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20 Best Thrillers on Amazon Prime Right Now

January 2, 2019
14 min read

Thrillers are perhaps the most exciting movies to watch due to their deeper insights into human minds. But why do so many of us like thriller and suspense films? First of all, they’re also accessible to a large audience as they all differ in style and genre combination, giving each and everyone the opportunity to find the right match. They also have interesting concepts, a thick plot that only gets denser by the minute, troubled characters who can’t seem to get a handle on their lives, and a crime, most often, to join them all. From suspense-striking runs and jumps for the heart, to disturbing or complex revelations to the brain, they dive into our body’s visual perceptions and explode into a million pieces of excitement and thrill.

With the advent of online streaming services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime, movie lovers can now watch almost every movie from the comforts of their home. With a vast collection of thriller movies, Amazon Prime stands above the rest. So, take that popcorn and get ready to spend two hours on the edge of your seats. Here’s the list of top thriller movies on Amazon Prime that are our recommendations for you and your friends. The list includes psychological thrillers and crime thriller movies.

20. Brooklyn’s Finest (2009)

This film focuses on the events centred around three cops at different stages in their careers. Each of them faces a confounding situation that makes them carefully consider the decisions that they will have to make. Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Ethan Hawke star as the three officers of the New York Police Department. One of them struggles with the monetary needs of his family, other works undercover and lives in a constant despair and fear that his work brings to him. The film examines the lives of police officers on different rungs of the career and how everyone is affected differently by the situations posed in front of them.

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19. Shot Caller (2017)

A simple mistake can cause a big blunder and lead one’s life down a path from which there is no coming back. A disastrous thing happens to Jacob Harlon, after which he is forced to live and survive in the new way of life. He commits a small mistake of running over a red light which culminates into a bigger blunder- the death of his friend. He is convicted and on the advice of his lawyer, Harlon takes a plea deal. This lands him into prison where he faces the harsh brutality of life and has to adapt if he is to survive.

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18. Joe’s Palace (2007)

Joe has just left school and needs some job that’ll pay him enough to get around on his own. He is employed by Elliot Graham, a billionaire who had employed Joe’s mother, as well. Joe discovers that even though Graham owns the lavish house, he doesn’t live there. The billionaire lives in a simple, small house across the road. Joe is assigned to become the caretaker of the house, first part-time and then around the clock. Soon, Joe discovers why Graham refuses to live in his own mansion.

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17. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Based on the novel of the same name by Patrick Suskind, this film features Ben Whishaw as a man who has an extraordinary sense of smell. Jean-Baptiste Grenouille had always been a distant child. He grew up in an orphanage, often under harsh circumstances. He had a strong, almost superhuman, sense of smell. On his first visit to Paris, he becomes acquainted with the pleasuring smells of perfume. He gets a new smell from a girl selling plums. While he tries to smell her, she becomes scared of his acts and in order to keep her quiet, he kills her by mistake. This results in the start of a series of murders and Jean’s quest for finding the perfect scent.

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16. A Model Daughter: The Killing of Caroline Byrne (2009)

This film is based on true events and maybe that’s what makes it all the more horrifying. Made up stories, no matter how terrifying they are, are still made up. But the reality is stranger than fiction and the case presented in this film proves that. In the morning of 8th of June, 1995, the body of young Caroline Byrne was found on the base of a cliff that was infamous as a suicide point. Initial investigation pointed towards the death being a suicide, but soon, the police found contradictory evidence which pointed towards someone close to Caroline being responsible for her death.

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15. The Scapegoat (2012)

This film is based on the book of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. Set in 1952, this film tells the story of a teacher who feels lost in life. His life changes when he meets a man who looks exactly like him. He gets drunk with the man and in the morning finds himself robbed of his clothes and wallet. He is, then, picked up by the chauffeur of his doppelganger and is taken to his home where he discovers the lavish life that is not his. The problems in the family, that he is pretending to be a part of, come out soon enough and he realises that he will have to find a way to get out of this messed up life.

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14. Blue Velvet (1986)

David Lynch is a pro when it comes to making thrillers that have a massive dose of psychology in it. ‘Blue Velvet’ is another from the batch of his films that play with the mind of the viewer and leave them confused and baffled about the ending. There’s a reason his movies acquire cult status. One night, Jeffery Beaumont discovers a severed ear in a vacant lot of the hospital where his father had been hospitalized. He goes to the police about it and there he meets the detective’s daughter who tells her more details about the case. Soon, Jeffery finds himself snooping around in the apartment of the woman who could be responsible for the ear.

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13. Mother! (2017)

Darren Arofonsky had made some truly spectacular films like ‘The Black Swan’ and ‘Requiem of a Dream’. ‘Mother!’ was another of his bold steps at making another unusual film. It may not have turned out as good as his other works, still, ‘Mother!’ deserves attention. Whether it is a good film or a bad one will remain a topic of debate for quite some time. It tells the story of a couple who welcome guests in their house but find difficulty in getting rid of them. The film plays on many themes, layered one after another. From a take on what we are doing to Mother Nature to drawing allegories from biblical stories, this film has a lot of thought-provoking points to make.

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12. Dead of Winter (1987)

Katie McGovern is trying to make a career in acting but is struggling miserably at it. She is in a dire need of a job because she is behind on her rent and other bills. Browsing through the newspaper, she comes across an advertisement where she finds a possibility for work. There are no specifics about the job, just that the actress would need to be immediately available. Not caring about more details, Katie gives the audition and is instantly selected. However, the reasons behind her casting are much more sinister than she ever would have thought.

