31 Days of Horror: Mindhunter is a chilling, mind-blowing series

MINDHUNTER - Patrick Harbron/Netflix
MINDHUNTER - Patrick Harbron/Netflix /

If you don’t think true crime constitutes horror, you aren’t paying attention. A series like Mindhunter proves that there is nothing more terrifying than what real serial killers often do to their victims.

Mindhunter is the grim, mostly true portayal of John E. Douglas and Robert K. Ressler, who were some of the very first criminal profilers. Ressler was instrumental in the development of the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, known as Vi-CAP.

The two men worked together in the 1970s, interviewing some of the worst serial killers in the US in an attempt to get insight into their lives, psychology and personalities. The thought was that if we can understand what makes murderers tick, we might be able to get early intervention to stop them.

Mindhunter is of course a dramatized version of Douglas’s and Ressler’s work (in the series, they are renamed Holden and Bill), but a lot of the story, particularly the serial killer interviews are true. These interviews are some of the most chilling scenes in Mindhunter. The notorious killers interviewed throughout the series’ run include Montie Rissell, Jerry Brudos, Richard Speck, David Berkowitz and Charles Manson.

Photo: Mindhunter: Season 2.. Courtesy Netflix /

But the best performance is that of actor Cameron Britton, who gives a shiver-inducing portrayal of Ed Kemper. Kemper was open and honest with the profilers in real life and in the series, and he definitely gave them insight. His descriptions of the murders he committed is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Mindhunter is chock-full of excellent actors

Honestly, there is not a bad actor in the entire series. Jonathon Groff is magnetic as Holden, perfectly showing his darker nature. He has a close encounter with Kemper at the end of season one that is especially tense – you can palpably feel his fear.

Bill Tench is played by Holt McCallany, and he is equally good as the more grounded of the two men. Holden often crosses the line, despite Bill’s attempts to hold him back, and you can see his mental struggle to balance out his feelings about it.

Sadly, Mindhunter only consists of two seasons, both of which can be found on Netflix. With topnotch actors and a dark and compelling storyline, each episode is like a movie on its own. If you like true crime stories and dark, gritty serial killer content, Mindhunter is a great Halloween binge series.

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