The Killer Inside Me may be the darkest film noir ever made. Adapted from a novel by Jim Thompson, it's set in a small Texas oil town in the early '50s, and it's got a main character - I hesitate to call him a hero - whose hidden impulses look, for a while, as if they might speak to the audience's collective fantasies of bad behavior. Casey Affleck, acting with the same ambiguous baby-faced twistedness he brought to The Assassination of Jesse James..., plays Lou, a deputy sheriff who is sent to kick a prostitute (Jessica Alba) out of town and winds up in a violently charged sexual relationship with her. They smack each other around (in and out of bed), and you can just about smell the nastiness. It's exciting to see a noir in which that erotic steam-heat madness is now made explicit.
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