From Charles Manson to Hannibal Lecter, the catalog of serial killers on Netflix is extensive. Here, is a bloody selection of movies, series, and documentaries.
Serial killer stories are a hit on Netflix. It is enough to take a quick look to realize that productions about criminals abound on the streaming service.
From Ted Bundy to Charles Manson, the disturbing background of these characters is addictive and that partly explains the long list of serial killers on the loose on the platform.
Of course, the fascination with the disturbed life of these characters goes back to much earlier. You just have to remember the titles like Jack the Ripper, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or American Psycho.
If you are one of those who likes to binge with stories of serial killers, here is a list of movies, series, and documentaries, several of them based on real events.
1. The John Wayne Gacy Tapes
Joe Berlinger is already synonymous with true crime documentaries, thanks to the Paradise Lost trilogy and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.
This position is reaffirmed with The John Wayne Gacy Tapes, a new Netflix docuseries with his signature, which revives the figure of another serial killer who shocked the inhabitants of the US in the 1970s after it was discovered that he had murdered more than 30 young men.
Whose story is relived in a format similar to that of the first Conversations with Assassins: based on the voice of its dark protagonist, in this case, recorded during the interviews he had with a member of his defense team and which took place between November 1979 and April 1980, awaiting his murder trial.
Recordings that in the documentary series become the axis of three chapters that little by little reveal the actions of the psychopath, who behind his confident personality and his community facet, which included presentations such as Pogo the Clown, hid one of the most US murderous Inhumans
One of the most chilling characters in 1990s cinema is Hannibal Lecter, the psychiatrist, serial killer, and cannibal the world was introduced to in the acclaimed film The Silence of the Lambs.
After two decades without stalking, the psychopath returned in 2001 in the sequel to the film, simply titled Hannibal and this time under the direction of Ridley Scott.
He wasn’t dead, he was partying, says the song. And Lecter ( Anthony Hopkins ) is more alive than ever, moving about as an ordinary citizen in Florence, Italy, under the pseudonym Dr. Fell.
That is, until one of his victims, millionaire Mason Verger ( Gary Oldman ), devises a plan to trap and torture him for revenge. Meanwhile, FBI agent Clarice Starling ( Julianne Moore ), who has a particular relationship with Hannibal, is on her trail.
And while this sequel isn’t as chilling as the original, it does make your hair stand on end again with Lecter’s wicked personality and his macabre crimes.
3. The street of terror (part 1)
RL Stine is called “the Stephen King of children’s literature” because of his prolific nature and also because he has inspired a large number of series and movies. The last of them? Terror Street is a film trilogy by director Leigh Janiak that successfully came to Netflix divided into three chilling parts.
Of course, you should start with the first one, which is set in the 90s in Shadyside, a poor city marked by a long list of macabre murders, to which one more is added: that of a young man with a skull mask. and a knife that kills several people in a shopping mall.
Crimes that again disturb the lives of its inhabitants, when the serial killers that have plagued the city over the decades reappear, which would be related to the spirit of a witch from the 17th century and who would now target the teenage protagonists of the film.
A succession of violent deaths, miraculous escapes, and mortal wounds with white weapons that revive in the best, and most explicit way, the subgenre of terror called slasher, in which there is always a madman with a tendency to eliminate young men and women.
You can learn more about part two here and part three here.
4. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
Ted Bundy is one of America’s most notorious serial killers. He committed 30 crimes in the 1970s, which he first denied and later admitted.
This documentary miniseries, original from Netflix, delve into its history, with four chapters of more than 50 minutes each.
Using interviews, archival footage, and audio recordings, it provides a sharp profile of Bundy while also providing insight into Bundy’s bizarre mind.
In addition to recent titles, such as the Terror Street trilogy, you can find classic serial killer movies on Netflix. Like Halloween (1978), by director John Carpenter, which many point to as the creator of the horror subgenre called slasher.
Impossible not to remember the threatening image of the murderer Michale Myers (Nick Castle), who on Halloween night returns to the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, to become the nightmare of the young Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her group of friends.
A city to which he returned 15 years after he murdered, at just six years old and wearing a clown costume, his older sister, Judith (Sandy Johnson), also on Halloween.
It was the start of a successful horror saga, which went on to have seven sequels and two reboots.
6. Night stalker
On the hunt for a murderer is the subtitle of this new Netflix production, which explores one of the darkest crime figures in the United States in the 80s: Richard Ramirez, who was baptized by the media as The Night Stalker.
