9 Merciless Serial Killer Movies That Every Hardcore Horror Fan Needs to See
1. Snowtown (2011)
Why you should watch: Snowtown (also known as The Snowtown Murders) presents Australia’s most notorious killing spree with grim realism and a no-holds-barred display of graphic violence. This movie will reach into your mind and …
When you’re in the mood for: A bleak and psychologically disturbing true story with an all-consuming sense of dread that will leave you rattled for days.
2. Dahmer (2002)
Why you should watch: A creepily mesmerizing Jeremy Renner delivers an unforgettable performance as one of the most brutal serial killers of all time.
When you’re in the mood for: The chills and unsettling terror that comes from seeing inside the mind of a psychotic killer (but without all the gore).
3. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Why you should watch: Simply put, it’s the movie that caused the MPAA to famously tell filmmakers that absolutely no recut of the footage could lead to an R rating. The terror comes from more than just the graphic scenes, it’s in the movie’s blood.
When you’re in the mood for: A low-budget but impressively realistic depiction of a deranged serial killer that aims to shock and disturb.
4. Martyrs (2008)
Why you should watch: Martyrs is a brutal and relentless film about abduction, torture and revenge that leaves most viewers divided. However you end up feeling, you won’t escape Martyrs without an opinion.
When you’re in the mood for: An unconventionally mind-bendy and gruesome tale that covers many subgenres of horror and always keeps you guessing.
5. Peeping Tom (1960)
Why you should watch: Everyone knows about Psycho, but far fewer have seen the cinematic masterpiece of voyeurism known as Peeping Tom. Originally, the fact that it was told from the perspective of the killer scandalized the entire United Kingdom and destroyed the career of the previously revered director. These days, it’s considered a must-see predecessor to the slasher genre.
When you’re in the mood for: An influential classic that pioneered the kind of psychological horror and voyeuristic camera work we’ve become so used to today.
6. Maniac (2012)
Why you should watch: Maniac compellingly features first-person point of view filming that, like Peeping Tom, forces you to see through the eyes of a killer. It’s the kind of gruesomely violent movie you put on when you’re trying to add some style to your stomach-churning experience.
When you’re in the mood for: A remake that exceeds the original with a commitment to more experimental filming and a seemingly never-ending supply of gore.
7. Chained (2012)
Why you should watch: Chained explores what happens when a kidnapped little boy follows the instructions of a serial killer in order to survive. It has a strong (but hard to swallow) message about violence that will definitely end up causing conversation.
When you’re in the mood for: A movie that will disturb you with the human side of a serial killer and a claustrophobic environment of abuse.
8. The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
Why you should watch: With the same in-your-face tone as its title suggests,The Midnight Meat Train makes for a tense, bloody, and surprisingly well-crafted ride-along with a psycho killer. Some people have hated the ending, but even the critics found enough excitement along the way to make this a worthwhile trip.
When you’re in the mood for: A visually sophisticated and straight-forward thriller with over-the-top kills and a maddening pace.
9. M (1931)
Why you should watch: Without M, there would be no Psycho or Silence of the Lambs. Even for those who don’t care about its influence, M is an engrossing and deeply unsettling film that creates one of the most tense atmospheres ever on screen. For history buffs who see horror as a window into the social dynamics of a time period, M is also a fascinating dissection of mass hysteria in pre-World War II Germany.