The 10 Greatest Serial Killer Movies of the 2010s, Ranked

The 2010s were a great decade for serial killer movies, with fans being treated to films like I Saw The Devil and Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners. The decade saw a prominent rise in merging elements of different genres within the framework of a serial killer movie, before finally culminating into a hybrid movie with the tonal sensibilities of different genres.

That being said, while a good serial killer movie will entertain you for a few hours, a great serial killer movie will send you into a constant state of paranoia, questioning everyone and everything around you. So without further ado, here are some of the 2010s’ greatest serial killer movies, that will disturb you for days.



10 Big Bad Wolves (2013)

United Channel Movies

This Israeli film revolves around a series of unspeakable murders that sees a cop team up with the father of a murdered girl to exact revenge on an alleged teacher who they suspect is the culprit behind the murders. Directors Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado’s film is a clever approach to the serial killer genre, as it purposely blurs the line between good and evil, commenting on the nature of violence and the effect it has on the people that dispense it.

9 Cold Fish (2010)

A still from Cold Fish

Known for his mastery in shifting tone and genre, Sion Sono is one of the few filmmakers that present harsh truths in harsher settings and leave it up to the audience to read between the lines.

With Cold Fish, Sono takes his time to set up the story, with the opening act being full of disquiet and unease before flinging the viewer into a world full of blood and gore, progressing the plot at a giddying pace. Cold Fish isn’t for the weak-hearted, as it serves up a generous portion of blood and sexploitation, along with a side of organs and bones.

8 The Iceman (2012)

Michael Shannon in The Iceman
Millennium Entertainment

Loosely based on hitman Richard Kuklinski’s, AKA The Iceman, life, Ariel Vromen’s film charts the hitman’s dual life as he tries to keep his personal life away from his professional life. Known for having killed more than 100 people over the span of 22 years, The Iceman killed for profit rather than pleasure, equating his target’s life for a sum of monetary gain.

Despite playing a ruthless killer, one can’t help but fall in love with Michael Shannon’s charm as he gives one of his career-best performances in the film.

Related: The Best Michael Shannon Movies, Ranked

7 The Killer Inside Me (2010)

A still from The Killer Inside Me
IFC Films

Based on Jim Thompson’s 1952 novel of the same name, The Killer Inside Me is set against the backdrop of a small West Texas community in the 1950s. Rocked by the brutal murder of a local businessman’s son and a sex worker, the small and tightly-knit townsfolk start suspecting the man that’s been assigned to protect them.

Playing on the trope of dual identities, The Killer Inside Me depicts the Deputy Sheriff (Casey Affleck) as a law-abiding officer by day and a disturbed sociopath by night.

Related: Best Dirty Cop Movies of All Time, Ranked

6 My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Ross Lynch in My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Arguably about one of the most infamous serial killers of all time, My Friend Dahmer is the chilling biography-based psychological thriller that revolves around Jeffrey Dahmer’s upbringing and tries to throw light on why Dahmer was the way he was.

Known as the Milwaukee Cannibal and the Milwaukee Monster, Dahmer was responsible for killing and dismembering 17 males between 1978 and 1991, while being accused of necrophilia and cannibalism as well.

5 The Snowtown Murders (2011)

Cast of The Snowtown Murders (2011)
Screen Australia

Justin Kurzel’s debut film ranks along Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, as it successfully tears down the fourth wall of audience passivity by releasing unspeakable violence upon it. Based on a dramatized account of a murder spree that rocked an Australian suburb in the ’90s, Kurzel’s film is a raw and realistic look into the reality of crime and the cost it comes at.

4 Marshland (2014)

Marshland by Alberto Rodríguez
Warner Bros.

Set in the deep Spanish south in the ’80s, two ideologically opposing detectives must put their differences aside and band together to stop a serial killer from running a rampage and mercilessly killing women. A slow-burning murder mystery that’s of the same ilk as Se7en and True Detective, Marshland is a hybrid movie with shades of an investigative thriller, a whodunit along with elements of noir.

3 The Clovehitch Killer (2018)

The Clovehitch Killer by Duncan Skiles
IFC Midnight 

Where conventional films delight in blood and gore, The Clovehitch Killer works on atmospheric tension, using suspicion and familial ties as its base. Rather than operating from the POV of a hardened cop trying to crack a case, the mystery falls right onto Tyler Burnside’s (Charlie Plummer) lap, as he stumbles upon some questionable material that can tear his father’s parental facade and reveal him to be the Clovehitch Killer, responsible for murdering 13 girls, 10 years ago.

2 Prisoners (2013)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Villeneuve’s Prisoners is a bone-chilling thriller, paced at the speed of a roller-coaster, all while retaining an emotionally-charged set of characters and a taut narrative that keeps you guessing right until the end. One of Villeneuve’s most underrated films, Prisoners on a surface level revolves around the disappearance of two girls, but when looked at closely in an examination into the kinds of prisons people find themselves in.

Related: Every Denis Villeneuve Movie, Ranked

1 I Saw The Devil (2010)

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Peppermint & Company

A Korean masterpiece, Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw the Devil is one of the scariest thrillers to come out of Korea in recent times. The film pits a crazed psychopathic killer against an equally sharp and vindictive special forces officer before letting the sparks of revenge fly. The plot begins on a cold night, when psychopath Kyung-Chul murders Officer Kim Soo-hyeon’s pregnant fiancé resulting in a terrifying cat and mouse game, where the hunter soon finds himself to be the hunted.