The Killer Inside Me: Nobody Sees It Coming (2010)

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Crime, Drama, Thriller

As a small town deputy sheriff, everyone sees Lou Ford as a kind and caring guy. Under the direction of his lead sheriff Bob Maples, Lou is given an assignment to go to a house on the outskirts of town and evict a young woman suspected of prostitution. When he arrives, Lou ends up in a relationship with Joyce Lakeland and begins to fall in love with her. With his new secret relationship with Joyce, he sees a chance to extort money from the town’s wealthy construction baron. For somewhat unknown reasons, Lou decides to take a path of his own, beating Joyce to within an inch of her life and shooting Elmer Conway (who was supposed to help Lou get rid of Joyce). Though Lou sets up the scene to make it look like a fight between Joyce and Elmer, the heat turns on him and he has to watch every step to maintain the trust of Bob and manage the investigation by Howard Hendricks.

Starring: Casey Affleck (Lou Ford), Jessica Alba (Joyce Lakeland), Kate Hudson (Amy Stanton), Ned Beatty (Chester Conway), Elias Koteas (Joe Rothman), Tom Bower (Sheriff Bob Maples), Simon Baker (Howard Hendricks), Bill Pullman (Billy Boy Walker), Brent Briscoe (Bum), Jay R. Ferguson (Elmer Conway)

What the cast was able to produce through their performance was a blend of the small town, simple life and the big drama of murder and deceit. Casey Affleck played the role of the bipolar killer who could appear quite calm and kind to most everyone but have a dark and murderous side. Both Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson have similar personalities which created controversy in the final presentation of the film.

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Michael Winterbottom’s view into a killer is a rather interesting attempt at showing the bipolar nature of the person. Lou Ford’s outward presentation definitely did not match the fury inside. What he was capable of seemed to be out of place with the life he had built for himself. With his background including his brother’s sacrifice to save Lou from jail, he had perfected his ability to mask his inner demons. With both Joyce and Amy, he was able to push the envelope sexually to get more violent without either of the women feeling he was going too far. It was even a surprise to both when he lost control of his rage. Though there were investigators and a witness putting the pressure on him, Lou’s natural ability to keep his personality hidden served him well up to the end.

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The major controversy of this film was the graphic nature that depicted violence against women and lewd sexual acts. Winterbottom believed that his film was simply an adaptation of a 1952 novel and that it took viewers to another world of a fictional story. Instead, he graphically displayed the beating of Joyce as she did nothing to attempt to fight back or even defend herself. He later followed that up with a similar experience involving Amy, where she also stood there in shock and simply took the beating. It is possible to believe that there was a sense of shock in both of them because of the rough sexual play between each of them with Lou, but the explicitness was so extreme that Jessica Alba walked out during the middle of the Sundance screening and both Casey Affleck and Kate Hudson chose not to attend. It may have a raw power to it, but it was highly disturbing and unnecessary to set up the storyline.

While there are a few redeeming elements in the acting, the controversial depiction of women and the dead space between the action sequences hurts this film’s ability to be considered a complete and worthy success.

Dan’s Rating: 2.0/5

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