8 Heroic Serial Killers in Film and Television
Cinema has long been obsessed with those who transgress, those who commit the ultimate crime and violation of human rights. We’re talking murder here. The selfish and sick act of taking someone’s life without cause. It’s unforgivable and the ill individuals who are wired so wrong as to commit multiple acts of murder are deplorable.
And yet… we sure do love to watch them do these dastardly things, don’t we?
In real (not reel) life, when you read or hear news about some sort of psychopathic, psycho-sexual killer getting apprehended, what’s the first thing the neighbors say? “He was such a nice guy. Such a normal guy.” The serial killer is a domestic phenomenon, nestled effectively in polite society, walking among us. The scary thing is we have probably crossed paths with one before in our travels. And we probably thought they were nice. Normal.
In the movies (especially horror movies), murderers are a dime a dozen but there are several who also serve as our protagonists or “anti-heroes” and our entry points into a film’s narrative. I’m not talking about those cardboard, cartoonish franchise killers like Freddy, Jason or The Shape. I’m talking about complex human beings with dark sides that refuse to behave. People who have good qualities, people we can identify with. People who, even in the midst of their most vile acts, are so interesting that we the audience become complicit in their plights. We actually WANT these people to escape justice.
Here then are 8 of our favorites, heroic serial killers of film and television, some of whose storylines have spread over several movies and over multiple seasons.
See if your most loved murderers made the cut…