Sunday, April 29, 2012

Best Serial Killer Films (Crime Thriller Movies)

Serial Killer Movies

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TOO SCARY 2 WATCH now presents a list of serial killer movies (arranged by year), that we believe may be worth checking out, if you love crime thrillers like we do! The list may continue to be updated and expanded upon as we continue to find more movies that we believe fit the criteria and are worthy of being added.

There are obviously many different types of serial killer movies and crime thriller films out there on the market. Making a list of all of them wasn't the objective here. The goal "in a nutshell" was to try and find movies like seven (aka Se7en) ... so with that in mind, we've chosen to put the emphasis on the ones "like" The Silence of the Lambs and Seven (and the whodunit style serial killer movies we saw a lot of in the 90's).

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Our definition of a Serial Killer Movie/Crime Thriller:

Crime Thrillers / Serial Killer: Drama style movies, typically involving detectives (or FBI agents), in a race against time to catch a notorious serial killer (a calculating and evasion individual who's always one step ahead), often in the gloom and rain of a major city.



It can be argued whether some of the movies on the list actually fit the bill (some of them aren't like Seven or The Silence of the Lambs) ... nevertheless, we've done are best to included a variety of different types of serial killer movies, all the while trying not to wander too far away from the kind mentioned above.
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Disclaimer

Not all of the movies on the list, in our opinion, are good movies, but were chosen to be included for a variety of different reasons.

Thanks and enjoy!
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This Emmy-nominated miniseries from director Jerry London follows three consecutive police chiefs (Wayne Rogers, Brad Davis and Billy Dee Williams) in a rural Southern town who work for decades to bring an elusive child molester and serial killer (Keith Carradine) to justice. As the final sheriff (Williams) closes in, he must also confront racist backlash from the town he's sworn to protect. Charlton Heston and Danny Glover also star.

Director: Jerry London
R-Rated
229 mins
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Miami newspaper reporter Malcolm Anderson (Kurt Russell) is fed up with writing about murder. But just when he's about to hand in his resignation, he receives a surprising call from the murderer mentioned in his latest article -- a serial slayer known as the "Numbers Killer." Anderson goes back to work, butthe more he writes, the closer he comes to harm. Andy Garcia, Joe Pantoliano and Mariel Hemingway co-star in this grisly thriller.


Director: Phillip Borsos
R-Rated
103 mins



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aka Red Dragon: The Pursuit of Hannibal Lecter

Using his uncanny ability to get inside psychopaths' minds, former FBI agent Will Graham (William Petersen) returns to action to hunt down a serial killer. Graham retired after catching Hannibal Lecter (Brian Cox) and subsequently suffering a breakdown. Now, he engages in a risky cat-and-mouse game with Lecter to capture a new killer. This gripping psychological horror film is based on the novel Red Dragon, the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs.

Director: Michael Mann
R-Rated
119 mins


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In this pulse-pounding adaptation of Thomas Harris's novel, FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) ventures into a maximum-security asylum to pick the diseased brain of Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a psychiatrist turned homicidal cannibal. Starling needs clues to help her capture a serial killer; unfortunately, her Faustian relationship with Lecter soon leads to his escape … and now, two deranged killers are on the loose.

Director: Jonathan Demme
R-Rated
118 mins

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aka Jennifer Eight

Andy Garcia stars as John Berlin, a detective in a small Northern California town who's pulled into a grisly murder investigation: Eight unidentified blind women, code-named "Jennifer" by police files, are victims of a killer's gruesome handiwork. John works to uncover the mystery with the help of (and while protecting) the possible next victim, Helena Robinson, a blind woman played by Uma Thurman.

Director: Bruce Robinson
R-Rated
124 mins


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Peter Sanderson (Christopher Lambert), a tormented but brilliant chess player, comes out of retirement to compete in a tournament. But when a beautiful woman he meets through a one-night stand turns up dead, Sanderson finds himself in check mate. Now, as a pawn in an all-too-real -- and deadly -- game of chess with a deranged psychopath, his only hope is to figure out the killer's next move with help from psychologist Kathy Sheppard (Diane Lane).


Director: Carl Schenkel
R-Rated
108 mins


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In this fact-based film, Russian forensics expert Burakov (Stephen Rea) tracks a serial killer over several years. Bukarov's superior, Fetisov (Donald Sutherland), does his best to assist, but with more than 50 victims, the case stalls under Soviet bureaucracy. At the end of his rope, Bukarov brings in a psychiatrist (Max von Sydow) to create the killer's profile. Sutherland won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role in this made-for-cable thriller.

