Even with the pandemic winding down, we’re all going to find a reason to hunker down in our living rooms with a good true-crime documentary but even the most enthusiastic true crime fans need a break from all those docs, right? Debatable, but hear me out. Here are my top five true murder-inspired films to get you through the summer!
My Friend Dahmer (2017)
My Friend Dahmer is probably the most relaxed movie on this list, especially considering the notorious serial killer’s crimes. Rather than focusing on his crimes as an adult, the film explores Dahmer’s adolescence. The basis is that of the 2012 graphic novel of the same name produced by John “Derf” Backderf, a childhood friend of Jeffrey Dahmer’s. The story you get from this one isn’t just speculation, but a first-hand account of Dahmer’s behavior as a teen. (Prime Video, Pluto, Peacock, Tubi)
Perhaps the most famous Ted Bundy media yet, this film explores the story of how Ted was caught and how wild his capture and trial really got. Zac Efron delivers a powerful performance and gets into the head of Bundy to a point that makes the audience feel unnerved at times. Whether you’ve watched it before or not, anyone intrigued by Bundy’s story will be thrilled during this film. (Netflix)
This one is a classic! Even if you’ve seen it before, it’s always worth watching again. Seeing the Zodiac story unravel before your eyes are fascinating, especially with this all-star cast! (Netflix)
Aileen Wuornos is one of the lesser-known American serial killers, but her story as a killer and as a sex worker is gruesome and fascinating. This film stars Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, so you can be sure it’s an entertaining watch. (Prime Video, Pluto, Vudu, Tubi, Crackle)
The Black Dahlia (2006)
This neo-noir film depicts the gruesome murder of Elizabeth Short, an aspiring actress who was found dead and dismembered in 1947. Another film with an all-star cast, Black Dahlia is both entertaining and stylistically beautiful. (Hulu)
And finally, our honorable mention:
30 Minutes or Less (2011)
This one isn’t explicitly inspired by a true crime, but its plot has similarities with the case of Brian Wells, a pizza delivery guy who was killed when a bomb collar went off around his neck. Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari are a fatally hilarious protagonist duo that will keep you smiling throughout the film. If you’re looking for a more comedic true-crime flick, this one is definitely for you! (Netflix)
Didn’t see your fave true crime-related movie on this list? Drop a comment or reach out to me on Twitter!