Netflix and chill is so passé, right? This year, we’re all about Netflix and thrill, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the best thrillers on Netflix. From movies based on real-life cases like Zodiac to Netflix original thrillers like Secret Obsession, Netflix has a ‘yuge variety of thriller movies to choose from on your next movie marathon.
Have a peek at the best thrillers on Netflix below:
1. The Call
Legit one of the best thrillers on Netflix that I’ve seen in a while, not just because it features queen mother of the universe, Halle Berry, but because it’s got everything thriller movies should have, like a killer plot (literally), a terrifying villain and a wild-ass plot twist.
Halle Berry plays an ex-cop who is now a 9-1-1 operator. She receives a call from a gal being kidnapped (played by Scream Queens star Abigail Breslin) and the movie sees Berry’s character try to save her from her kidnapper (who should be inducted into some kind of thriller movies hall of fame, I tell ya what).
The movie was also nominated for Best Thriller Movie at the 40th Saturn Awards and Berry was nominated for Saturn Award for Best Actress.
Also, not to give too much away here, but the 2013 film became a viral topic of conversation recently after two Sydney girls kidnapped another girl, forced her into the boot of their car and were headed for Belanglo State Forest (yes, THE Belanglo State Forest). While they were making their way down the Hume Highway, the girl in the trunk employed a technique used in the movie where she popped the taillight out and waved to other drivers to get their attention. This worked in the movie and it also worked in real life. Chilling stuff.
Okay so this is one of those thrillers that you chuck on when you feel like being mildly spooked but also feel like low-key loling at the madness that’s going down in front of you. Ideal for when mates are over and you’re a few wines deep, for example.
Dismissed stars, wait for it, Dylan Sprouse. Yep, one half of the Sprouse twins who you’ll remember from the Suite Life of Zach and Cody. And it’s not even the one who hit the big time(ish) on Riverdale, it’s the one who got into photography and arty farty movies. Well this Netflix movie is hardly arty farty, but it’s defs a weird one which makes it v. enjoyable.
Dylan Sprouse plays a psychotic straight A student who cops a bad score from a teacher and subsequently goes on a psychotic rampage. We love to see it.
Loads of thriller movies and TV shows have been inspired by the real-life Zodiac Killer that terrorised San Francisco during the late 1960s and early 1970s, but nothing compares to the epic thriller movie starring Mark Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr.
Based on the book of the same name by Robert Graysmith, the movie details how the Zodiac Killer taunted cops with cryptic letters and creepy phone calls that pointed to his murders.
If you haven’t been obsessively following along for years like myself, this movie is a great way to see what the hell happened.
FYI: The Zodiac murders are one of the United States’ most infamous unsolved crimes that still remains unsolved to this day, which makes this truly one of the best thrillers on Netflix.
4. The Invitation
I have a group chat dedicated to sharing and rating thrillers and this one made waves in our chat when it first hit Netflix, lemme tell ya.
The Invitation is a 2015 thriller movie about a dinner party gone wrong… very wrong. About as wrong as you can get. So on the plus side, it’ll make you feel better when you forget the brie at your next dinner party. At least the evening didn’t turn into a murderous rampage!
Don’t wanna take my word for it? Well, The Invitation holds an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a damn good score and right up there in the top tier of best thrillers on Netflix.
5. When A Stranger Calls
Ah yes, one of the quintessential thriller movies that you’ll remember watching at sleepovers when you were a teenager and freaking the fuck out (especially when the landline rang). Well guess what? It bloody well still holds up, if ya ask me.
When A Stranger Calls stars Camilla Belle as Jill Johnson, a babysitter who is tormented by a ~stranger~ who ~calls~, ultimately revealing that he’s been inside the whole time with the infamous line, “The call is coming from inside the house.”
I was kinda shocked to learn this, considering I’ve always considered this one of the most terrifying thrillers ever, but it was actually panned by critics back in the day but fuck ’em, I watched it recently on Netflix and I reckon it still holds up, so go forth and give it a burl.
6. Dangerous Lies
This Netflix original movie stars Camila Mendes, a.k.a. Veronica Lodge from teen drama series Riverdale, who plays a caretaker who’s enlisted to look after an elderly man. When he dies, she finds that she has become his sole beneficiary, which puts her directly in harms way.
