10 Best Movies Told From The Killer's Perspective | ScreenRant - Screen Rant

Although it’s not seen that often, there are several movies, many of them classics, that primarily focus on the killer’s point of view.
With the Halloween season near and viewers flocking to their screens to devour shows and movies about madmen and monsters, it can be easy to forget that most murder movies only focus on one half of the story. Generally speaking, it’s the victims or survivors that are typically spinning the narrative and not the other party.
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But with popular shows like YOU gaining Netflix views, it’s enough to wonder what it’s like on the other side of sanity. Although it’s still not incredibly common, there are several films, many of them classics, that primarily focus on the killer’s point of view.
While the titular Kevin doesn’t technically tell the story, the events of the film are seen through both his eyes and those of his mother. School shootings are, unfortunately, an all-too-real topic, but this film does attempt to glean a little bit of insight into the perpetrator’s mindset, as well as those in his environment.
The film makes no attempt at making Kevin come off as sympathetic or turning the situation into something unrealistic, but the performances from Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller definitely sell the feature. It’s raw, serious, and a difficult watch.
In the late Bill Paxton’s directorial debut, Frailty peels back the mask of a typical serial-killer story to uncover the method behind the madness. To take a page from Rod Serling, it serves not to end the nightmare but only explains it. It’s the story of a mass murderer seen through the eyes of him and his children.
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When brothers Fenton and Adam are witnesses to their religious father’s murder spree, driven by supposed angelic visions, a twisted tale of bloodshed begins to unravel. The film shows the other half of a murder investigation remarkably well, and it’s truly an underrated crime drama.
Horror remakes and reboots aren’t an uncommon way to reimagine mysterious and murderous characters, but Hannibal Rising has a unique flavor all its own. Though not exactly critically well-received, it paints the infamous Dr. Lecter as more of an antihero than just a cannibal in a cage.
Viewers who tuned into this bloody origin story saw a young Hannibal live, love, and claw his way up from the dredges of disaster in WWII to a vengeful cannibal jaded by the horrors he has witnessed. It’s not everyone’s favorite, but there’s no denying that it isn’t at least interesting.
The original Maniac was a grindhouse staple, but the 2012 remake featured a different shade of freaky. The remake offers two unique factors not seen in most serial killer movies, a phenomenal, out-of-character performance from Elijah Wood as the film’s lead, and incredibly intense use of POV shots.
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It’s the killer’s POV that makes Maniac stand out in this underrated slasher horror movie. Frank’s lifestyle and acts of violence aren’t hidden in the shadows, giving the film a raw, gruesome, and disturbing.
Chapter 27 is an unsettling film that offers a very repulsive foray into the mind of the man who killed John Lennon. While Jared Leto’s controversial Joker portrayal was no doubt one of his most disturbing performances, he had plenty of practice while undertaking the role of Mark David Chapman in this chilling crime drama.
The film follows the events of one of the most infamous murders of the 20th century, all told from Chapman’s point of view. Beatle fans will find it difficult to watch, and Chapman’s portrayal is appropriately unnerving and disgusting, but it’s still a truly insightful character piece.
Rob Zombie definitely has his own fanbase, for both his films and his music. But despite the director/rock star’s reputation and pedigree, it’s honestly debatable whether or not it was a good idea to give Michael a semi-sympathetic origin story in the film’s first half. In many ways, it takes away the mystery and supernatural element to the character.
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That said, Michael’s home environment and struggles with abuse do give him a more human element not seen in the originals, and it at least did something original with the classic slasher villain.
Behind The Mask takes a more tongue-in-cheek comedy approach to the serial-killer perspective by taking the archetypes of the traditional slasher movie presented in Scream but from the killer’s role in the process. Unorthodox as it might be, this underrated film does offer a more interesting and complex horror villain.
Without revealing too much, “Leslie” is not the unkillable masked murderer he appears, and the docu-style film presents a unique lens with which to view the traditional horror scenario. It’s one of those films made by fans for fans.
On the other end of the spectrum, Perfume could be described as a more arty approach to a horror or slasher movie. Set in 18th-century France, the film tells the story of a perfumer with a super-human sense of smell, obsessed with creating the perfect scent. While he does succeed in his quest, he does so by murdering beautiful women and distilling their aroma.
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It’s by no means the most conventional horror story, but it does have a semi-romantic tone not seen in many thrillers. Eccentric, strange, and loaded with a phenomenal cast, it’s one that might have flown under many viewers’ radars.
If there’s one fictional serial killer that has been studied and debated for years, it’s Patrick Bateman. Whether or not Bateman actually commits the series of gruesome murders that make up his graphic and gory killing spree is left up to interpretation, but maybe the spectacle isn’t the soul of the film.
Both the American Psycho movie and the book that inspired it were commentaries on ’80s consumerism culture and excessive lifestyles of the time. Is Bateman really a psychopath or is he just sick of the corporate drones and the phony facade? Only the audience can decide.
It’s steeped in controversy, graphic scenes, and explicative amounts of violence, abuse, and sickening content — it must be A Clockwork OrangeStanley Kubrick’s dark dystopian classic is a real horrorshow film with a protagonist who takes pride in his acts of murder, torture, and “a bit of the old Ultraviolence.”
Alex DeLarge is by no means a good guy. He’s a violent psychopath and a completely unlikable protagonist, yet he’s the one telling the story whom the audience is supposed to sympathize with. A teenage psychopath with a taste for gruesome acts and psychedelic drugs isn’t exactly the noblest of heroes, but he does make for one of the director’s most prolific and thought-provoking characters.
NEXT: The 10 Best Fictional TV Serial Killers
Zach Gass is a writer from East Tennessee with a love for all things Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel. When not writing for Screen Rant, Zach is an active member of his community theatre, enjoys a variety of authors including Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkein, and is a proud and active retro-gamer.

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