A psychopath who caused terror among the inhabitants of the city of Los Angeles with his surprise break-ins at night, attacks that included robberies, rapes, murders, and child abductions.
This criminal had the local police in a search that lasted several months, especially two members of the Homicide Department: detectives Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno.
And the most interesting thing about Night Stalker, a four-part docuseries, is that they are not only the benchmark for the investigation into this psychopath, but they are also the leading elements around which his more than interesting story unfolds.
7. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
With the premiere on Netflix of the 2022 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a new chapter is added to the long and bloody story of Leatherface and his family. The one that has included sequels, a prequel, and another version in 3D, after the debut of the original in 1974.
A disturbing realization of horror and madness, which also set a precedent for several titles of the horror subgenre known as a slasher and made Leatherface, along with his chainsaw, an icon in the world of film serial killers.
In this film, directed by David Blue Garci, his figure frightens again, in a story where a group of influencers unleashes a massacre when visiting an abandoned town and that revives the saga in a somewhat crude and very bloody way, thought of the followers of gore and the crudest terror.
8. The Yorkshire Ripper
From Ted Bundy to Henry Lee, Netflix’s catalog is generous with true serial killer stories.
A bloody list to which the Yorkshire Ripper is now added, which is what they called the criminal who for several years, between the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s, sowed terror in the county of Yorkshire, in the north of England.
Over five years, Peter Sutcliffe brutally murdered 13 women, most of them prostitutes, and always with the same modus operandi: first hitting them in the head, then stabbing them, and finally mutilating them.
A dark passage that revives this new documentary miniseries, through four chapters that manage to engage with the police puzzle around these cases and that avoid delving into the morbidity and details of the crimes.
9. Lost girls
Over two decades, a psychopath attacked several young women on the coast of Long Island, in the United States. A case that has not yet been completely closed, since the author was never discovered, and that revives on Netflix with Lost Girls.
This original platform drama is based on the novel Lost Girls, by journalist Robert Kolker, and the axis of its story is Mari Gilbert ( Amy Ryan ), who at the beginning of the film lives with her two young daughters in the town of Ellenville.
A story that came to the screen under the direction of documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus, with a disturbing and somewhat somber look that leaves no one indifferent.
10. Extremely cruel, evil, and wicked
Ted Bundy repeats the dish on the list with this movie that fascinated many in 2019.
Extremely cruel, evil, and perverse revived the history of this murderer in the hands of Zac Efron, who for many performs an impressive interpretation of Bundy.
The film shows everything from the point of view of Liz, the single mother who fell in love with this psychopath and who refuses to believe what Bundy did.
A must-see for those who want to know more about this rapist and serial killer, who hid a perverse mind behind a kind, cultured and attractive face.
11. Hunt killers
A large part of the docuseries that are part of Netflix’s offer shows the worst of human beings, focusing on serial killers that have impacted public opinion. Many of these have been investigated and caught by the protagonists of Killer Hunt.
The new documentary series that focuses on the police officers, investigators, and analysts that in its four chapters, as the official description details, “reveal the heartbreaking and chilling details of their extraordinary efforts.”
It exposes the details of the search for infamous figures in American police history, from the Green River Killer, through Aileen Wuornos -who inspired the movie Monster (2003)-, to the Killer with the Happy Face.
12. A serial killer with Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan is one of the most famous journalists in England and in this documentary series he presents different serial killers and their stories.
In three chapters it shows three cases – all sentenced to life imprisonment-, of those that hook the followers of bloody stories.
A murderer who has since retracted his 12 murder confessions, a strangler who has never spoken of his macabre acts, and a convicted psychopath who insists on his innocence, are the criminals Morgan presents.
As an excellent journalistic work and of great interest in crimes, this documentary series is full of knowledge about serial killers.
13. I am an assassin
With a second season to premiere on January 31, this documentary series portrays serial killers, but in the first person.
Ten murderers sentenced to death talk about their crimes and their history, in a production that is presented almost as a personal conversation with them.
From some who deny their crimes to others linked to satanic rites, these are among the cases of this production recommended for those who want to know what moves the murderers.
14. The Valhalla Murders
The Netflix productions that arrive from Iceland are counted on the fingers of one hand and The Valhalla Murders comes to increase the list.
With the characteristic cold of this country, comes this police series starring Kata (Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir), a detective who, despite her 10 years working, is constantly faced with an unsuccessful career.
She is tasked with leading the investigation of two murders that have occurred in less than 24 hours.
Although both crimes are not connected, they have the same pattern: the murderer wounds their eyes. What’s behind this? Do they mean something?