"Suddenly they're attacked by an underwater camera, which lunges at them in an unconvincing imitation of an offscreen threat."The start of many a Detective Drama. We see the murder from the murderer's point of view. Leads to a Reverse Whodunnit, unless the Murderer P.O.V. is composed in such a way as to keep the killer's identity a secret (for example, via an Over the Shoulder shot or an actual P.O.V. Cam shot). The most common variety, mostly exclusive to murder mysteries, is when the victim casually greets their killer before realising their purpose. Genre Blind victims may even be relieved, and respond with "Oh, it's just you" or similar comments. See also "Jaws" First-Person Perspective. Compare the related tropes Impending Doom P.O.V., Robocam, Shaky P.O.V. Cam.
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Anime and Manga
- Kaji's death in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Used for the death of Edward Blake in the first chapter of Watchmen.
- A rare Anti-Hero example happened in the very first Sin City story where we get Marv's POV as he tortures a man for information.
- Used to great effect in The Sandman, where the Corinthian is first introduced from his POV (even though he doesn't actually have eyes!) and can be seen murdering and torturing people and eating their eyeballs with the mouths he has instead of eyes. Used again later on, where the Kindly Ones are never actually seen as they ravage the Dreaming, and only their weapons and shadows are seen.
- The first scene of John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and frequently used throughout the remainder of the series.
- Used in much of the original Black Christmas (1974).
- Quite a few scenes in Profondo Rosso and Friday the 13th (1980).
- In Strange Days, this trope is put to highly disturbing effect, as the killer wears a 'rig' that captures his sensory input during a murder/rape, and then sends a copy of it to the protagonist; in order to see what's on the disc, the protaganist puts it on, and experiences the killer's arousal as well. The victim had it even worse, as the rapist forced her to wear the viewing device during the act—so she'll feel the rape from both her own perspective and the perpetrator's, up to and including his enjoyment of her terror and pain.
- Used in Chevy Chase's death in Oh Heavenly Dog, after which Chevy comes back to life in Benji's body to solve his own murder. Roger Ebert rightfully tore this movie to pieces.
- Even though the "murderer" in question is an animal and not a human, used frequently in Jaws.
- The Dead Talk Back (as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000) opens with a rather poorly framed Murderer P.O.V..
- Shadows Of Our Ancestors opens when a poor Hustul man picks a fight with the village bigwig. From the poor man's POV, the bigwig hacks at him with his traditional bartok axe, and the screen turns red.
- In Phantom of the Paradise, the scene where Winslow breaks into the Paradise, steals a costume and a mask, and then hides a bomb in a car takes place entirely from his perspective.
- Crime and Punishment is a famous example, being an entire novel of Murderer P.O.V..
- Venus Prime 3 ends with Nemo arranging the murder of his associate Lord Kingman. Whereas most of the series up to that point had been narrated in third-person and past tense, this scene is entirely done in first-person present tense.
- A story in Real Quick Flash Fic has the first third or so being the thoughts of the murderer.
- Thrillers employ this trope quite frequently—Mary Higgins Clark and Tess Gerritsen frequently devoted random chapters of their books to the still-unknown killer. In Clark's case, the killer would often refer to an encounter he'd had with the protagonist as a means of enticing the reader to figure out who it was.
- The first book of The Balanced Sword trilogy opens on the night of Kyri's parents' murder, told from the viewpoint of one of the attackers, complete with a "You!" Exclamation from the victims when they recognise their assailants. At intervals through the book, there are interludes from the viewpoint of the attackers' ringleader; each interlude reveals more about him, but the audience doesn't learn who he is until Kyri does. In the second and third novels, interludes feature the Big Bad, again without explicitly revealing Its identity.
Live Action TV
- Stargate SG-1:
- In one episode, Mitchell believes he's guilty of a murder with all evidence leading toward him. A mind-reading device shows the murder from his perspective to investigators, needless to say, the mind-reading device is also a mind editing device which was used by the real killer to wipe his own mind of the vile deed and implant the memory into Mitchell's mind. This entire premise is a complete rip-off of an earlier (by 7 years no less) episode of Star Trek: Voyager (See below)
- Also happens in "Smoke & Mirrors", an earlier episode — we see the murderer loading the gun in slow motion, aiming at Senator Kinsey, and firing, without actually seeing the murderer's face. Moments later, Jack O'Neill (actually the murderer using Imported Alien Phlebotinum to disguise himself) exits the building and casually walks away. Of course, O'Neill is framed, and the rest of the episode is spent on the SGC's attempts to free him.
- Used in the Doctor Who episode The Unicorn and the Wasp, which is a gentle pastiche of works of Agatha Christie.
- A calling card of several Monk episodes. The most notable is "Mr. Monk and the Critic," where John Hannigan shows up at Callie Esterhaus's hotel room, acts like he is going to propose to her, then throws her off the balcony, and the entire scene is done from Hannigan's POV in one continuous shot.
- Star Trek: Voyager featured an episode where one of the main characters was convicted of a crime he didn't commit based on evidence supposedly taken from his mind showing the murder from his perspective. Naturally it is discovered that this memory was planted by the real killer.
- Actually, this was inverted, and the evidence is supposedly from the victim's perspective. And Paris is forced to relive the murder from this perspective every 20 minutes for the rest of his life as punishment (a punishment Deep Space Nine writers wouldn't inflict on O'Brien)... until the charade comes to light.
- Almost every episode of Columbo started out from the villain's point-of-view as he or she committed a supposedly perfect murder. Then Columbo came onto the scene and proved that it wasn't.
- The Pretty Little Liars TV series frequently ends episodes from A's point of view.
- The CSI episode "Killer" was mostly told from the killer's POV.
- Soaps murder mysteries often employ this.
- The Outer Limits (1995): In the episode "Living Hell", this is justified in-universe when an experimental neural implant allows the protagonist to see through the eyes of a serial killer with the same implant.
- The Family Guy episode "And Then There Were Fewer" lampshades the way this trick is used to maintain the anonymity of the one whodunit. "Why, it's you!" says the murderer's next victim to the camera. "The man or woman who's been killing everyone!"
- In the American Dad! episode "Tears Of A Clooney", Stan finds his and Francine's apartment completely trashed and realizes that Francine knows about Stan's friendship with her enemy George Clooney and went berserk. The lights suddenly go off and a we get a "night vision" look from Francine's point of view.\, with Stan backing away as she brandishes a razor toward him and apparently murders him. She merely cut off his sideburn.
- Parodied in an Animaniacs segment titled "It", where Wakko is being chased through the dark by an anonymous figure. It turns out to be Dot, and they were merely playing a game of tag.
- Used at the climax of The Suffering, in the neutral and evil endings.
- Many, many of the intros to the cases of the Ace Attorney games. Just as frequently subverted by presenting the case intro in the exact same manner... but from the point of view of a bystander, or even the eventual victim.
- Used to brutal effect in the 3rd God of War game, which basically forces you to murder the entire Greek Pantheon in order to advance the game. They have it coming though, so it's okay.
- Any First-Person Shooter with a Villain Protagonist, if you want to take the trope literally.