed away until the facade of normality begins to slip in front of those closest to him. The attitude of the women in his life will be hard to relate to for many audience members, but is nonetheless convincing, sadly.
Casey Affleck gives an excellent performance as the protagonist Ford. It is understated, yet incredibly affecting. Kate Hudson also shines; it is refreshing to see her tackle a serious drama, a far cry from her usual rom-com fare. Elsewhere, both Elias Koteas and Bill Pullman are memorable.
In the last third of the film, the narrative swings from realism to the realm of disbelief. It is unclear how much of what is depicted is actual event, or whether most of what is shown is really a figment of Ford’s imagination. Up until this point, the film offers a thought-provoking examination of an unstable mind. This is somewhat disrupted by the last section of the film, which slides into Lynchian territory, without the panache of the acclaimed director.
Overall, The Killer Inside Me is an interesting yet flawed film, with its strongest achievement being an exceptional performances from Casey Affleck.