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20 Must-Watch Thriller Movies to Spice Up Spooky Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SAU chapter.

Trigger Warning: The following content may contain sensitive topics, including homicide, sexual assault, and general violence.

Flatliners (1990)

This story focuses on a group of medical students with a fascination with the afterlife. To quench their thirst for answers, these friends will go to extreme measures-flatlining-to see what lies on the other side. 

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

In this 90s classic, FBI Academy student Clarice Starling embarks on a mission to interview a violent, cannibalistic psychopath in order to gain insight to help the FBI solve an ongoing serial murder case. 

Se7en (1995)

How far would you go to uphold what you believe in? In this film, a homicide unit is tasked with solving a bizarre, grizzly serial murder case. The odd staging of the scene soon emerges as a fundamental value for many: the Seven Deadly Sins. 

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

This movie follows a teenage boy afflicted with severe headaches strong enough to induce blackouts. While unconscious, he soon discovers that he has the ability to alter the past. This story explores dark moments in the past, but changing them doesn’t always guarantee a brighter future. 

Orphan (2009)

A grieving couple adopts a young girl to complete their family. However, soon after strange behaviors start to emerge, and the couple begins to question who exactly they welcomed into their home. 

Shelter/6 Souls (2010)

A forensic psychiatrist is presented with a young man demonstrating symptoms of a disorder she is skeptical of-Multiple Personality Disorder. With this new compelling evidence, she begins investigating his symptoms and the fascinating nature of his personalities. Soon, she realizes that there is more than science can explain, and her family is in imminent danger. 

The Possession (2012)

When a teenage girl finds a vintage wooden box at a yard sale, her family finds her subsequent interest in it to be odd, but they are not alarmed. Shortly after, their daughter begins having horrifying experiences, as if something else were in her body. The entire family must band together to fight what has taken over their daughter. 

The Call (2013)

How much would a singular mistake haunt you? This 911 operator must face one of her most regretful and traumatic moments when she receives a call from a young girl who has been abducted. It’s an eerily similar call to one she responded to months prior, which had ended tragically. She views it as her personal mission to save this teenage girl’s life.

Devil’s Pass (2013)

In 1959, a group of hikers mysteriously died in the Russian mountains in an area known as Dyatlov Pass. To try to solve the mystery, five college students embark on the same journey as the students did in 1959. This group doesn’t make it home either, but the video recording of their experience was recovered. 

As Above, So Below (2014)

A determined archaeologist has dedicated her life to finding Flamel’s Philosopher’s Stone, which is rumored to grant eternal life and turn any metal into gold. After she is informed that the stone may be in the Paris Catacombs, she tracks down a group of locals to help her with her mission. However, nothing could prepare them for the hell they are about to endure-multiple layers of it. 

The Captive (2014)

One of every parent’s worst fears is losing a child. After a little girl vanishes from her father’s truck one day, everyone assumes the worst when no evidence is found. Eight years later, the police finally discover evidence indicating that she is still alive, reigniting a drive in her devastated father to bring his daughter home. 

The Calling (2014)

A series of oddly staged murders fall into the lap of a local detective who discovers exactly what is so strange about the crime scenes-the victims are mouthing a sound. Working with a local priest, she investigates the significance of the syllables and what it means to the perpetrator. In a race against time, she must try to stop the killer from pursuing their “calling”. 

Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

A New York City police officer has had an eventful career full of disturbing memories and challenging experiences. He has seen his fair share of evil. However, when he begins investigating a case with his partner, he discovers a new definition of evil that pushes him beyond his limits. 

The Equalizer (2014)

A quiet, reserved man has created the life he has always desired after going into self-imposed retirement from his eventful past. While he is usually able to allow the world to continue around him, a specific teenage girl he encounters in his daily routine catches his attention because she is being trafficked by the mob. Unable to allow himself to be a bystander, the skills he learned in his past emerge to stand up for the vulnerable. 

Self/Less (2015)

As humans we are mortal, and it is not uncommon to fear death. For this billionaire, he has encountered cancer, something money can’t fix…or can it? After discovering a procedure to transfer his consciousness to a young, healthy body, he begins his new life. However, this new version of himself comes with a cost as there are remaining fragments of the person who formerly occupied his vessel. 

The Accountant (2016)

Not your typical accountant, Christian Wolff serves the criminal population under the disguise of a normal, law-abiding citizen. After taking on a robotics company as a new client, he discovers major financial discrepancies which place him in grave danger. Unknowingly to his foes, he has a rich past and a set of cold-blooded skills. 

Wind River (2017)

The body of an 18-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted is found on a Native American Reservation. In the course of investigating her murder with the FBI, Cory Lambert is faced with a group of men determined to hinder the investigation, even if it means harming more people. However, Cory will go to extreme measures to avenge the young woman’s death. 

1BR (2019)

A young woman gets approved and moves into an apartment complex. At first, everything seems great, almost perfect. She is told about the complex rules, which are simple enough, so she doesn’t think much of it violating one. However, she soon learns the cost of breaking the rules.

Rambo: Last Blood (2019)

John Rambo has retired from his life of fighting and violence by retreating to a ranch and raising horses. He has even made close friendships that resemble family to him. When one of these significant figures, his friend’s granddaughter Gabriela, is abducted by the cartel, he can’t live with himself not intervening. Soon, he returns back to his old self and styles of revenge to punish those who have harmed the innocent. 

Fresh (2022)

A hopeless romantic finds herself in an improbable situation after she meets a guy at the bar and ends up having a genuine interest in him. He asks her to go on a weekend trip with him, but this trip is short-lived, and she is not going home. She soon realizes there is more to this man than she could have ever assumed, and she must do the unthinkable to survive his strange appetite and occupation. 

Hello! I am a Forensic Psychology Major with Minors in Criminal Justice and Sociology. I am the secretary for Sexual Assault Awareness Team and am involved in STEP and Psychology Club at St. Ambrose University. In my free time I enjoy painting and embroidering, being a dog mom, and spending time with my friends!