You have to right to remain self-isolated. Anything you say can and will be commented on, on social media. You have the right to a Netflix account login. If you do not have a Netflix account login, one will be appointed for you by a generous family member. You are now, for all intents and purposes, under house arrest with nothing to entertain but the snacks left in the pantry and the hundreds of films currently streaming Netflix.
Let’s face it, you have a little more time on your hands right now than you did a few weeks ago. You may be just as busy working from home or taking care of kids that are no longer in school but what you’ve lost in visiting friends & family or running errands, you’ve gained in TV Time. For better or worse, you have more time to dedicate to movie watching, but why waste that scrolling through Netflix for hours looking for something to watch? You don’t have time for that! You need something to watch right now! In keeping with our Cops ‘n’ Killers Month at Nightmare on Film Street this April, we’ve compiled the Top 10 Crime Thrillers that you can watch on Netflix this very minute.
10. Along Came A Spider (2001)
“When a congressman’s daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school, detective Alex Cross investigates the case even though he’s recovering from the loss of his partner.”
Before the recent True Crime wave hit the shores of the internet, there was James Patterson. In the days when Hannibal Lecter was the one big serial killing baddie we had, James Patterson was there to ensure we always had some new and macabre to read on a summer afternoon. Kiss The Girls (1997) introduced the movie-going public to criminal profiler Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) helped to further cement the character it this high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse.
9. Calibre (2018)
“A shocking deed turned their weekend trip into a nightmare. Now their only hope is to swallow their paranoia and act normal.”
Calibre is not a film for the faint of heart. There is no gore or gross-out moments but there is an unshakable sense of dread hanging over the entire film. After a simple, irreversible mistake, two friends are forced to keep a secret that could cost them their lives. And, as always, one bad decision lead to another, and another, and another, with no end in sight. Take a deep breath before putting this one on, and take solace in the fact that you will not find yourself in a similar situation while we’re all cooped up inside.
8. The Gift (2015)
“A young married couple’s lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband’s past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years.”
Joel Edgerton’s debut feature The Gift (2015) is a simple revenge story that simmers gently before boiling over in a quiet explosion of unspeakable horror. Hinging on nothing more than 3 characters, The Gift is a love triangle from hell, and a perfect example of far you can stretch well-established characters. A perfect creeper to keep in your back pocket if your partner in self-isolation says they “don’t like horror” but also don’t want to watch Tiger King for the third time.
7. Mindhunter (2017-)
“Catching a criminal often requires the authorities to get inside the villain’s mind to figure out how he thinks. That’s the job of FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench. They attempt to understand and catch serial killers by studying their damaged psyches. Along the way, the agents pioneer the development of modern serial-killer profiling.”
If you have been saving David Fincher’s true(ish) crime series Mindhunter for a special day, that day has finally come. A perfect bingeable series for all true crime fans, Mindhunter takes you not only into the minds of America’s most infamous killers but also the FBI team that pioneered Criminal Profiling. There are currently 2 seasons of this darkly compelling series streaming on Netflix which, if nothing else, should help keep you occupied for the next three days.
6. Drive (2011)
“A stuntman and getaway driver falls in love with Irene who is married to a criminal. In a bid to protect her from her husband and some gangsters, he decides to cross over to the other side of the law.”
On the surface, Drive is about a super cool stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver in over his head with a deadly criminal organization, but Drive is a much stranger film than it gets credit for. Underneath the flashy presentation and a blood-soaked romance, Drive is a story about a person who has lost his grip on reality, believing himself to be one of the unstoppable action heroes he portrays on screen.
5. The Platform (2020)
“A vertical prison with one cell per level. Two people per cell. One only food platform and two minutes per day to feed from up to down. An endless nightmare trapped in The Hole.”
2019 gave us some of the most thought-provoking critiques of socio-economic struggles. The Haves and Have-Nots took centre stage in Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite, Todd Phillips’ Joker, and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, but none feel as pointed and cut-throat as Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s The Platform. The people up top are given everything, and everyone below is forced to live off the scraps left behind. The Platform prepares for you a meal that is deceptively simple in its design, but reveals a blend of complex flavors, leaving you with plenty to chew on for the days to come.
4. Burning (2018)
“Jong-su bumps into a girl who used to live in the same neighborhood, who asks him to look after her cat while she’s on a trip to Africa. When back, she introduces Ben, a mysterious guy she met there, who confesses his secret hobby.”
Burning is a slow-burn thriller that is incredibly rewarding to the patient viewer. It has a hypnotizing quality, similar to Hitchcock’s Vertigo, that pulls you in but always holds you at arm’s length. The film is as protective of its secrets as the story’s characters are, careful to craft a mystery that remains (above all else) mysterious. Burning is a hauntingly beautiful film that is much a magic trick as it is a movie.
3. Good Time (2017)
“After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Connie Nikas embarks on a twisted odyssey through New York City’s underworld to get his brother Nick out of jail.”
If you’ve seen 2019’s Uncut Gems, you already know the surgical precision of the Safdie Brother’s unique brand of anxiety. Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) is on the run from the law, from a group of vicious thugs, and even from his own family. He is sinking in quicksand and every move he makes pulls him deeper and deeper into a pit of despair. Set over a turbulent 24 hours in New York City, Connie is willing to do anything to protect his little brother, no matter the damage it causes to absolutely everyone around him. Good Time is the perfect crime-thriller to watch if you need a lazy, layabout day at home. This movie is so stressful that you’ll think you hopped on a treadmill for 90 long minutes, your heart pounding through your chest like you’ve been running for life.
2. Blue Ruin (2013)
“A mysterious outsider’s quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.”
Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin is about as southern-gothic as crime thrillers come. After learning of the release of his parent’s killer, Dwight (played brilliantly by Saulnier’s long-time collaborator Macon Blair) sets out on a one-man revenge mission pitting two families out for blood against each other. Green Room (2015) made Saulnier a household name for genre fans, but Blue Ruin was the film that showed the world a new, bold voice had emerged. No one in this story is a professional bullet-dodging assassin. No one drives a car off a rooftop or walks away from an explosion without looking back. But, just as we see in real life, no one is without blame, and no one is guaranteed a happy ending.
1. Super Dark Times (2017)
“Teenagers Zach and Josh have been best friends their whole lives, but when a gruesome accident leads to a cover-up, the secret drives a wedge between them and propels them down a rabbit hole of escalating paranoia and violence.”
Featuring standout performances from literally every single member of the cast, Super Dark Times is a tense and pitch-black story of teenagers dealing with the fallout out of a deadly mistake. Your teenage years are pretty dark times regardless because it feels like your entire world could fall apart at any minute…but what if it did? Super Dark Times is an incredibly nerve-racking story, scarier than any after-school special. This is your brain on paranoia, and nothing is more dangerous in the hands of a volatile teenager than a hopeless sense of fear that everyone around you cannot be trusted.
What have you been watching on Netflix lately? Which of these movies will you be adding to your own watch list? Let us know what you’ve been streaming during self-isolation over on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!