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11. Images (1972)

Cathryn has a good life. She is wealthy, has a loving husband and enjoys a successful career as a children’s author. One night, she receives a mysterious call in which a woman tells her that her husband is having an affair. She is distraught by this revelation and decides to confront her husband when he gets home. However, as he tries to convince her that the phone call must have been a prank by someone, she sees someone else trying to be her husband but then watches him phasing back to being himself. Her husband thinks that all of this is due to stress and takes her to an isolated cottage to help her let off the steam. But, things only get worse there.

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10. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

PTSD is a common issue faced by war veterans. You cannot un-see the things that you see in the war. However, the case is a bit more intense with Jacob Singer. When he returns from the Vietnam War, he finds himself going insane. At first, it seems that his hallucinations and nightmares are because of his depression. But, soon, his mental state starts to deteriorate rapidly and people start to turn into distorted images in front of him. His girlfriend, his ex-wife and his friend try to help him, but nothing is what it seems for Jacob.

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9. Primal Fear (1996)

Martin Vail is a successful defence attorney. He is famous for tackling high-profile cases and is known for getting his clients out of treacherous situations. When he sees the case of a nineteen-year-old boy being held for the murder of an Archbishop, he decides to take the case considering the media coverage that the case was receiving. As Vail goes deeper into the layers of the situation, trying to find ways to prove his client’s innocent, he comes across some staggering revelations. But, the one that is the most horrifying is something that he never thought of.

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8. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Yorgos Lanthimos has an eccentric way of making movies. He touches on the most sensitive subject in the most bizarre ways. ‘Dogtooth’, ‘The Lobster’ and ‘Alps’ show how different his methods of filmmaking are. Something similar happens with ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’. It has Colin Farrell to play the role of Dr Steven Murphy. He finds a teenager at a diner place and discovering that he is an orphan takes him under his own care. He introduces the teenager to his family and the doctor’s wife seems to take a special interest in the boy. However, the boy comes with his own set of purpose that is intended to destroy the life of the doctor owing to a secret in his past.

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7. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Eva always knew that there was something wrong with her son Kevin. Even when he was a child, he exhibited abhorrent behaviour which only escalated as he grew up. When he commits a massacre at his school, he is sent to prison and Eva is forced to look back on her time with Kevin to find out where she went wrong with him, where she could have stopped all these bad things from happening. Tilda Swinton played the role of the tormented mother Eva and Ezra Miller played the role of the psychopathic teen Kevin with absolute perfection.

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6. American Psycho (2002)

Christian Bale is an impeccable actor and there are a bunch of roles that he will always be remembered for. The role of Patrick Bateman from ‘American Psycho’ is one of those roles. Bateman is an investment banker by the day and a psychopathic murderer by the night. To an outsider, he appears as a good-looking, well-dressed, successful and polished man. But, on the inside, only he knows how the crooked mind of his churns when he has to kill someone. This film became a milestone in the career of Bale, bringing him to the notice of everyone and became the foundation on which his reputation as an actor now stands.

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5. A Ghost Story (2017)

In some sense, ‘A Ghost Story’ is a ghost story. But, in truth, it is closer to being a story about love. You just have to look beyond the implied horror part. It has Casey Affleck play the role of a musician who dies in an accident and then comes back as a sheeted ghost to look after his grieving wife. But, as she moves on and a new family moves into the house, he feels confused about his new state. This film presents a haunting experience but not in a way you would have expected. It is more about the bond of love and the grief of loss than it is about a ghost in a white sheet.

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4. Nightcrawler (2014)

If you look at the filmography of Jake Gyllenhaal, you’ll find that a section of his films consists of psychological thrillers. ‘Nocturnal Animals’ and ‘Enemy’ find a place in some of the best movies and thrillers that he has starred in. He ups his game with every new film and he attempted a similar feat when he starred in ‘Nightcrawler’. Undoubtedly, he pulled it off wonderfully. This film tells the story of a man who becomes a freelancer for news stations, recording accidents and other violent things that happen at night. As he rises up the ladder of success, his acts start becoming all the more morally questionable.

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3. Jaws (1975)

Based on the book of the same name by Peter Benchley, this film was directed by Steven Spielberg and turned out to be a milestone in his career as well as in the business of filmmaking. When a woman turns up dead on the beach in the quiet neighbourhood of Amity Island, the authorities are led to believe that it was the work of a shark. When another person falls victim to the shark, people are alerted of the danger and a bounty is placed on the shark. This springs the people into action who go about trying to hunt the shark, but they don’t realise the extent of the danger that they are putting themselves into.

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2. The Naked Kiss (1964)

Kelly is trying to leave her past behind and trying to let go of her career as a prostitute. She arrives in a small town where she tries to make a new life for herself. The police chief of the town doesn’t trust her owing to her past and tries to drive her out of town. However, a wealthy man of the town falls in love with her and they decide to get married. But the man is hiding his true personality and it turns out that he is not as sophisticated and good as he seems to be on the outside. When Kelly kills him by mistake, she is forced to prove her innocence in front of everyone, considering that no one is privy to the rich guy’s true nature.

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1. Mulholland Dr (2001)

Betty Elms is a struggling actress who lives in her aunt’s apartment in Los Angeles. One morning, she finds a woman who calls herself Rita. She had snuck in the apartment in the middle of the night because she had no place else to go. She had been in a car accident and had lost her memories. She doesn’t even know if her real name is Rita. Betty sympathises with her and decides to help her in finding the truth behind her situation. They might not like what they find when they go down the road of discovery. This film is one of Lynch’s best work and is open to interpretation which has resulted in it being a source of great discussion and arguments among fans.

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