From real life killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy to immortal movie characters such as Hannibal Lecter and the Zodiac Killer, serial killers have always seemed to spawn a certain level of interest, fascination and curiosity. It’s a morbid fascination, but a somewhat understandable one, given its proximity to popular themes such as human psychology and behavior, as well as basic human interest stories.
Obviously, the fascination for these can be seen also in the movie industry, and here are a couple of movie recommendations dealing with the warped minds of killers, where the killers prey and the victims pray.
directed by David Fincher
A dark and gritty movie where two detectives, played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, are hunting a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as inspiration for his killings. Denzel Washington reportedly turned down the role of Detective Mills (Brad Pitt’s role), claiming it was “too dark and evil”, a decision he regretted later on. Either way, Freeman and Brad Pitt fit together perfectly in this movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat with entertainment at the same time as it will have you asking yourself about the limits (or lack thereof) of darkness and evil. 20 years after the film was released, it’s still one of those movies I rewatch every now and then.
directed by Alejandro Amenábar
Alejandro Amenábar has directed a couple of really good movies, but this one was the first of his I ever saw. During her thesis, where she is writing about violence in movies, a student discovers a snuff film where a young woman is tortured and killed. Learning that the young woman from the snuff film is a former student at her school, she and her friend get involved in a game neither of the… ok, enough with the generic description. It’s a good movie, though. Check it out.
Son of Sam
directed by Spike Lee
Based on the true story of a serial killer who caused panic in New York in the summer of 77, Spike Lee once again brings to life a sizzling hot New York City, as he did in ‘Do the Right Thing’. The cast includes John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino and Jennifer Esposito, and the soundtrack is filled with some of those immortal goldies from the 70s. Well worth a watch.
Silence of the Lambs
directed by Jonathan Demme
A true film classic, but like ‘Se7en’, it still keeps you coming back for another viewing over 20 years later. Anthony Hopkins immortalizes Hannibal Lecter and Jodie Foster delivers one of her best performances ever. Also, Ted Levine is brilliant as Jame Gumb.
Bone Collector – Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie hunt a serial killer in New York City.
Kalifornia – Brad Pitt and David Duchovny in a movie together? Not the greatest movie of all time, but just for that pairing alone, it’s worth a look. Juliette Lewis, who also starred in ‘Natural Born Killers’, plays the female lead. Attracted to killer movies much, Juliette?
Zodiac – David Fincher directs yet another great movie about a serial killer, this time the Zodiac Killer who operated in San Francisco.