Nothing quite holds the eyes on the screen as adhesively as a suspense movie. Like a real good book or a can of potato chips, once you start one you know you can’t stop. You just gotta watch a few more minutes and find out the answers lingering throughout the picture. Will the rattling mystery finally be solved? Will the murderer finally be revealed? Will the victim escaped his or her deadly attacker? Is our hero really insane or has he been deceived by those around them? We want the answers and continue watching hoping we can get some closure. A good suspense movie keeps you this engaged throughout. So if you’re looking for a movie to hold onto your attention, consider these 40 suspense movies, most of which are available on Netflix that are sure to have you on the edge of your seat. Just be sure to hold onto your seat as well.
Get Out (2017) – IMDB: 7.7
Jordan Peele’s Get Out is a brilliant mix Hitchcockian horror and Twilight Zone allegory for the modern age of race and culture. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a black photographer that takes a trip to the family home of his white girlfriend and is met with a family trying to be too accepting of black people. But the longer he stays, the closer he comes to uncovering a maddeningly twisted scheme involving skin and brain.
Fargo (1996) – IMDB: 8.1
Perhaps the grandest masterpiece of the legendary Coen Brothers is their Midwestern dark comedy Fargo. Car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) tries to make some big money by having his wife kidnapped by hired goons that demand a ransom from her rich father. But when the plan starts getting messier and bloodier, the good-hearted police officer Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) takes a harder look at the case. Deeply funny, terrifying, and uniquely surreal with that Minnesota Nice quality.
Prisoners (2013) – IMDB: 8.1
It may surprise you that director Denis Villeneuve, known for such science fiction films as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, also dabbles in some intense thrillers as well. Prisoners feature Hugh Jackman as a father with a missing daughter and Jake Gyllenhaal as a detective trying to help him. But when evidence is low, Jackman starts going against the law and torturing a suspect to the absolute limits of cruelty, questioning how long revenge can linger in the hopes of finding his missing girl.
Gone Girl (2014) – IMDB: 8.1
David Fincher’s Gone Girl is a long but brilliant burn of how the media handles cases of missing people. Rosamund Pike plays a wife that mysteriously vanishes and her husband played by Ben Affleck is just as baffled as to how and why this happened. But when an overwhelming amount of evidence supports the case that Affleck murdered his wife, he’ll have to play the media’s game in how the 24-hour news cycle distorts cases and be easily manipulated when it comes to depictions of gender and guilt.
No Country for Old Men (2007) – IMDB: 8.1
We could honestly fill up this entire list with Coen Brother films but we’ll only go for one more with their Academy Award-winning No Country For Old Men. Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, Josh Brolin plays a hunter that has made the biggest mistake of his life by stealing a suitcase full of money from a drug deal gone bad in the desert. Now he has a whole mess of angry people after him including an aged sheriff played by Tommy Lee Jones and a ruthlessly quiet killer played by the intimidating Javier Bardem.
Zodiac (2007) – IMDB: 7.7
The story of the Zodiac killer is delivered with little theatrics but plenty of intrigue in David Fincher’s Zodiac. Taking place over the course of decades, we follow the tiring and agonizing murder case that would continue on for ages, draining the sanity of those enveloped in its intricacies. The all-star cast includes Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Robert Downey Jr. It’s an incredibly long film but deeply engaging for those who enjoy the trip down a dark rabbit hole.
American Psycho (2000) – IMDB: 7.6
Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is a 1980s yuppie that has strived for perfection in everything from his body to his suits to his very boring business cards with just the right amount of black and white. But his mind begins to wander and murder starts breaking out in his apartment, leading him into questioning his sanity when it seems that nobody picks up on the psychotic babble and actions of a man as elite as Bateman. A uniquely frightening look at status and power within the mind of the yuppie, American Psycho is unforgettable, especially for the iconic Huey Lewis scene that will bring a new meaning to “It’s Hip To Be Square.”
Fight Club (1999) – IMDB: 8.9
Edward Norton plays a man who just can’t get to sleep and takes an interest in an odd soap salesman played by Brad Pitt. They soon form an underground group of bored men desiring to fight and escape the daily grind. But their friendship leads down some stranger and darker paths which results in destroyed apartments and exploding airplanes. A trippy and bold film from David Fincher that has become a staple of cinema for being so polarizing in its greater message amid its chaotic assembly.
Se7en (1995) – IMDB: 8.6
There’s no shortage of murder case police procedurals in movies but none come so brutally and intense as David Fincher’s Seven. Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt play detectives on the hunt for a mysterious serial killer that strikes and kills based on the seven deadly sins. They think they have a good relationship when it comes to cracking such a grizzly case, especially when the killer voluntarily turns up to them and still has a few tricks up his dirty sleeves.
