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Top 20 Serial Killer Movies

The Best Movies About "Serial Killers" Both True and Fiction

Americans are fascinated by a specific genre of horror movie called the "serial killer" movie. These differ from slasher films in that they involve everyday people, not supernatural killers (i.e. Halloween). Serial murderers can actually be caught or killed. Serial killer movies are mystery thrillers, and are often based on real life cases. They can be more about the cops or detectives who investigate and track down the butchers. We've assembled a list of the most clever serial killer movies of all time: the Top2040 list of top 10 serial killer movies.

20 - Wolf Creek (2005) hikers stranded in Australia are rescued by a creepy guy with a secret agenda. Very realistic and scary. It could happen to anyone who gets stuck in the middle of nowhere.

19 - Capote (2005) The movie follows Truman Capote in his research of the book "In Cold Blood" about 2 family murderers in Kansas.

18 - Kalifornia (1993) Two journalists go on a tour of serial killers' homes, but meet with a real serial killer along the way.

17 - Copycat (1995) A serial killer is copying past crimes.

16 - The Frozen Ground (2013) John Cusack and Nicolage Cage. A victim escapes a serial killer in Alaska and helps the state troopers investigate.

15 - Natural Born Killers (1994) Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis play 2 psychos who kill for fun and for the media attention. This movie is mainly about the media sensationalizing acts of violence.

14 - Frenzy (1972) Alfred Hitchcock movie about a necktie serial killer in London.

13 - From Hell (2001) Johnny Depp plays a detective who tracks down Jack the Ripper.

12 - The Cell (2000) An FBI agent enters the mind of a murderer to find his last victim.

11 - Frailty (2001) smart movie about the son of a serial killer.  A Top2040 favorite!

10 - Zodiac (2007) loosely based on a 70's case, a San Francisco killer taunts police with bizarre clues.

9 - Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) based on the true story of Henry Lee Lucas who claimed to have killed more than 60 people.

8 - Summer of Sam (1999) true story about the killer nicknamed the "Son of Sam," on a killing spree in New York City back in a hot 1977 summer.

7 - American Pyscho (2000) Before he was Batman, Christian Bale played a Wall Street banker, but he didn't just steal like most bankers. This character was hooked on brutal violence.

6 - Monster (2003) based on the true story of Aileen Wuoronos, a remorseless murderess. Charlize Theron gives a disturbing performance.

5 - Perfume: the Story of a Murderer (2006) in 19 th century France, a perfume aficionado becomes a serial murderer. Compelling movie.

4 - Seven (1995) Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey spin a gripping tale of a man who sets out to kill people who've each committed one the 7 deadly sins.

3 - M (1931) horror masterpiece directed by Fritz Lang. Peter Lorre portrays a creepy man who murders children in Germany, and manages to evade the Police for many years.

2 - Silence of the Lambs (1991) One of very few films to win 8 Oscars. Jodi Foster stars.

1 - Pyscho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock snags top prize for his masterpiece film about serial killer Norman Bates at the Bates Motel.  It still holds up today.

Honorable Mention:

Best Serial-Killer Musical: Sweeney Todd : the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Best TV Movie: Helter Skelter (1976) documentary of the Manson family.

After all those bloody scenes, you'll need two comedies per film to wash the angst from your mind. So there you have it - the most disturbing, but well crafted, serial killer movies ever filmed.

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