50 THRILLERS THAT MAKE YOU FREEZE AND NOT MOVE
Walk Among the Graves (USA, 2014)
In New York, a series of murders that are particularly brutal are sweeping. A large drug lord’s wife dies, she is literally returned “piece by piece”, and he decides to hire a man who can find the murderer of his beloved. He becomes a former police officer, now a private detective – Matt Scudder. He immediately begins to investigate and is faced with many “inconsistencies” and oddities: each new piece of evidence gives rise to even more mysteries, but finding the culprit is now a matter of honor. Psychological stress from viewing is guaranteed.
Ghost Forest (US, 2016)
Sarah, a girl from America, is forced to go in search of her sister, who, under rather strange circumstances, disappears on the island of Honshu. The film takes place in a rather gloomy place – the Aokigahara forest, which is notorious among the locals, which is known as the last stronghold for suicides. Spectators will have to plunge into the mysterious atmosphere of local nature and childhood memories of the heroine, to get acquainted with the ancient legends about revived ghosts. There is no need to expect a happy ending from the film, but it is worth getting ready for an unexpected ending.
Ichchi (Russia, 2020)
By the will of fate, a young family finds themselves in a rather strange original place, located on the banks of the Lena River, far from civilization. While solving everyday issues, the heroes do not notice how Ichchi – ancient spirits posing a danger to those who ended up on their territory – began to revive in the thickened darkness. And the heroes will have to overcome not only the ancient evil, but also their own fears. In the finale, you will not see the spaced dots, only the symbols that you have to reveal on your own.
Friend Request (Germany, 2015)
Many are in constant pursuit of followers on social networks, and the next request to friends is perceived as a gift. But, what if such a “friend” suddenly begins to behave too intrusively: “fall asleep” with messages and strange signs of attention, assure you of the uniqueness of your friendship. This is what happens to the heroine of the film, Laura. Pretty tired of such an inadequate subscriber, she sees no other way out but to remove her from the friend zone. But at that moment Laura could not imagine how this would affect her life, turning her into a real nightmare filled with tragic events.
Guilty (Denmark, 2019)
The main character is Asger Holm, a cynical and indifferent to the troubles of others, the dispatcher of the rescue service. His working days are similar to one another: constant calls, tedious conversations, instructions. But everything changes with one call from a kidnapped woman. We will not see a pursuit, an investigation, everything will take place in the same room and with one hero: his dialogues (with the kidnapper and the kidnapped), ordeals of conscience, emotions, psychological stress. And most importantly: all the guesses about what happened will turn out to be wrong, the truth will turn out to be much worse.
Escape from Pretoria (UK, Australia, US, 2020)
The plot of the film takes place in the most guarded prison “Pretoria”, located in South Africa. It’s the 70s of the twentieth century, when the apartheid policy is gaining popularity, based on racial division: “heaven” for whites, and a ban on any civil rights for blacks. The main characters are for the destruction of the regime, and for their own revolutionary manners they receive a prison term. But they do not want to serve it, and they decide to flee. The viewer gets the opportunity to tickle his nerves, because the preparation for the escape is carried out in a tense atmosphere of strict supervision. But will it be possible to implement the plan?
The Imitation Game (UK, US, 2014)
World War II is raging in the world. The main character is Alan Turing, a famous mathematician from England with sociopathic traits and selfish inclinations. According to the plot, he must solve the code of the Enigma machine, which the fascist invaders use with great success for their own purposes. Before Alan, no ransomware had succeeded. A colossal contribution to the fight against Germany will be made, but how will the fate of the outstanding cryptographer develop in the end?
Key to all doors (USA, Germany, 2005)
Girlfriend Caroline receives an invitation from a strange couple to work as a nurse in a huge mansion. There she meets a paralyzed old man, obsessed with the idea of escape, and his wife Vivien, who keeps the house in order. Caroline has a key that can open any door in the mansion. Taking the opportunity, she unlocks the secret room and discovers many objects with mystical connotations. Together with the main character, you will find yourself in the center of strange and terrible events. The intrigue will remain until the end of the film, but the ending will truly surprise and make you remember all the lines and details.
