New releases like Don’t Worry Darling and Barbarian are exciting thrillers and two promising additions to a year that is already packed with unforgettably gripping stories of crime, supernatural mysteries, and seemingly small problems spiraling out of control.
2022 has an extensive range of different thriller movies to offer for all tastes, with some titles opting for a fast-paced narrative with frenetic action and others for a subtle mystery that gradually escalates into an intense clímax.
10 The Black Phone – 3.46
Stream On Peacock
The intense The Black Phone was one of the most anticipated supernatural thrillers since the early buzz from film festivals last year. Set in the ’70s and with Ethan Hawke playing a psychopathic serial killer, the film had everything in its favor to deliver an original story and a new iconic Bloomhouse villain.
The movie can be divided into two plots: the investigation of a series of missing teenagers in a small town, and the game of cat-and-mouse played by a young boy who becomes the victim of the killer known as Grabber. Even with the frightening atmosphere, the film manages to capture a nostalgic feel and address the powerful love between two siblings that might be the key to finally catching the Grabber.
9 Emergency – 3.51
Stream On Amazon Prime
As the title implies, the film aims at displaying desperate attitudes and impulsive actions that the several emergencies of the story call up to. Emergency works especially due to the constant atmosphere that something terrible can happen at any time, building up to an anxiety-inducing narrative where every tiny detail causes a situation to get worse for the main characters.
The indie thriller focuses on three friends who are forced to interrupt an unforgettable night of partying after an unexpected obstacle gets in the way. As they discuss whether they should call the police, the film brings up an important social commentary and brilliantly uses it to drive the story into a chaotic night of unthinkable proportions.
8 Emily The Criminal – 3.52
Rent On DirecTV
Aubrey Plaza single handedly carries this Sundance thriller, in what might be her most memorable performance yet. She plays the terribly unlucky Emily, a young woman who gets caught up in a plot of credit card scam that forces her into diving heads down into the criminal underworld in a desperate attempt to get out clean.
Ultimately, Emily The Criminal is a crime thriller remarkably sharp in its anti-capitalist message. Exposing the dirt that rules society, the film follows Emily as she goes down the rabbit hole in a succession of dangerous, yet often relatable situations that might as well threaten her life.
7 Fresh – 3.52
Stream On Hulu
Hulu’s Fresh is a charming mix of comedy and thriller about the horrors of modern dating. Ignoring every possible red flag, the innocent Noa falls for the wrong man and is lured into a dangerous ploy.
The film’s 40-minute long introduction can easily trick viewers just as it tricked Noa into how Fresh can be an enchanting love story, which it is not. As soon as the intentions of Noa’s new boyfriend are revealed the film takes an unexpectedly dark turn and delves into an absolute nightmare involving betrayal, unconventional appetizers, and lots of body parts scattered about.
6 Bodies Bodies Bodies – 3.60
See In Theaters
For the most part, Bodies Bodies Bodies starts off as a fun party game film but quickly becomes a gripping murder mystery. Gathering a cast of promising movie stars, the film’s premise is simple: a group of rich teenagers in an exorbitant party decides to play a seemingly innocent game that will lead to a deadly mood of suspicion among friends.
Adapting well-known murder mystery tropes to a modern scenario taken by media obsession and fame-seekers, Bodies Bodies Bodies is an exciting thriller at its surface but leaves space for an important reflection and a sharp satire.
5 Bullet Train – 3.60
See In Theaters
The fun Bullet Train is a chaotic mess of strange characters and frenetic action sequences in the best of ways. Adapting a book over 400-page long into a 2-hour-long movie, the film is guaranteed to give viewers an adrenaline rush with its fast pacing and non-stop face-offs.
Brad Pitt plays an assassin who seems to draw all the bad luck in the world to him. On board a train for a seemingly simple mission, he gets caught up in a deadly conspiracy of dangerous assassins and their conflicting objectives. Bullet Train commits to being an intense experience from beginning to end, leaving no space to breathe and no time to look away from the screen. There’s a lot going on all the time, which makes the movie an incredibly unconventional thriller.
4 The Innocents – 3.63
Stream On Shudder
The Innocents is an intimate Norwegian supernatural thriller that offers some of the most impressive child actors in recent memory. Carefully developing each of the character’s arcs, the film drives the narrative toward something as fantastic as it is scary; four children become friends and discover a mysterious bond between them that comes with strange powers; abilities that could lead to horrific consequences in the wrong hands.
Few thrillers can sustain such a gripping narrative solely with child characters, but The Innocents manages to put viewers in the shoes of each of the kids as they begin to grow apart. Dealing with themes such as friendship, loneliness, and guilt, the film meticulously develops a chilling mystery with unpredictable twists.
3 Thirteen Lives – 3.67
Stream On Amazon Prime
Maybe it was an odd choice to release Thirteen Lives less than one year after The Rescue, the documentary about the real-life rescue of a group of young boys and their soccer coach trapped in an underground cave, which details every aspect of the mission with actual footage.
While the film brilliantly captures the despair and urgency of the rescue mission and gives depth to the characters, both the case and the news were too fresh in the viewers’ memory for them to find it as relevant as they could be later on. Still, Thirteen Lives is a compelling rescue thriller about the fragility of life, and also a record-breaker after scoring the highest test score rating in MGM’s history.
2 Nope – 3.92
Rent On Vudu
Jordan Peele’s Nope is one of the most divisive thrillers of the year, leaving plenty of room for interpretations of the hidden meanings of the film. Even if its ambiguous narrative doesn’t convince everyone, Peele still manages to bewilder viewers with its carefully crafted mystery and visually stunning shots.
Using the unknown in its favor, Nope follows two siblings living on a remote gulch who come across a wicked discovery. It’s the perfect movie to go in fully blind about the plot, band one could say that it will be difficult for upcoming thrillers to top the terrifying clímax of the film, which masterfully mixes thriller and horror.
1 The Batman – 4.08
Stream On HBO Max
Matt Reeves’ The Batman is a superhero movie at its core, but it’s also undeniably a spectacular thriller. Going on the same path as the investigative films of David Fincher, the city of Gotham is introduced almost as a character itself; a lair of conspiracy, crime lords, and a puzzling killer lurking in the darkness taking down some of the city’s most influential political figures one by one.
This Bruce Wayne is cold and introverted, a hero with incredible combat skills but also a talented amateur detective. With the bold running time of three hours, The Batman introduces a range of suspicious characters and establishes an atmosphere of constant danger as a mysterious plot of corruption unfolds.
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