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9 Most Terrifying Serial Killer Movies and TV Shows

by Emily Keen

We often dim serial killers as sociopaths whose minds nothing but evil. But did you know that Ted Bundy the infamous American serial killer and rapist worked for a suicide hotline and saved a child from drowning? Jefferey Dahmer was famous in his school years for being a prankster and his antics had gained him immense following then. The question arises that if they had these positive qualities which impacted the lives of people in good ways, what propelled them to go on a rampage with a knife their hands. That is indeed a very logical question given the fact that they did participate in activities that normally would be tagged “good”.

One way is to read books on criminal psychology which you will dread after reading a few pages if you are not a bookworm. The other way is to watch films based on the lives of these pathological killers. These films dive deep into the lives of these criminals which possibly hold the explanation as to what led these individuals formerly normal ad humane, succumb to darkness.

Here is a list of 9 films and TV shows that derive their arcs from the lives of real-life serial criminals and literary fiction revolving around the same concept.

Ted Bundy (2002)

Ted Bundy (2002) - MoriaEven true love is not enough to keep a man from committing heinous crimes when his cognitive functioning is abnormal. Serial killer biography “Ted Bundy” is exemplary of the fact. The sinister story of Theodore Robert Bundy under Matthew Bright’s direction generously covers his ability to commit murder and a monstrous sexual appetite.

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My Friend Dahmer (2017)

My Friend Dahmer Review: A Disturbingly Effective Portrait of a ...Jefferey Dahmer is an American serial killer who rose to fame by killing 17 men and boys. This film tells the story of his progression towards the stage of a murderer and liberally explores the incidents that led to it. The film brings to life his teenage life when he struggled to make it through school with the pressures of dysfunctional family life. His goofball antics gain a cult fan club at school but little can keep his vices from spiraling out of control.

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Wolf Creek (2005)

Wolf Creek – IFC CenterA road trip goes awry in the wilderness of Australia as a group of three friends is led into a trap by a stranger disguised as a Samaritan when their car knocks out in the middle of the journey. The film is directed by Greg McLean and is by and large a celebration of pure violence. The story begins with three friends taking a road trip in Australia and experience a car breakdown in the middle of nowhere. Mick appears as a ray of hope in that helpless situation and offers them a ride down the road. The group camps at night but wakes up in a completely shabby condition and separated from one another. Turns out the stranger was not a life savior after all.

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Monster (2003)

Monster Review | Movie - EmpireFrom patty Jenkins comes a thought-provoking and patho drama seeding from the underbellies of Florida. Aileen is a prostitute who falls in love with Selby after moving to Florida. In an unfortunate turn of events, Aileen commits a murder in an attempt to save herself from the brutal attacks of John. With one predicament resolved, life still does not seem to get any better. This forces Aileen to relapse and takes the same old road of violence and cruelty.

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Man Bites dog (1992)

Man Bites DogThis film is a satirical approach to exemplify the complicity of media in the stories they report. The plot follows a serial killer Ben, whose crimes are documented by two filmmakers Remy and Andre. But the footage is more of a presentation of Ben’s mindset and methods as a killer where he talks about the philosophy behind murder and why he does what he does. The crew recording the activities of rampage eventually become a part of the crimes Ben commits thus giving the audience a whole new perspective on the pitfalls of reporting.

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Mindhunter (2017)

Charlize Theron Says the Second Season of "Mindhunter" Will Hit ...As the title suggests, the show follows the activities of FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench. Deconstructing the disillusioned mindset of a serial killer is a part of their routine which goes on to inspire the idea for a full-blown profiling system used to hunt down psycho murderers. The show boasts a strong off the camera crew including Oscar-nominated director David Fincher Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron who is one of the show’s executive producers.

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Bates Motel (2013)

Bates Motel - Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Kerry Ehrin Season 3 ...Jaw-dropping callbacks, character development, and the overall message are what make this show a true masterpiece. This is not one of those predictable storylines even though the idea of the show is a borrowed one. The smaller stories making way through the main plot prove a driving force for the whole scenario negating the element of “fillers’’. There are no fillers. All of it is relevant. The story begins with an incomprehensibly brutal act of a killer murdering his mother and putting her remains on display in their house. The answers to this disturbing puzzle are revealed as the story progresses.

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Hannibal(2013)

Hannibal's cancellation gives rise to an online fan petition to ...This is a highly acclaimed crime drama series that borrows its characters from Thomas Harris’ novel. The central theme of cannibalism finds its garnish with a top tier team of CGI experts thus giving the audience a visually salubrious experience. The audio effect is also spotting thus amplifying the whole feel tenfold. The central character of the show is a psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter who has the bane to influence his patients to do exactly as he wants.

