If you’re not that into horror, a twisty psychological thriller is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
We don’t know about you, but we like our thrillers with a little bit of substance. Not that there’s anything wrong with straight-up action flicks, in fact, they’re ideal for when you need to lay back and give your brain an entertaining break for a couple of hours. Otherwise, there’s nothing quite like a solid thriller of the psychological variety, one that will mess with your mind in exciting and unexpected ways.
But what makes a good thriller? Compelling protagonists? A copious dose of suspense? A few mind-bending twists? We vote all of the above. With so many titles out there waiting to be streamed, why settle? We’ve gathered some of the best thrillers currently available in Australia, so your weekend is already sorted. Proceed with caution as some of these are not recommended for the faint of heart.
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Innovative and fascinating, Inception became a hit upon its release back in 2010, proving once again that thrillers don’t have to dumb things down to appeal to a large variety of viewers. The movie’s fast pace and captivating premise should be more than enough to keep you glued to the screen, with the stunning visuals a nice bonus.
2. Donnie Darko
Is Donnie fighting some inner demons, or is the world really coming to an end? We guess you’ll have to tune in to find out. Trust us, the movie is more than worthy of your time, boasting a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and juggling some daring and original ideas. You might even need to watch Donnie Darko more than once to truly appreciate its brilliance.
3. The Machinist
While the movie became popular due to Christian Bale’s extreme physical transformation for the role, it’s also important to note that the actor offers a brilliant performance, one that will stay with you for a long time. The Machinist is the kind of movie you admire more than enjoy. However, we guarantee that you won’t forget this trip into Trevor’s nightmarish reality anytime soon.
4. The Usual Suspects
A massive explosion leaves 27 men dead and millions of dollars' worth of cocaine missing. The movie follows the interrogation of Kint, a small-time con man who tells a convoluted tale about the days before the explosion. Although The Usual Suspects looks like a pretty straightforward whodunit at first glance, it turns into much more as Kint’s story progresses. Suspenseful and entertaining, the movie serves plenty of fun twists along the way, building up to a truly satisfying ending. You can’t go wrong with this one.
At the end of the day, the movie will leave you either completely mesmerized, or utterly exasperated. There’s no in between. For the record, our money is on option one.
6. The Others
Chilling and creepy, The Others is the kind of movie that doesn’t need special effects to give viewers goosebumps. Elegant and beautifully shot, it relies on mood and suspense instead of jump scares and masked serial killers. If you’re into that type of thing, you’ll be hooked from the first scene.
7. Black Swan
Dark and twisty, Black Swan’s sheer intensity is enough to make you hold your breath at regular intervals. The movie offers just enough melodrama to keep things interesting, but ultimately delivers an effective portrayal of the sacrifices one’s willing to make to achieve success. It will give you a lot to think about.
8. Source Code
Source Code offers tons of great action, a brisk pace and some underlying emotion that gives it just the right amount of depth. It’s fun and compelling; to the point where you’ll forget all about how silly the premise is, sit back and enjoy the ride.
9. Edge of Tomorrow
Edge of Tomorrow is a fun mix of action and sci-fi, giving Cruise another opportunity to play a role he excels in every single time – the flawed, but likeable hero. The outstanding special effects don’t hurt either.
Starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Looper is thrilling, smart, fast-paced and riveting. It may suffer from the occasional plot hole, but the movie’s got enough going on to keep you on the edge of your seat.
11. Mulholland Drive
This is the kind of movie that’s meant to be savoured. It’s hypnotic and haunting, to the point where you can’t be sure what exactly is going on, but you find yourself highly entertained nonetheless. Mulholland Drive is just as glamorous as Los Angeles, the city it celebrates. Starring Naomi Watts and Laura Harring.
12. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Tense and suspenseful, the movie is excellently shot, making the most of its confined setting. The less you know about this one, the better, so we won’t spoil the fun by giving any extra details. Just know that you’ll be in for a treat.
James McAvoy is perfectly cast in the role of the deranged abductor, manifesting unique physical attributes for each of his multiple personalities. Captivating and tense, the movie is the best kind of disturbing, proving that the famed Shyamalan, also responsible for The Sixth Sense, is back in top form following a series of mediocre flicks. However, this one is worthy of your undivided attention.
Enemy is spooky and unpredictable, adding even more weirdness to the whole "double" trope. And with Gyllenhaal playing both the professor and his doppelgänger, things only get better (and more peculiar) as the movie progresses. You won’t see that ending coming, we’re sure of that.
15. Take Shelter
Michael Shannon gives a powerhouse performance as Curtis, a man whose growing anxiety becomes difficult to manage. Plus, Take Shelter is a seamless blend of drama and terror, hinting there’s a much more complex story bubbling just under the surface. You’ll just have to wait for a bit to find out just how complicated the narrative really is.
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