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David (Aaron Paul) and Claire (Annabelle Wallis) are a young couple in love, often playing a sexy game where they pretend they don’t know each other while riding on a bus or walking down the street, ending up in the same house, keeping up the rouse until they fall into sex. When she goes missing one day though, he at first thinks it’s a new game, but as the hours, then days, then weeks, and finally more than a year goes by, it seems she is gone forever, missing with no hope of recovery. When a clue finally surfaces, it sends David into some dark places where he discovers things are not at all as they seem. Surprising little thriller isn’t a masterpiece but is well worth a look and Paul is really good. Twisty.
Did you think only Roland Emmerich made disaster movies? Nope. Here’s a chilling little gem from Norway that is both a decent disaster flick and a great story of survival. Taking place in the famous Geirangerfjord, a geologist (Kristoffer Joner), on his final day on the job, worries that the craggy mountains surrounding the sleepy bay hamlet of Geiranger are not so stable, and predicts an avalanche will cause a massive wall of water to spill through the fjord and bury the town. Of course, no one believes him. Guess what, though? He’s right. A gripping human drama, the movie is less about the wave itself but the aftermath that leaves the unprepared people in chaos and death. Sensational thriller is a must see.
Speaking of Norway, this epic drama is a mix of political thriller and fantasy action adventure as the country, torn apart by civil war falls into chaos. The king’s only son, an infant, is secretly taken into protective custody by two brave men, who steal away into the frigid highlands as hordes come after them, desperate to kill the child. Filled with stunning cinematography and some powerful performances, this has loads of snow-bound action and thrills. Don’t be afraid of subtitles. The movie is complex but easy to follow and you’ll be hooked right from the start.
Care for a little creepy with your drama? This chilling, atmospheric story is a psychological gold mine filled with weirdness and wonder as a young woman named Janie (Sarah Hagan) tries to recover from a mental break under the odd methodologies of holistic health and wellness from her longtime nanny (Barbara Crampton). When Janie meets Savannah (Sara Malakul Lane), their friendship turns to obsession and then much worse in this often puzzling (in a good way) thriller that challenges us to consider what we’re really watching. Different to be sure, this is a one to watch if you’re up for some thinking. Be prepared that it gets very dark the more it moves on.
Not many would put Western gunslinger and Natalie Portman in the same sentence, but that’s just about what this stylized indie film does in this taunt thriller about a woman defending her home after her husband (Noah Emmerich) rides home bullet-ridden and blood-soaked. She calls upon a man from her past named Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) to help stop a group of deadly outlaws, led by snidely John Bishop (Ewan McGregor), from killing them all. Portman is a tiny tinder box of boom in this sleek, dark, and violent drama that is a little unconventional but great fun to watch.
Let’s stay dark and take a ride to the top of this chilling and scathing drama that is a visual rush sure to bang on your brain pan for a few hours after it’s over. A man named Laing (Tom Hiddleston) is a young, handsome doctor who moves into an exclusive tower apartment complex in the late 1970s where he discovers a self-sustaining dystopia of class warfare that leads to murder and madness. It’s funny, jarring, emotional, weird, and unsettling. And while it might not be a favorite when it’s over, it’s a truly trippy experience well worth putting on the list. Go off the beaten path and try it.