The Killer Inside Me

Director: Michael Winterbottom (2010)
Starring: Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson
Find it: IMDB, Amazon

AKA The Horseshit Inside My DVD Player. In turns critically acclaimed and reviled, The Killer Inside Me is basically Dexter bereft of all the good qualities that make Dexter enjoyable. The allegedly talented Affleck brother plays Lou Ford, a small-town Deputy and serial killer. Like the thematically sort of similar Dexter Morgan, Lou is a mild-mannered, unassuming and friendly fellow. He spends his days working with the police (occasionally investigating his own crimes) and even manages to have friends and a hot girlfriend, despite struggling with terrible urges to do equally terrible things. Only Lou doesn't really struggle with his urges. He succumbs to the lot and is a far less interesting character for it. He's an unlikeable, unsympathetic idiot with no class or intelligence. And he has a really irritating voice. And looks kind of like Ben Affleck.

Most of my complaints are, I suppose, intentional on the movie's part. For all of Michael C. Hall's likeability, it's easy to forget that you're not supposed to root for the bad guy. Lou Ford is a more realistic serial killer. Lou is what serial killers are really like. Irritating and a little bit camp. It's exactly like Jim Thompson's novel, which is equally unlikeable and almost as banal.

Everyone other than Affleck is fine. Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson are rewarded with thankless roles (I think Alba's nude body double probably gets more screentime than she does) whilst Mentalist Simon Baker, Bill Pullman and Ned Beatty aren't given nearly enough to do, despite being far more interesting/better than the lead character/actor. The music is nice, Winterbottom's direction is competent. And, if you can get past the movie's mysoginy and banality, some of the grittier scenes pack a certain punch (no pun intended). All this, of course, depends on your level of tolerance for women being hit repeatedly in the face.

Like its central character, The Killer Inside Me is ultimately not a very interesting movie. It justifies its existence by the horrible things it does, but mostly just comes across as smug, needlessly cruel, facile and downright unlikeable.


  1. Well, that sucks. I have to admit, the only thing I knew about this movie for a long time now was what its poster depicted: A cop who was obviously a serial killer. The premise intrigued me and I'd been looking for it for months. Then to find out it royally blows? Bummer.

  2. Oh dear. I find Casey Affleck works well as a substitute swear word, though not quite as well as Rutger Hauer, I prefer Rutger Hauer.