Serial Killer Movies: My Top Ten List

 

I was thinking the other day that it has been a while since the movie industry has put out a serial killer suspense movie worth seeing. And it got me thinking about all the great films of the past that have touched on this genre of film making. There have been great fiction serial thrillers and other serial killer movies based on actual events. So I decided to come up with a top ten list of what I think are some of the best films that deal with this topic. Suspense thrillers that I feel I can watch over and over and not be bored with.

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And the list begins at number ten

 

10. Kalifornia is the first movie to make the list at number ten. It stars Brad Pitt and David Duchovny. Duchovny plays a journalist on the search of different sites of murders that have occurred by serial killers. Along with them, they have some company that tags along with them. Little did they know the company they have with them is far more dangerous than anyone could ever imagine.  One of Brad Pitt’s breakout performances, this movie offers thrills and kills for all fans of the genre.

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9. Number nine on the list is based on an actual famous serial killer case that still today has yet to be solved. In the film Zodiac, directed by the dark David Fincher, tells the true story about one serial killer known as the Zodiac killer. The Zodiac Killer is considered to be America’s most notorious killers. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr., the movie tells the story of a newspaper cartoonist who decides to start trying to decipher the killer’s secret and coded letters that begin showing up at the San Francisco police department. David Fincher delivers great crime drama and suspense in this film.

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8.  What is better than one serial killer in a suspense flick, how about a serial killing killer? Suspect Zero is far an original suspense thrill that delivers on all ends of the genre. Starring Ben Kingsley, Aaron Eckhart and Carrie-Ann Moss, Suspect Zero is a great film that as the movie unfolds starts unlocking great mystery that many were not expecting. With a great cast and original ideas, I felt this movie had to make the list.

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7. This next film is more of a supernatural serial killing film. It stars one of my favorite actors Denzel Washington. When a serial killer Edger Reese is finally executed, Hobbes (Washington) can finally sleep again, or so he thought. Now, when murder victims begin to pop up again in the similar style, Hobbes begins to question whether it is a copy cat or is the life of Edger Reese stills seems to exist. This movie offers a different twist in the serial killer genre which is why I had to add it on here.  

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6.  Another movie on the list based on actual events is the film From Hell. Starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham, this movie tells the tale of what many believe to be the Jack the Ripper. Deep in the streets of London, and troublesome detective begins to unfold the mysteries of murdered prostitutes. From Hell gives an idea of who Jack the Ripper was. With a great setting, and some thrills and suspense, From Hell offers a look at the story of Jack the Ripper. Johnny Depp as always delivers a great performance in this dark and edgy film.

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5. Split personalities can best describe this film starring Christian Bale in a breakout, crazy performance. American Psycho is not your typical serial killer movie. The title is perfect for this aggressive film. Concerned and obsessed with social status and money, a Wall Street associate has no motive to kill other than the fact he begins to hate the world and the world becomes his biggest enemy. Christian Bale is the American Psycho with twisted ways to murder and no reasons to do it. This film defines multiple personalities at its best.

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4. Chilling, dark and mysterious describes this next film. In the city of New York, and serial killer is at large. Leaving pieces of the puzzle for New York Police to put together, but they are not your typical puzzle pieces, they are bone pieces. The Bone Collector, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, offers intense moments and a nice twisting ending that keeps you hooked to the very end. Washington plays a quadriplegic who guides his female partner, Jolie, through the dark mysteries this serial killer has begun to create. The two must work together and fast to solve these murders before anyone else becomes the victim.

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3. Based on the film Manhunters, the prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon makes it to number three on the list for many good reasons. With an all-star cast, Red Dragon delivers all kinds of suspense, thrills and chills. Edward Norton plays a retired detective who is brought out of retirement for one last murder case.  As the plot unfolds, Norton decides to ask for help from an odd but notorious source, Hannibal Lecter. Anthony Hopkins reprises his famous role and adds more character than even in this film.  With a great supporting cast, and excellent performances from both Hopkins and Norton, Red Dragon is a must see film that will have you glued to the chair until the ending credits.

