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.
- Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant ...more
- When retiring police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred David Mills (Brad Pitt), they discover a number of elaborate and grizzly ...more
- Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), on the lam after stealing $40,000 from her employer in order to run away with her boyfriend, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), is overcome by exhaustion during a ...more
- In the late 1960s and 1970s, fear grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer called Zodiac stalks its residents. Investigators (Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards) and reporters (Jake Gyllenhaal, ...more
- Ex-FBI agent Will Graham (Edward Norton) is an expert investigator who quit the Bureau after almost losing his life in the process of capturing the elusive Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). After a ...more
- In New York City in 1987, a handsome, young urban professional, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), lives a second life as a gruesome serial killer by night. The cast is filled by the detective (Willem ...more
- Deeply shaken after being assaulted by a deranged man (Harry Connick Jr.), Dr. Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) must face her fears if she is to help solve a series of murders. Helen is a psychologist ...more
- Seven years have passed since Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) escaped from custody. The doctor is now at large in Europe. Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) remembers Lecter too, and is obsessed with ...more
- Set in present day Texas, "Frailty" centers on the FBI's search for a serial killer who calls himself "God's Hands." McConaughey plays Fenton Meeks, a young man who approaches the lead investigator, ...more
- On a dark road, taxi driver Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik) comes across a scared female motorist stranded in a broken-down vehicle. He pulls over -- but not to help her. When the woman's head is ...more
- Successful forensic psychologist Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) discovers that his niece has gone missing. Once he consults with police Detective Nick Ruskin (Cary Elwes), Cross believes that the ...more
- FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (William L. Petersen) is called out of early retirement to assist on a serial murder case involving a killer known as the "Tooth Fairy" (Tom Noonan). Graham enlists ...more
- After witnessing the violent deaths of his parents at the end of World War II, young Hannibal Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) flees to his uncle's home in Paris. He learns his uncle is dead, but the man's ...more
- In this fictionalized, fragmented biopic of one of America's most notorious serial killers, Jeffrey Dahmer (Jeremy Renner) contemplates his latest potential victim, a young man named Rodney (Artel ...more
- Well-respected businessman Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner) has a secret: Beneath his family-man facade lurks a murderous alter-ego named Marshall (William Hurt). Brooks struggles with his addiction to ...more
- In Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's thriller, tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) is enraged by his trampy wife's refusal to finalize their divorce so he can wed senator's ...more
- Bundy: An American Icon is a 2008 horror film depicting the criminal career of American serial killer, Ted Bundy. It was directed by Michael Fein serial killer biopics, and starred Corin Nemec from ...more
- This film is a 2010 American film adaptation of the 1952 novel of the same name by Jim Thompson. The film is directed by Michael Winterbottom and stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, and Kate Hudson.
- When Ann, husband George and son Georgie arrive at their holiday home they are visited by a pair of polite and seemingly pleasant young men. Armed with deceptively sweet smiles and some golf clubs, ...more
- In 1986, Park (Song Kang-ho) and Cho (Kim Roi-ha) are two simple-minded detectives assigned to a double murder investigation in a South Korean province. But when the murderer strikes several more ...more
- Confessions is a 2010 Japanese drama film directed by Tetsuya Nakashima, based on Kanae Minato's 2008 novel of the same name. The story follows a grieving mother turned cold-blooded avenger with a ...more
- Lady Vengeance is a 2005 South Korean psychological thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook, and the third installment in the Vengeance Trilogy. After being wrongfully imprisoned for thirteen years ...more
- The Chaser is a 2008 South Korean action thriller film directed by Na Hong-jin. A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of escorts finds himself in a cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer.
- Artik is a 2019 American horror action film directed by Tom Botchii Skowronski. A boy befriends a mysterious stranger who threatens to reveal his family's horrible secret.
- Deaf-mute Ryu (Shin Ha-kyun) has just been fired from his job in a Seoul, South Korea, factory, and the timing couldn't be worse. His sister (Im Ji-eun) is suffering from kidney trouble, and she ...more