The 10 Best Serial Killer Movies of All-Time

Why are serial killer movies so terrifying? It’s because they show us a part of humanity we don’t want to believe is real, but it is all the same. It holds up a mirror to society so that we can see the sickness that some of us harbor inside and it’s absolutely horrifying in its simplicity and in the truth that is told by the fiction. Serial killer movies detail the horrendous things that don’t need fantasy, science fiction, or any other special effects to detail the kind of things that humans can and do perpetrate against one another. In essence these movies show us a side of ourselves that everyone harbors, but might never know it. Humanity is a mess of emotions amidst a quest for peace and understanding, but the killer that’s in each one of us, no matter how present or held back, is something we still get a thrill out of watching on the screen.

Here are just a handful of some of the best serial killer movies ever made.

10. From Hell

This film focuses on the Jack the Ripper murders that occurred in 1888 in Whitechapel in London. Obviously a lot of the film depends on creative license but the murders were very real. Whether they were committed to carry out a specific purpose or not is still debatable as history is an unknown commodity in many ways. But the horrific murders that were committed are still enough to make this legend film-worthy.

9. Mr. Brooks

A man that has both money and power as well as the love of a wife and daughter seems to not have enough as he feels compelled to kill by his imaginary ego/conscience/accomplice again and again. The story only grows more complicated when a stranger attempts to blackmail him after seeing him at the site of his most recent murder. The game is definitely on as Mr. Brooks has to find a way to get rid of the witness and, to his own consternation, fix his own daughter’s emerging habit for murder.

8. Snowtown

Sometimes the scariest movies are those that are based on things that actually happened. While the film took certain liberties with the story, as you might expect, it still managed to come off as one of the more disturbing and overall masterful films ever made. It didn’t get a whole lot of attention and you might have to seek this one out, but if you do make sure you’re ready for the kind of horror that it promises.

7. Deathproof

Normally when you think of a person being killed by a car you think of them getting run over. In this case however Stuntman Mike has managed to find another way, which in one case is to veer all over the road and let the person in the passenger seat be beaten to a bloody pulp. Then there’s the idea of running into another car and just letting the laws of movie physics take their course. But seriously, having your face peeled off by a spinning tire, your leg ripped of at the hip from the collision, and an engine block shoved into your torso from the impact is pretty harsh.

6. Scream

This film had a chance to be considered as something decent and fun for people to watch, but then they made another one, and another one, and, well, you get it. They even made a series to go with it, when in all honesty the franchise should have been left as it was after the first one. But producers tend to want to wring every cent they can get out of a movie a lot of times, so it’s easy to assume that we might see a reboot of this in another few years.

5. Silence of the Lambs

There have been a few films with the infamous Dr. Lecter in them now, and yet this one is the best even if he wasn’t meant to be the focal point. He certainly stole the show however and became one of the most noted serial killers to ever grace the big screen. The funny thing about Anthony Hopkins is that he can be your worst nightmare or flip the switch and become a kind old man that you’d love to sit down and talk with for hours. Maybe with a nice bottle of Chianti at hand.

4. Saw

Saw is one of the unique films since the killer didn’t actually kill anyone. He certainly didn’t make it easy for them to escape, but he didn’t pull the trigger every time, preferring to give his victims a chance to survive. Of course once he did that it was seen that he would then induct them into his service, so dying might have actually been preferable in some ways.

3. Identity

This is one of the better killer movies that you probably don’t know about since it didn’t get much play. It was packed with stars however and as a story it was quite compelling to say the least. In fact one of the reasons why it’s so great doesn’t come until well past the halfway mark when the people in the story start to realize just how much they have in common, and why it’s so important. Watch the movie, it’s worth it.

2. American Psycho

Some of the movies on this list are basically here, in part, because they have the shock factor that people love so much. They tend to shock people into submission and then continue to shock them until they’re so desensitized to it that they see it as entertainment. I can say that I’m guilty of this, but American Psycho was next-level shock, the kind that leaves you gaping like a fish out of water as you try to reconcile just how a man with everything to lose would be able to go so nuts.

1. Se7en

Seven is twisted in so many different ways that it would take too much time to describe them all here. But let’s just say that it’s a movie you don’t want to watch to bolster your faith in humanity. After all, John Doe had absolutely no faith in humanity, otherwise every murder he commits would make him the world’s biggest hypocrite.

This world loves to embrace their own depravity, so long as it’s called entertainment.

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