Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Nightmare Fuel / Mindhunter

Go To

Mindhunter is a show about interviewing serial killers. Nightmare Fuel is a given.

  • Starting with literally the opening credits, which show loving closeups of 70s audio recording equipment intercut with almost subliminal blips of bound, mutilated corpses.
  • Holden’s first interview with Ed Kemper. Stand out moment has to be when Kemper graphically describes to Holden the various difficulties involved with having sex with a severed human head.
    • More Genre Savvy viewers will be tearing their hair out at Holden’s utter carelessness during the interview. He insists on having Kemper’s handcuffs removed, lets Kemper freely move about the room, eats food brought to him by the man, ignores most of Bill’s advice on interviewing him, and generally lets himself be drawn in by Kemper’s Affably Evil mask. At one point he even allows Kemper to approach him and put his hands on his throat without voicing any objection or calling for a guard. Holden is very lucky that Kemper didn’t seize that opportunity to kill him or to inflict serious harm on him and his obliviousness to the danger he is in only makes the tension worse.
    • Advertisement:
    • Kemper himself is utterly chilling, helped in no small part by Cameron Britton’s superb performance. He is a master manipulator and is very good at making himself appear Affably Evil to Holden and the guards at the prison. Anyone familiar with his crimes will recognize this as part of his modus operandi to make himself out to be a Gentle Giant to help catch his victims off guard. Viewers might feel unnerved as they themselves find Kemper strangely likable, even as he describes his most horrific actions.
  • This video of Cameron Britton getting into character as Ed Kemper demonstrates how well-deserved his Emmy nomination is. Even without the physical transformation, the moment his voice changes is utterly chilling.
  • Jerry Brudos is deeply unnerving, due to his jovial remorselessness and his description of how he lured in one of his victims, and how the mood of his impromptu modelling session gradually turned.
  • The mask that BTK put on to roleplay as his victims and relive the crimes.
    • The "souvenirs" BTK collected from his victims are placed on display during one of his disturbing roleplay sessions.
    • The baby-like vocalizations that sound when he puts on the mask.
  • The details of the Otero family murders.
  • The Atlanta murders. Children disappearing in broad daylight. A nauseatingly high body count. Made worse by the fact that it's very likely there were multiple murderers and only one was caught.
  • The incident where Brian was involved.
  • The Houston "Candyman" murders get only some mentions but might be the most evil in the show: an adult who brainwashes teenagers to bring him their friends and acquitances so he can rape, torture, and murder them. Repeatedly.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: