I have seen films that really are insidiously misogynistic in a way The Killer Inside Me is not, films that make light of the denigration of women, and I should also say that this film does crucially show the consequences of violence, a responsibility shirked by what I call the "arthouse rape" genre, in which dreamy, languid movies are finally topped off with a flourish of sexual violence, just before the credits, without a smidgen of curiosity about what happens to the victim afterwards.
Lou's chilling MO is summed up by his visit to a troubled young guy in a police cell, a young man who has guessed Lou's awful secret and wheedlingly asks if the victim "had it coming". Lou replies: "Nobody has it coming. That's why nobody can see it coming." It is a haiku of despair to be compared and contrasted with Gene Hackman's gunfighter in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven being told that he'd just assaulted an "innocent" man – Hackman snarls: "Innocent? Innocent of what?" Lou Ford is a poison cloud of violence infecting everything around him: this is a film with a carbon-core of horror and pessimism at its heart.