serial killer

Mitch Pileggi stars as the demented killer Horace Pinker in Shocker

A badly scarred madman with a foul sense of humor stalks his victims across a surreal, fantastical landscape in this Wes Craven film. If this answer came up in say, Final Jeopardy!, and your answer wasn’t accepted, you’d almost certainly have a legit gripe to lodge with the show’s judges. It’s not hard to imagine folks assuming this synopsis is in reference to Craven’s perhaps mildly overly-acclaimed but still iconic A Nightmare on Elm Street.

In the era of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, it is pretty hard to stomach a movie like Dark Signal. As women everywhere are standing up to talk about the violence, abuse, and harassment that has been done to them by men in their lives, how can one sit down and watch a movie that is so incredibly violent and hateful towards women?

Book Review: Desert Places by Blake Crouch

Budding crime novelist Andrew Thomas lives an idealistic life. Spending his days working on his next big idea, until he receives a ridiculous letter explaining that there is a woman buried on his property, covered in his blood.

There are a lot of low-budget horror movies that are light on plot and character development, but few take it to such extremes as 2011’s “Orphan Killer.” This movie doesn’t let silly little things like story get in its way. There’s just a masked killer, some dark corridors, and a hot chick on the run. More than anything, it’s a throwback to early eighties slasher movies with a little “Saw” thrown in for good measure.

Chained

Jennifer Lynch’s first few attempts at filmmaking fell short (anyone remember “Boxing Helena?”), but she puts together a solid little thriller with 2012’s “Chained.” Combining a decent (if somewhat cliché) story and some very good performances, “Chained” is well worth a watch, even if it does take a hard right turn into crazy-town in the last few minutes.

Stoker

"Stoker" shows family can be a real pain, as Mark and Jon discuss.

"The Snowtown Murders" is a movie about one of Australia's most notorious serial killers, John Bunting, and how he came to seduce a group of people into helping him torture, kill, and dispose of anyone he saw fit. The story is told through the eyes of a young man, Jamie, who almost never talks, and basically just reacts to the things that Bunting does. He essentially only ever serves as a proxy for the audience. Jaime is befriended by Bunting after the neighborhood finds out that his next-door neighbor molested Jamie and his brothers.

The Raven

If a 19th-century serial killer/detective story based on the genre writing of Edgar Allen Poe feels like a weird match for a director whose previous credits include "Ninja Assassin" and work on virtually every Wachowski Brothers film, then director James McTeigue would probably suggest you take a pass on "The Raven." Likely imagined as a mix between Depp's "From Hell" and the Downey Jr "Sherlock Holmes" films, McTeigue's John Cusak vehicle manages to impersonate neither of those films well enough to pass muster.

The Serial Killer film exists in that ineffable space between and within multiple genres. There are definitive strands reaching back to noir, slashers, and some city symphony films. There have also been so many serial killer films as to perhaps make their own genre altogether apart from horror or suspense thrillers. As of late television seems to be the new home for these narratives, strung out in season long arcs or crammed into the exploitation story-of-the-week on the latest versions of CSI or Law & Order.

Jennifer Carpenter and John Cusack star in this serial killer thriller about a detective who discovers his daughter has been kidnapped by a madman who targets prostitutes.