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Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic

Updated November 5, 2019 995 votes 136 voters 7.1k views25 items

List RulesVote up your favorite movies about the hunt for a serial murderer that are less OMG horror, more dramatic thriller.

Murder plus expertly calibrated tension is the perfect recipe for serial killer thrillers. The top dramatic serial killer movies feature cat-and-mouse games between disturbed characters and the people out to put them behind bars. This is a list of the greatest serial killer dramas including everything from Kiss the Girls to The Killer Inside Me to I Saw the Devil.

What films will you find on this list of the best dramatic serial killer movies? The Silence of the Lambs features not one, but two serial killers. The incarcerated Hannibal Lecter is recruited by the FBI to help catch Buffalo Bill before he kills again. Seven is another compelling serial killer movie with a lot of drama. American Psycho finds a New York businessman trading in stocks for slaughters. Other good movies featured on this list include Psycho, Zodiac, and Strangers on a Train.

Do you have a favorite movie about serial killers? Give the best films a thumbs up and please add any great movies that are missing.

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  • 1
    The Silence of the Lambs
    81
    19

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Seven
    65
    12

    Seven

    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow

    Released1995

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Zodiac
    50
    17

    Zodiac

    Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal

    Released2007

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery thriller film directed by David Fincher, based on the 1986... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Psycho
    46
    15

    Psycho

    Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh

    Released1960

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Red Dragon
    39
    12

    Red Dragon

    Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes

    Released2002

    Directed byBrett Ratner

    Red Dragon is a 2002 American psychological thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Frailty
    37
    13

    Frailty

    Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton

    Released2001

    Directed byBill Paxton

    Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Copycat
    34
    13

    Copycat

    Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter

    Released1995

    Directed byJon Amiel

    Copycat is a 1995 American psychological thriller, starring Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter and... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Dahmer
    34
    13

    Dahmer

    Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison

    Released2002

    Directed byDavid Jacobson

    Dahmer is a 2002 American biopic horror film about the American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Hannibal
    35
    17

    Hannibal

    Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

    Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    American Psycho
    38
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    American Psycho

    Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe

    Released2000

    Directed byMary Harron

    American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Kiss the Girls
    33
    19

    Kiss the Girls

    Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd

    Released1997

    Directed byGary Fleder

    Kiss the Girls is a 1997 American psychological thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Mr. Brooks
    25
    16

    Mr. Brooks

    Demi Moore, Kevin Costner

    Released2007

    Directed byBruce A. Evans

    Mr. Brooks is a 2007 American psychological thriller film directed by Bruce A. Evans starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Artik
    2
    4

    Artik

    Chase Williamson, Jerry G. Angelo

    Released2019

    Directed byTom Botchii Skowronski

    Artik is a 2019 American horror action film directed by Tom Botchii Skowronski. A boy... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Manhunter
    24
    15

    Manhunter

    Brian Cox, Garcelle Beauvais

    Released1986

    Directed byMichael Mann

    Manhunter is a 1986 American thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon. Written... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    I Saw the Devil
    22
    14

    I Saw the Devil

    Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik

    Released2010

    Directed byKim Jee-woon

    I Saw the Devil is a 2010 South Korean psychological thriller horror film directed by Kim... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Hannibal Rising
    17
    14

    Hannibal Rising

    Gong Li, Kevin McKidd

    Released2007

    Directed byPeter Webber

    Hannibal Rising is a 2007 horror film and the fifth film of the Hannibal Lecter franchise. It... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Confessions
    14
    12

    Confessions

    Takako Matsu, Masaki Okada

    Released2010

    Directed byTetsuya Nakashima

    Confessions is a 2010 Japanese drama film directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, based on Kanae... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Bundy: An American Icon
    14
    12

    Bundy: An American Icon

    Kane Hodder, Corin Nemec

    Released2008

    Directed byMichael Feifer

    Bundy: An American Icon is a 2008 horror film depicting the criminal career of American serial... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Strangers on a Train
    12
    15

    Strangers on a Train

    Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger

    Released1951

    Directed byAlfred Hitchcock

    Strangers on a Train is a 1951 American psychological thriller film noir produced and directed... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Funny Games
    11
    16

    Funny Games

    Naomi Watts, Tim Roth

    Released2007

    Directed byMichael Haneke

    Funny Games is a 2007 psychological thriller film written and directed by Michael Haneke, a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    The Killer Inside Me
    7
    11

    The Killer Inside Me

    Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson

    Released2010

    Directed byMichael Winterbottom

    This film is a 2010 American film adaptation of the 1952 novel of the same name by Jim... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Memories of Murder
    6
    10

    Memories of Murder

    Song Kang-Ho, Park Hae-il

    Released2003

    Directed byBong Joon-ho

    Memories of Murder is a 2003 South Korean crime-drama film directed by Bong Joon-ho. In a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Lady Vengeance
    6
    10

    Lady Vengeance

    Lee Young-ae, Song Kang-Ho

    Released2005

    Directed byPark Chan-wook

    Lady Vengeance is a 2005 South Korean psychological thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    The Chaser
    3
    8

    The Chaser

    Kim Yoon-seok, Ha Jung-woo

    Released2008

    Directed byNa Hong-jin

    The Chaser is a 2008 South Korean action thriller film directed by Na Hong-jin. A disgraced... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
    1
    8

    Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

    Bae Doona, Song Kang-Ho

    Released2002

    Directed byPark Chan-wook

    Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a 2002 South Korean drama thriller film directed by Park... more on Wikipedia