Sunday, 10 March 2013

Kiwi Film Review: Top 10 Thrillers

This week's list is Top 10 Thrillers. I think a lot of people think that Thriller and Horror are the same things, and it is a pretty thin line between then, and the fact that Horror films are my least favorite genre, and Thrillers are my very favorite genre is also sort of confusing to most people. My definition of Thrillers are films that normally have a great storyline, are very suspenseful, but don't use cheap tricks to get cheap scares out of you by something jumping out in front  of you. The most fun ones are normally psychological thrillers, but basically any thriller is fine with me. Here are my Top 10 Thrillers, the list, so far, closest to my heart.

10.) Insomnia
Its actually been a little while since I saw this film, but I absolutely adored it. SUCH a great murder mystery, and definitely a thriller. Between the brilliant actors(Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank) and having Christopher Nolan as the director I'm not sure how it really could have gone wrong. Another clear example that Robin Williams is more then a great comedian, he's also a very capable serious actor. I'm not sure if most people are aware of that, if you are one of those people watch this film immediately. 
9.) The Shining
I only watched this film for the first time at Halloween last year, and I can definitely see why it was a classic. I actually hate scary movies, but this one wasn't too bad as long as you aren't too afraid of creepy twins or rivers of blood. Jack Nicholson shines in this movie, I'd pretty much only ever seen him more recent comedies, which are good, but definitely don't show his acting abilities. He's absolutely terrifying, and the story is so interesting because you don't really know whats going to happen, and the scenario of being completely isolated set up the perfect setting for a thriller. The more Stanley Kubrick films I watch, the more I enjoy him. 
Check out my review HERE
8.) Psycho
Obviously another classic, I don't think it would be a legit list of Thrillers without this 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic. I think most people who see this movie for the first time don't expect the epic twist at the end, which is always important. Its also pretty bizzar that *SPOILER ALERT* they kill off the  leading lady halfway through the film, but I really think that it was a brave and peculiar decision that only Alfred Hitchcock could pull off, especially at the time. The characters are fantastic, interesting, and terrifying, I had heard the name Norman Bates, but I had no idea who it was or where it was from, but its a name that is clearly associated with villains in thrillers and horror films. The film starts off with one story and then randomly twists so much that you really almost forget what the film was about in the beginning, but its just so good that you don't even mind. I need to watch some more Hitchcock films ASAP.

7.) The Sixth Sense
Sadly, the epic Lonely Island song Jizz in my Pants actually ruined this film for me because I didn't watch it until 2010ish because I thought it was going to be terrifying. There are only 1 or 2 really horribly scary parts of this film, the rest are mostly just interesting/cool. This is hands down my favorite M. Night Shyamalan film thanks to Bruce Willis and the once talented Haley Joel Osment, the greatest child actor of all time. This film is a classic, and you owe it to yourself to watch it. 

6.) Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The second I finished watching this I immediately regretted not getting around to reading the book. SUCH a fantastic, like I said I never read the book so I can't comment on how well it translated, but the film definitely stands on its own. The acting in this film is amazing especially from Rooney Mara who is absolutely unrecognizable. I don't think many people could have handled this role so well, and I urge you to check it out and see the sheer brilliance of her acting. Huge round of applause for David Fincher for another mind-blowingly directed film. 

5.) Memento
Yet another Christopher Nolan film on this list. Although it only cost a shocking $9 million dollars to make, and didn't do super fantastic at the box office, I think its really become a bit of a cult classic, and for good reason. The total mind-twist that this film is is absolutely unbelievable, whats most impressive is how well the film flows, despite the direction which it is flowing in. Its fairly easy to follow along, as long as your paying attention. If you enjoy Thrillers, you will definitely enjoy this film. One of the greatest Psychological Thrillers for sure. Mind-melting. 
4.) Mystic River
This masterpiece by Clint Eastwood, I feel is somehow actually pretty unknown. I hadn't heard of it until I found it in the $5 bin in Walmart a couple of years ago despite the fact that it was nominated for 6 Oscars, of which it won 2 for Sean Penn and Tim Robbins. Such a fantastic film with a truly fantastic cast including Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney, Laurence Fishburne, and Emmy Rossum.
Check out my review HERE.
3.) American Psycho
Although Christian Bale is definitely best known for his role as Bruce Wayne(aka Batman), but this is a perfect example of his true acting abilities. Its such a strange film, but its just so darn entertaining that you can't help but go alone for the ride. There are tons of twists and turns and you really never know whats going to happen next, or how its going to end for Patrick Bateman. This one is definitely a little more gorey but not too bad. Check it out!

2.) Se7en
Another David Fincher film on the list, he's definitely the most recent of my favorite directors. With a cast like Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and Gwyneth Paltrow, I don't think its physically possibly to mess up this film. Such an interesting premiss and fantastic writing. Cinematography is great all around, it feels creepy from beginning to end. Tons of twists and turns, the first time I saw this film its amazingness basically blew my mind, so let it do the same for you!
1.) The Silence of the Lambs
Finally, my number one is none other then The Silence of the Lambs, I think that Hannibal Lector might be the greatest vilain of all time, and even though he only had 16 minutes of screentime Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor at the 1992 Oscars. The film also won Best Picture, Best Actress(Jodie Foster), Best Director and Best Writing and was nominated for 2 other Oscars as well. I waited a long time to see this film because I thought it was going to be way too scary, but its really not that bad, you just desperately want to know whats going to happen next and if Hannibal Lector can be outsmarted. Fava Beans have never sounded so terrifying. 

Honourable Mentions:  Black Swan, Signs, The The Machinist, Shutter Island, Cape Fear, The Usual Suspects, Misery, Taxi Driver, The Departed, Lucky Number Slevin.

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