Jimmy Stewart holds up a camera in Rear Window.

The Ten Best Suspense Movies

Oh gosh oh golly oh gee I wonder what they could be?

I’m hanging in suspense! My breath has been bated! I’m even more eager to get to the bottom of this list than I am to find out where the “rom” of all these new “rom-coms” went. I’m even more freaked out right now than I was when I found out the truth behind the crime that inspired American Nightmare.

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I can feel my life slipping away. I’m writing my will and getting my affairs in order because the suspense is literally killing me. What could the ten best suspense movies possibly be? I could just scroll quickly through the list, but where would be the pleasure in that? I must slowly, painstakingly pore over every sentence of this article and create one of those detective boards with strings attached to it in order to piece the puzzle together! What could these films be? How am I ever gonna get to the bottom of this?

I suppose scrolling down would be a start.

1. Parasite

Characters from Parasite look at their phones in front of a toilet in their semi-basement apartment.
(Neon/CJ Entertainment)

Ah ha! I knew it. The critically acclaimed social commentary masquerading as a mystery thriller Parasite is one of the suspects! It couldn’t be more suspicious. Parasite is about a poor family living in South Korea who manage to sneakily employ themselves in the service of a wealthy one. What the quartet of con artists don’t realize is that their monied marks have a few secrets themselves … currently hiding in the basement!

2. Se7en

Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman sitting in the police station in "Se7en"
(New Line Cinema)

Se7en may appear to be a detective thriller on the surface, but pull back the mask and one can see the true horror film lying beneath! The film is about two detectives who are on the hunt for a serial killer who uses the Seven Deadly Sins as inspiration for his murders. The crime scenes are grisly, to say the least. While the killer begins by targeting prominent members of the community, he eventually shifts his focus to the detectives following after him … leading to one of the most disturbing final act confrontations in movie history. Trust me, you don’t wanna know what’s in that box.

3. Oldboy

A man brandishes a hammer menacingly in "Oldboy"
(Show East)

A drunken South Korean salaryman is abducted one night while stumbling home from work for the umpteenth time. He is then kept in a single room for over a decade, with nothing to keep him company but the TV that his captors were gracious enough to leave for him. After giving up on ever seeing the light of day, the man is mysteriously released. Determined to figure out who stole his life, he teams up with a young woman and attempts to nail down the identity of his captors … often by using a hammer on people’s faces.

4. Brick

A boy with.a bloody face standing in a parking lot in "Brick"
(Focus Features)

When his ex-girlfriend is found dead in a sewer, a high school-age detective, played by a baby-faced Joseph Gordon Levitt, vows to get to the bottom of things. The amateur sleuth navigates through the highs and lows of teenage society, interrogating the rich and popular and the social outcasts alike. He eventually realizes that his ex was involved in a complicated plot involving a titular brick of heroin. It’s a true hardboiled detective story set against the backdrop of suburbia. And the musical score? To die for.

5. Funny Games

Two young men sit on a sofa in the film "Funny Games"
(Concorde-Castle / Rock/Turner)

Like Se7en, the German-language film Funny Games is a horror movie disguised as a suspense thriller. The plot follows a husband and wife and their young son who have just arrived at their lakeside vacation home in Austria. The family gets a knock on the door from two young men, who begin to harass and annoy them. The duo’s behavior gets more and more sinister until the family realizes that the two men have taken them captive. What follows is one of the most polarizing, frustrating, and despair-inducing plots in cinema history. You will HATE this movie. But you will never forget it. That’s the point.

6. Rear Window

Jimmy Stewart holds up a camera in Rear Window.
(Paramount)

Oh no! A photographer played by Jimmy Stewart broke his leg! Recovering in a wheelchair, the poor guy has nothing but time on his hands until he heals up. He passes it by looking out his rear window (title drop) and watching the comings and goings of his neighbors. One night, he awakens to the sound of a woman screaming, and begins to suspect that one of his neighbors is a murderer. But is it all in his head? Or will his nosiness pay off for the greater good?

7. Good Time

Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) gets led into a police car by a plainclothes cop in "Good Time"
(A24)

Robert Pattinson plays bleach-blonde career criminal Connie Nikas, who robs banks with his cognitively impaired brother Nick. After horribly botching a bank heist, Nick is arrested by the police and taken to Riker’s Island, while Connie remains on the lam. Determined to bail out his brother, Connie embarks on a desperate, dirty, and downright morally bankrupt quest to bail his brother out of jail and evade the law. Suspenseful? That’s an understatement. It’s one of the most white-knuckle thrillers ever made.

8. Get Out

Allison Williams cozies up to Daniel Kaluuya in 'Get Out'
(Universal Pictures)

Another thriller/horror mashup, Jorden Peele’s Get Out is about a young Black man named Chris who is visiting the ancestral home of his well-to-do white girlfriend. After meeting the family and the staff of the house, Chris realizes that something is … off. The members of the family have an unhealthy sort of obsession with Chris, while the Black people present at the home are behaving strangely. Chris soon realizes that he is being preyed on due to his heritage, and has to find a way to Get Out before it’s too late.

9. No Country for Old Men

A man in a cowboy hat walks through the desert towards his car in "No Country For Old Men"
(Paramount)

Texas good ol’ boy Llewelyn Moss should have known to let sleeping dogs lie. After finding the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong, Moss walks away from the scene of the crime with a briefcase full of money. Meanwhile, cold-blooded hitman Anton Chigurh has been hired to retrieve the money at all costs. The psychopathic killer sets out on a quest to put an end to Llewelyn Moss and retrieve the money, but Mr. Moss doesn’t intend to return the cash without a fight.

10. Knives Out

The cast of Rian Johnson's Knives Out, including Daniel Craig, Christopher Plumber, Jaime Lee Curtis, and more.
(Lionsgate)

Knives Out is a masterful modern whodunnit starring Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, a southern gentleman and detective extraordinaire. Blanc is hired by an anonymous patron to investigate the death of wealthy mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey, who was found dead in his lavish estate. While the official cause of death is suicide, Blanc begins to suspect foul play. The suspects? One of Thrombey’s money-hungry children may be to blame.

(featured image: Paramount Pictures)


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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.