I apparently enjoyed this film more than Roger Ebert did but I have to agree with his remarks concerning the lack of explanation for the behavior of the key characters. Is a flashback to Lou Ford’s childhood that depicts how his masochistic mother encouraged him to beat her all that’s needed to account for the monster he becomes as an adult? I can understand what makes Norman Bates tick but Lou Ford seems to be no more than a vehicle for some evil force rather than a psychologically disturbed human being. And the motivation for the behavior of the women in the story is also missing. As Ebert observed about Jim Thompson, “Female psychology is not the strong point with many pulp writers. Psychology in general is sketchy, based on simplified and half-understood Freudian notions.” The ending is so implausible that the only way to make sense of it is to assume it’s a fantasy in Ford’s mind. There is something about the world of the psychopath that many of us find fascinating. Witness the success of films like Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. Perhaps we feel better about ourselves by comparison. Or perhaps it’s because our society forces us to repress anger so we need to release our pent-up frustration vicariously. Then again films like this may serve as inspiration for borderline psychotics. Films tend to glamorize the characters they depict and it may be time to stop making psychosis seem cool.
The Killer Inside Me at imdb
As of August, 2015 The Killer Inside Me is available to rent from Netflix.