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Se7en (1995)

Movie Review: Se7en - Casual Rambling - MediumAnother David Fincher edge of the seat thriller that stays relevant even today holds an iconic end twist that makes the audience go crazy. The film sees a serial killer ending the lives of his victims based on the seven deadly sins. The case is assigned to two detectives- one on the verge of his retirement and the other is a newbie. The case affects both their lives in the most unexpected ways and that is what elevates the whole experience. It is dark, gripping and the end is one of the most shocking scenes you may have ever experienced.

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8 Movies So Disturbing That You Can Watch Only Once

by Emily Keen

When talking about kids – and this applies to both adults and kids – one very important thing to remember is the difference between what is called mature content and what is called hardcore content. It’s about ideas and themes. The sort of explicit scenes we’re mentioning in the films are clearly the kind of depictions and their content that deals with the dark and disturbing subject matter.

Considering the makers went to great lengths to bring out the horror in these ghastly cinematic pieces, they deserve to be praised. But yet they can be watched only once given the kind of violence that is being explicitly showcased in the movies.

Here are 8 such films that every movie buff should try to watch. We say try, because, if you are sensitive, you might just give up mid-way. Else it is a onetime watch and you get to boast about covering every kind of movie on earth.

 

  1. Schindler’s List (1993)

Image result for schindler’s listLet us begin with a winner. Based on the life of Oskar Schindler, the film is based set the backdrop of Nazi Germany. The German businessman and a party member of the Nazis, in addition, has a change of conscience and decides to help Polish Jews escape atrocities by giving them jobs at his company. He blows almost all of his fortune in the process but is still left with the guilt of not being able to do much for them.

 

  1. The Woman (2011)

Image result for The WomanThe last surviving woman from a cannibalistic tribe loses her way and is held captive by a local lawyer. In an attempt to civilize the woman, the lawyer puts the woman through some horrible trauma. The woman eventually discovers the lawyer and his family have some dark secrets of their own. The film showcases some highly disturbing murder scenes that will make you sick in the head. Nonetheless, the movie was received with much appreciation for exploring the subtle cues of misogyny that exist in society.

 

  1. The Human Centipede (2009)

Image result for The Human CentipedeHonestly, the film is awful. But the story of a grim doctor who performs tormenting experiments on the tourists caught the eye and it went on to gain a cult following. It got two sequels which were equally bad and a spoof version on South Park. The plot is so vile that even the thought of it will make you sick in the head. If at all there is any reason why you should be putting yourself through this agony, it is only to get yourself a pop culture knowledge upgrade.

 

  1. The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Image result for The Passion of the ChristIt is humanly not possible to watch this much blood being spilled if you will. The film was the highest-grossing R-rated film until Deadpool took over in 2016. Now, why is a film about Jesus Christ an R-rated film? It is because it is two hours of pure barbaric torture. Don’t say we did not warn you!

 

  1. The Last House on the Left (1972)

Image result for The Last House on the LeftThe Last House on the Left can easily be called one of the most controversial films in the history of cinema. So much so that the film was banned in the UK and the copies of its reels cut to destroy any chances of witnessing the deeply disturbing and degrading scenes. The plot follows a group of escaped prisoners brutally raping and killing two teenage girls. As Karma does it’s thing, the attackers find themselves in the home of one of the girls. The savagery that ensues as a part of vengeance will literally leave you feeling nauseous.

 

  1. Maniac (2012)

Image result for maniac movieYou know the film is a winner when it has sucked you in and twisted your senses to almost make you believe you are a part of everything that is going on. Good thing, just not when the film is about a psychopath serial killer who randomly murders womenkind as a part of his retaliation against a troubled childhood he had watching his mother be a sex worker.

 

  1. Hostel (2005)

Image result for Hostel movieHostel is a classic that holds the top spots when it comes to creepy and gory movies. The film follows two tourists in Europe who are tricked by two women to come seek refuge in a Slovakian hostel which in reality is a human trafficking center where they will be sold off to sadistic clients who take pleasure from torturing and killing people to blow off steam. The scenes are gory to a whole new level and explicitly showcasing all the inhuman disfiguring the humans are subjected to.

 

  1. I Spit On Your Grave (2010)

Image result for i spit on your grave 2010 movie posterA woman from New York is brutally gang-raped by a group of local men. They leave her thinking she would be dead. But luckily she survives and swears to bring the perpetrators to justice. But in the most grizzly ways possible. The film sparked a heavy debate on feminism since Jennifer was portrayed a hero in most of the second half of the film. The franchise gained several sequels but the original is considered the most disturbing of them all.

