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The Best Serial Killer Movies 

Ranker Film
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Updated November 5, 2019 48.7k votes 5.1k voters 560.7k views 98 items

List Rules Films about or featuring a serial murderer

List of the best serial killers movies. These movies center around infamous serial killers. This list may not be a complete catalogue of all the films about serial killers, but they are the greatest serial killer movies voted on by fans. Some of the best thrillers, horror and scary movies usually have a tormentor who scares the living wits out of the main characters and some times even kill them. These antagonists are the characters who make these serial killer movies so memorable.

Who can forget The Silence of the Lambs? That 1990 classic featured two of the most notorious movie serial killers in history with Buffalo Bill and of course, Hannibal Lecter who was so popular that he managed to spawn two more movies. Other infamous serial killer movies include Seven, which featured Kevin Spacey as John Doe; American Psycho, which introduced Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman; and Basic Instinct where Sharon Stone played the unforgettable Catherine Tramell. The common thread between these complex serial killers is that their respective movies were beyond memorable and considered some of the popular, not of just of serial killers, but movies period.

What is the best serial killer movie? It's up to you to vote on what should be considered The Best Serial Killer Movie of all time. Pick the movies you think should be ranked high on this Ultimate List of the Best Serial Killer Movies.

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1
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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2
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

Released: 1995

Directed by: David Fincher

Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

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#1 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #64 of 481 The Greatest Movies for Guys #93 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

3
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins

Released: 1960

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

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#8 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #14 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #153 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

4
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
stubb added Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Donald Pleasence

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Carpenter

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her ...more

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5
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence ...more

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6
Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
StacyWolfe added Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton

Released: 2002

Directed by: Brett Ratner

Red Dragon is a 2002 American psychological thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name. It is a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. The novel was originally ...more

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The Most Memorable Quotes From 'Red Dragon' #28 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #175 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

7
Zodiac is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Clark Benson added Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2007

Directed by: David Fincher

Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher, based on the 1986 non-fiction book by Robert Graysmith. In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist (Jake ...more

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8
The Bone Collector is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
wiabux added Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, Queen Latifah

Released: 1999

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

The Bone Collector is a 1999 psychological thriller film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie, directed by Phillip Noyce and produced by Martin Bregman. The movie was based on the novel ...more

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9
The Texas Chain Saw Mass... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
wiabux added Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal

Released: 1974

Directed by: Tobe Hooper

This movie is a 1974 American slasher film, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar ...more

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10
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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#14 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #123 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Books #403 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

11
No Country for Old Men ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
StacyWolfe added Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

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#13 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #32 of 358 The Best Movies Based On Bookslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Saw is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
BobbyMoore added Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

Released: 2004

Directed by: James Wan

Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more

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13
Monster is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
beernbugs added Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Rose Byrne

Released: 2003

Directed by: Patty Jenkins

Monster is a 2003 drama film about Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida in 2002 for taking six men's lives in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron, and ...more

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14
A Nightmare on Elm Stree... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

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15
Kiss the Girls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
wiabux added Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Mena Suvari

Released: 1997

Directed by: Gary Fleder

Kiss the Girls is a 1997 American psychological thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Cary Elwes. The screenplay by David Klass is based on the ...more

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#242 of 560 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #625 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #28 of 280 The Best Whodunit Movies

16
Halloween is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Malcolm McDowell, Danny Trejo, Danielle Harris

Released: 2007

Directed by: Rob Zombie

Halloween is a 2007 American slasher film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie. The film is a remake/reimagining of the 1978 horror film of the same name; it is a reboot of the ...more

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17
Scream is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
beernbugs added Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Courteney Cox

Released: 1996

Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream is a 1996 American slasher film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Drew Barrymore, and David Arquette. Released on ...more

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According To This Theory, Dewey Is The Serial Killer Mastermind In 'Scream' #31 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #238 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

18
Natural Born Killers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Robert Downey Jr., Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 1994

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Natural Born Killers is a 1994 American film directed by Oliver Stone starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Sizemore and Tommy Lee Jones. The film was released in the ...more

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19
Copycat is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
willyboymcoy added Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, Harry Connick

Released: 1995

Directed by: Jon Amiel

1995 Copycat is a 1995 American psychological thriller, starring Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter and Dermot Mulroney. The film was directed by Jon Amiel, with a score composed by Christopher Young.

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20
Frailty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
wiabux added Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe

Released: 2001

Directed by: Bill Paxton

Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. It marks Paxton's directorial debut. The plot focuses on the strange ...more

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21
The Hitcher is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
shaydie added Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell

Released: 1986

Directed by: Robert Harmon

The Hitcher is a 1986 action horror film directed by Robert Harmon and written by Eric Red. The film stars Rutger Hauer, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jeffrey DeMunn.

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22
The Collector is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
jenkinsmo2718 added Daniella Alonso, Madeline Zima, Andrea Roth

Released: 2009

Directed by: Marcus Dunstan

The Collector is a 2009 horror film written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton and directed by Dunstan. Originally titled The Midnight Man, the script was originally intended to be a Saw ...more

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23
Misery is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan

Released: 1990

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

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24
Manhunter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
JayDee added Brian Cox, Garcelle Beauvais, Joan Allen

Released: 1986

Directed by: Michael Mann

Manhunter is a 1986 American thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon. Written and directed by Michael Mann, it stars William Petersen as Will Graham and features Brian Cox as ...more

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#122 of 240 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #369 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #94 of 280 The Best Whodunit Movies

25
Mr. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Serial Killer Movies
wiabux added Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, Danielle Panabaker

Released: 2007

Directed by: Bruce A. Evans

Mr. Brooks is a 2007 American psychological thriller film directed by Bruce A. Evans starring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and William Hurt. It was released on June 1, 2007. The film ...more

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