Liked The Postcard Killings? Here are 8 More Serial Killer Movies to Watch

Directed by Danis Tanovic, ‘The Postcard Killings’ is a gripping thriller that follows NYPD detective Jacob Kanon (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his hunt for a brutal serial killer. Kanon’s life takes a harrowing turn when he discovers his daughter’s macabre murder during her honeymoon in London. Shockingly, the crime scene bears similarities to a series of other murders across Europe, all accompanied by mysterious postcards sent to local journalists, each depicting the crime scene. Desperate for answers, Kanon teams up with journalist Dessie Lombard (Cush Jumbo), to unravel the cryptic clues behind the postcard killings.

As the duo delves deeper into the investigation, they uncover a disturbing pattern that leads them on a relentless pursuit of a cunning serial killer. Filled with twists and suspense, the 2020 film navigates the dark realms of obsession, grief, and the pursuit of justice in the face of a sadistic adversary. These movies, like ‘The Postcard Killings,’ create a constant sense of unease as the killer always seems to be one step ahead of the police, building tension as they race against time to prevent his next killing.

8. Hangman (2017)

Helmed by Johnny Martin, ‘Hangman’ introduces us to retired detective Archer (Al Pacino) and his partner, Ruiney (Karl Urban). The film kicks off with the gruesome murder of a young woman, setting the stage for a series of killings that follow a disturbing pattern. The killer, adopting the persona of the classic Hangman game, leaves enigmatic clues at each crime scene. Archer, haunted by a cold case from his past, is drawn back into the world of crime-solving alongside journalist Christi Davies. Similar to ‘The Postcard Killings,’ the duo races against time and faces the challenge of deciphering the enigmatic messages and uncovering the killer’s identity before more lives are claimed. Both films weave suspenseful narratives, blending detective work, psychological tension, and a relentless pursuit of justice.

7. The Snowman (2017)

Under the direction of Tomas Alfredson, ‘The Snowman’ is a chilling crime thriller based on Jo Nesbø’s novel. The film follows detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender), as he investigates a series of gruesome murders in Norway. The killer leaves behind a snowman as a calling card at each crime scene, creating an eerie and macabre signature. Hole, grappling with personal demons and haunted by his own past, partners with a brilliant recruit, Katrine Bratt, to unravel the ambiguous clues.

As they delve deeper into the investigation, they uncover a complex web of dark secrets and connections that lead them closer to the elusive killer. With suspenseful twists and a foreboding atmosphere, ‘The Snowman’ sees its serial killer taunt his pursuers, similar to ‘The Postcard Killings,’ with both killers employing ruthless methodologies to desecrate their victims.

6. The Abandoned (2022)

Ying-Ting Tseng’s directorial venture, ‘The Abandoned,’ thrusts distressed policewoman Wu Jie into the abyss of a haunting mystery when she stumbles upon the lifeless body of a young Thai woman missing her heart and a finger. Tasked with solving this grim puzzle, Wu Jie struggles with her own declining mental state after a personal tragedy and joins forces with an astute rookie. The investigators engage with misleading individuals and shrouded mysteries as they rush to prevent more killings, targeting a marginalized community. Like ‘The Postcard Killings,’ ‘The Abandoned’ weaves a tale not only of chilling murders but also of the detectives’ internal struggles, resulting in a harrowing thriller experience.

5. The Silencing (2020)

With Robin Pront in the director’s chair, ‘The Silencing’ ventures into the heart of a dark mystery where reclusive ex-hunter Rayburn Swanson (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) finds himself entangled in a sinister game of cat and mouse. Haunted by the disappearance of his daughter, Rayburn is a reformed hunter who now maintains and surveys a tract of forest in her memory. Watching a girl being chased through the forest he oversees, he intervenes and saves her, setting off a chain of events that thrust him into a mutual hunting game with a relentless serial killer.