Director: Chris Gerolmo
R-Rated
105 mins
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The hunt for a San Francisco psycho makes unlikely comrades of two women: criminal psychologist Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver), who's survived an attack by another serial killer, and Detective M.J. Monahan (Holly Hunter), who needs Hudson's insight to break the case. The culprit has been nicknamed the Copycat for using methods based on real serial killers, from the Boston Strangler to Son of Sam.


Director: Joe Amiel
R-Rated
123 mins

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When a death row inmate (Blair Underwood) calls on Harvard law professor Paul Armstrong (Sean Connery) to prove his innocence eight years after a crime, the evidence doesn't interest the police. But can Armstrong overcome the system and catch the real killer? Laurence Fishburne, Ed Harris, Kate Capshaw and Scarlett Johansson co-star in this Everglades-set thriller based on John Katzenbach's novel of the same name.

Director: Arne Glimcher
R-Rated
102 mins
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Two homicide detectives are on a desperate hunt for a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) whose crimes are based on the "seven deadly sins" in this dark and haunting film that takes viewers from the tortured remains of one victim to the next. The seasoned Det. Sommerset (Morgan Freeman) researches each sin in an effort to get inside the killer's mind, while his novice partner, Mills (Brad Pitt), scoffs at his efforts to unravel the case.

Director: David Fincher 
R-Rated
127 mins
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When five unacquainted crooks are hauled into a police station to appear in a criminal lineup, they decide to pull off a heist together. The plan gets complicated, however, when they intermix with an underworld kingpin named Keyser Söze.

Director: Bryan Singer
R-Rated
106 mins
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Forensic psychologist Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) travels to North Carolina and teams with escaped kidnap victim Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) to hunt down "Casanova," a serial killer who abducts strong-willed women and forces them to submit to his demands. The trail leads to Los Angeles, where the duo discovers that the psychopath may not be working alone in this tense psychological thriller based on James Patterson's best-selling novel.


Director: Gary Fleder
R-Rated
115 mins

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aka Papertrail

In this modern-day Jack the Ripper story, Chris Penn is Jason Enola, an obsessive, burned-out FBI agent who's been chasing a serial killer for 10 years. After a four-year lull, the murders resume, testing Enola's sanity and threatening the life of a female psychiatrist (Jennifer Dale) who begins receiving phone calls from the killer. What follows is a grisly chase of the most heinous criminal mind in history.

Director: Damian Lee
R-Rated
88 mins


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Law student Martin Bells (Ewan McGregor) takes a job as the night watchman in a creepy city morgue. But when a serial killer's mutilated victims begin to pile up, Martin finds himself at odds with a surly police detective (Nick Nolte). To make things worse, all the clues seem to point to Martin, and he'll have a hell of a time trying to clear his name. Patricia Arquette, Lauren Graham and Josh Brolin co-star in this moody thriller. 

Director: Ole Bornedal 
R-Rated
101 mins
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Assigned to nab a killer before he or she strikes again, tough homicide detective John Hobbes (Denzel Washington) knows he's on a dangerous assignment -- and one for which he's uniquely suited. But there's more to it than he realizes. Turns out he's not just up against a killer: He must face an evil spirit that can morph from one innocent bystander to the next. John Goodman and Embeth Davidtz also star.

Director: Gregory Hoblit 
R-Rated
124 mins
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With a string of serial murders terrorizing Salt Lake City, police detective Caleb Barnes (Stephen Baldwin) finds himself under intense pressure to solve the case. To make matters worse, his personal life is disintegrating in the wake of his son's recent, accidental shooting death. Can the emotionally distraught cop end the killings before the tension tears him to pieces? Tyne Daly costars in this taut crime thriller from director John Flynn.

Director: John Flynn
R-Rated
99 mins
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Rookie cop Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) reluctantly teams with Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) -- formerly the department's top homicide detective but now paralyzed as a result of a spinal injury -- to catch a grisly serial killer dubbed The Bone Collector. The murderer's special signature is to leave tantalizing clues based on the grim remains of his crimes. Director Phillip Noyce filmed this thriller on location in New York and Montreal.


Director: Phillip Noyce
R-Rated
118 mins
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On the trail of a relentlessly precise serial killer (Robert Joy), Chicago detectives John Prudhomme (Christopher Lambert) and Andrew Hollinsworth (Leland Orser) learn what the murderer is really up to: He intends to reconstruct the body of Christ in time for Easter, using spare parts from innocent victims. The case proves particularly challenging for Prudhomme, who recently lost his son, his once-solid marriage -- and his faith in God. 

Director: Russell Mulcahy 
R-Rated
107 mins

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Les rivières pourpres (original title)

A pair of French investigators working on seemingly unconnected cases -- a grisly ritual killing in an insular university town and a graveyard desecration that occurred 150 miles away -- join forces when their clues ultimately dovetail. 

