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The 10 Best Thriller Movies of All Time

Watching a thriller. Photographed by Tero Vesalainen. Image via Shutterstock

“I think everyone enjoys a nice murder, provided he is not the victim” – Alfred Hitchcock.

If you need to put some suspense into your day, you’ve come to the right place. Thriller movies are that special type of film we all secretly love – whether you’re watching from the edge of your seat or peeking through your fingers.

If you love films that have you hooked till the very last second, then watch your way through this list we’ve put together. Scroll down for 10 of the best thriller movies of all time!

<strong>Case 39</strong>, 2009
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Case 39, 2009

Starring rom-com favourite Renée Zellweger as social worker detective Emily, Case 39 is the case of Lily who seems to be suffering the wrath of her abusive parents. Lily is taken home by Emily and although her wellbeing would appear to improve in this loving and nurturing environment, the world around her remains unsettled as Lily’s dark forces escape the walls of her family home. Described as the perfect example of thriller meets horror, we could give more than 39 reasons to watch this film, but that won’t be the case here.


<strong>The Girl on the Train</strong>, 2016
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The Girl on the Train, 2016

If you love Gone Girl, then you’ll be running to catch The Girl on the Train. Based on the 2015 psychological thriller novel by British author Paula Hawkin, The Girl on the Train is a near two-hour thriller mystery film starring one of Hollywood’s favourites,  Emily Blunt. Blunt plays the role of train commuter, Rachel Watson, who every day watches the seemingly normal couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. As the film unfolds, Watson witnesses a shocking scene within the backyard of this couples’ home and begins her own investigation into the missing woman.


<strong>Gone Girl</strong>, 2014
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Gone Girl, 2014

Based on the best-selling 2012 novel of the same name, Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris, explores the love-hate relationship between Nick (Affleck) and Amy (Pike) Dunne. Living a somewhat typical and healthy American life, Amy, suddenly disappears on the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary. From literary page-turner to a edge-of-your-seat movie, this psychological thriller explores everything from staged suicide to obscene media behaviour from a discerning husband.


<strong>Psycho,</strong> 1960
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Psycho, 1960

Renowned for the iconic shower scene featuring a thrilling orchestra of screeching strings (titled The Murder by Bernard Herrmann), Psycho is still hailed as a masterpiece by cinema fanatics almost 60 years on. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho explores the story of Marion who, staying at the Bates Motel, meets the unsettling predator, Norman Bates. Its haunting impact is proven by cinematic legacy, influencing a 1998 remake of the film starring Vince Vaughn, and the 2013 television series Bates Motel. A must-watch for anyone who hasn’t seen it already!


<strong>A Quiet Place</strong>, 2018
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A Quiet Place, 2018

In early 2018, the release of A Quiet Place overtook the world in panic, as they rushed to cinemas to see this mind-bending thriller. Over three-and-a-half hours long, the plot runs similar to what the title would suggest, A Quiet Place is, in fact, deadly quiet. With no small talk thanks to the impeccable soundtrack which counteracts the minimal speech (there are only 90 lines of dialogue in total!), this film will have you on the edge of your seat till the very last minute. Starring dream team, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, the film explores one family’s struggle of survival in a world that has been invaded by noise-sensitive creatures, able only to communicate in sign language.


<strong>Se7en</strong>, 1995
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Se7en, 1995

One of Brad Pitt’s earliest films that broke him into his now renowned fame, Se7en, a 1995 thriller crime is a definite must-watch (or even must-rewatch) for any film fanatic. Featuring a plethora of incredible actors including Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and Gwyneth Paltrow, Se7en sees two detectives exploring the work of a serial killer murdering people in accordance to the seven deadly sins. Dark, disturbing and captivatingly addictive; counting down till the very last second of Se7en, you’ll be there on the edge of your seat watching this masterpiece unfold.


<strong>The Sixth Sense,</strong> 1999
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The Sixth Sense, 1999

An M. Night Shyamalan extraordinaire, almost 21 years later, The Sixth Sense (1999) still manages to take the cinema world by storm. Considered as one of the greatest thriller films of all time, The Sixth Sense follows child psychologist, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), who starts treating a young boy who acts as a medium of communication between Crowe and a slew of unhappy spirits. Starring Haley Joel Osment (Forrest Gump) and Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding), we can assure you that after each watch of The Sixth Sense will have you feeling just as astounded as the last.


<strong>Split</strong>, 2016
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Split, 2016

The second installment to the M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy, Split explores the story of Kevin Wendell Crumb, Barry S, Dennis, Patricia, Hedwig, Jade and Orwell – just a few of the 24 characters James McAvoy plays within this thriller cross horror film. Exploring Kevin’s hectic lifestyle suffering from dissociative identity disorder (or commonly known as multiple personality disorder), Split follows this protagonist as he and his 23 alter egos kidnap three teenagers. Trapped in an unknown location, they must escape before his 24th personality is unleashed. It’s a nail-biter!


<strong>Velvet Buzzsaw</strong>, 2019
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Velvet Buzzsaw, 2019

Produced and distributed by Netflix, Velvet Buzzsaw is a captivating thriller where art really does come to life. As pretty as a picture, this 2019 film directed by Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy and Kong: Skull Island) features an impressive cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Toni Collette, Natalie Dyer and John Malkovich in a near two-hour production. Velvet Buzzsaw follows the story of a collection of paintings created by an unknown artist which are discovered, sold and somehow brought to life by a supernatural force seeking revenge.


<strong>Zodiac</strong>, 2007
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Zodiac, 2007

If you love movies where the thrill and mystery of deciphering codes pulls you into the scene, then Zodiac (2007) is the film for you. Based in the late 1960’s, a San Francisco cartoonist, Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), becomes an amateur detective obsessed with wanting to solve the crimes of the Zodiac killer – an unidentified, killing spree maniac on the loose in North California. Joined by an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Brian Cox and Dermot Mulroney, Zodiac is the perfect thrill needed for your must-watch list.


Want to discover some more movies to add to your to watch list? Start by making your way through the best classic movies of all time and then change things up by streaming through the 10 best foreign language movies you need to watch now!

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