THE THRILLER GENRE
If ever there was a genre of movie to invoke heart-thumping fear then the Thriller would be it. A good thriller combines the atmosphere, music and script with just enough tension to have you on the edge of your seat or hiding behind a cushion. And for some reason, we cannot get enough of them. The twists and turns, the unraveling of a plot we don't see coming, and always with just enough of a hint at danger that we can't look away.
Great thrillers are etched in history and rife with tension and suspension. And the master of them all is Alfred Hitchcock. His first was his third silent film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1926), which he followed up with Blackmail (1929) – the first British sound film. His ability to create adrenalin-inducing heart stoppers was unparalleled. The fact that he was unrelenting for more than 30 years is a testament to the man's creativity. And it seems he saved the best for the latter part of his career as Strangers on a Train (1951), Dial M For Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958) are widely recognised as some of the greatest thrillers ever made.
By the time the 1970s rolled around thrillers were increasingly crossed over with horrors and involved less suspension and more violence. This became even more evident in the 1990s when thrillers were regularly plotted around obsession and trapped protagonists who needed to escape various villains. Films such as Misery (1990), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) got the blood pumping. But like all genres of film, thrillers have plenty of their own sub-categories so if you don't want to hide behind a pillow, you do have other options.
AMAZON PRIME THRILLERS
DISNEY PRIME THRILLERS
APPLE TV PRIME THRILLERS
PARAMOUNT PRIME THRILLERS
CLASSIC THRILLER FILMS
One area in particular that has had a massive boom is the Nordic Noir style thrillers. More often the basis for tv shows, they fall into the crime thriller category. In 2007 Danish show, The Killing aired and very quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. ‘Who Killed Nanna Birk Larsen' was the tag line and it was left up to Detective Inspector Sarah Lund to figure it out. Twenty fifty-minute episodes followed, each one covering a day in the investigation, and with the show airing in over 120 countries, it became the hit of the year.
And with that came a slew of international crime thrillers that each have their own take on gritty reality. Black Spot, The Valhalla Murders, Secret City and The Woods are just a few of the range available on Netflix. They join a lot of thrillers that have been adapted from novels – another great source of material for writers and directors. After all, if a book has sold millions of copies, you already have an eager audience waiting to see it on the big screen.
Gone Girl (2014), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), The Girl on the Train (2016), A Simple Favor (2018) and Bird Box (2018) have all been adapted from best sellers. Stories that are a little more in-depth tend to be turned into serialised tv shows as is the case with almost every book Harlen Coben has ever written. Likewise with Liane Moriarty who wrote Big Little Lies. Her book Nine Perfect Strangers has also been adapted by Nicole Kidman and promises to be just as exciting as BLL.
There is seemingly no end to the number of thrillers that are coming our way. With streaming platforms creating their own original content from all around the world, fans of the thriller genre can expect plenty more heart-stopping moments.
RECENT THRILLER REVIEWS
Here you can view our latest Thriller movies and series reviews from major streaming services.
THRILLER HIDDEN GEMS
Here you can view hidden gems which you may have missed on original release.