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2. At number two on the list is a classic film that offers suspense and great acting that many still talk about today. Silence of the Lambs is one movie that many can agree on is suspense thriller at its best. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins deliver their best performances to date. Foster plays Clarice Starling who is trying to track down a serial killer by the name of Buffalo Bill and needs the mastermind of Hannibal Lecter played by Anthony Hopkins. Starling feels the Lecter has the answers to solving this murder case. Top performances and a twisting plot make Silence of the Lambs a great film and a classic in suspense thrillers.

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1. It wasn’t really hard to decide the number one film on this list. It is a film that to this day is still one of the best serial killer movies. David Fincher’s breakout film Seven offers everything and more for suspense genre. Dark, deadly and with an ending that is one to remember, Seven grabs a hold of you until the very end. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman play detectives that are on the hunt for a serial killer whose motive is killing his victims that partake in the seven deadly sins. As both detectives are on the killers trail, a surprise twist is thrown in there for the audience and makes this movie a heart pounding thriller. Suspense and thrills are the least way to describe the movie Seven.

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Comments 18 comments

whoisbid profile image

whoisbid 5 years ago

I absolutely loved the silence of the lambs..


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

It is a classic and will always be. It is such a great film. Glad you stopped by.


arunii profile image

arunii 5 years ago from Delhi

Bone collector is my favorite movie


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

Yeah that one was a good one. thanks for stopping by and checking out the hub.


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether

Love this hub! I am a huge fan of serial killer and thriller movies. One of my favorites was missed...Kiss the Girls with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, have you seen that one? Seven is awesome and so is American Psycho. American Psycho is just a true classic...and it leaves me confused at the end every single time I watch it. Speaking of psychological thrillers, have you watched the Black Swan with Natalie Portman yet? I watched it last night and found it to be AMAZING. I didn't even want to see it when we rented it and then I was sucked in within the first fifteen minutes. Great movie, really.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

Yeah, Kiss the girls is a great one. I have not seen Black Swan yet, but plan to. Thanks for checking this hub out. American Psycho is truly a great movie. The ironic thing was when the film came out, i had a math teacher named Patrick Bateman. Thanks for the feedback.


ruffridyer 5 years ago from Dayton, ohio

I disagree with two of your choices, Fallen was a horror story, not a sereal killer tale, also I hated Seven. The motive of the killer was lame, Brad was an idiot, giving the killer just what he wanted. Brad should have kneecapped him.

Also Manhunter, the original movie based on red dragon was way better than the remake. Tom Noonan plays a much more terrifying killer in that movie.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

guess we all have our favorites. thanks for stopping by ruff.


ytsenoh profile image

ytsenoh 4 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

Thank you! You did a really nice job putting together your list of top 10 movies and including trailers which makes it more effective and informative. And you gave me some ideas of what to see.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 4 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

Glad you enjoyed it ytsenoh. thanks for coming by and reading this hub. let me know what movies you decide to see and which ones you like.


Sandy 4 years ago

Ever thought about comparing real versus fictional serial killers in some master list? For instance, you have a great list of serial killer movies with fictional serial killers. Add in some of the top real serial killers, like another great list over at http://www.ranker.com/list/serial-killers-from-jac... and make one master list. How would Patrick Bateman compare to Charles Manson or Hannibal Lecter against Ed Gien. I think it would be a neat final product. Thoughts?


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 4 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

That is actually a pretty cool idea. I love this idea. Maybe have to throw in some slasher killers in there as well. Thanks for reading and thanks for the great ideas Sandy.


sam 4 years ago

you actually have a good taste for movies , any thoughts about thriller serials ?


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 4 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

thanks sam and not sure exactly what you mean by thriller serials. You mean like friday the 13th or halloween?


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

Thanks for the list. I have only seen a few of the movies on your list, so I look forward to checking out some of the other ones.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 3 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

No problem, and thanks for stopping by.


Brennan Lombardi profile image

Brennan Lombardi 3 years ago from Owasso, Oklahoma

You should also check out "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" if you haven't seen it yet. Based on a true story, it's probably one of the grittiest serial killer films I've ever seen.


Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 3 years ago from Louisiana, USA Author

Sweet, I will definitely have to check that one out. Thanks for the suggestion and thanks for reading this.

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