Disappeared (US, 2014)
Under unexplained circumstances, the wife of the protagonist disappears, and this is on the eve of the celebration of the anniversary of family life. Naturally, her husband falls under suspicion, and there is enough evidence in the house: rubbed blood stains, a mess, signs of a struggle. But after the disappearance, there are still clues left for those who dare to seek. And now an ordinary investigation turns into a quest, to which the press and a local detective are connected. In the center of attention: the personal life of the heroes, their financial difficulties, personal qualities.
Panic Call (US, 2013)
What if your mistake cost someone their life? This happened to the main character, who works in an emergency call center. Being on shift, she was not able to intervene in the situation, and the maniac mercilessly dealt with the girl. And now the alarm bell rings again from a teenage girl who can also become a victim of a crime. The heroine is left to state the fact that the handwriting is the same, and now she has to overcome her main fear of the past. There is no room for error, and any mistake can cost a child’s life.
Before I Fall Asleep (US, UK, 2014)
It is hard to imagine that every morning will be like a blank slate, and for a long time it will start the same way – with amnesia. But it is in such a situation that the main character finds herself, who, after a terrible car accident, loses her memory. Since then, she has been living literally “one day”, but with an irresistible desire to remember everything. The search for the truth will lead to unpredictable consequences: torn off masks, loss of trust in once close people, shocking revelations.
The Ninth Life of Louis Drax (Canada, 2016)
A nine-year-old boy, Louis Drax, in the mountains on a picnic, has a strange accident – he falls into the water from a cliff. Salvation ripens in time, the child remains alive, but falls into a coma. And now psychologist Allan Pascal has to figure out what happened, determine the root cause. The boy’s father falls under suspicion, but does the mother agree on everything about the relationship with the child?
Death Online (US, 2013)
On the Internet, you can not only meet and communicate, but also become a witness to a real crime. The main character, who spent most of her free time in various chats, even for her research chooses a topical topic for studying the habits of Internet users. And in the course of her observations, she stumbles upon a video chat, where a brutal murder takes place at the time of the online broadcast. After this incident, the life of the heroine herself and her friends is already under threat.
Doctor Sleep (US, UK, 2019)
As a child, Danny Torrance had to survive the death of his father, which occurred at the Overlook Hotel. Since then, the boy with psychic abilities has been haunted by the sinister ghost of a rotting woman. And this is not without reason: after all, for such entities, the energy of psychics – “radiance” serves as food. To muffle his abilities, the matured Danny begins to lead a marginal lifestyle – he drinks a lot, wanders. After another booze, Danny decides to break with bad habits and move to a small town. There he begins to work in a hospice, and unmistakably identify those who will soon pass away. Having earned the appropriate reputation, I begin to call him Doctor Sleep. Among the new acquaintances there is a special girl Abra, who is being hunted by members of the society “True Knot”.
Paranoia (India, US, 2013)
If you are a young, talented, ambitious employee in a large company, then one day you will want to move up the career ladder by getting a promotion. And only one mistake can ruin all plans and lead to dismissal. But the main character, Adam Cassidy, receives an offer that he cannot refuse – to spy on the boss’s mentor, in exchange for the right to keep his place in the company.
Handsome, Ugly, Bad (USA, 2019)
When your boyfriend is gallant, handsome and charismatic, you start to think that you are in a fairy tale. And if you are a single mother, like Liz, then it is even more difficult to believe your happiness. But the heroine’s tale lasts exactly as long as her young man is not charged with terrible crimes: rape, murder with special cruelty of young girls. Is Elizabeth ready to recognize in handsome Teda a serial maniac?