Vertigo (1958) – IMDB: 8.3
Considered one of the best films ever made, to say nothing of being the best of director Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo is the most vivid, surreal, and nightmarish. Jimmy Stewart plays an ex-police officer crippled with vertigo that caused him to let one man fall to his death. Years later, he takes on the case of stalking a presumably cheating wife played by Kim Novak. But the more Stewart follows, the more he finds himself losing his mind over being haunted by his mistakes and striving to attain romance amid a messy and scary plot of identity and murder.
The Fugitive (1993) – IMDB: 7.8
Based on the TV series, Harrison Ford plays the wrongfully convicted Richard Kimble, accused of murdering his wife. Knowing he is innocent, he makes his escape after a destructive crash of the prison bus with a train. While Kimble tries to clear his name, the determined Deputy Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) commits himself to hunt down and retrieve the escaped prisoner. Filled with plenty of exciting and pulse-pounding scenes, The Fugitive is perhaps best known for the dam jumping sequence when Ford flees from Jones at gunpoint by taking a massive fall into the water.
Cape Fear (1991) – IMDB: 7.3
Robert De Niro is at his most intimidating in this remake of Cape Fear. He plays sex offender Max Cady who has been released after 14 years of prison. Believing he has been wronged by his attorney Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte), Max devotes his freedom to terrorizing the Bowden family. And when the law can’t do anything to stop Max’s gleeful stalking, Sam knows he has to take the law into his own hands. The film features one of De Niro’s most notable performances for his loud laughing in a movie theater while smoking a cigar, disturbing the Bowdens.
Misery (1990) – IMDB: 7.8
Kathy Bates plays the worst kind of reader as Annie Wilkes, a woman deeply obsessed with writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan). She’s ecstatic to have him in her house when she rescues him after a car crash. But when she discovers his latest book, she’s dismayed by what she has read and her nursing soon turns to torture. One such torture involves a wooden block and a sledgehammer.
Psycho – IMDB: 8.5
Considered the most shocking of Hitchcock’s movies for the time, Psycho has the perfect creepy atmosphere. Anthony Perkins is terrifying as the hotel manager Norman Bates, concealing a dark secret of his mother and going psychotic on his guests, the most unfortunate being his recent visitor played by Janet Leigh. This, of course, leads to one of the most memorable moments in all of horror, the shower death.
Rear Window – IMDB: 8.5
Again, this whole list could be Hitchcock movies, but how could we forget Rear Window? Jimmy Stewart finds himself with a lot of free time when his leg is broken. He takes an interest in observing his neighbor out of his window but soon witnesses a murder. And in trying to prove it, he’s going to need to rely on his girlfriend/nurse to help him.
The Captive (2014) – IMDB: 5.9
IMDB Score 5.9/10
This film stars Ryan Reynolds and Rosario Dawson as a couple whose daughter went missing eight years early, but some disturbing incidents begin to suggest to them that their daughter might still be alive. This story unravels in non-linear scenes, with only context allowing the viewer to distinguish between what is happening in the present, and what is a flashback, though all scenes are filmed in an atmospheric winter setting that adds to the thrills.
Clinical (2017): IMDB: 5.1
IMDB Score 5.1/10
Vinessa Shaw stars as a psychiatrist who is an expert in confrontational therapy. She finds herself thrown off when one of her patients attacks her during a session and then tries to kill herself in front of her. Shaw’s character starts seeing a psychiatrist herself to deal with her PTSD, which starts to reveal some unexpected repressed memories.
Gone (2012) – IMDB: 5.9
IMDB Score 5.9/10
Starring Amanda Seyfried a Jill, a young woman looking after her younger sister Molly, when Molly goes missing, Jill suspects that she has been taken by the serial killer that kidnapped her years earlier. She launches a desperate quest to save her sister. While the story is quite formulaic, it will appeal to any fans of the genre.
Gone Girl (2014): IMDB: 8.1
IMDB Score 8.1/10
Based on the award-winning novel of the same name, Ben Affleck plays the man who becomes the main suspect when his wife, played by Rosamund Pike goes missing. This adaptation of an excellent story is dark, intelligent and stylish, giving it an abstract, intellectual and postmodern feel. You will find this firm appropriately creepy, confusing and troubling.
