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7 Movies You Must Watch if You Love In the Shadow of the Moon

September 28, 2019
8 min read

Netflix has been really active in 2019, releasing one original movie almost every month. As it always happens, with an increasing number of productions, the quality cannot always be kept at a high standard. There have been some misses, with films like ‘Red Sea Diving Resort‘, ‘Point Blank‘, and a few others garnering unfavorable reviews from most critics. But it cannot be denied that their constant presence in the news has made us speak about Netflix in the same breath as some of the biggest American studios and production houses like Warner Brothers, Disney, Paramount, and so on.

Despite some of the poorly received films, Netflix is seeing highs as well; ‘In The Shadow Of The Moon‘, which has managed to please both viewers and critics, is an example. The film is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jim Mickle, whose other works like ‘Cold In July’ and ‘Mulberry’ have also received rave reviews. ‘In The Shadow Of The Moon’ follows the life of a police officer who is desperate to get his hands on a yet-unidentified serial killer whose approach to crime is pretty unique. This killer only resurfaces every nine years, adds some names to his list of victims, and again lays low, waiting for his next session. The police officer in question, Thomas Lockhart, gets so invested in the case and the many anomalies he finds in the murders that he starts having difficulties in holding onto his own sanity during the process. The truth becomes this unattainable holy grail which he continues chasing without paying heed to the consequences.

If you have enjoyed watching ‘In The Shadow Of The Moon’ and are looking for more such films, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best movies similar to ‘In the Shadow of the Moon’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these movies like ‘In the Shadow of the Moon’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

7. Kiss The Girls (1997)

Based on the book of the same name by James Patterson, Gary Fleder directed the film ‘Kiss The Girls’ with Morgan Freeman playing the leading role of forensic psychologist Alex Cross. The film follows Cross during a time when corpses of multiple young girls are being discovered by the police in Durham, North Carolina. When Cross’ niece gets kidnapped from this area, he gets involved in the investigation.

Meanwhile, the narrative shifts towards a girl called Kate who wakes up locked in a cage in a cave-like place. She discovers that there are many girls caged up all around her and that a maniacal serial killer has been keeping them trapped all this while. Kate puts her life at risk in order to escape and finally does manage to end up with the right people. Now Kate, who herself is suffering from PTSD, becomes Cross’ only road towards finding his niece Naomi. The film does start on an interesting note but becomes pretty bland in the later stages. There are quite a few thrilling moments in the film and Morgan’s performance is spectacular. Overall, ‘Kiss The Girls’ is a thoroughly enjoyable watch.

6. Se7en (1995)

David Fincher has an undying interest in serial killers and it often gets reflected in the projects he chooses. This 1995 film starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman is a testament to this fact. ‘Se7en’ chronicles the investigations of two police detectives who are looking for a serial killer who uses the motif of the seven deadly sins in his murders. He makes a person eat till he dies (gluttony), kills a defense lawyer by cutting a pound of flesh from his body (greed), and also forces a man to rape a prostitute with a bladed strap-on (lust). These crimes keep getting more gruesome as the two detectives become more and more desperate to find out the killer. The film moves at a brilliant pace and keeps us on the edge of our seats throughout its running time. Morgan and Pitt are perfect in their roles, while Gwyneth Paltrow also tries to match up to their intensity in her limited scope of performance.

5. I Saw The Devil (2010)

South Korea has produced some of the finest crime films in the world and ‘I Saw The Devil’ surely ranks among the best of all time. In a similar fashion to ‘In The Shadow Of The Moon’, this film chronicles a lawman’s tireless effort to catch a killer. The movie starts in a rather unique fashion. We see a school bus driver stopping by the road on a snowy evening, apparently to help a stranded young woman. However, later, when the woman’s severed ears are discovered, we come to realize that this man killed her in an extremely vicious manner. Her boyfriend is a secret service agent who is naturally devastated at the brutality of this attack and wants to arrest this criminal at any cost. Beautifully shot, ‘I Saw The Devil’ grips you right from the beginning to the end; an admirable feat considering the two hour-23 minute length of the film. There are some gory scenes in the movie, so people who cannot tolerate violence can stay away.

4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Another David Fincher film finds its way to this list. Written by Stieg Larsson, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo‘ is one of the best Nordic noir films of all time. The film revolves around a journalist named Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and a hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), the girl described in the film’s title. The story begins with Blomkvist being invited to an island where one of Sweden’s richest families live. One of the women of this family has gone missing for forty years without anybody being able to find any trace of her. Unable to solve the mystery alone, Blomkvist hires Salander and as the two of them get closer to catching the perpetrator, they realize that a dangerous and horrific truth is waiting for them. Fincher captures the mood of the text perfectly, credit for which also goes to the cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth. Rooney Mara delivers an outstanding performance as the troubled hacker Salander.

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3. The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

One of the most iconic serial killer films of all time, ‘The Silence Of The Lambs‘ is the third film in history to bag the top-five prizes at the Academy Awards. Adapted from Thomas Harris’ book of the same name, the film depicts the life of a rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling who meets with one of the most dreaded cannibalistic serial killers of America, Dr. Hannibal Lecter to get his insight on a case she is working on. Lecter takes a keen interest in Clarice and while he helps her with the case, he extracts information from her regarding her own life. The development of their mutual bond is brilliantly portrayed in the film. The acting, direction, and writing on ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ are phenomenal.

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2. Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac‘ is based on the real-life story of the yet-unidentified Zodiac serial killer who claimed a number of lives during the late 1960s to the early 1970s. The leading character of the film is the cartoonist Robert Graysmith, played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the film. Robert is an expert at solving puzzles, and uses this interest of his to delve into the case of the Zodiac killer. Along with him are journalist Paul Avery (Robert Downey Jr.) and Insp. Dave Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) of the San Francisco Police Department. This is a one-of-a-kind serial killer film. It is highly character-driven and focuses on the situation at hand instead of the actual details of the crime.

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1. Memories Of Murder (2003)

Bong Joon-ho is a true cinematic genius. The man has made some of the boldest and most original films of this century. This 2003 film is also based on an unsolved serial killer case. The killer, in this case, rapes and kill young girls in red dresses on almost every rainy night. The police officers who are investigating the case get agonizingly close to the murderer, but he remains as elusive as always. Hauntingly beautiful and bone-chilling at the same time, this is one of the greatest crime films of all time. Bong Joon-ho weaves a humane tale here and presents it in a way that it touches our hearts, makes it bleed, and leaves it sore. A true masterpiece indeed.

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