Ma (Japan, US, 2019)
What can psychological trauma received in childhood lead to? To a sophisticated revenge already in adulthood. But it is even more dangerous if this revenge is served “under the sauce” of virtue. Sue Ann was bullied by peers during her school years, and as an adult, she tries to establish contact with older students, throwing parties with alcohol and psychotropic substances for them. But are her motives so clear? And what will happen to those who break Ma’s rules?
Joker (Canada, USA, 2019)
In the center of the plot is the story of the mentally unstable comedian Arthur Fleck, which tells how the antics of a desperate avenger, a fighter against the “imperfections of society” can support the masses of people. The way of becoming a villain is shown: rebirth from a benevolent, dreamy person “with a smile” into a murderer, a distraught depressive maniac with a sly grin on his face. And the reason for everything is human cruelty, the conniving attitude of close people.
Platform (Spain, 2019)
When agreeing to participate in questionable experiments, be aware of the risk of getting into trouble, such as being in jail. It happened with the main character Goren. “And God forbid, to continue to remain at the average level”, because the prison is vertical, multi-level, and only once a day, food on the platform will go down the common well located in the center. And the lower the level at which you are, the less chances you have to survive, and the more – to die of hunger and cruelty inmates. However, in the course of the monthly castling, you can either go up several levels or go down even lower, and feel for yourself how people can change under the influence of social stratification.
The Devil in the Details (US, 2021)
A working trip to Los Angeles for the Kern County Sheriff Joe Deacon did not go according to plan, and a new acquaintance with a promising detective Baxter, forcing the protagonist to return to unfinished business with a decent five-year limitation period, which cost him his career. The business trip is delayed and turns into a new investigation in a serial murder case with an obsessed and cunning suspect, against whom there is enough evidence, but no less evidence confirming his innocence.
Countdown (US, 2019)
Various mobile applications make our life easier and more interesting. But, what if there is such an application that can accurately determine the date when your mortal life will end. And it bears the ominous name “Countdown”. And what measures will you take, if the counter has measured you only two days, in order to complete your affairs and get ready to meet the estimated hour?
Cube (Canada, 2017)
The heroes of the film wake up in a labyrinth consisting of cubic rooms that can move in space. These are people of different professions and views, however, they are united by one situation – they simply do not understand how they ended up in this place. The rooms are not empty, but they hide various dangers, and in order to get out of the maze, the heroes will have to visit each one, unravel the functioning of the cube, and at the same time try to save their own lives.
Red Lights (Canada, Spain, 2012)
The plot is based on the eternal struggle between skeptical scientists who specialize in exposing charlatans and mystics who demonstrate psychic abilities. The main characters, scientists Margaret Matheson and Tom Buckley, are driven by different motives, but they are obsessed with one idea – to bring false mediums and false healers to the surface. Everything is working out: successful revelations replace one another, but until the moment when the figure of a well-known psychic of advanced age, but not practicing for a long time, appears on the “arena”. After that, unexplained events begin to occur, complicating the investigation.
Firstborn (US, 2007)
It is a well-known fact that with the advent of a child, life undergoes changes. This is what happened in a couple of talented and successful people who, while expecting a baby, decide to move from New York to the suburbs. The situation is aggravated after the birth of the child: the responsibilities of caring for the baby drive his mother into depression. She is exhausted from constant anxiety and hallucinations. And the head of the family has no choice but to take a nanny to help. With her appearance in the house, inexplicable phenomena arise, and the psychological state of the wife only worsens.
Girl on a Train (USA, 2016)
The main character is unemployed Rachel Watson, suffering from alcohol addiction, and in order to somehow diversify her life, she gets on the train every day and makes aimless trips, watching others from the window. Every time in her field of vision comes her former home and a married couple, which seems to be a reference. And one day Rachel witnesses the destruction of family well-being and the disappearance of a young wife, who is then found murdered. The heroine finds herself in the thick of things, she feels her involvement, and now she will have to figure everything out, but for this she will close the gestalts and get rid of past grievances.