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz 
R-Rated
106 mins
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aka After Alice

After a blow to the head, haggard Det. Mickey Hayden (Kiefer Sutherland) acquires an extraordinary new ability: He can visualize the owner of anything he touches. This homicide-solving talent comes in handy when Hayden gets assigned to the hardest case of his life. A serial killer named Jabberwocky has resurfaced, pinning a note to his most recent victim challenging Hayden to stalk the murderer again in this direct-to-video thriller.


Director: Paul Marcus
R-Rated
100 mins
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Burned out after failing to bust a sadistic serial killer in Los Angeles, FBI agent Joel Campbell (James Spader) retires to Chicago. But the killer (Keanu Reeves) refuses to leave the lawman alone, and begins furnishing new clues designed to drive him mad. To motivate Campbell to rejoin the cat-and-mouse chase, the killer sends photos of his next victims. But it's up to Campbell to try to save them first.

Director: Joe Charbanic
R-Rated
97 mins
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When a girl is kidnapped from a prestigious prep school, homicide detective Alex Cross takes the case, teaming up with young security agent Jezzie Flannigan in hopes of finding the girl and stopping the brutal psychopath before it's too late.

Director: Lee Tamahori
R-Rated
104 mins

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Johnny Depp stars as an opium-huffing inspector from Scotland Yard who falls for one of Jack the Ripper's prostitute targets (Heather Graham) in this Hughes brothers adaption of a graphic novel that posits the Ripper's true identity. Ian Holm and Robbie Coltrane co-star in this genre-bending drama that marked Albert and Allen Hughes's laudable attempt to break out of their pigeonhole as "black directors."

Director 1: Albert Hughes
Director 2: Allen Hughes
R-Rated
121 mins

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Anthony Hopkins returns as one of the great villains in screen history -- Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter -- in this riveting sequel to The Silence of the Lambs that finds Lecter's only surviving victim trying to draw the serial gourmet out of hiding. Eager to get his revenge on the sadistic killer, the now-hideously scarred Mason Verger (Gary Oldman) uses the one person Lecter cares about as bait: FBI agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore).

Director: Ridley Scott
R-Rated
131 mins

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Homicide detective Jerry Black (Jack Nicholson) is on the eve of retirement when he gets a call that changes everything. A young girl has been murdered, and Black takes the case, promising the distraught parents he'll see it through to the end. Robin Wright co-stars as Black's companion, a single, working-class mother who can't divine the obsessive streak that makes him tick. Sean Penn directs this psychological thriller.

Director: Sean Penn
R-Rated
124 mins

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aka D-Tox

Traumatized after witnessing a brutal crime while on the job, FBI agent Jake Malloy (Sylvester Stallone) checks into a rehab clinic for law enforcement officers in the remote wilderness of Wyoming, run by an ex-cop named Doc (Kris Kristofferson). When he realizes that a serial killer is loose in the facility and his fellow patients are being murdered, Jake must set aside his fears and track down the killer before he becomes the next victim.

Director: Jim Gillespie
R-Rated
96 mins

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Sent to investigate the murder of a teenage girl in a small Alaska town, police detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino) accidentally shoots his partner, Hap (Martin Donovan), while trying to apprehend a suspect (Robin Williams). But in spite of his guilt, he's still determined to solve the case. Hilary Swank co-stars as a local detective who hampers Dormer's efforts based on her suspicions about the circumstances of Hap's death.

Director: Christopher Nolan
R-Rated
118 mins

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Tenacious homicide detective Cassie Mayweather (Sandra Bullock) and her still-green partner (Ben Chaplin) are working a murder case, attempting to profile two malevolently brilliant young men (Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt): cold, calculating killers whose dark secrets might explain their crimes. Chris Penn co-stars in this psychological suspense-thriller from director Barbet Schroeder that tracks Mayweather's attempts to win the battle of wits.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
R-Rated
120 mins
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This Silence of the Lambs prequel stars Edward Norton as former FBI agent Will Graham, who was once nearly killed by the savage Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) and now has no choice but to face him again. It seems Lecter is the only one who can help Graham track down a new serial killer, Francis Dolarhyde (Ralph Fiennes) -- but can he be trusted? Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, Mary-Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman co-star.

Director: Brett Ratner
R-Rated
124 mins
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In this chilling docudrama, criminal investigator Robert Keppel (Bruce Greenwood) is pursuing the infamous Green River Killer -- still at large -- when he decides to enlist the aid of another serial killer to try to apprehend him. The man in question is Ted Bundy (Cary Elwes), then imprisoned in Florida and awaiting possible execution -- something Bundy hoped to put off, or even escape, by cooperating with the investigators on the Green River case.

