12 Good Suspense Movies

Friday, April 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm

The 12 good suspense movies on this list represent some of the most tension-filled works to ever be projected onto the silver screen. While suspense films often overlap with the thriller genre, both offer viewers a heightened sense of excitement, plenty of life-threatening danger for the heroes, and a tension-filled plot that moves relentlessly towards a climax (often with a twist thrown in for good measure). But while thrillers are often more concerned with a single-minded purpose, the suspense film isn’t afraid to slow down and let things simmer.

Whether you’re looking to beef up you Netflix queue or find something for a lazy Saturday afternoon, this list of 12 good suspense movies should have you covered.

Gaslight (1944) – Charles Boyer stars as a sinister husband who sets out to drive his young wife (Ingrid Bergman) mad and get his greedy hands on her inheritance.

Alien (1979) – When the crew of a spaceship unwittingly picks up a lethal alien, the humans are picked off one by one. Most label this science fiction, but it doesn’t get much more suspenseful.

Notorious (1946) – Alfred Hitchcock directs this good suspense movie about three people (Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains) whose lives become intertwined during an espionage operation. The kiss between Grant and Bergman was particularly controversial due to its length.

Body Heat (1981) – When a femme fatale (Kathleen Turner) wants her older, rich husband disposed off, she turns to a sleazy attorney named Ned Racine (William Hurt). But after the deed is done, Racine starts to realize that things won’t be a simple as he first thought.

Rebecca (1940) – Another Hitchcock classic, this time about a young woman (Joan Fontaine) and her dark romance with a wealthy widower (Laurence Olivier)–all overshadowed by the memory of his dead wife.

Repulsion (1965) – Roman Polanski directs and Catherine Deneuve stars as a woman slowly going mad.

Don’t Look Now (1973) – After their daughter drowns, a couple (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie) heads to Venice to mourn. They encounter a pair of psychic sisters who offer a vision of the future, and a serial killer grips the city in fear.

The Usual Suspects (1995) – Mixing several genres into one, The Usual Suspects weaves a tale of theft, revenge, and murder that will have you guessing until the very end. Kevin Spacey won an Oscar for his role.

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) – An invalid (Barbara Stanwyck) overhears a murder plot being discussed over the phone. To make matters even more suspenseful, the murder being talked about is hers.

Wait until Dark (1967) – Audrey Hepburn stars as a blind woman terrorized by a man (Alan Arkin) looking for drugs stashed inside a doll.

Sleuth (1972) – A mystery novelist (Laurence Olivier) and a hair salon owner (Michael Caine) are drawn together by their relationship with the same woman. But instead of a simple fistfight, the two engage in a increasingly dangerous game of revenge and one-upsmanship.

Jaws (1975) – Steven Spielberg shot to fame after directing this suspenseful tale of a massive shark terrorizing a summer vacation community. Robert Shaw’s monologue about sharks and his days in the Navy remains my all-time favorite film scene.

You can enjoy all these great suspense movies and thousands more by becoming a member of Netflix. Subscriptions are offered for as low as $7.99 per month, and free trial memberships are also available. Click here to get started.

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One Response to “12 Good Suspense Movies”

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November 29, 2010


The Changeling with George C. Scott is also very haunting. However, I’m not sure it fits the genre of suspense!

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