One of the most effective forms of entertainment is a good murder mystery. All the Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie remakes by BBC are not just because they have run out of material. A good mystery never gets old, even if you know exactly how it ends. Every watch allows you to focus on the details you missed the first time, and learning from your mistakes makes you better at it. Who knows when this knowledge might come in handy!
However, with time, the perspective with which murder mysteries are made has increased. While some offer us a look into the killer’s mind via a hearing or in some other manner, some make the killer the protagonist, some leave the killer unidentified, while others show us how the killer is tracked down. And these are only a few ways to look at murder mysteries, and Hulu features quite a variety of them.
13. The Ritual Killer (2023)
Throughout history, killings have been a part of rituals across many cultures. But what if someone or some people still did it? In ‘The Ritual Killer,’ directed by George Gallo, we see a serial killer, Randoku (Vernon Davis), who seems to following an ancient black magic practice ordered by those seeking power. This guy is going around killing people, and Homicide Detective Lucas Boyd (Cole Hauser) is on his trail assisted by Dr. Mackles (Morgan Freeman), a professor of African Studies, whom Lucas reaches out to for help after finding complex writings on the walls at a crime scene. They have to work fast if they want to save lives because the killer doesn’t seem to stop any time soon, at least not until his seniors tell him to. ‘The Ritual Killer’ offers a thrilling experience that comes with chasing someone whose only motivation is death itself. You can stream the film here.
12. Amsterdam (2022)
Starring Christian Bale, John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldana, and Rami Malek, ‘Amsterdam’ is directed by David O. Russell. Set in the 1930s, the film is based around the Business Plot, a political conspiracy of 1933, wherein the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt was to be overthrown and replaced with a fascist governing body under the dictatorship of United States Marine Corps officer Smedley Butler. It follows three friends, Burt Berendsen (Bale), Valerie Voze (Robbie), and Harold Woodman (Washington), who are framed for the murder of US Senator Bill Meekins and have to find a way to prove themselves not guilty. In this endeavor, they expose one of America’s biggest conspiracies. To find out how things unfold, you can stream ‘Amsterdam’ here.
11. Maggie Moore(s) (2023)
Directed by John Slattery, this black comedy follows Police Chief Jordan Sanders as he looks into the dual murders of two women, both named Maggie Moore, carried out a week apart. Meanwhile, we also get to see the insane plan of Jay Moore, who hires a deaf hitman to scare his wife, but the guy ends up killing him. So, to cover it, Jay tells the guy to kill another woman who shares his wife’s name to make his wife’s death look like a mistake. It doesn’t take long for things to spiral into confusion and chaos underscored by dark humor. We have John Hamm as Jordan Sanders, Micah Stock as Jay Moore, and Tina Fey as Rita Grace, a neighbor of the Moores. ‘Maggie Moore(s)’ can be streamed here.
10. Bayou Caviar (2018)
Directed by Cuba Gooding Jr., ‘Bayou Caviar’ is a neo-noir drama film that tells the story of Rodney (Gooding), a former boxer now forced to work as a bouncer. He eventually meets Yuri (Richard Dreyfuss), a vicious Russian gangster. The film’s title refers to how Yuri prefers to get rid of the bodies of the people he killed. The phrase “bayou caviar” stands for the food meant for the alligators in the Louisiana swamps. Yuri tasks Rodney with finding evidence on the son-in-law of his business associate, as he intends to use it in a blackmail scheme. Helping Rodney in this endeavor are teenager Kat and lesbian photographer Nic. You may watch the movie here.
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9. Spiral (2021)
Starring Chris Rock in a never-before-seen role, ‘Spiral’ is a spin-off/sequel of the ‘Saw’ horror film franchise and has been directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. It follows Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock), his rookie partner (Max Minghella), and Zeke’s father/retired chief Marcus Banks (Samuel L. Jackson) who investigate a series of brutal murders that are a clear reminder of the city’s sinister past. Soon, it is revealed that Banks is connected to the killer. But how? To find out, you can watch the film here.
8. Intrigo: Death of an Author (2018)
Directed by Daniel Alfredson, ‘Intrigo: Death of an Author’ is the first entry in the trilogy of thrillers based on a collection of stories by Scandinavian author Håkan Nesser. The film begins with the imagery of a man drowning before focusing on a man with a backpack making his way through the scenic beauty of the shore of a Greek island. His destination is the only human-made structure in the vicinity. The occupant of the said structure is the celebrated novelist Alex Henderson (Ben Kingsley), who is currently writing the story of a woman who was killed by her husband. As the film progresses, it becomes clear that the man who recently arrived and the killer are the same person. You can check it out here.