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10 Best Thriller and Suspense Films of All Time

by Emily Keen

We all know that empty feeling when everything in life is normal? It is because, difficult times and tense moments however unwanted, arguably bring a thrill to life. It is in these moments we feel our hearts pounding like it’s racing against time. We feel alive! This is the exact thrill induced by suspense films. But how often do we come across movies that drive you at the edge of the seat or have you jumping with rug pulling twists?  The combination of utterly creepy characters, mind-bending twists and a compelling plot with pace is what makes the best thrillers.

But it is definitely another huge task to choose the best thrillers from troves of available cinematic gems.

We have narrowed down the list to the 10 movies which remain the best thrillers of all time.

  1. Rear Window (1954)

Ever been so bored you had nothing to do but just randomly build creepy stories in mind? Imagine if that creepy story becomes reality. Scary no? That’s exactly the kind of feeling this film invokes. Rear Window is a masterpiece weaved by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock featuring James Stewart, a photojournalist who is left bound to his apartment due to a broken leg. Since, besides his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and girlfriend (Grace Kelly), the man has no interactions with the world, he resorts to peeping through the windows of the neighbors which leads to unraveling scandalous truths. But what makes this classic even more special is Hitchcock’s art of storytelling and the screenplay that does not involve any action. Just pure humor, suspense souled up by its magnetic cast.

 

  1. North by Northwest (1959)

north-by-northwest

The master of suspense, Hitchcock strikes yet again! The dashing honcho of sophisticated comedy, Cary Grant is paired up with other usual Hitchcock collaborators James Mason and Eva Marie Saint. Grant’s charm is as usual worth betting all the money on. Grant plays Roger Thornhill who is mistaken for a government agent and hunted by police and assassins. Eva Kendall protects the man and the two develop a tantalizing relationship while hunting for the real government agent. This film is a legacy that inspired numerous thrillers, only a few among which have successfully made an impact. Although not the same as this film.

 

  1. Manchurian Candidate (1962)

The-Manchurian-Candidate

Based on a volatile plot unraveling secrets of underworld politics, the studio thought it was too risky to produce the film. But with support from John F. Kennedy, John Frankenheimer finally breathed life into a politically charged USSR brainwash thriller. If one wishes to witness the gruesome politics through black and white frames, this iconic film is your go-to. Frank Sinatra plays a U.S. army hero who returns to his homeland from Korea. But the fact that he has been hired by the communists to assassinate a presidential nominee is finally discovered by his buddy who sets on a quest to stop his pal from committing a felony.

 

  1. Blood Simple (1984)

blood-simple

Written, directed, edited and produced by Ethan and Joel Coen, this is the duo’s breakout movie. The film is a brooding crime classic from the siblings who knew nothing about film sets when they were ready to shoot this dark-humored thriller. Marty(Dan Hedaya) is a bar owner and a ruthless torturer of his wife. Frances McDormand who plays the wife ultimately resorts to cheating with one of the bartenders at Marty’s bar. Marty somehow sniffs the betrayal and hires a detective (Visser) to kill the wife and the lover. Steering moments of pure horror but keeping audiences in the know of everything, in contrast to most thriller this film binds a tale of bleak fatalism which is a recurring theme in most cinemas.

 

  1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

silence-of-the-lambs

This Oscar-winning work of art became the third film in American history to sweep five major awards after It Happened One Night and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. To date the horror film remains the only scary film to win The Best Picture Oscar. The film concocts a shrewd serial killer psychology thriller brilliantly brought to life by Jodie Foster, Jack Crawford, and Anthony Hopkins. This is one of those rare movies which has the power to keep you coming back for a re-watch even though you know what it entails. Jonathan Demme indeed crafted a gripping plot to pull the audience right inside the story.

 

  1. The Usual Suspects (1995)

the-usual-suspects

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” The iconic line from this movie by the legendary Kevin Spacey says everything about this blazing cult classic. In his Oscar-winning performance, Spacey plays a mysterious con man and plans a million dollar heist with his partners, the usual suspects in the list of police records. The planned heist fails on cosmic proportions and then comes an offer from the Devil himself. Keyser Soze is a criminal mastermind known to people only through stories of his heinous crimes but not by face. The suspects agree for they have little choice left when it comes to dealing with the mysterious face of violence.

