As much as horror fans tend to love the supernatural, there are times when an entirely different kind of terror is in order. Sometimes, real-life monsters manage to be much more horrifying than fictional ones, and commit acts that would put Jason Voorhees to shame. These monsters are called serial killers.
Serial killers have inspired some of the most unsettling films and TV shows out there, whether directly or indirectly. The latest product of this inspiration is Netflix drama Mindhunter, produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron, and created by Joe Penhall.
Based on the non-fiction book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, Mindhunter is set in 1977, and explores the early days of psychological profiling at the bureau.
The story centers on agents Holden Ford (Johnathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv).
Together, the trio conducts sit-down interviews with notorious serial murderers such as Edmund Kemper, Richard Speck, and Dennis Rader, in the hopes of understanding what makes them tick. The FBI hopes to use this knowledge to help solve ongoing cases, almost like a smaller-scale version of famous stories like The Silence of the Lambs.
Mindhunter has been a critical darling all around, holding a 96% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A particular magnet for praise has been the acting, especially Cameron Britton’s work as Kemper. Unsurprisingly, Deadline reports that Netflix has officially renewed the series for a second season, presumably to premiere in fall 2018.
Mindhunter continues Netflix’s solid track record with genre material, alongside other original series like Stranger Things and Black Mirror. The current TV landscape – whether it be broadcast, cable, or streaming – is truly an embarrassment of riches for horror fans.