You might wonder just how any serial killer in a movie can be underrated since quite honestly they’re usually the star of the show. But often a movie will focus on so many moving parts at once that the killer actually does get lost in the mix or somehow devalued for something or someone else that somehow manages to take precedence. In the movies mentioned below the killers mentioned tend to take a back seat either because there’s something else going on in the movie or because the movie itself just didn’t get a whole lot of attention to start with. Movies about serial killers are usually disturbing and do tend to get a good deal of attention thanks to society’s seemingly endless interest in the macabre and extremely unsettling nature of humanity and everything that goes with it, but the fact that some serial killers get lost in the mix of their own movies is kind of amusing.
Here are the five most underrated serial killers in the movies.
5. Buffalo Bill – Silence of the Lambs
Some people might argue with this since Buffalo Bill was a prominent part of this movie and was in fact the killer that the FBI were after. But somewhere along the way he got left in the dust in a big way by the mere appearance and presence of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Ted Levine puts in a great performance that’s nonstop creepy and so deranged that people might have thought he needed therapy after this, but still, Anthony Hopkins and his creepy cannibal-doctor-gentleman-psycho vibe were too much as they overtook Levine and made the movie into something quite different. Admit it, by the time Buffalo Bill was finally taken out you were kind of like ‘meh’.
4. Son of Sam – Summer of Sam
For as terrifying as this true story was when it happened this movie became more of a soap opera that was all about Vinnie and his continual decline into madness after seeing two of the victims left behind by the Son of Sam. While the actor portraying the killer was shown throughout the movie it was of little importance really, in fact it might have been to remind the viewer that there actually WAS a killer and that the story did have a point other than to show how small-minded and bigoted Vinnie and his friends were when it came to certain aspects of the world that existed outside of their experience.
3. Carl Stargher – The Cell
You might want to debate this one largely because Carl played such a huge role in the overall movie and his deeds were after all the reason that law enforcement agents were on him to begin with. But upon bringing Jennifer Lopez into the mix it was more or less about her and less about Carl at that point. He was kind of an afterthought since any movie Lopez is in usually features her so prominently that anyone else is kind of pushed to the side as a result. That being said he did have a lot of potential as a bad guy and someone who’s mind was seriously mucked up thanks to a variety of factors. But J-Lo is another star that tends to take over when she’s present.
2. John Wayne Cleaver – I Am Not a Serial Killer
One big reason why this movie likely didn’t get noticed and therefore the killer was underrated is because it’s something that looks as though it might be mundane and creepy in a big way but it turns out to be something a little extra and it might be seen as kind of a strange idea to put down as a serial killer movie. That being said it is pretty creepy and kind of a WTF moment since the manner in which the people are killed in this movie is something that will likely haunt a lot of people and possibly give others nightmares considering that what you thought would be normal turns out to be anything but.
1. Richard Thompson/Marcus Andrews – The Bone Collector
This one is really kind of frustrating since the killer is front and center for a good part of the movie and if you watch the trailer you hear a very distinctive voice that’s not hard to pick out of a crowd. With that in mind though the level of effort and prep that the killer put into each crime is so insanely intricate that if not for Lincoln the killer might have kept on going and the police wouldn’t have been any closer to catching him near the end. It’s that strange idea of giving up the game and showing the full hand that seems to kill this movie since otherwise even the greatest forensic detective was kind of stumped for a while.
Sometimes the killer needs to be a little more mysterious, and a lot more bold.