25 Serial Killer Movies

Horror, suspense and terror is a genre that finds many takers among film makers. They love to make movies on this theme because they know it attracts eyeballs in large numbers. People love to explore the realm of fear and suspense and directors capitalize on this love through various kinds of suspense movies. Suspense has many sub-genres and among them serial killer movies are a big draw for the audience. Lots of movies have been made on this sub-genre and if you check out this list of 25 serial killer movies you will find why they are such a huge hit.

Silence of The Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that contains thrilling elements of the crime and horror and fears.

Directed By: Jonathan Demme

Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, and Scott Glenn.

Plot: Clarice Starling, a young US FBI trainee seeks advice of the imprisoned serial killer, Dr. Lecter to apprehend another serial killer known as ‘buffalo bill’.

Release date: February 14, 1991.

American Psycho

American Psycho

American Psycho is a 2000 movie in the category of a psychological thriller dark comedy.

Directed By: Mary Harron

Starring: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Samantha Mathis, Chloe Sevigny, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon.

Plot: Patrick Bateman is a wealthy investment banker living in Manhattan in the late-1980s. However, he also leads a secret life as a serial killer.

Release date: April 14, 2000.

Academy awards: None



Monster is a 2004 movie based on the transition of a petty thief into a prostitute and eventually a serial killer.

Directed By: Patty Jenkins

Starring: Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci and Bruce Dern

Plot: Based on the life of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute who became a serial killer.

Release date: January 30, 2004

Academy awards: Best Actress in a leading role.



Se7enis a movie that deals with a serial killer who kills people based on seven sins.

Directed By: David Fincher

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey

Plot: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

Release date: September 22, 1995.

Academy awards: None

The Bone Collector

The Bone Collector

The Bone Collector is a thriller based on the emotions of horror, fear and suspense.

Directed By: Philip Noyce

Starring: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, and Michael Rooker.

Plot: Denzel Washington plays a quadriplegic homicide detective. He and his female partner track down a serial killer.

Release date: November 05, 1995.

Academy awards: None

Natural Born Killers

 Natural Born Killers

Natural Born Killers is an American movie featuring crime-action. It is about a couple that turns into mass murderers.

Directed By: Oliver Stone

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee jones, Juliete Lewis and Woody Harrelson.

Plot: Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Release date: August26, 1994.

Academy awards: None



Perfume is a suspense thriller based on a serial killer who kills to create the finest perfume.

Directed By: Tom Tykwer

Starring: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman

Plot: Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with a superior olfactory sense, creates the world’s finest perfume. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent.

Release date: January 5, 2007.

Academy awards: None

The Stepfather

The Stepfather

The Stepfather is the remake made in 2009 of a 1987 movie with the same name.

Directed By: Nelson McCormick

Starring: Penn Badgley, Dylan Walsh and Sela Ward

Plot: Michael returns home from military school to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend. As the two men get to know each other, he becomes more and more suspicious of the man who is always there with a helpful hand.

Release date: October16, 2009.

Academy awards: None



Disturbia is an American teen thriller based on Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘rear window’.

Directed By: DJ Caruso

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, David Morse, Carrie- Ann Moss

Plot: A teen living under house arrest becomes convinced his neighbor is a serial killer.

Release date: April 13, 2007.

Academy awards: None



Hannibal is a 2001 psychological thriller adapted from Thomas Harris’s novel with the same title.

Directed By: DJ Caruso

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, GaryOldman.

Plot: Hannibal returns to America and attempts to make contact with disgraced Agent Starling and survive a vengeful victim’s plan.

Release date: February 09, 2001.

Academy awards: None

Hannibal Rising


Hannibal Rising is a 2007 psychological crime thriller. It is the 5th movie in the ‘Hannibal’ movie series.

Directed By: Peter Webber

Starring: Gaspard Ulliel, RhisIfans, Li Gong

Plot: After the death of his parents during World War II, young Hannibal Lecter moves in with his beautiful aunt and begins plotting revenge on the barbarians responsible for his sister’s death.