Still Water (USA, 2019)
In a small American town, an unheard-of event for these places takes place – the kidnapping of a child. The investigation is carried out by local detective Greg Harper, who is going through difficult times: his family life is “bursting at the seams” because of his wife’s betrayal. When the investigation is gaining momentum, difficult-to-explain events begin to occur with the hero and his relatives, and the threat to safety hangs over his son – an attempt is made on him. There is not even a grain of doubt about what is happening with the crime. But who is this mysterious serial killer and kidnapper? And what have froggers got to do with it?
Split (Japan, US, 2016)
The plot is based on the kidnapping of three girls. The kidnapper is Kevin, a man with multiple personality disorder, and 23 characters that contrast in gender, appearance and character coexist in him. And they are preparing for the emergence of 24 personalities – the “beast” for which the “ritual” crime was committed. The kidnapped girls are locked in the basement, from where they will have to escape, having previously agreed with the loyal personages of the maniac.
1408 (US, 2007)
As you know, writers, and even more so the authors of horror novels, have a rich imagination. Mein Ensler, who became famous for his eerie works, had a similar experience. However, he categorically refused to believe in the afterlife. And in confirmation of his position, he settled in a hotel shrouded in mysticism, and even in room 1408 with sad glory. Unlike other guests who believe that this room is inhabited by ghosts, Ansley is positive, ignoring warnings from the hotel management. However, the worst night of his life lies ahead.
Hannibal’s Game (USA, Canada, 2018)
The main character Michael Cooper, who once worked as a judge, is completely disillusioned with the justice system, takes the liberty of administering justice on his behalf. He is helped in this by a girl who catches dangerous pedophiles “on live bait”, while the verdict is put into effect by Michael. But when an assassination attempt is made on his assistant, the former judge finds not only the kidnapper, but also, as it turns out, a serial maniac, at whose hands young women were killed. And it seems that the criminal was arrested, the investigation was launched, but a wave of new murders swept through the city, this time by policemen. At the scene of the crimes they saw a man who looked like the defendant.
Get Out (Japan, USA, 2017)
He is a young African American Chris, in love with a white girl named Rose from a prosperous medical family. He has to meet the parents of his beloved, and for this the couple goes on a trip. The young guy is overwhelmed by the fear that he will not be accepted in the family, but it turns out that this is not the thing to be afraid of, because the girl’s true intentions are far from reality. Fear of someone else’s opinion fade into the background, but the fear of being left without reason is exacerbated.
Areas of Darkness (Mexico, USA, 2011)
Eddie still cannot complete his novel, he does not have enough inspiration and desire for this, and his life turns into one continuous black stripe. But everything changes the moment the hero dares to take the NZT drug. This is a secret development in pharmacology that opens up new possibilities of the brain and activates all its processes at full capacity. And now we have before us not Eddie a loser with debts and without a job, but a successful man, rich and famous. But as with any drug, NZT has ominous side effects.
Pet Sematary (Canada, 2019)
Louis Creed settles with his family in a farmhouse. But later an unpleasant circumstance is revealed – housing is located near the pet cemetery. And then a tragedy happens in the family – the cat Church, the favorite of the household, falls under a truck and is buried in a gloomy cemetery. But what was the surprise of the family members when the pet returns a day later, as if nothing had happened to him. However, there are obvious changes in his behavior: the once affectionate cat suddenly becomes aggressive. And this is just the beginning.
Wish room (France, 2019)
The lovers acquire an estate in a secluded place, with a bad reputation – the former owners were found murdered in this house. But this fact does not stop Matt and Kate, and they start repairing. In the process, they discover a door, behind which is an empty room. Quite by chance, the new owners of the house find out that behind this steel door any wishes come true, it is enough to voice them. And now riches appear as if from a cornucopia, everyday life is spent in revelry and satisfaction of the most sophisticated needs. But when the main secret of the room becomes known, the couple already manages to think of a baby.
