If you’re in the mood for a horror movie, why not check out some of the best serial killer movies out there? These spine-tingling films will have you on the edge of your seat, and they’re all available to watch right now. From classics like Silence of the Lambs to newer releases like Dexter, we’ve got something for everyone. So curl up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and get ready for a scare!
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Henry (Michael Rooker) is released from prison following his mother’s murder. He supplements his job as an exterminator with a series of indiscriminate and violent murders. Fellow jailbird and drug dealer Otis (Tom Towles) becomes a willing accomplice in Henry’s bloody killings. But as the depravity escalates and Henry forms a bond with Otis’ sister, Becky (Tracy Arnold), things start to get out of hand. The film is based on the true-life story of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.
Maniac follows the grisly murders of Frank Zito (Joe Spinell), a disturbed loner who scalps and mutilates his victims. When he’s not cruising around New York City in search of new victims, Frank spends his time taxidermying the corpses of his previous kills. One day, he meets a photographer named Anna (Caroline Munro), and the two of them begin a tentative romance. But as Frank’s mental state deteriorates, he finds it increasingly difficult to keep his murderous urges in check.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
One of the most celebrated serial killer movies of all time, The Silence of the Lambs follows FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) as she tries to track down serial killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). In order to catch him, she must enlist the help of another serial killer, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is considered a classic of the genre.
Seen from the perspective of two detectives (Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt), Se Seven follows the hunt for a serial killer who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins. As the body count rises and the detectives get closer to catching their quarry, they realize that they may be dealing with something far more evil than they ever could have imagined.
Based on the true story of the Zodiac killer, who terrorized San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s, this movie follows a team of detectives (Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Robert Downey Jr.) as they try to solve the case. Despite their best efforts, they are never able to catch the killer, and the murders remain unsolved to this day. Zodiac is a chilling reminder of the true horror that can be found in the real world.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the story of a group of friends who run afoul of a family of cannibals while on a road trip. The family, led by the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), kill and eat their victims, using their skin to create masks.
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
The Hills Have Eyes is the story of a family who becomes stranded in the desert and is hunted by a group of cannibals. The film was remade in 2006, but the original is still the best. It’s a brutal, harrowing movie that will leave you deeply shaken.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
In A Nightmare on Elm Street, a group of teenagers are stalked and killed in their dreams by Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), a serial killer who was burned to death by the parents of his victims. But Freddy is able to come back from the dead and enter people’s dreams, where he can kill them without consequence.
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th follows a group of camp counselors who are stalked and killed by serial killer Jason Voorhees (Ari Lehman). Jason is a deformed child who drowned at Camp Crystal Lake, and he comes back to haunt the people who let him die. The movie spawned an entire franchise, with over a dozen sequels.
Child’s Play (1988)
In Child’s Play, serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is shot by the police and uses a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into a doll. The doll, which he names Chucky, is then given to a young boy named Andy (Alex Vincent). But as Chucky starts to kill people, it becomes clear that he is not going to be content with being a toy.
In Halloween, serial killer Michael Myers (Nick Castle) escapes from a mental hospital and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois, where he starts killing people. He is particularly fixated on Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), a teenager who is babysitting on the night of his return. Halloween spawned a huge franchise, with over a dozen sequels and remakes.
In Psycho, serial killer Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) runs an inn near the town of Fairvale, California. But when a woman named Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) checks in, she has no idea that she is about to become the latest victim of Norman’s murderous spree. Psycho is one of the most influential movies ever made, and its shower scene is one of the most famous in all of film.
The Omen (1976)
In The Omen, serial killer Damien Thorn (Harvey Stephens) is a young boy who is adopted by Robert and Katherine Thorn (Gregory Peck and Lee Remick). Unbeknownst to them, Damien is the Antichrist, and as he gets older, his true nature begins to reveal itself. The Omen is a classic horror movie, and it spawned a number of sequels.
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is the story of a young girl named Regan (Linda Blair) who is possessed by a demon. Her mother, Chris (Ellen Burstyn), turns to two priests, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) and Father Karras (Jason Miller), for help. They perform an exorcism, but the demon is too strong, and it takes over Father Karras’s body. The Exorcist is a classic horror movie that is still just as shocking today as it was when it was first released.
The House That Jack Built (2018)
The House That Jack Built is the story of serial killer Jack (Matt Dillon), who tells his life story to an unseen stranger. Jack is a cold, methodical killer who takes pride in his work. The movie is controversial, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
These are just a few of the serial killer movies out there that are sure to send a chill down your spine. So if you’re looking for a good scare, be sure to check them out!
What are your favorite serial killer movies? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more great recommendations.