Release date: February 09, 2007.

Academy awards: None



Hostel is a 2005, horror and psychological thriller based on a sex and body mutilation racket.

Directed By: Eli Roth

Starring: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson,

Plot: Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.

Release date: January 06, 2006.

Academy awards: None

Wrong Turn

Wrong Turn

Wrong Turn is a 2003 horror movie based on cannibalism and psychotic killers.

Directed By: Rob Schmidt

Starring: Eliza Dushku, Jeremy Sisto,  and Emmanuelle Chriqui,

Plot: Six people find themselves trapped in the woods of West Virginia, hunted down by cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding.

Release date: October 28, 2005.

Academy awards: None

Saw 2


Saw 2 is a 2005 Canadian- American horror movie based on serial killings that are decided by horrific games.

Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman

Starring: Donnie Wahlberg, Beverly Mitchell and Franky G

Plot: A psychotic killer locks a few unlucky people in a booby trapped shelter and they must find a way out before they inhale too much of a lethal nerve gas and die. But they must watch out, for the traps Jigsaw has set in the shelter lead to death also.

Release date: October28, 2005.

Academy awards: None

Red Dragon

Red Dragon

Red Dragonis a 2002 thriller film based on Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name, featuring psychiatrist and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Directed By: Brett Ratner

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, and Ralph Fiennes

Plot: A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down “The Tooth Fairy”, a mysterious serial killer; aiding him is imprisoned criminal genius Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter.

Release date: October 04, 2002.

Academy awards: None



Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery thriller film based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Robert Graysmith.

Directed By: David fincher

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., and Mark Ruffalo,

Plot: A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.

Release date: March 02, 2007.

Academy awards: None



Untraceable is a 2008 movie based on the search for a clever serial killer.

Directed By: Gregory Hoblit

Starring: Diane Lane, Colin Hanks, and Joseph Cross

Plot: FBI agent Jennifer Marsh is tasked with hunting down a seemingly untraceable serial killer who posts live videos of his victims on the Internet. As time runs out, the cat and mouse chase becomes more personal.

Release date: January 25, 2008.

Academy awards: None



Scream is a 1996 American teen thriller movie based on a serial killer who kills youngsters of one town.

Directed By: Wes Craven

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox,and David Arquette

Plot: A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off teenagers, and as the body count begins rising, one girl and her friends find themselves contemplating the “Rules” of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.

Release date: December 20, 1996.

Academy awards: None

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The girl with the dragon tattoo is a 2011 American mystery thriller based on a Swedish novel of the same title.

Directed By: David Fincher

Starring: Roony Mara, Daniel Craig, and Christopher Plummer

Plot: Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

Release date: December 20, 2011.

Academy awards: Best achievement in film editing.



Copycat is a 1995, American psychological thriller.

Directed By: Jon Amiel

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Holly Hunter, and Dermot Mulroney

Plot: An agoraphobic psychologist and a female detective must work together to take down a serial killer who copies serial killers from the past.

Release date: October27, 1995.

Academy awards: None



Kaliforniais a 1993 American road horror movie.

Directed By: Dominic Sena

Starring: Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, and Kathy Larson

Plot: A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself.

Release date: September 03, 1993.

Academy awards: None

The Killer Inside Me

The Killer Inside Me

The Killer inside me is a 2010 American movie which is a suspense thriller.

Directed By: Michael Winterbottom

Starring: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Alba

Plot: A West Texas deputy sheriff is slowly unmasked as a psychotic killer.

Release date: June 08, 2010.

Academy awards: None

Henry- Portrait of a Serial Killer


Henry- Portrait of a serial killer is a 1990 crime psychological thriller film.

Directed By: John McNaughton

Starring: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, and Tom Towles

Plot: Based on the true life serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas.

Release date: September, 1990.

Academy awards: None



Psycho is a 1960 American horror and suspense movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles

Plot: A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Release date: 8 September, 1960.

Academy awards: None


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