Island of the Damned (US, 2010)
The action in the film takes place on an impregnable island located in Massachusetts. Two marshals arrive there in order to investigate the strange disappearance of a patient of a hospital for criminals with mental disorders. The matter is serious, and the patient is not simple – the murderer of her own children. The main character, Teddy Daniels, will have to face many strange coincidences in his investigation, reveal the secret of the island, survive the riot and cope with his own hallucinations. The denouement will puzzle you.
The main character lives with a serious problem – a complete lack of short-term memory, but with an important mission – to take revenge on his wife’s murderer. In his memory, memories of the events that took place before the murder are clearly sealed. However, the events of ten minutes ago cannot linger in his head. To advance in the investigation, the hero develops a system for himself to remember important details.
Captives (USA, 2013)
The usual walk in the yard turns into a tragedy for two girlfriends – they are kidnapped. The father of one of the girls, Keller Dover, is emotionally broken and requires an investigation. But there is little evidence, and even they only introduce the driver of the van Alex into the circle of suspects, but he is released due to lack of evidence. Keller realizes that it is pointless to wait for help from the police and takes the path of retaliation, disregarding the law.
Premonition (US, 2007)
How often do you get premonitions and how accurate are they? The main character, the housewife Linda, suddenly begins to feel the approach of trouble. And as confirmation of her worries – an accident with her husband, who dies in a car accident. In a state of shock and with a complete refusal to believe in what happened, the heroine falls asleep. In the morning, she sees next to her a whole, unharmed husband. And then the realization comes that she is given a chance to fix everything. To do this, it is enough to turn to the subconscious, to learn how to interpret visions and dreams.
Butterfly Effect (Canada, 2004)
The boy Evan suffers from a strange illness – he has unexplained memory gaps: some episodes are simply deleted. But the problem is that in these isolated moments in life, with him, and not only, important, not devoid of strangeness events occur. Doctors agree that in this way a child’s fragile psyche protects itself from stressful situations. On the recommendation of a psychiatrist, the boy begins to keep diaries in which he records significant incidents and emotional states. As a student, Evan never ceases to be interested in brain disorders. And with the help of his handwritten diaries, he gets the opportunity to travel in time.
Psychic (UK, 2011)
This is the beginning of the 20th century, the time of the struggle against mystical prejudices and the superiority of science over them. Florence Cathcart, who specializes in debunking false psychic abilities, after much persuasion goes to a boarding school. She is motivated by the idea of questioning the legend of the murdered ghost boy who terrifies the pupils. The woman carries with her primitive developments in the field of recognizing paranormal activity, in full confidence that they will be enough to expose the deception. Will the heroine remain unconvinced if the supernatural attempts to make contact with her?
Good Night Mommy (Austria, 2014)
The family, consisting of a mother and two twin boys, lives in a large house surrounded by corn fields. Mom sings a lullaby to her sons in the evenings, and they, in turn, love her and support her in every possible way. But the woman has to go for plastic surgery, and the twins are left to wait for her return. The family reunion took place with the return of my mother from the clinic, who appeared with a bandaged face. However, the boys immediately felt that something was wrong: the same familiar eyes were looking at them, but their behavior was cold and alienated. The twins speculate, one worse than the other, and come to the conclusion that their mother is not next to them.
Black Swan (US, 2010)
She is a young and promising ballerina with signs of infantility, the only child in the family, surrounded by overprotection. Deprived of the usual human joys: hobbies, girlfriends, love of the opposite sex, she decided to devote her life to ballet and her mother. And so, when the offer of the main role in “Swan Lake” came, the young heroine faces serious obstacles: psychological problems, including sexual ones, hallucinations. And meeting a mysterious dancer has consequences.