 

  1. Se7en (1995)

se7en

The ending is blowing the minds of audiences even today. If that is not enough to get you excited about the film, David Fincher’s unparalleled obsession with weaving, edgy dark stories will. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman play detectives looking into brutal murders symbolizing seven sins- pride, lust, gluttony, wrath, sloth, greed and envy. A vicious yet epic tale that approaches a twist of stellar proportions at the end. Se7en inspired countless storylines and revolutionized the genre of detective/thriller.

 

  1. Memento (2000)

memento

Apart from the riveting performances by Guy Pearce and Joe Pantoliano what makes this film so great is Christopher Nolan’s flair of weaving an emotionally charged storyline with equally magnificent twists. The film is a different kind of cinematic experience altogether with reverse storylines and chronological events merge and help you connect with the soul of the character. It gets you curious and more importantly satisfies that curiosity. It reveals the end at the very start defying the fundamental norms of cinematic storytelling. What makes you stick around is just the characters and theme.

 

  1. No Country For Old Men (2007)

no-country-for-old-man

It’s the ‘once amateur’ siblings again! Imagine if Ethan and Joel Coen can create a masterpiece without knowing things about filmmaking, what could they do with experience? Cormac McCarthy’s novel forms the plot for this thrilling film. No exaggeration intended! It is literally thrilling. It begins with a Vietnamese veteran (Josh Brolin) discovering a huge amount of cash in the wake of a failed drug deal. He flees with the cash and invites being chased by an enigmatic killer. The crisp frames, captivating landscapes, and biblical themes elevate the effect of this ‘almost an action’ feature by the Coen Brothers.

 

  1. Prisoners (2013)

prisoners

A peculiar touch of David Fincher’s dark and seedy world is the treatment that prevails the backdrop of Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners. Hugh Jackman plays a father whose 6-year-old daughter is missing and the identity of the kidnapper is the obvious mystery they have to solve. The feature is a slow burn of tension intensified with jaw-dropping twists and turns. Jake Gyllenhaal plays detective Loki who is obsessed with his job and Paul Dano is a suspect who is released due to lack of evidence. The stellar cast along with an emotionally powerful storyline makes this movie an absolute work of art.

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Underwater (2020) Trailer

by Emily Keen

Underwater follows an account of a crew of underwater researchers who come face to face with an underwater calamity and must then find their way to safety from their wrecked subterranean laboratory. Starring Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, and John Gallagher Jr., the film is directed by William Eubank.

Releasing Date: 10 January 2020

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Revenge Review: Familiar yet Effective Rape-and-Revenge Thriller

by Utkarsh Bansal

Revenge is a story as simple as its title. It’s a rape and revenge thriller, and that should tell you just about everything there is to know about the plot. Matilda Lutz plays our vengeful hero. Her name, backstory, or really any character traits apart from sheer grit and determination are irrelevant here. She’ll be hurt, she’ll survive against all odds, and one by one she’ll hunt them down. You expect the wide shots, the badass music, the brutal violence. We’ve seen it all before.

What I hadn’t seen before was not the story, but the telling of it. Writer-director-editor Coralie Fargeat has given this movie a distinctive voice, making it memorable not in its plot points, but its minutiae. I remember the bit apple, the blood dripping on the ant, the star-shaped earring. Cinematographer Robrecht Heyvaert employs extreme close-ups, making the movie’s desert setting feel all the more gritty, visceral and real. Just like The Revenant, another revenge movie, made us feel the cold, Revenge makes us feel the heat. The sounds of the desert are loud too, completing the effect of immersion. When you not only see what the protagonist sees, but also feel what she feels, you don’t need a backstory to get invested.

The editing deserves special mention. It is perhaps the biggest reason the movie is so engrossing. Now usually the kind of editing most deserving of praise is the kind that is so seamless that you forget it’s there. The editors on Revenge announce their presence with a bang, and take over the show. The sudden cuts are flashy, showy, and spectacular. If the deliberate pacing used effectively to build tension throws you off, these edits are what will keep you engaged.

From a story perspective, the one thing I did find remarkable here was the symbolism. There’s a subtly effective phoenix metaphor in the way she comes back after being left for dead. Well, at least until the movie decides to get rid of the subtlety and embrace that metaphor as its emblem. And while the movie offers no deep feminist insights, it’s certainly interesting to see how the 3 antagonists of the film embody different traits associated with toxic masculinity: entitlement, apathy and a bloated, fragile ego. To me, this made their comeuppance all the more satisfying.

Revenge isn’t some masterpiece of action, hell, it’s not even a masterpiece in the revenge subgenre. But it’s a good movie, and one I highly recommend to those who need an outlet for righteous feminist rage.

If you don’t mind copious amounts of blood, gore and full frontal male nudity that is.

Revenge is available for digital rent and download now.

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