The best thrillers on Hulu are just a click away.
The best movies on Hulu are just a click away, but sometimes you’re in the mood for something that doesn’t fit squarely in the comedy or drama genres. Something that gets under your skin and stays with you long after viewing. Hulu has an impressive selection of thrillers to keep you up at night. Here are the best thrillers on Hulu right now.
The best thrillers on Hulu
1) Cloverfield (with Showtime add-on)
Cloverfield is awesome. I understand the complaints about the handheld/found footage aesthetic, but I don’t hear them. From concept to execution, Cloverfield is a blast. Say what you will about J.J. Abrams, but the man knows how to make an event movie. He also has an eye for talent. He roped in longtime collaborators Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods), both masters of genre. Cloverfield is much scarier than you’d think for a monster romp. And now that there’s a Cloverfield Cinematic Universe taking shape (2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane and this year’s The Cloverfield Paradox), now’s a great time for a refresher on how it all began. —Eddie Strait
2) Shutter Island
Martin Scorsese gets to play around in the B-movie sandbox with this twisty thriller. Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo play U.S. Marshals sent to the titular island to investigate the escape of a murderer. Every bit of new information creates more confusion for the Marshals and the audience. Shutter Island is the kind of movie that is one step ahead at every turn, but even astute viewers who figure out what’s coming will still be entertained watching the pieces fit into place. —Eddie Strait
3) Hounds of Love
Can a movie about a couple that abducts and tortures women truly show the human element of their debased crimes? Hounds of Love tries, as its presents John and Evelyn White, and what happens in their home after drugging and kidnapping a teenager named Vicki. Much of the violence is heard but not shown, but it still has a nauseating effect. The focus is more on how warped their relationship is, and how Vicki knows she has to pit them against each other to survive. Even more chilling: The story mirrors the real-life crimes of David and Catherine Birnie, who in 1986 abducted five women over the course of a month, killing four of them. —Audra Schroeder
Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman is a tale of a modern-day bogeyman. The titular character, played masterfully by Jan Bijvoet, slowly infiltrates the home and life of an upper-class family by simply asking for a favor. He appears to be a drifter in need of a bath, but this isn’t a typical home-invasion thriller. There are no masked psychopaths or bumps in the night. Borgman is from another realm—a shape-shifter, a trickster—and his increasing control over the family is even more chilling given a lack of real motive. —Audra Schroeder
5) 13 Assassins
Takashi Miike’s samurai epic 13 Assassins, a remake of a 1963 film of the same name, is one of the Japanese master’s best films. It’s about a group of assassins (as you could guess from the title) who team up in an attempt to kill the odious Lord Matsudaira Naritsugu. The first half of the film is restrained as the team comes together and forms its plan, but the film’s climactic battle pays off the buildup and rewards the audience’s patience tenfold (thirteenfold?). It’s roughly 40 minutes of immaculately staged action mayhem. It’s pure spectacle that will take your breath away. —Eddie Strait
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Depending on where you grew up, there was probably a regional urban legend about a haunted house or grisly murder. This 2009 documentary on Hulu focuses on Cropsey, a bogeyman of Staten Island—one directors Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio grew up hearing horrifying stories about. But as the film progresses, we learn he’s real. His name is Andre Rand, and he worked at the Willowbrook State School, a facility for mentally disabled children. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, he was linked to a series of kidnappings and was eventually arrested. But the film also leaves us wondering if he was really guilty of the crimes, or if the myth and the man were conflated. —Audra Schroeder
7) I Saw the Devil
This South Korean thriller pits two of the country’s most well-known actors (Choi Min-sik and Lee Byung-hun) as a serial killer and a cop, respectively. It’s a cat-and-mouse story, or maybe cat-and-cat is more appropriate, as Byung-hun relentlessly tracks and tortures the man (Min-sik) who killed his wife. The film is directed by maestro Kim Jee-woon, so you’re in good hands. I Saw the Devil is brutal and provocative, and if you have the stomach for it, it’s well worth a watch. —Eddie Strait
Darren Aronofsky’s 2017 film elicited some strong reactions and its share of walkouts upon release. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a doting wife and Javier Bardem as her narcissistic writer husband, mother! presents a claustrophobic view of domestic life, and once her husband’s fans start showing up at their home, it only gets worse. This film isn’t for everyone, and a third-act scene will certainly send some viewers fleeing, but mother! slowly becomes so deranged it borders on dark comedy. —Audra Schroeder
Aliens randomly show up and strategically place themselves across the globe, with humans falling into complete panic in response. Most movies would take this set up and deliver a city-destroying action-fest. Director Denis Villeneuve and writer Eric Heisserer aim for something more thoughtful and empathetic. It’s a movie about understanding and listening. This sci-fi thinker is one of the best movies of the decade. —Eddie Strait
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11) Children of Men (with Showtime add-on)
