7 best thriller films of 2022

Thriller films of 2022 (Image via Glamour)
A still from Nope, one of the best thriller films of 2022 (Image via Glamour)

A wide variety of thriller films have been released since 2020, as the pandemic gave rise to a revolution in the kind of cinema being produced. Movies are now being written specifically for streaming platforms, while the theaters have their own set of big films. The phenomenon has led to a larger range of films, accommodating audiences of all kinds.

Horror and thriller films, in particular, are being made regularly for streaming platforms, owing to the sensory engagement they offer. Several films that were brilliantly written and appealed to critics and general viewers alike were released in 2022.

From the best theatrical experiences offered by films like Nope and The Menu to a more action-oriented streaming release like The Contractor, there has been an abundance of a wide variety of thriller films.

The Menu, Windfall, and 5 other finest thriller films of 2022

1) Nope

After his widely acclaimed and popular thriller Get Out, Jordan Peele's next film, Nope, was eagerly anticipated by audiences worldwide. Get Out's commentary on race, bias, and the nature of oppression was revealed brilliantly with some nuanced writing. It starred Daniel Kaluuya, who also starred in Nope, with a wonderfully restrained performance that was the film's highlight.

Nope, a thriller film that comments about human nature in a majestic way includes elements of science fiction and fantasy. It follows a brother and sister duo, who spot a dark and unknown entity in the skies above their home. In a nearby area, the capitalist owner of a theme park tries to use the appearance for his own profit.

Like Get Out, Nope also stays true to its characters' culture and history while telling a tale set in the modern world. Kaluuya's performance is subtle yet powerful enough to steal the show.

2) The Contractor

The Contractor follows a former sergeant who joins an underground military force and follows through on a mission that gets him into real trouble. Upon finding out, he needs to confront his employer and find out the truth about the mission he was on.

The film, which was released in theaters in April, received mixed reviews from critics. It was widely watched owing to the familiar cast and the genre that never disappoints, even in cases of weak writing.

3) The Menu

The Menu (Image via Variety)
The Menu (Image via Variety)

The Menu is a black-comedy thriller that was recently released in theaters on November 18. The story takes place in a single location over a period of a couple of hours. Although the format has been used before, The Menu uses this method to simultaneously make the film thrilling and horrifying.

It follows a group of people arriving at a renowned restaurant owned by a world-class chef to taste his exclusive menu. The restaurant is located on a remote island and the visitors, who are all extremely rich, are in for a deadly surprise. The performances by Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy are central to the narrative and are very impressive.

4) The Black Phone

Starring Ethan Hawke and Mason Thames in lead roles, The Black Phone follows Finney, a teenager held captive in a sound-proof basement by a haunting masked killer. When Finney discovers a disconnected phone in the basement, he establishes contact with the masked man's former victims, who are determined to help Finney escape.

Although most thriller films generally don't do very well with critics, The Black Phone became a critical success. It also combines the coming-of-age theme and supernatural genres to make an interestingly complex narrative that isn't limited by the cliches of its claimed genre.

5) Windfall

From Seven to Don't Breathe, crime thriller films make for the best films in the genre. They combine two of modern cinema's best genres to produce some breathtaking drama. Windfall is one such crime thriller film that follows a man who breaks into a billionaire's house. He is, however, trapped inside as the billionaire and his wife return unexpectedly from their planned vacation.

Although such a trope has been used in thriller films multiple times, Windfall deals with its cliches very maturely. It stars Lily Collins, Jason Segel, and Jesse Plemons in lead roles. The film received mixed reviews and was widely watched owing to the familiar trope.

6) The Good Nurse

Exploring the all-time favorite serial-killer element in thriller films, The Good Nurse stars Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne. It follows nurse Amy Loughren, who discovers that Charles Cullen, her colleague, has been responsible for the death of several patients across hospitals over sixteen years.

The thriller explores how Cullen has been getting away with the crime. The film is based on real-life events, and the true-crime element makes the movie all the more intriguing and dark. While the story of the serial killer itself is very haunting, The Good Nurse is engaging with some great performances.

7) Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing (Image via IMDB)
Where the Crawdads Sing (Image via IMDB)

Studying themes of solitude, loneliness, remorse, and trauma, Where the Crawdads Sing stars Daisy Edgar-Jones in the lead role. The film is a slow-burn thriller that follows Catherine, who was abandoned at a very young age. As she grows into an independent young woman and tries to navigate life, she is framed for her former boyfriend's murder.

The movie was widely watched owing to the actress' popularity after her role in Normal People. It also stars Taylor John Smith and Harris Dickinson in other important roles.

Although thriller films have evolved over the years, their popularity has hardly reduced over the years. These seven were just some of this year's best picks.

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Edited by Abhipsa Choudhury
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