The Good Neighbour (2016) – IMDB: 6.3
IMDB Score 6.3/10
A bit of an urban legend as two tech0savvy teenagers decide to prank their elderly neighbour, played by James Caan, by trying to convince him that his house is haunted. When he leaves his home, the two set up equipment to simulate the haunting, as well as hidden cameras. But it seems that the boys did not pick their mark carefully enough and may have bitten off more than they can handle.
The Interview (1998) – IMDB: 7.2
IMDB Score 7.2/10
An Australian thriller, it is the first of three films written and directed by Craig Monahan. Almost the entire film takes place in a police interrogation room, with some short flashback sequences. The film stars Hugo Weaving, who gives a powerful performance as always. With a feel of the Usual Suspects, you will certainly be left with more questions than answers.
The Invitation (2015) – IMDB: 6.7
IMDB Score 6.7/10
Logan Marshall Green stars as a man who responds to a dinner invitation from his ex-wife, and decides to bring his new girlfriend along to the dinner party. There he relives the trauma of his child’s death and becomes suspicious that his ex has ulterior motives for inviting him over that evening. This film is tense from beginning to end and explores some interesting ideas about grief, depression, and how we cope with the events that change our lives.
The Loft (2014) – IMDB: 6.3
IMDB Score 6.3/10
A remake of a Dutch-language Belgian film, and also stars Matthias Schoenaerts reprising his role from the original film alongside Karl Urban, James Marsden and Wentworth Miller. The story focusses on five married men that share ownership of an upmarket loft that they use to meet their mistresses. Soon they begin to suspect each other of having committed an even more gruesome crime.
Trauma (2016) – IMDB: 5.3
IMDB Score 5.3/10
Set in 1985, a young girl is found covered in blood at the scene of a crime that has seen her own family killed. Growing up with a foster family, she has no memory of what happened in the past. When she moves into a farmhouse with a family of her own, she starts having strange memory lapses and flashbacks and seeing unusual thinks. Is she recovering repressed memories that could unravel the secrets of her past? Starring Abby Cornish.
Urge (2016) – IMDB: 4.7
IMDB Score 4.7/10
Justin Chatwin, Ashley Greene and Alexis Knapp star in this thriller that sees a group of American tourists that find themselves introduced to a new designer drug that strips them of their inhibitions and allows them to live out their wildest fantasies. But the consequences become deadly when they ignore the warning that this is a drug that you can only take once, and an island paradise run by Pierce Brosnan quickly becomes a tropical nightmare.
BirdBox (2018) – IMDB: 6.6
Adapted from the 2014 novel Birdbox written by Josh Malerman, this post-apocalyptic thriller features malevolent supernatural entities that make people go insane and commit suicide. Maloie must travel blindfolded along with her children to try and find safety after an unseen force stalks and attempts to kill them on their journey. Featuring Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, and Trevante Rhodes, this suspenseful movie has so many twists and turns you won’t know what is going to happen.
Cam (2018) – IMDB: 6.0
This suspenseful techno-thriller directed by Daniel Goldhaber is set in the world of webcam porn. Starring Madeline Brewer in the leading role as Alice, an ambitious camgirl who has made an internet identity for herself. Alice understands her lifestyle if different but still has principles until a mysterious woman who looks like her starts to film and upload videos to her personal website. Alice struggles to regain what she has lost and finds herself drawn back to her show and to the mysterious person who has taken her place. Now Alice is on the hunt to try to find the hacker who has taken everything she has known away from her.
Copycat (1995) – IMDB. 6.6
Sigourney Weaver is a psychologist, Helen Hudson, that is known for her writing regarding serial killers after being nearly killed by an obsessed psychopath Daryll Lee Cullum. After her incident Helen finds it difficult to leave her home and becomes dependent on alcohol and pills. After a string of murders, Helen calls Detective M.J. Monahan, played by Holly Hunter, to suggest that maybe they have a copycat on their hands. Now the pair must join forces to try and stop the criminal before he strikes again.
Enemy (2013) – IMDB: 6.9
This surreal psychological thriller features Jake Gyllenhaal playing Adam Bell, a disheveled history professor who is disinterested in everything around him. Adam is recommended a movie by a colleague and while watching, Adam spots his doppelganger, a bit-part actor name Anthony Clair. Adam decides to track him down and once the pair meet, their lives come bizarrely intertwined. This thriller was adapted from Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago’s 2004 novel The Double.
Flatliners (1990) – IMDB: 6.6
Three medical students decide they want to learn what awaits them after death and devise a plan to temporarily flatline themselves, stopping all brain activity, in order to briefly experience death before being resuscitated. After being killed, they are brought back with vivid memories of their past, but they may have gotten more then what they asked for when their past literally comes back to haunt them. Starring Julie Roberts, Kevin Bacon, and Oliver Pratt, this suspenseful thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.
Green Room (2015) – IMDB: 7.0
Green Room is a horror thriller that stars Patrick Stewart as a club owner who loves picking fights with unsuspecting and resilient young punk bands. The Ain’t Rights have just finished up a long and unsuccessfully tour when they are booked in an isolated, run-down club in the backwoods of Oregon. Once there the band witness a series of violent acts backstage that they weren’t meant to see. Now the band is trapped backstage and must face off against the club owner, who will do anything to protect his club.
I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016) – IMDB: 4.5
A retired horror writer, Iris Blum, suffers from dementia and lives in a remote house in Massachusetts. A live-in nurse, Lily Saylor, is hired to take care of Iris and the first night in her house Lily experience some weird and supernatural issues. After more unexplained things occur, Lily opens a copy of one of Iris’ books and finds that novel Iris new the protagonist of her book during her lifetime and now is retelling her story. Now Lily must try to figure out what world she is actually living in.
Moon (2009) – IMDB: 7.9
Earth is going through an energy crisis and Sam Bell must extract precious moon gas that will help the Earth. Sam’s contract is ending, and the lonely astronaut is looking forward to returning home to his family, where he can retire early and make up for lost time. Two weeks before heading home, Sam starts experiencing visions and hearing impossible sounds. Routines begin to go horribly wrong and Sam learns that his job has not been totally straightforward and now he must grapple with the realization that the life he has created might not be entirely his own.
Only God Forgives (2013) – IMDB: 5.7
Ryan Gosling plays Julian, a respectful figure in the criminal underwood in Bangkok who runs a Thai boxing club and smuggling ring with his brother Billy. Billy is murdered and when his body is brought back to Julian, he is forced to settle the score with his brother’s killers. Julian ends up finding himself in the ultimate showdown in order to avenge his dead bother.
The River Wild (1994) – IMDB: 6.4
A strong-willed mother, playing by Meryl Streep, is a former white water guide and decides to go out to celebrate her son’s 10th birthday. While on the river, the family meets three fishermen who seem interested in Gail’s knowledge of the river. The family learns that the fishermen are on the run after robber a cattle auction and killing two men. Gail now must navigate the rapids, something she has only done once, in order to save her son and husband’s life.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – IMDB: 8.6
This unsettling thriller stars Jodie Foster as an FBI student in the training academy who lands a special assignment. Clarice must investigate a vicious murdered named Buffalo Bill, who kills young women and then removes the skin from their bodies. Clarice is forced to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist who is a violent psychopath that is serving life behind bars for murder and cannibalism. Now the unlucky duo must use their knowledge to try and stop the murderer before he hits again.
Personal Shopper (2016) – IMDB: 6.1
Personal Shopper is a mysterious ghost story that features a high-fashion personal shopper to the stars that is also a spiritual medium. One of her clients is grieving the recent death of her twin brother, Maureen offers to haunt his Paris home in order to make contact with the dead brother. Little does Maureen know that she is opening the door to the spiritual realm that she shouldn’t be opening, and soon unexplained things begin to happen, mainly circling Maureen. Now Maureen must figure out how to close the door and stop the angry spirits from haunting her.
The Sixth Sense (1999) – IMDB: 8.1
A boy cannot separate the dead from the living and his psychologist is also dealing with his own personal issues. Cole is terrified of the ghost that are visiting him and is too young and scared to explain his issues to anyone but his psychologist. His psychologist attempts to uncover the truth about Cole’s supernatural abilities but the consequences for the client and therapist are a jolt. M Night Shyamalan offers a twisted ghost story that will leave you with chills by the end of it.
Into the Forest (2015) – IMDB: 5.9
Two sisters are forced to retreat to their cabin in the woods after a worldwide power outage sends the globe to the brink of the apocalypse. Now the sisters must fight for survival while trying to keep looters and scavengers away from their remote home. After their father’s death, the sisters must figure out how to survive alone in a world that has no power or food. This apocalyptic thriller is based on a book written by Jean Hegland and stars Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood.
Panic Room (2002) – IMDB: 6.8
After a divorce, a mother and daughter purchase a home in New York to star a new life. The duo is forced to hide in the houses panic room when intruders break into their home. To make matters worse, Sarah suffers from a seizure after having issues with her diabetes. Now Meg must fight off the invaders in order to save her daughter’s life. Directed by David Fincher and starring Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart, this thriller will have you hanging off the edge of your seat.