Let’s Talk Horror Movies is back!
Welcome to part 8, this edition we’ll be having a gander at serial killers!
Serial killers have been around for many centuries and in many cultures and civilisation. The fascination with serial killers has existed for just as long. Some of the most notable serial killers in history are the likes of:
H.H. Holmes, (May 16, 1861 to May 7, 1896) was one of America’s first serial killers. Sometimes referred to as the “Beast of Chicago,” Holmes is believed to have killed somewhere between 20 and 200 people
Gilles Garnier was a French hermit and cannibalistic, serial murderer convicted of being a werewolf. Alternately known as “The Hermit of St. Bonnot” and “The Werewolf of Dole”.
Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a Hungarian noblewoman and reputed serial killer from the noble family of Báthory. She has been labelled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer, though the precise number of her victims is debated.
These killers and many like them have gone on to inspire hundreds of horror characters. Ed Gein, for example, is said to be the inspiration for Texas Chainsaw and psycho.
Films featuring Serial Killers:
Psycho, (1906) Alfred Hitchcock
Seeing the opportunity to take the money and start a new life, Marion leaves town and heads towards Sam’s California store. Tired after the long drive and caught in a storm, she gets off the main highway and pulls into the Bates Motel. The motel is managed by a quiet young man called Norman who seems to be dominated by his mother.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, (1974) Tobe Hooper
Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths And must survive the terrors of Leatherface and his family.
Halloween, (1978) John Carpenter
Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963 aged 6, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois to kill again.
Laurie, Jamie Lee Curtis, absolutely dominates these movies and its easy to say that Halloween, along with, Texas Chainsaw, Friday 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street were some of the quintessential early horrors that were the inspiration for so many since.
Friday 13th, (1980) Sean S. Cunningham
A group of camp counsellors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child’s drowning.
This is the first in the Friday 13th (or Jason) series, featuring the notoriously famous Jason Voorhees and his hockey mask!
(and his mum)
Prom Night, (1980) Paul Lynch
At a high school senior prom, a masked serial killer stalks four teenagers who were responsible for the accidental death of a classmate six years previously. Prom Night was also remade in 2008 starring Brittany Snow, however that version is more of a stalker killer type.
A Nightmare on Elm Street, (1984) Wes Craven
The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.
This, like Friday 13th is the first in the long and winding Freddy Kruger franchise! Still iconic and incredible all these years later.
Manhunter, (1986) Michael Mann
This is going to sound pretty similar to another story.. Red Dragon. This is a standalone more about the Tooth Fairy and Will Graham than the cat and mouse between Will Graham and Hannibal. This is an interesting adaptation of Red Dragon with Brian Cox as a Hannibal that couldn’t be more different to Anthony Hopkins’.
Silence of the Lambs, (1991) Johnathan Demme
Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb kidnaps and skins his victims so he can make himself the perfect women-suit. FBI Trainee Clarice Starling is sent to the BSHCI to interview one Hannibal Lecter and, their interactions begin. He offers her a chance at catching Buffalo Bill for the chance to know her better, he eventually escapes, promising that he’d see her again.
This is my favourite film of all time, we also looked at the film VS the book in our book-buster article.
Se7en, (1995) David Fincher
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.
I am a sucker for anything that smooshes murders and religious iconography, myths etc. So it’s safe to say, I’ve watched this a bunch of times, also David Fincher makes a great movie.
Scream, (1996) Wes Craven
A year after her mother’s death, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), and her friends started experiencing some strange phone calls. They later learned the calls were coming from a crazed serial killer, in a white-faced mask and a large black robe, he wants revenge. His phone calls usually consist of many questions, the main one being: What’s your favorite scary movie?
American Pyscho, (2000) Mary Harron
Another horror book come film adaptation, American Pyscho is about a wealthy New York City investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, who hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.
The Cell, 2000 Tarsem Singh
An F.B.I. Agent persuades a social worker, who is adept with a new experimental technology, to enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to learn where he has hidden his latest kidnap victim.
Right, I know that whole premise sounds ridiculous, however, Tarsem Singh is a visionary, he makes some of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. This is worth a watch for the absolutely bonkers visuals and JLO’s pretty alright acting skills!
Hannibal, (2001) Ridley Scott
We all know the story, Hannibal escapes from BSHCI at the end of Silence of the Lambs and he is now at large. We catch up with Hanni in the beautiful City of Florence, where he is living his best life. Soon we learn that an old patient of his is holding a pretty intense grudge, Mason Verger is out for blood. Hannibal sends a message to FBI Agent Clarice Starling and a race begins, who will find serial killer Hannibal the cannibal?
Monster, (2003) Patty Jenkins
The true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos who was convicted of luring men to their death and eventually executed in 2002. Working as a hooker hitching rides along the local interstate highway and after robbing a few clients. She has an encounter with a vicious client whom she kills in self-defence. After that, however, she just takes to killing clients taking their money and car. Once arrested she claims self-defence but is eventually convicted.
Zodiac, (2007) David Fincher
Based on the books, Zodiac is set in the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree. Based on the books, based on the true story of the Zodiac killer.
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