Hip in Hollywood: films about a serial killer
Film/TV

Hip in Hollywood: 5 upcoming films about a serial killer

In Hollywood, the studio’s like to… peek at what their competitors are doing. It’s no wonder that the same kind of movies by different studio’s come out around the same time. Volcano & Dante’s Peak; Armageddon & Deep Impact; Olympus Has Fallen & White House Down; The Book of Life & Coco… I could go on for a while. Now, there’s a new trend coming along and it’s not just ‘twin films’. Films about serial killers are the latest rage in Hollywood, as there are a lot of them coming out (or are already out). Let’s take a look at five of these nasty men coming to a screen near you. Three of these films feature the same serial killer: the infamous Charles Manson.

My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Serial killer: Jeffrey Dahmer
Starring: Ross Lynch (Jeffrey Dahmer), Alex Wolff (John Backderf), Vincent Kartheiser (Dr. Matthews)
Director: Marc Meyers
Based on:
the graphic novel My Friend Dahmer by John Backderf
More information: Jeffrey Dahmer wiki
Plot:

Jeff Dahmer is an awkward teenager struggling to make it through high school with a family life in ruins. He collects roadkill, fixates on a neighborhood jogger, and copes with his unstable mother and well-intentioned father. He begins to act out at school, and his goofball antics win over a group of band-nerds who form The Dahmer Fan Club, headed by Derf Backderf. But this camaraderie can’t mask his growing depravity. Approaching graduation, Jeff spirals further out of control, inching ever closer to madness.
This is the only film on this list that is already out. It has a 83% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is very good. So, if you want to start watching films about creepy men, this is an awesome start. It’s also refreshing in a way that this film isn’t about the EXTREMELY gruesome killings and following acts of Dahmer, but of what happened before. And John ‘Derf’ Backderf was actually there, so we can safely assume this is a pretty accurate film. Derf is still alive and well today, and he is a successful cartoonist. Watch the trailer for My Friend Dahmer here:

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2018)

Serial killer: Ted Bundy
Starring: Zac Efron (Ted Bundy), Lily Collins (Elizabeth Kloepfer), John Malkovich (Judge Edward Cowart), Jim Parsons (Larry Simpson)
Director: Joe Berlinger
Based on: real life events; screenplay by Michael Werwie
More information: Ted Bundy wiki
Plot:

The story of Ted Bundy is shown from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, who struggled to accept the reality of her boyfriend’s nature.

Basically everybody in Ted Bundy’s life (his girlfriend Kloepfer, his close friends) was shocked to find out he was a wicked serial killer. Bundy’s true victim count will forever stay a mystery, but the man confessed to killing 30 girls and women in the span of just four years. Bundy supposedly was very handsome and charming. He also was intelligent, cunning, organized and calculating; just read his wiki for all the details. All these facts make a really interesting (and disturbing) story for a film. Obviously, this isn’t the first film about Bundy, though it is probably the film with the biggest budget and best known cast. It’s very likely Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will become a hit film. It’s just a very hard title to remember.

Here are some Instagram updates from the cast, to get a glimpse of this upcoming serial killer film:

“I GOT WARRANTS!” #behindthescenes🎬

A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

#BugLife #behindthescenes 🎬

A post shared by Zac Efron (@zacefron) on

When Liz met Ted…

A post shared by Lily Collins (@lilyjcollins) on

The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2018)

Serial killer: Charles Manson
Starring: Hilary Duff (Sharon Tate), Jonathan Bennett (Jay Sebring), Ben Mellish (Charles Manson)
Director: Daniel Farrands
Based on: a real interview with actress Sharon Tate, wherein she reveals having a nightmare in which she saw a strange man in her house and then discovered herself and her friend Jay Sebring tied up with their throats cut open.
More information: Sharon Tate wiki
Plot:

Pregnant with director Roman Polanski’s child and awaiting his return from Europe, 26-year-old Hollywood actress Sharon Tate becomes plagued by visions of her imminent death.

This feels like the ex-teen stars from the nineties version of a serial killer-film. It’s Hilary Duff from Lizzie McGuire and Jonathan Bennett from Mean Girls, for crying out loud! The difference between this film and the other two Manson films is that this one (duh) focuses on Sharon Tate. Just read her Wiki page, this is such a tragic and sad story. Personally I feel like this is the film most likely to flop from the films on this list. It has the (sorry guys) least impressive cast, and more importantly, the sister of Sharon Tate already hates this film. Here’s what Debra Tate had to say about The Haunting of Sharon Tate:

“It doesn’t matter who it is acting in it – it’s just tasteless. It’s classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of this horrific event.”
Source: People.com

To end on a positive note for this film, here’s how Duff looks as Tate:

Charlie Says (2018)

Serial killer: Charles Manson
Starring: Matt Smith (Charles Manson), Suki Waterhouse (Mary Brunner), Chase Crawford (Tex Watson), Sosie Bacon (Patricia Krenwinkel)
Director: Mary Harron
Based on: the life and crimes of Charles Manson; inspired by the book The Long Prison Journey of Leslie van Houten: Life Beyond the Cult by Karlene Faith
More information: Charles Manson wiki
Plot:

Three young women were sentenced to death in the infamous Manson murder case, but when the death penalty was lifted, their sentence became life imprisonment. One young graduate student was sent in to teach them – and through her we witness their transformations as they face the reality of their horrific crimes.

Charlie Says features Matt Smith (most recently seen in Netflix’ The Crown as Prince Philip) as Charles Manson. But, Manson isn’t the big lead of this film. Instead, the three women who killed for him are the main focus: Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel. Van Houten and Krenwinkel are still in prison today. Atkins would have been as well, but she died  in 2009. Ofcourse, Manson himself only just recently died. It’s expected that Van Houten and Krenwinkel will also die in prison. This film is focusing on these three deranged women, and the part Manson played in their lives. Just looking at the title says plenty: Manson was a huge manipulator who made people kill for him, instead of doing it himself. No images or trailers are available yet, as Charlie Says is still in pre-production. It’s probably going to be a hit.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

Serial killer: Charles Manson
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio (Rick Dalton), Margot Robbie (Sharon Tate), Brad Pitt (Cliff Booth),
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Based on: the screenplay (partly based on true events) by Quentin Tarantino
More information: The Manson Family wiki
Plot:

A TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Charles Manson murders in 1969 Los Angeles.

It’s the new Tarantino. Obviously, out of these five films, this is going to be the biggest hit. The film focuses on a struggling television actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt). Apparently, Tarantino has been working on this script for over five years. The year Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place is 1969. Tarantino actually lived in Los Angeles that year, though he was only seven at the time. Not much is known yet about this big project, but a release date is already set: August 9th, 2019. That date marks the 50th anniversary of the LaBianca murders of the Manson Family. Those took place a day after the Tate murder spree.

So, what serial killer film are you looking forward to the most? Or is this a genre you’d rather skip? Let us know in the comments!

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Article written by Nora

Nora would like more time in a day to watch more tv-series & films, write more stories and read more books. Instead, she tries to combine working fulltime and being a wife, mom & friend with sponging up as much popculture in her life as one possibly can. Trigger words for her include, but are not limited to: Gaiman, Rowling, Riordan, Rowell, Star Wars, Marvel, Batman, Bucky, Netflix & Disney. On all Social Media she's known as nosinne.

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