Netflix’s Killer Book Club revolves around a group of students—Ángela, Nando, Sebas, Koldo, Sara, Rai, Eva, and Virginia—at an arts and literature university. They are part of a book club where they cover a variety of topics that exist within the horror genre, and their latest obsession is killer clowns. When their literature professor, With, molests Ángela, the group dresses up as clowns to teach him a lesson. Things go south when he takes a tumble and falls to his death. The group promises to bury this secret and never talk about it again. However, someone claiming to be privy to the crime the club has committed promises to go after each of its members and write one of the best horror novels out of this experience. This causes the members of the club to distrust each other, thereby making it easier for the killer to single them out and murder them brutally. Now, if you are interested in watching movies like Killer Book Club, here’s a list for you.
The Scream Franchise (1996–ongoing)
I think anyone with even a cursory idea about the Scream movies will be able to figure out that Killer Book Club is an imitation of that whole franchise, albeit with a literary theme instead of movies. If you don’t, well, the film series started by Wes Craven features a masked killer (popularly known as Ghostface) who goes around mercilessly murdering a group of teens. At the end of every film, it’s revealed that they have a very personal reason to do what they’re doing. In Killer Book Club, there’s a masked killer with a vendetta. So, that fits the bill. Additionally, the Scream movies serve as a commentary on how the characters and the audience consume movies and how they sometimes treat true crimes as a source of entertainment. Killer Book Club does the same, but for bestsellers, thereby exposing the truth behind the elitism of book readers. Also, if you can stomach the gore and action in Killer Book Club, I’m sure the Scream franchise will be a cakewalk for you.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
Much like the dark secret in Killer Book Club, the group in this film is guilty of a hit-and-run incident. Well, technically, they hit someone on the road, dump their body, and then they run away. That still counts as a hit-and-run, right? Anyway, one year later, this group is picked apart by a mysterious individual in a raincoat and wielding a hook. Eventually, it’s revealed that the man they thought they had killed a year ago didn’t actually die, and he has made it his life’s mission to kill all those who tried to kill him. The Killer Book Club’s killer has a similar motive as Ben Willis, i.e., the killer in I Know What You Did Last Summer. In fact, the endings of both of these movies are quite similar because they show the final girl putting an end to the killer, only for the villain to show up at the last moment, thereby causing the final girl to scream her lungs out. I Know What You Did Last Summer and the Scream movies were responsible for rejuvenating the slasher horror franchise. Do you think Killer Book Club will be able to do the same on the small screen?
The Halloween Franchise (1978–2022)
Although the masked killer in this famous franchise doesn’t start with a really personal reason, Michael Myers does become insanely obsessed with Laurie Strode and torments her until his final moments. The continuity of the franchise is a bit of a mess due to the reboots and remakes. But if you want the classic “masked killer in a school” flavor, the franchise has one in the form of Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (yes, that’s the name of the film). You can watch every single entry in the franchise to scratch your slasher-horror itch. But if you want that Killer Book Club-esque vibe, H20 is the one for you. It features a few gruesome kills, which probably pale in comparison to the other stuff that Michael Myers does in the franchise, and they may not even be as good as the ones from Killer Book Club. However, I’d still recommend giving it a try. If it doesn’t work for you, you have so many more to choose from. And the Michael Myers mask (which is supposed to resemble William Shatner’s face) and costume are much better than the winking clown costume, in my opinion.
The Blackening (2023)
Although this film is supposed to be a take on the Saw franchise (which could’ve been on this list, but I think that series is pure torture with nothing much to say), I feel that you can watch it if you liked Killer Book Club because of the killer’s personal reason for doing what he’s doing. It has a lot to say about Black culture and how aware people are of Black history and pop culture. It talks about racism and, surprisingly enough, internalized racism as the killer targets people from his own community while actively voting for a future that won’t benefit him or his people. Killer Book Club takes itself a little too seriously, but The Blackening is a little funnier. Therefore, be prepared for a lot of jokes. While Killer Book Club oscillates between 2–3 locations, The Blackening takes place in one location. And much like the Netflix film, The Blackening has a great crop of characters with interesting personalities. The body count isn’t that high, but those who do die, they die in a very entertaining fashion. So, you won’t be disappointed.
I guess this David Fincher classic is way more serious, way more brutal, and way more poetic than Killer Book Club. But it’s probably the best serial killer film of all time, right? You can even draw a parallel between the winking clown and masked killer’s choice of victims and that of John Doe’s. Ángela represents plagiarism; Nando is all about insecurity; Koldo exudes narcissism; Sara is promiscuous; Rai is an addict; and Eva is prideful. What’s John Doe after? Gluttony, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and then wrath. The two films share yet another similarity, and that is the use of clues to suggest why the killer is doing what they are doing. The biggest difference, apart from the tone and quality of the films, is that the villain in Seven actually wins despite dying, and the villain in Killer Book Club doesn’t win. Another major difference is that, while John Doe is clearly a criminal, the killer in Killer Book Club isn’t. And even though Seven is probably not as explicitly violent as Killer Book Club, it’ll give you some horrible nightmares with everything that it implies.
The final reveal of Killer Book Club instantly reminded me of this Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes directorial. Yes, Killer Book Club doesn’t reveal the identity of the killer until the last moment. But Sissy makes it abundantly clear that the titular character has murder on her mind. What unfolds after the first death, though, is utter mayhem. Killer Book Club is undoubtedly way more action-packed, and Sissy has a hilariously calm demeanor. Some of the kills are so prolonged that you probably have to look away from the screen. There is an attempt to comment on social media in Killer Book Club, especially through the character of Koldo, who is an influencer. However, Sissy does a much better job by making its antagonist an influencer who is blurring the line between reality and fiction so that she can rationalize her violent streak. That said, much like in Killer Book Club, you’ll have a tough time empathizing with the victims and hating the assailants.
The Final Destination Franchise (2000-ongoing)
Alright, I know this is a little out of left field, and the franchise exists in the supernatural realm. But I like the idea of Death being a serial killer. On the surface, it may seem that, like Killer Book Club, Death doesn’t have a personal reason to go after the characters in the movies. But don’t you get it? Death exists to kill people. It’s like it is offended that people exist, and its primary motive is to come up with elaborate techniques to kill human beings until every single one of them is dead. The Final Destination franchise also gives Death a lot of personality because every time someone avoids its wrath, Death gets more and more furious and throws unavoidable obstacles at the characters. Killer Book Club tries to inject the fear of clowns and plagiarism into us, and the Final Destination franchise makes us fear everything from highways to acupuncture. And the deaths in Final Destination aren’t for the weak. Yes, after a point, they do become ridiculous enough to feel entertaining. However, they are way, way more horrifying than the ones in Killer Book Club. So brace yourself before getting into any of the rides in the franchise.
What you have just read is a list of films that you should watch if you liked Killer Book Club. But please feel free to share your own suggestions after watching Killer Book Club on Netflix.