If You Liked Netflix’s The Serpent, Here Are 5 More Shows You May Enjoy

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The BBC One and Netflix co-production about the charismatic French serial killer, Charles Sobhraj, and his horrific crimes against tourists along the ‘hippie trail’, has tapped into all of our morbid, true-crime curiosity. The eight-part miniseries, which comes six years after the Bollywood film Main Aur Charles, is as  thrilling as you could want the catching of a killer to be, and yet, manages to tap into something deeper, both in its political subtext and in its portraiture of a very inhumane, human subject. If you’ve binged it a bit too fast, and are in a desperate need for a quick fix of a similar mix, here’s some other films and shows you might enjoy:  Narcos (2015) Streaming on: Netflix [embedded content][embedded content] One of the original breakout Netflix hits, Narcos gave us the best of what audiences wanted the platform to offer, and has since tried to evoke. Following a drug lord, to put it reductively, is different from following a serial killer in many ways but the technical and artistic qualities that make both these shows what they are have an eerie similarity.  The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2018) Streaming on: Netflix Although the first series of American Crime Story is my preferred one, anyone with a fascination for a good serial killer mystery that covers both ends of the story will definitely enjoy this. The show is an effective, stylish dramatisation of the very real murder of Gianni Versace (the one in the title, duh), and one of the better ones in Netflix’s long line of true-crime productions.  Zodiac (2007) Streaming on: Netflix [embedded content][embedded content] David Fincher’s sprawling, almost 3 hour film covers the rise and fall of the investigation into the identity of the Zodiac killer– not from the police’s perspective but through the journalists who had been entwined into the narrative since the still unknown killer’s ‘correspondence’ with newspapers. It remains a 21st century masterpiece, and was even selected by Bong Joon-Ho, in 2012, as one of his picks for the ten greatest films of all time.  Argo (2012) As pointed out in Rahul Desai’s review of The Serpent, Ben Affleck’s Academy Awards Best Picture winner Argo is the type of film which really captures a similar urgency and tension as the miniseries. The historical, drama-thriller is about the unlikely story of a rescue operation using a fake Hollywood production as a cover. My Friend Dahmer (2017) [embedded content][embedded content] Charting the life of another infamous serial killer, My Friend Dahmer is more of a biopic-drama than a thriller. As a well-made, closer look at a similar subject, albeit from a different lens, it makes for a good, spiritual companion piece after The Serpent. 

The BBC One and Netflix co-production about the charismatic French serial killer, Charles Sobhraj, and his horrific crimes against tourists along the ‘hippie trail’, has tapped into all of our morbid, true-crime curiosity. The eight-part miniseries, which comes six years after the Bollywood film Main Aur Charles, is as  thrilling as you could want the catching of a killer to be, and yet, manages to tap into something deeper, both in its political subtext and in its portraiture of a very inhumane, human subject. If you’ve binged it a bit too fast, and are in a desperate need for a quick fix of a similar mix, here’s some other films and shows you might enjoy: 

Narcos (2015)

Streaming on: Netflix

One of the original breakout Netflix hits, Narcos gave us the best of what audiences wanted the platform to offer, and has since tried to evoke. Following a drug lord, to put it reductively, is different from following a serial killer in many ways but the technical and artistic qualities that make both these shows what they are have an eerie similarity. 

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2018)

Streaming on: Netflix

Although the first series of American Crime Story is my preferred one, anyone with a fascination for a good serial killer mystery that covers both ends of the story will definitely enjoy this. The show is an effective, stylish dramatisation of the very real murder of Gianni Versace (the one in the title, duh), and one of the better ones in Netflix’s long line of true-crime productions. 

Zodiac (2007)

Streaming on: Netflix

David Fincher’s sprawling, almost 3 hour film covers the rise and fall of the investigation into the identity of the Zodiac killer– not from the police’s perspective but through the journalists who had been entwined into the narrative since the still unknown killer’s ‘correspondence’ with newspapers. It remains a 21st century masterpiece, and was even selected by Bong Joon-Ho, in 2012, as one of his picks for the ten greatest films of all time. 

Argo (2012)

As pointed out in Rahul Desai’s review of The Serpent, Ben Affleck’s Academy Awards Best Picture winner Argo is the type of film which really captures a similar urgency and tension as the miniseries. The historical, drama-thriller is about the unlikely story of a rescue operation using a fake Hollywood production as a cover.

My Friend Dahmer (2017)

Charting the life of another infamous serial killer, My Friend Dahmer is more of a biopic-drama than a thriller. As a well-made, closer look at a similar subject, albeit from a different lens, it makes for a good, spiritual companion piece after The Serpent

Anupama Chopra

Anupama Chopra

"Film Companion is a celebration of the movies. It’s a platform that is committed to quality journalism, which is well-researched and balanced, and isn’t paid news. We bring you engaging and informative content on movies that includes, reviews of films and web shows, interviews, film festival news, features and masterclasses. "

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“Film Companion is a celebration of the movies. It’s a platform that is committed to quality journalism, which is well-researched and balanced, and isn’t paid news. We bring you engaging and informative content on movies that includes, reviews of films and web shows, interviews, film festival news, features and masterclasses. “

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