The thriller genre of films can be some of the most exciting and heart-racing. Whether it’s a psychological thriller, a murder mystery, or a suspenseful story of a daring heist, it can be hard to choose the best. We have compiled a list of the top ten thriller movies to give viewers their thrill-ride fix.
The top ten thriller films are:
- The Usual Suspects (1995)
- Psycho (1960)
- Seven (1995)
- Rear Window (1954)
- North by Northwest (1959)
- The Silence of The Lambs (1991)
- Inception (2010)
- The Sixth Sense (1999)
- I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)
These films all contain great suspenseful elements and captivating storylines. “The Usual Suspects” is known for its intense mystery and non-linear plotline. The twist ending is one of the most iconic in cinema history. The horror classic “Psycho” is known for its brilliant screenplay and timeless score composed by Alfred Hitchcock himself. “Seven” is highly praised for its dark and gritty atmosphere, reflecting the dangerous themes the film tackles.
The films listed above all have one thing in common: they were all nominated for or won an Academy Award. “The Usual Suspects” won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. “Psycho” was nominated for multiple categories and was highly praised for its controversial content. “Seven” also received several Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor. Each of these films demonstrate the power and thrill of a great thriller movie.
One thing that can make a great thriller movie is a great cast. “Rear Window” featured the iconic partnership of Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, while the classic “North By Northwest” starred Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. The timeless “Silence of the Lambs” was an instant success with Anthony Hopkins’ and Jodie Foster’s iconic performances. All of these films feature tremendous acting performance and great characters, both heroes and villains, keeping viewers on the edge of their seat.
The 10 films mentioned above are all highly praised for their thrilling and suspenseful elements, but it does not stop there. “Inception” and “The Sixth Sense” both generate a sense of otherworldly intrigue, taking viewers down a complex and interesting road. “I See a Dark Stranger” creates suspense and a gripping feeling of danger with its compelling characters. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” offers a dark and gritty atmosphere that will certainly keep viewers guessing.
Exploiting the Suspenseful Elements
While great casting and captivating storylines are important factors, exploitation of suspenseful elements can be the key to an effective thriller film. Music is an often overlooked yet extremely important element. Each of these films featured famous scores composed by acclaimed composers. For example, Bernard Herrmann’s score for “Psycho” goes down in history as one of the greatest ever written.
The use of lighting in the thriller genre is another noteworthy element. Often dark and atmospheric, games of light and shadow can create an eerie and suspenseful atmosphere. “Rear Window” is a great example of this. With a mix of careful camera shots and artful cinematic lighting, Hitchcock was able to create an immersive experience for viewers.
Finally, editing is an important element in creating a suspenseful thriller. Often characterized by a rapid-fire cutting style, a well-edited thriller will be able to keep viewers engaged and on their toes. “Seven” is a great example of how careful editing can create intense suspense and thrilling action scenes.
Exploring Other Thriller Genres
Just because these are top thriller movies doesn’t mean they encompass every thriller genre. While psychological thrillers and crime thrillers were represented in this list, there are plenty of other great thriller films out there. Sci-fi thrillers like “Ex Machina” and “Minority Report” are both excellent examples of this genre.
Political thrillers have been around for a long time. Films like “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Three Days of the Condor” are well-loved classics, still discussed today. War thriller films also make waves in the industry. “Saving Private Ryan” captures the essence of combat and the dangers of war with its gritty direction and ambitious production design.
Sports thrillers have also been around since the 1970s. While “Rocky” may be the most famous film of this genre, “Chariots of Fire” and “Raging Bull” both demonstrate the drama and suspense of sports thrillers. Finally, spy thrillers are enjoyable and often provide classic entertainment such as “The Spy Who Loved Me” or “Goldfinger”.
The Appeal of Thriller Films
Thriller films are an exciting and captivating genre. These films offer an escape from reality and provide relentless entertainment. They are able to keep viewers on the edge of their seats and make for truly thrilling experiences. The top 10 thrillers we have listed today are excellent examples of this genre and provide viewers with some of the best suspenseful entertainment available.
Thrillers are often praised for their complex and intriguing storylines. Films like “The Usual Suspects” and “Inception” both feature incredibly detailed and intricate structures. These engaging stories often leave viewers satisfied and excited for more.
Finally, these kinds of films have a timeless appeal. Classics like “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Rear Window” demonstrate that the thriller genre can produce some truly powerful pieces of cinema; films that will still captivate viewers and stand the test of time.
Analyzing the Target Audience
Thriller films target a certain demographic. Mostly, viewers who appreciate suspenseful stories and intense action sequences. These audiences are drawn to the dramatic and often dark elements present in thriller films.
Though thrillers sometimes attract older audiences, they can sometimes target a younger demographic as well. While there are many adult thrillers, there are also age-appropriate thrillers for younger audiences. These can be great family-favourites, such as the recently released “Knives Out”.
No matter the target audience, thrillers can provide an enjoyable experience for viewers of all ages. From classics to modern gems, there is something for everyone in the thriller genre.
Using Cultural Context In Thriller Films
The cultural context of a movie can sometimes be essential to the success of a thriller. Many of the classic thrillers that have been released, from “The Usual Suspects” to “Seven”, feature a strong sense of cultural context. This can make these films seem more real and relatable to viewers.
Using cultural context can also broaden the universal appeal of a film. For example, an action thriller about a crime syndicate in Japan (e.g. “Joker Game”) would appeal to a much larger audience than a crime syndicate in a rural town. The cultural context of these films can help to ground the story and make it easier for viewers to connect.
Finally, cultural context can help to give viewers a new perspective on a certain issue or scenario. Some thrillers elevate cultural commentary and use thrilling elements to explore themes of politics, morality, and other deeper issues.
Finding the Right Balance
Creating a successful thriller can often be a difficult endeavour. Finding the right balance of suspenseful elements and cultural context is essential in order to make an effective thriller film. Writers and directors must create an engrossing and thrilling experience for viewers while also maintaining a sense of reality.
Finding the right balance between suspense and cultural context isn’t the only factor that goes into making a great thriller. Every film is unique and will have to find its own path. Whether it is a psychological thriller or a classic robbery movie, the key to success is balance and innovation.
The top 10 thrillers we have listed today are all excellent examples of this balance. Each of these films features intense suspense and captivating storylines, as well as a distinct and realistic cultural context. These timeless thrillers demonstrate the power of the genre and will keep viewers at the edge of their seats.