Experiment “office” (USA, 2016)
Are your relationships with colleagues to be desired? What if you are asked to settle scores with them? Such an offer came to the employees of the secret corporation, who were locked in the office, but with the proviso that if they did not, they would be able to say goodbye to life. And now we have before us the transformation of a peaceful, hardworking “office plankton” into predatory and merciless killer fish. How far will people go with their own lives and other people’s fates on the scales?
Bunker (Spain, 2011)
What can a chance meeting lead to? To mutual feelings. At Fabian, a waitress from a small cafe, this is what happened. Her chosen one is Adrian, a casual visitor. From the very beginning, the girl idealizes her partner: his profession (conductor), personal qualities, appearance, financial capabilities (he is the owner of the mansion). But this happens exactly until the unpleasant details of his life are revealed: the former bride disappeared without a trace, and the investigation into this case is actively underway. And Fabian, who found herself in the mansion of her beloved, never ceases to leave the feeling of the presence of a third person.
Hidden (France, 2004)
Unpleasant events came to the life of the famous literary figure Georges. And in an instant, his comfortable and measured life collapsed, after the critic with dangerous periodicity began to find cassettes under his doors with everyday events captured on them. And if the police were not particularly interested in such a find, and they referred to ordinary hooliganism, then the hero himself was completely perplexed, and his wife completely panicked. But to find out the sender, Georges will have to delve into old memories.
Snowman (UK, 2017)
The first snow in Oslo is expected especially cautiously, because with its appearance married women begin to disappear, and at the crime scene the maniac leaves his mark – a snowman. A serial criminal is taken to find Harry Hall, a detective with experience and ambition. But he should hurry up, because soon the first snow will cover everything again, which means there will be new victims.
Monster’s Lair (US, 2018)
Young people, Sean and Derek, in order to get more out of life, come up with a criminal scheme. Working as valet parking attendants in a respectable restaurant, they steal from influential customers. When they have the keys to the cars in their hands, instead of parking the cars, they go to the owners’ homes, and while they savor the delicacies, young criminals take out valuables. The risk is great, because you need to get back on time. But during the last theft, everything does not go according to plan, and thoughts of profit fade into the background, because Sean’s unexpected find is a girl chained to furniture. There is little time for reflection, the prisoner needs to be released, and at the same time not to get caught by the police and a maniac.
Misery (USA, 1990)
Paul Sheldon is known as a writer of women’s novels. His trip to the publisher ends with a car accident. Paul survives, but with broken legs and a dislocated shoulder. In this state, he was discovered by nurse Annie, who coincidentally honored the writer’s work. There is no limit to her happiness, because now she will always be with Paul: he is in her house and completely obeys her. Nobody knows about the fate of the writer, as well as about his location. It seems to be a dead end.
Neon Demon (USA, Austria, 2016)
The story of the provincial Jesse is commonplace and familiar to many: after graduation, she goes to the metropolis in order to conquer it and find her place in the sun. You can’t do without useful acquaintances and dubious parties. And now our heroine is already bathed in the rays of glory. But the fashion industry is ruthless, and in order to strengthen itself after a meteoric rise, you will have to fight back envious competitors who are ready to substitute at any moment.
Black Butterfly (Spain, 2017)
The reclusive lifestyle of the writer Paul helps creativity, but negatively affects interactions with others. The hero drowns his failures in alcohol. But everything changes by a chance meeting with a traveler in a cafe, where a stranger resolves the conflict between the writer and the visitors. Out of a feeling of gratitude, Paul invites a new acquaintance to spend the night at his place, without even knowing where this will lead.
Substitution (US, 2008)
Los Angeles, twenties of the 20th century. A desperate woman, Christina Collins, turns to the police and claims that her only son is missing. The police show complete disinterest, the officers give advice, pretend to be looking. And one fine day, Christina receives news of a positive outcome of the search. The police return the boy to the victim, but she is completely at a loss: outwardly, the child looks like her son, but is not. What is it: a clouding of the mind of the heroine or an unsuccessful substitution on the part of the authorities?
Top 10 best thrillers with an unpredictable ending for the 21st century