As far as the best thriller movies on Netflix go, this one has pretty much everything you’d want, from a noteworthy cast, to a fast-paced storyline, to a wild plot twist (no spoilers, soz).
Last year it was nominated for best drama movie at the People’s Choice Awards. Yiewwwww.
7. The Silence
Another one of Netflix’s OG thriller movies, starring Chilling Adventures of Sabrina gals Kiernan Shipka and Miranda Otto along with our lord and saviour, Stanley Tucci.
It’s got the vibes of other thrillers like Birdbox and A Quiet Place as it tells the story of a world under attack by creatures who hunt by sound. Kiernan (a.k.a. Sabrina Spellman in the Netflix reboot of ’90s classic Sabrina The Teenage Witch) plays a deaf teenager who is seeking shelter with her family.
It’s based on a book called The Silence by Tim Lebbon, which I also recommend checking out.
Aussie darling Abbie Cornish stars in this flick along with Dermot Mulroney and Justin Long.
After discovering old fractures in her skull, a photographer (Cornish), who is recovering from a bout of amnesia, becomes haunted by a scary childhood secret. Dun, dun, DUUUUUUN.
As far as thriller movies go, this one is pretty arty farty, having premiered at the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18, 2016, but we do love a lil bit of culture in our Netflix queue, don’t we?
9. Secret Obsession
Another one of Netflix’s original thriller movies, starring Disney queen Brenda Song.
She plays a girl recuperating from trauma who finds herself in danger after returning to a life she doesn’t remember.
There’s a bunch of twists and turns that lead you to the epic finale and you’ll be on the edge of your bloody seat the entire time. Truly one of the best thrillers on Netflix over the past few years.
10. The Girl On The Train
You simply cannot call yourself a lover of thriller movies if you haven’t seen this absolute fucking wild ride of a movie.
The Girl on the Train features a stacked cast including Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, Lisa Kudrow and Laura Prepon.
As the title suggests, it’s about a girl on a train (Blunt) who becomes tangled in several violent incidents but because she’s an alcoholic, not everything is as she recalls it.
I remember going to the Sydney premiere of The Girl on the Train and gasping in unison with fellow journalists at several points throughout the movie.
11. No Escape
Owen Wilson leads this 2015 thriller movie about an American bloke and his family who move overseas for his job and find themselves smack bang in the middle of a coup where foreigners are being immediately executed.
Also starring the king of thrillers himself, Pierce Brosnan, I recommend whacking on No Escape when you’re looking for movie to watch with dad.
I visited my folks the other day and since dad loves thriller movies, I suggested chucking this one on Netflix and we were both hooked.
12. Keep Watching
A young fam become trapped in their house while being terrorised by intruders who force them to play a life and death game with a mysterious (read: deadly) set of rules.
Think, Saw, but it’s less of a horror / gore movie and more of a thriller movie.
It stars teen queen Bella Thorne and is absolutely not for the faint hearted.
13. Side Effects
This 2013 thriller movie is all about medical experimenting which is certainly timely, isn’t it?
It features a sick cast (no pun intended), including Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum.
After being reunited with her husband following his stint in prison, a woman named Emily Taylor becomes severely depressed and so her doctor prescribes her an experimental new medication called Ablixa, but the drug turns out to have some terrifying side effects and chaos ensues, as you can imagine.
14. Bird Box
It’s not the fact that this movie became one of the biggest memes of all time that makes this one of my favourite horror movies, nor the fact that my numero uno actor Sandra Bullock plays the lead role.
It’s that the film did such a bang up job at representing various human responses to a crisis that now seems eerily prescient and alarmingly accurate.
Bird Box is one of those ones that really draws you in and makes you feel like you’re along for the ride, and it’s not just because my eyes were covered with a pillow for many parts of the film, just like the characters fighting to survive.
15. Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler takes off his king of comedy hat and pops on his king of thriller movies hat to lead the charge in Uncut Gems, a critically acclaimed thriller movie.
Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Awake is one of the best thriller movies out right now. It tells the story of a man who wakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of who he is, and learns that he’s wanted by the police for committing a series of murders.
So there ya have it, an ever-evolving list of the best thrillers on Netflix. If this is below your threshold, why not hit up our list of the best horror movies on Netflix right HERE for a really good scare.