Alfonso Cuaron’s dystopian masterpiece is one of the great sci-fi movies of the new millennium. Based on P.D. James’s novel, it’s set in a world where women can’t pregnant and humanity is staring down extinction. That is until one pregnant woman is found and a small group, led by Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, have to get her to safety. It’s a smart movie anchored by jaw-dropping action set pieces. —Eddie Strait
12) Mom and Dad
Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair go off the deep end in Brian Taylor’s 2017 comedy-thriller about a mysterious event that causes parents to want to kill their kids. That conceit alone makes this film an acquired taste, but Mom and Dad also gives Cage the room to go completely over the top (like the scene where he destroys a pool table while singing “The Hokey Pokey”) so some dark humor seeps into the murderous rage. Cage doesn’t overpower the film. In fact, there are actually some touching, introspective moments between him and Blair. —Audra Schroeder
13) Let the Right One In
Childhood is lonely, and when you’re poor and live in a small town, it can be even harder to find a good friend. It can lead to crazy things, like ignoring the fact that your new best friend is a vampire. Evil’s seductive tendrils are well-worn territory in horror, but Let the Right One In tackles why friendship can blind even the most innocent with cold-blooded finesse. The American remake is fine, but the Swedish original is a masterpiece. Few films can trick you into rooting for a child to be in danger. Let the Right One In makes you hope he never leaves his dark new companion. —John-Michael Bond
14) Angel Heart
Mickey Rourke’s private investigator Harry Angel takes on a case that brings him to New Orleans, where he meets up with a man named Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro). Angel’s trying to find a missing singer, but soon people start dying around him, and he finds out Louis’ real identity. —Audra Schroeder
Director of Drive and The Neon Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn has a penchant for exploring themes of masculinity and violence, and he’s never done it better than in this 2008 British film based on the story of the man oft thought to be the country’s most violent prisoner. In Bronson, 19-year-old Michael Peterson is sentenced to seven years behind bars for robbing a post office. He ends up serving 34, three decades of which he carries out in solitary confinement. During this time, Peterson adopts the alter ego of Charles Bronson (yes, like the actor), and the story only gets weirder from there. The center of it all is Tom Hardy in a performance that’s like watching a star about to go supernova. —Chris Osterndorf
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16) American Psycho
Mary Harron’s film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial 1991 book leaves out some of the more graphic and gruesome passages but leaves in the narcissistic flourishes and toxic masculinity of late-’80s New York City. Christian Bale is pitch-perfect as Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street banker who indulges his murderous fantasies, and Reagan-era materialism is on full display. (The business card scene never gets old.) That Bale went on to be Batman and co-star Jared Leto became the Joker only makes the film more amazing and perverse. —Audra Schroeder
17) Baby Driver (with Showtime add-on)
Edgar Wright’s car-chase thriller has at least one advantage over the classic films it’s toasting: a killer soundtrack. Music is the foundation of Baby Driver, which stars Ansel Elgort as Baby, a stoic getaway driver who choreographs his turns and peel-outs with his iPod. Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Lily James co-star, and at times the movie is more like a musical than a caper. —Audra Schroeder
18) Jurassic Park (with Showtime add-on)
Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel about a theme park full of dinosaurs run amok is nearly as spectacular today as it was when it was released in 1993. From the first time John Williams’ sweeping score kicks and we get our first majestic shot of a dinosaur, Jurassic Park is a near-perfect action film and one of Spielberg’s most purely enjoyable blockbusters. Practically everything about the movie—from the groundbreaking effects to shirtless Jeff Goldblum—remains iconic. Countless parodies, several terrible sequels, and billions of dollars later, life, uh, still finds a way. —Chris Osterndorf
19) The Usual Suspects
The Usual Suspects is always essential viewing, whether it’s your first time seeing it or the 20th. Christopher McQuarrie’s script is an all-timer, a gift that keeps on giving. There’s something new to appreciate each time, and that’s a credit to the writing, Bryan Singer’s direction, and the immaculate work by the cast. What else is there to say? Seriously, what else? If you’ve already seen it, you don’t need me to tell you to watch it. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t give away the plot here because you should have the most pristine experience possible. Let’s all watch it tonight, OK? —Eddie Strait
20) The Hurt Locker
Usually when people think about war movies, they think about gut-wrenching action. Kathryn Bigelow goes the opposite route for its thrills. Jeremy Renner stars as a Sergeant whose preference to do things his way doesn’t sit well with the rest of the bomb squad. The Hurt Locker is a trip-wire taut drama anchored by career-best work by Renner and strong support from Anthony Mackie. Bigelow’s work made her the first woman to win an Academy Award for best director. The Hurt Locker is a top-tier war film. —Eddie Strait
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Here are the best thrillers and action movies to get your heart racing, classic movies when you want a blast from the past, sad movies when you need a good cry, and funny movies on Hulu when you need a good laugh.