Director: Bill Eagles
R-Rated
91 mins
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Would you kill to live? That's what Adam and Gordon have to ask themselves when they're abducted by a serial killer and paired up in a deadly situation -- holed up in a prison constructed with such ingenuity that escape seems impossible.

Director: James Wan
R-Rated
100 mins


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A killer is on the loose, and FBI agent Thomas Mackelway is on the case, sifting through clues to uncover the criminal's identity. But there's one unusual twist: The bloodthirsty felon's victims of choice are other serial killers.

Director: E. Elias Merhige
R-Rated
99 mins


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Recruited to assist Montreal police in their desperate search for a serial killer who assumes the identities of his victims, FBI profiler Illeana Scott (Angelina Jolie) knows it's only a matter of time before the killer strikes again. Her most promising lead is a museum employee (Ethan Hawke) who might be the killer's only eyewitness. But can he really be trusted, given the murderer's penchant for deception?

Director: D.J. Caruso
R-Rated
103 mins

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Female cop Jessica (Ashley Judd) is more dedicated to enforcing the law than most of her colleagues, since she feels she has a lot to make up for: Her father moonlighted as a serial killer. Could it be that the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree? That's what Jessica thinks when she finds herself at the center of her own investigation as past lovers inexplicably start dying at a breakneck pace.

Director: Philip Kaufman
R-Rated
97 mins


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Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) desperately tries to catch notorious killer Jigsaw in this suspenseful sequel that finds Jigsaw staying true to his bloodthirsty M.O. of creating devious plans in which people are forced to kill each other. This time, he kidnaps eight supposed strangers and locks them all up in one room, and it's up to Matthews to find the demented killer before his bloody plan is complete.

R-Rated
93 mins
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AKA Waz and/or w Delta z

The crimes of a sadistic killer force a cop who has seen it all to take another look at a case he'd hoped was closed in this grizzly tale of violence and gang warfare. All along someone has been trying to push Detective Eddie Argo (Stellan Skarsgård) and his rookie partner, (Melissa George), into action and make Argo pay for his past decisions by murdering members of a local gang. Selma Blair co-stars.

Director: Tom Shakland
R-Rated
104 mins
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Kevin Costner plays against type, starring as a man caught in a deadly downward spiral -- and at war with his own alter ego (William Hurt) -- in this psychological thriller from writer-director team Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon (Stand by Me). Demi Moore co-stars as a sharp-witted police detective whose passion for her job attracts the attention -- and respect -- of the very serial killer she's tracking.

Director: Bruce A. Evans
R-Rated
120 mins
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David Fincher's chilling drama based on actual events in the 1960s and '70s recounts the infamous actions of a cryptic killer who stalked the streets of San Francisco in an executioner's hood and left clues about his crimes in the newspaper. Jake Gyllenhaal -- flanked by an impressive ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Chloë Sevigny -- stars as the reporter who went on to write a best-selling true-crime book.

Director: David Fincher
R-Rated
151 mins
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In this psychological thriller inspired by true events, Eliza Dushku ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") stars as Megan Paige, a dogged police investigator obsessed with capturing a demented serial killer targeting young girls in Rochester, N.Y. Haunted by the grisly rape and murder of a 10-year-old victim, Paige begins to suffer hallucinations that culminate in a suspense-filled climax. Cary Elwes and Timothy Hutton co-star.

Director: Rob Schmidt
R-Rated
98 mins
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In this tense thriller, cybercops find themselves grappling with a megalomaniacal, murderous psychopath who uses the Internet to show off his grisly handiwork, rigging his site so his remaining captives' fates depend on how many viewers it attracts. Led by FBI Agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) and working against the clock, can the team apprehend the technologically brilliant killer? Colin Hanks and Mary Beth Hurt also star.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
R-Rated
101 mins
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aka Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Already reeling from the shocking death of his wife, detective Aidan Breslin (Dennis Quaid) is destined for even darker days when he's tasked with investigating a series of grisly serial murders inspired by biblical prophecy. This chilling psychological thriller from director Jonas Åkerlund also stars Ziyi Zhang, Clifton Collins Jr., Peter Stormare, Patrick Fugit, Lou Taylor Pucci and Eric Balfour.

Director: Jonas Åkerlund
R-Rated
90 mins
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When a young computer hacker is tasked with investigating a prying journalist, their separate missions become entangled amid a decades-old conspiracy. David Fincher directs this English adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel.

Director: David Fincher
R-Rated
158 mins
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Seattle detective Jack Verdon thinks that his womanizing past is behind him. But the devoted husband and father falls under suspicion when several of his former lovers turn up dead in this tense thriller.

Director: Rick Cowan
R-Rated
92 mins
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Our Top Ten Serial Killer (Crime Thriller) Films (Arranged by Year)





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Synopsis' taken from:
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The Mothman