Rayburn collaborates with a local sheriff to determine that this is the very killer who is responsible for the death of his daughter and several others. As the hunt intensifies, the film suspensefully takes us through a foggy forested landscape with the killer’s shadow looming over the investigators. Similar to Jacob Kanon in ‘The Postcard Killings,’ Rayburn lost his own daughter to the killer, creating deeply personal stakes in tracking down the monster and creating an enthralling narrative.

4. Kiss the Girls (1997)

A Gary Fleder directorial, ‘Kiss the Girls’ is a harrowing psychological thriller full of twists and misdirections. Forensic detective Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) teams up with detective Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) to solve a string of kidnappings orchestrated by a serial killer known as Casanova. The case intensifies as Cross discovers a connection between the current case and his niece’s earlier abduction.

As one of the victims escapes the elusive killer, Cross and McTiernan unravel the sinister pattern behind the abductions. Casanova, driven by a perverse obsession with collecting strong, independent women, keeps his victims captive in a secluded underground lair. Matching elements of ‘The Postcard Killings,’ the film crescendos to a high-stakes game of wits, with the investigators confronting a complex web of deceit as they uncover shocking truths.

3. Copycat (1995)

With director Jon Amiel at the helm, ‘Copycat’ presents a serial killer film that revels in its psychological suspense. Dr. Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver) is a brilliant forensic psychologist, who becomes the target of a deranged serial killer after a traumatic encounter with a previous case. Following her assault, Helen withdraws from public life, immersing herself in a cocoon of fear. The narrative takes a dark turn when a new series of gruesome murders emerges, mirroring infamous killings from the past. Detectives M.J. Monahan and Reuben Goetz seek Helen’s expertise, marking her reentry into the realm of criminal profiling.

As Helen faces her own fears, she uncovers the copycat killer’s disturbing fascination with replicating the crimes of notorious murderers, making her a target of his twisted game of psychological torment and survival. The killers of ‘Copycat’ and ‘The Postcard Killings’ are comparable in their narcissistic tendencies of challenging the investigators with clues, and fixating on creating elaborate crime scenes for them to discover. Both films create a palpable tension between the pursuers and the killers, keeping us at the edge of our seats.

2. The Bone Collector (1999)

Directed by Phillip Noyce, ‘The Bone Collector’ immerses us in the unconventional pursuit of a serial killer terrorizing New York City. Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington) is a quadriplegic former forensic detective haunted by a gruesome accident. Teaming up with a tenacious patrol cop, Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie), Rhyme tackles a series of cryptic murders orchestrated by a sadistic killer. The murderer, mimicking famous historical crimes, leaves intricate clues at each crime scene.

Rhyme, confined to his high-tech Manhattan townhouse, guides Amelia in deciphering the killer’s patterns before any more victims are claimed by him. Their partnership evolves into a tense cat-and-mouse game with the enigmatic killer, whose true motives remain elusive. As seen in ‘The Postcard Killings,’ ‘The Bone Collector’ puts the detectives against a serial killer who makes a big show of his crime scenes, while mocking their inability to stop him. The films create an atmosphere rife with tension which leaves us guessing the villain’s next move.

1. Se7en (1995)

Helmed by director David Fincher, ‘Se7en’ revolves around detectives David Mills (Brad Pitt) and William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) as they find themselves entangled in a series of brutal murders inspired by the seven deadly sins. The elusive killer, John Doe (Kevin Spacey), orchestrates a macabre symphony of death, leaving grotesque crime scenes as warnings. Somerset, on the brink of retirement, partners with the impulsive Mills to decipher the patterns behind the murders. As they unearth the gruesome tableaus, each tied to a deadly sin, the detectives become pawns in Doe’s twisted moral game.

The elaborate, almost ritualistic murder scenes of ‘Seven’ are mirrored in ‘The Postcard Killings,’ with the killers from both films always seeming to be a step ahead of their pursuers. ‘Se7en’ confronts us with a visceral exploration of morality and delivers one of the most harrowing tales that will be engraved in the memory of any serial killer movie fan.

Read More: Is The Postcard Killings Inspired by a True Story?