Top 10 - Films based on real serial killers


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  SirPant's Rating My Rating
1
10 Rillington Place 1971,  PG)
10 Rillington Place
A frighteningly real version of events with meticulous attention to detail and based on fact rather than heresy. It's quite a terrifying account of the murders committed by John Reginald Christie, played brilliantly by Richard Attenborough. This isn't just to feed those who have a morbid appetite, it also shows the inadequacies of the British justice system at the time and is a most devastating statement on capital punishment, the sole reason Attenborough signed on to play the lead role, a part he otherwise would have avoided. It is interesting to note that both Timothy John Evans and Christie were hanged by Albert Pierrepoint who also acted as an unofficial adviser. Pierrepoint himself became an opponent of capital punishment. The history of the case makes for good reading too, I actually used to work not far from where Rillington Place once stood, it's unrecognisable now but that's almost more reason not to forget what really happened.
2
Memories of Murder (Salinui chueok) 2003,  Unrated)
Memories of Murder (Salinui chueok)
Memories of Murder of a real edge of your seat thriller, directed by one of my favourite Asian directors, Joon-ho Bong. The fact it's based on a true story makes it all the more shocking. It's worth watching for Kang-ho Song's performance alone, he is easily one of the best actors working today.
3
Badlands 1973,  PG)
Badlands
This is Malick at his best. Often copied (True Romance) but never matched. This is an American classic, not to be missed!
4
Zodiac 2007,  R)
Zodiac
A really enjoyable thriller! Fincher's direction is a joy as he paces the story of the Zodiac investigation with great dignity and detail. Not for people who like their thrillers slap-dash and fast-paced, neither is this for people who are expecting a Se7en sequel. Great style, great acting, great film, some dodgy blue-screen moments, but still, great film.
5
Summer of Sam 1999,  R)
Summer of Sam
The first film of a new direction from Spike Lee. Summer of Sam deals with a dark chapter in American history, focusing on American society. It's certainly Lee's most engaging film, the slow but sturdy build up to the explosive finale is so intense its exhausting. A brilliant and powerful film, Brody & Leguizamo are also, on top of their game. This is probably my favourite Spike Lee joint, just above Clockers.
6
Bonnie and Clyde 1967,  R)
Bonnie and Clyde
Classic 'On the run' road movie with a huge influence on film making thereafter. The direction is brilliant and quite revolutionary in American cinema. The cast are also superb, especially Beatty and the very sexy Dunaway. A classic that deserves to be classic but there are no happy endings here, as you will see in what is still one of the most shocking and violent finales ever!
7
The Snowtown Murders 2012,  Unrated)
The Snowtown Murders
A chilling and grim film based on the testimonies regarding the Snowtown murders and Oz's biggest serial killer, John Bunting. Justin Kurzel has directed a brilliant film. It is great visually, in pace and mood. It is uncomfortable viewing but he tells the story as it is, grim and frightening. The most uncomfortable fact for many is the fact that John Bunting, at first at least, could sound like someone you might meet in a pub, his initial targets being paedophiles - I've often heard people say they should be hanged, castrated etc, there is a real moral question at its core that will make you think about your own thoughts and beliefs in the matter. If that's not bad enough, he then gets a little more indiscriminate and the film gets more and more uncomfortable. It is a great film but a very hard one to watch. The performances are also very good, adding to the eerie sense of realism.
8
Monster 2003,  R)
Monster
Charlize Theron thoroughly deserved her Oscar for this one as it wasn?t just her make-up that made her convincing, she really got into the part!
9
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 1986,  NC-17)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
A very chilling and quite disturbing, albeit, inaccurate portrait of Henry Lee Lucas. I have to admit, it?s not as good as I'd been lead to believe but I did enjoy it, it?s very well directed and the music is ace! I just didn't like as much as, say, Maniac! Interesting but uncomfortable viewing.
10
Cruising 1980,  R)
Cruising
A decent 'cop goes undercover and possibly goes mad' film with a gay theme. It?s full of suspense and intrigue but it is a little confusing towards the end. Good performances by Pacino & Sorvino and great direction by Friedkin.

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