As the increasingly grotesque Sheena Bora murder case grips the country and new revelations push it further into the realm of the bizarre, we can't help but be reminded of some of the creepiest murder mysteries we've seen at the movies.
The last time we saw something this twisted was Park Chan Wook's completely messed up Oldboy, or probably Roman Polanski's Chinatown, if you want to go back even further. Faye Dunaway's screams of "She's my sister, my daughter" seem pretty eerie now, don't they? Even Mahesh Bhatt claimed he had a movie on the gruesome case in which Indrani Mukerjea killed her daughter, tried to killed her son and then managed an intricate cover-up for three years.
Here is our list of 10 completely chilling films based on shocking real-life murders: All guaranteed to mess with your psyche.
The Stoneman Murders (2009)
: A serial killer, who used to crush his victims’ heads with stone, made headlines in the early '80s in Mumbai. Director Manish Gupta’s film tried to reconstruct the events in the film that featured actors such as Kay Kay Menon, Arbaaz Khan and Vikram Gokhale.
: This Rajkumar Gupta thriller was more like a docu-drama which investigated the agencies that tried to influence the murder case of Delhi model Jessica Lal. The film was both a commercial and critical success just because of its hard-hitting content.
Not A Love Story (2011)
: You can’t ignore Ram Gopal Varma when it comes to making films on real-life events. He cast Deepak Dobriyal and Mahie Gill in Not A Love Story, which was a fictional version of Neeraj Grover’s gruesome murder in 2008. Maria Susairaj and ML Jerome were convicted in this case.
: One of the most authentic films made on real-life murders, director Hansal Mehta’s Shahid featured Rajkummar Rao in the lead role of activist-lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in 2010. Rao went on to win the National Award for his performance in the film.
: Manish Gupta, the director of The Stoneman Murders, returned with this film which was loosely based on the Aarushi Talwar murder case. It didn’t do well despite a starcast that comprised the likes of Kay Kay Menon, Tisca Chopra and Ashish Vidyarthi. Now, Meghna Gulzar is also making a film on the same case by the name Talvar.
How can a list of great murder mysteries not include a David Fincher movie? During the late '60s and early '70s, a serial killer who called himself Zodiac murdered several people around the San Francisco Bay area, taunting the cops and newspapers with a trail of clues. What made Zodiac amazing is the fact that even half a century later, the infamous Zodiac case remains unsolved. The film stars Robert Downey Jr, Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo.
This chilling Australian movie had the guts to do what most Hollywood movies (and certainly no Bollywood movie) dares. Based on the true story of a series of gruesome murders around Adelaide in the '90s, the film is shockingly violent. There’s paedophilia, incest, the most brutal rape scene since Irreversible and more than one dead body in a barrel. It is also a film that makes intelligent observations about poverty and economic disparity although the depravity on screen kind of dilutes the subtleties.
Aileen Wournos was somewhat of a feminist serial killer. After getting raped as a prostitute (and murdering the john) she travelled lonely highways looking for stray men soliciting sex, all of whom she killed. It’s as bleak as it sounds. A deeply tragic twist makes the story even more poignant. Charlize Theron however, gives one of the greatest performances in movie history. It’s an absolute knockout that will leave you shaken.
This Clint Eastwood film is based on the Wineville Chicken Coop murders of 1928. Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins, a single mother in Los Angeles whose son goes missing. What follows is a series of events so unbelievable they must be true. A little while after reporting the disappearance, the cops inform her that he has been found and bring him back. Only it isn’t her son. And because it’s the 1930s nobody is willing to listen to her. Her son meanwhile, is still out there.
When it comes to twisted serial killers, gruesome murders and moral depravity no one does it better than the South Koreans. And in many ways, Memories of Murder is movie that started this new wave. This is the story of two cops looking for a serial killer over many years and how they essentially lose their lives over the case. Quentin Tarantino named it as one of his favourite films and its influence can be seen everywhere. True Detective pales in comparison.