A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Top 10 unnerving thriller films to watch this fall

From the psychological horror “Split”(bottom-right) to the crime-conspiracy “Nightcrawler,” (center) there’s a wide variety of thriller films to satisfy your need for the Winter season chills.

Just because Halloween is over and Christmas decorations are filling our local coffee shops and food chains doesn’t mean it’s past time to sit down for some heart-pounding thriller films. Here is a diverse list of ten mind-bending, white-knuckle thrillers to suit anyone’s need to be terrified this Fall.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

This film follows an FBI training student, Clarice Starling, as she interviews a detained serial killer and cannibal, Hannibal Lector. The purpose of the interview is to gather information about Buffalo Bill, a killer who is still at large. “The Silence of the Lambs” is a primary example of a crime thriller.

Get Out (2017)

When a young Black man, Chris, goes to meet his white girlfriend’s parents, the awkward visit becomes a nightmare. Surrounded by creepy Caucasian people, Chris begins to unravel a disturbing truth no one could imagine. Jordan Peele created one of the most mind bending films with “Get Out.” 

Hereditary (2018)

A grieving and broken family, led by the main character, Annie, copes with loss while trying to deal with disturbing occurrences. Annie’s mother passes away and Annie finds herself and her two children haunted by distressing and frightening occurrences. “Hereditary” is high ranking in the genre of suspenseful slowburns. 

Us (2019) 

A wholesome family vacation to Santa Cruz turns awry when a family of four is terrorized by a group of masked strangers. Things get worse when the mysterious group unmasks themselves and are revealed to be doppelgangers of the family. “Us” is a fascinating film mixed with both apprehension and tension.

The Shining (1980)

A father, Jack Torrance, lives in an isolated hotel with his wife and son and maintains it while it is closed for the Winter. As the days go by Danny, his son, starts to have disturbing premonitions from his imaginary friend while Jack approaches the brink of insanity. The suspense escalates when Jack becomes violent and attacks his wife and son. “The Shining” is filled with action, mystery and psychological themes. 

Nightcrawler (2014)

Louis Bloom, a desperate and jobless young man becomes obsessed with the world of Los Angeles crime journalism. After discovering this new world, Louis dives in head first and starts recording videos of accidents, fires and even murders. He soon becomes so consumed with crime reporting that he ends up a criminal himself. “Nightcrawler” is a perfect example of a conspiracy thriller.

Zodiac (2007) 

An alcoholic reporter and former cartoonist from the San Francisco Chronicle team up to investigate and arrest the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified serial murderer who is terrorizing Northern California. “Zodiac” is a riveting crime and legal thriller. 

Misery (1990)

Paul Sheldon, a famous author, gets seriously injured in a car accident and a former nurse, Anne Wilkes, rescues him then takes him to her home. Wilkes turns out to be an obsessive fan and chooses to not contact emergency services, deciding to tend to him herself.  However instead of seeing that Sheldon reaches full health, Wilkes tortures him and forces him to write her a personal novel. “Misery” is a classic thriller that I highly recommend to all horror fans.

Split (2016) 

A man with Dissociative Identity Disorder and 23 different personalities kidnaps three girls and takes them to an unknown location. The girls must devise a plan to escape before the man’s 24th personality, “the beast,” takes over. “Split” is one of the best examples to date of a psychological thriller, it’s definitely a wild ride so strap in!

Hush (2016)

Maddie Young, an acclaimed horror author who is deaf and mute, moves out of the busy city of New York and into an isolated home in the woods. She soon becomes prey to an unhinged killer who slowly stalks her throughout the night. “Hush” will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re looking for suspense, this is the film for you. 

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About the Contributor
Hana Seals
Hana Seals, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Hana Seals (she/her) is in her fourth semester at Santa Rosa Junior College, and is preparing to transfer to a four-year school with a major in Journalism. She mainly covers breaking news, community issues and local crime. Outside of writing she spends her time watching documentaries, drawing and opening time with friends and family. Professional content consumer.

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