7 Best Serial Killer Movies Based on True Stories

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Smriti Razdan
Smriti Razdan
Smriti started her journey by attaining a degree in computer applications. She loves to indulge in reading undiscovered stories only to draw profound explanations about life and its existence. She welcomes you aboard on her expedition of finding herself. Smriti writes her content with a smile on her face hoping to transcend it to her readers.

Can we please stop pretending that we aren’t fascinated by Serial Killers! God, what drives them to this kind of passion and cruelty? Well, we are about to find out. In this article, you will find the list of the best serial killer movies based on true stories. 

All serial killers are high-functioning psychopaths. No, I’m not talking about Sherlock Holmes. Duh! Jokes aside, it’s true. In almost all of the Serial Killers, there’s is always some kind of a medical condition they are going through or some are just straight psychos. A quality that is found in all of them is that all of them are smart.

You are here because you want to check out how serial killers pull off multiple murders. How they vanish in the air without a touch of evidence. Here is the list of top 7 Serial Killer Movies Based on True Stories

  1. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
  2. Zodiac (2007)
  3. Monster (2003)
  4. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
  5. Psyco (1960)
  6. Gacy (2003)
  7. Dahmer (2002)

Above written movies are some of the best serial killer movies with high ratings. They will get you glued to your screen. Without wasting any more time, let’s get on with it.

7 Best Serial Killer Movies Based on True Crime

The movies aren’t just included because of their reviews but also because of their real ratings. In the list given below, you will know about the respective IMDb ratings.

1. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) 

Source: Wallpaper Cave

The Silence of the Lambs is kinda spooky to be true. You know those movies based on serial killers with a slight touch of horror. In this movie, Clarice Starling, the protagonist, is an FBI agent who has to interview a very dark-minded cannibalistic serial killer. She is warned before that he will get into her head. Hence the story.

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The Silence of the Lambs has won 6 Academy Awards, 1 Golden Globe Award, 2 British Academy Film Awards, and has been nominated in 21 categories in total. The movie has all the quirks to be included in the list of serial killer movies.

IMDb- 8.6/10  

2. Zodiac (2007)

Source: The Cinemaholic

A serial killer named himself Zodiac Killer. Fancier.
This serial killer movie stars popular actors like Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Robert Downey Jr, as the main leads. The movie Zodiac is based on a serial killer from America in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Let me let you that this MF was so smart that he sent clues in Morse Code and unknown languages that even investigating officers couldn’t comprehend easily. The movie ends on a very unexpected note (NO SPOILERS HERE).

The director has won Dublin Film Critics’ Circle Awards in the category Best Director. The movie has been nominated in over 25 categories in renowned awards. We cannot just talk about serial killer movies and miss this one.

IMDb- 7.7

3. Monster (2003)

Source: Brandon Talks Movies

Monster is a story of a female serial killer who kills her johns.
Aileen Wuornos is the lead character of the movie. She is a prostitute and broke and tries to kill herself. She attempts to leave prostitution but has no other option besides it.

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One night she is brutally raped and beaten by her client, she kills him in self-defense. And after this point, she decides to kill every customer of hers and robs their money. This way no one will ever rape her and she won’t have to be broke anymore. After many years of investigation, she is finally caught and sentenced to death.

Monster is nominated for over 40 awards and has won 29 awards, Academy Awards, and Golden Globe to name a few.

IMDb- 7.3 

4. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Source: Bloody Disgusting

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a psychological horror crime. It is chilling to the bones. The movie is a docudrama of Henry’s real life and how he became a serial killer.

He tells that he killed his mother because she abused and humiliated him when he was a kid and often has sex in front of him. He is a very sharp serial killer and makes sure he never repeats a pattern while killing someone. He kills his friend and girlfriend who support him in his plans. We guess it is also a part of his plan.

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In real life, the serial killer on which this true story is based has confessed in jail that he has killed more than 600 people in his life.

IMDb- 7.0

5. Psyco (1960)

Source: Funky MBTI in Fiction – Tumblr

Psycho is a black and white movie based on a true story. Norman. The killer is an absolute psychopath as he murders his ex-girlfriend and her lover out of jealousy. He couldn’t imagine living without his ex-girlfriend whom he just killed so he mummifies her corpse as treats it as if it’s alive (No I’m not petrified, YOU ARE!).

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He kills some other people too for some petty reasons and then is finally jailed. Psycho was nominated for 20 Awards and has won a Golden Globe, a Saturn Award among many others. It’s a thriller and a scary one, and that’s why it has to be on the serial killer movies list.

IMDb- 8.5

6. Gacy (2003)

Source: Wikidata

John Wayne Gacy was a loving father, a husband, and a serial killer. Gacy is a movie based on the true crimes of John Gacy who had over 30 dead men and boys buried underneath his family house.

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The movie is directed by David Birke. It shows what happens in the mind of a vicious killer who ultimately gets caught after failing to hide the smell of the dead corpses. 

IMDb- 4.7

7. Dahmer (2002)

Source: Amazon.com

Dahmer is a true crime story based on the life of Jeffery Dahmer, a socially awkward man from  Wisconsin. He shares his story of how he was a troubled teenager. His religious father denied his homosexuality.

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All this leads him to attract young men, he brings them home do experiments with them ultimately killing them. A scene from the movie tells us that he was guilty of raping & killing 17 men and was killed in prison by a cellmate. 

IMDb- 5.6 

Wrapping Up

Movies based on True crime can be a little horrifying if you aren’t used to watching Serial Killer movies. But these movies will definitely give you a head start.

The Silence of the Lambs and Zodiac are my most favorite in the list of Top 7 Best Serial Killer Movies Based on True Stories. If you have like some other from this list besides these two, do let us know by commenting down below in the comment section.

Have a Great Day!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which movie serial killer has the most kills in his real life?

Henry from the movie Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986), has been found guilty of killing 600 people, according to reports.

Who was the first-ever serial killer?

H.H. Holmes (born May 16, 1861) from New Hampshire, US is said to be the first serial killer ever.

Who is the most messed-up serial killer?

Ted Bunny, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy are considered some of the most messed-up serial killers.

Feature Image Credits: Film Daily


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