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7. Intrigo: Samaria (2018)
The third and final entry in the trilogy of thrillers inspired by a collection of stories by Scandinavian author Håkan Nesser, ‘Intrigo: Samaria’ initially follows 19-year-old Vera Kall as she arrives on a farm after riding her bike through the night. She quietly enters the house through the kitchen door. But before it registers in her mind that she isn’t alone, someone hits her on the back of the head, killing her. Years later, her former classmate, Paula, now a documentarian, tries to solve the mystery involving Vera’s murder with the help of Henry, an aging educator. The film is set in Maardam, a fictional European town whose seemingly idyllic beauty provides a contrasting background for the inherent violence in the plot. Feel free to check out the movie here.
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6. The Clovehitch Killer (2018)
Directed by Duncan Skiles, ‘The Clovehitch Killer’ is a murder mystery thriller that features Dylan McDermott, Charlie Plummer, Madisen Beaty, and Jonathan Riggs. The story is set in a Kentucky town that was rocked to the core ten years ago due to a psychopathic killer known as Clovehitch, who was responsible for the cold murder of 10 women. The fear still exists in the air, and this air is also breathed in by young Tyler, who comes across some disturbing images belonging to his father. The movie is loosely based on real-life serial killer Dennis Rader, who is also known as BTK, who killed at least ten people between 1974 and 1991. You can stream the movie here.
5. A Haunting in Venice (2023)
The third standalone sequel in the live-action Agatha-Christie novel adaptation series after ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017) and ‘Death on the Nile’ (2022), the film, like the previous two, has been directed by Kenneth Branagh. It stars Branagh as famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (one of Christie’s most popular characters) whose visit to a séance at a palazzo in Venice turns into chaos as people start dying one after another in mysterious ways. Considering the palazzo’s past, which includes orphans being locked up and left to die and an attack on Poirot himself, the detective finds himself racing against time to find a killer who seems to be inhuman. But is that even possible? To find out, you can stream the film here.
4. The Oxford Murders (2008)
Directed by Álex de la Iglesia, ‘The Oxford Murders’ shows a series of murders wherein the victims’ corpses are marked with mathematical symbols. It is up to Arthur Seldom (John Hurt), a professor of logic at Oxford University, and his new mathematics student Martin (Elijah Wood) to decipher the symbols and find out how the murders are connected as it might lead them to the murderer. Of course, the cops are looking into the murders, too, but they aren’t looking at them the way our duo is: a complex case of mathematical murders. Whether Seldom and Martin are able to find a meaning of the symbols and catch the killer is what we find out in this adaptation of Guillermo Martinez’s award-winning 2003 novel of the same name. You can stream the ‘The Oxford Murders’ here.
3. All Good Things (2010)
‘All Good Things’ is directed by Andrew Jarecki and stars Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, and Frank Langella. It is inspired by the life of real estate heir/murder convict Robert Durst. Durst, who passed away in 2022, was suspected of 3 murderers (1982, 2000, 2001), out of which he was convicted of one in 2000, and that too after his appearance in a 2015 docu-series titled ‘The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.’ He was sentenced to life in prison in 2021 but died before his trial for the conviction of the 1982 murder of his first wife could begin. The movie explores David Marks (Gosling), his relationship with his father, real-estate magnate Sanford Marks (Langella), and his relationship with his wife, Katie (Dunst). You can stream the movie here.
2. Saint Omer (2022)
‘Saint Omer’ is inspired by the legal case of Fabienne Kabou, who was convicted of killing her 15-month-old daughter Adélaïde in Berck on 19 November 2013. She left the baby by the sea after dusk, and the little girl’s drowned dead body was discovered the next day by fishermen. Kabou was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June 2016. She is still serving the sentence. In the film, we look at the case of Laurence Coly, who, too, killed her 15-month-old girl child in the same manner as above, from the perspective of a pregnant novelist, Rama. While being a murder mystery on the face, the film delves deep into the psychological aspects of Coly’s character, exploring her experiences and emotions and how they might just have made her do something that sounds impossible. You may watch the film here.
1. Boston Strangler (2023)
Based on killings that occurred in Greater Boston in the 1960s wherein 13 women were murdered, ‘Boston Strangler’ showcases the hard work of female reporters Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley), who connected the murders, and her co-reporter Jean Cole (Carrie Coon) and how they fought the largely prevalent sexism of the time to report on the serial killer and keep people, especially women, well-informed. The film, directed by Matt Ruskin, is very accurate, including the details of the investigation, and this, more than anything else, makes the murder mystery worth watching. Knowing that something very close to what you are watching happened for real makes the events in the film more palpable and thus effective. You can watch the movie here.
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