While characters like Hannibal Lecter and Michael Myers are certainly frightening figures, movies about real life serial killers are an especially unsettling viewing experience. Skilled writers can definitely draft fictitious scenarios so vivid they seem real, but there is something extra sinister about watching a film and knowing the events played out in real life. There's no solace in closing your eyes and telling yourself, "It's just a story." For adrenaline junkies who love a good scare, movies about real killers are a huge draw. Luckily, there is no shortage of films that fall into that category on the horror market.
Films about real serial killers often translate to critical acclaim for actors and actresses. Charlize Theron was nearly unrecognizable when she portrayed notorious female serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. She was even awarded the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance. In Zodiac, Jake Gyllenhaal got inside the head of Robert Graysmith, the cartoonist-turned-amateur detective determined to apprehend the mysterious Zodiac killer, who remains elusive even today. In addition to solid acting, such the best serial killer movies require excellent directors and writers capable of grappling with disturbing source material to produce a compelling narrative.
While all the below films are great, which are truly outstanding? Share your opinion by voting up the best movies about serial killers! When you're done, check out these serial killer TV series.