The 7 Best Serial Killers in Film

We all love a good serial killer. I mean, sure, you probably don’t want to run into one down the end of a dark alleyway, but from the reassuring security of a cinema screen we can’t get enough of them. They’re lurid, violent, and just close enough to the real world to carry a sense of real risk. Here are a few of the best.

1

Hannibal Lecter

Anthony-Hopkins-The-Silence-Of-The-Lambs-Orion-090116
Orion
Let’s just get the obvious one out of the way, shall we? Anthony Hopkins’ turn as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs is rightly legendary, and has forever changed the way we look at fava beans and chianti, if nothing else.
2
Norman Bates
Anthony-Perkins-Pycho-Parammount-090116

The only psycho so psycho that his film is just called Psycho. He may give momma’s boys a bad name, but he earned his place on this list for the infamous shower scene alone.

3
John Doe
Kevin-Spacey-Seven-090116
New Line Xinma

Kevin Spacey’s religious nutjob from Seven is up there with Hannibal when it comes to meticulous planning, but where he comes out on top is in creative killing. Once you’ve seen the ‘lust’ scene, you’re not likely to ever get it out of your head.

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4
Patrick Bateman
Christian-Bale-American-Psycho-Lions-Gate-090116
Lions Gate
This most American of psychos is as vain as he is sadistic, liable to kill you over a well-made business card as soon as anything still. Still, he does have great taste in music though.
5
Ghostface
Scream-Diminsion-Films-090116
Diminsion Film

OK, sure, so technically Ghostface isn’t just one person, as multiple lunatics have donned the alarming white mask across the Scream films (not to mention the Scary Movies). But still, look at that face. Would you mess with it?

6
Leatherface
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Brynston
Poor Leatherface. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing, or why. He’s simple-minded. Basically a child. A big, angry child, with a giant chainsaw, and a lust for blood.
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7
The Zodiac Killer
Zodiac-Paramount-090116
Paramount
The Zodiac Killer gets bonus points for a) being so good at serial killing that no one knows who they are, and b) actually being based on a real serial killer who was so good at serial killing that no one knows who they were, and they might be out there right now, and wait, who’s that behind you?

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