Dear Thriller Fans,
The thriller song might make you dance, but a thriller movie will have you glued to your seat.
This list could rival any of our best genres in the Greatest Movies A-Z series with WatchMojo. It’s just non-stop great movies, including some recent Best Picture winners and all-time classics. Enjoy.
Again, we gave ourselves some guidelines:
- One film per letter
- Articles don’t count (the, an, a, etc.)
- Final list should encapsulate the genre
And because we are starting to cover a lot of ground, we didn’t want too much overlap, so we gave ourselves a second set of Thriller rules:
So here’s some take-aways from our decision-making process. If your favorite movie isn’t in our final video, there’s a very good chance it’s a decision, and not an omission.
LESSONS FROM THRILLER A-Z
TOP DECADE: 1990s
Technically, this was the first time we had a tie. We used six films from both the ‘90s and the ‘10s. The ‘70s and ‘00s were right behind with five films each. So really, it’s a nice balanced list and we went with ‘90s because the films just seemed a touch better, and more diverse.
HARDEST LETTER: M
How did we not go with M for the letter M? That movie is still incredibly tense and effective 90 years after it was released. But there was also The Manchurian Candidate, Misery, and then Memories of Murder by Bong Joon-ho (who is already on the list with Parasite). Ultimately, we went with the film that made Christopher Nolan a household name and the envy of every other filmmaker for years to come.
CHEATED OUT: Basic Instinct
Michael Douglas plays a cop, so we screwed ourselves out of that one with the rules. Erotic thrillers are also their own special brand, almost a sub-genre, but it still hurts not to have the ice pick queen here. Although Sharon Stone snuck in with Year of the Gun, which she made the year before. So there’s that.
BEST BATTLE: Duel vs Deliverence
Deliverance was certainly a bigger film at the time than a made-for-TV movie, and also cast a long cultural shadow. But Duel just keeps your heart pounding from start to finish and really proved just how good of a storyteller Steven Spielberg would become.
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION: Vertigo
It already made the Crime video, and you could argue that John Ferguson is police, but he’s a retired police officer - so there! And one Hitchcock film for the thriller video (with Rear Window) just wasn’t enough.
Think your list would be better? More balanced? Less heart-breaking? Let us know.
Dear Cast & Crew