From shivers down your spine to a racing heart, prickling skin, and squirming insides, nothing can match the roller coasters of emotions that suspense movies incite. But, be warned, they range from mysteries to horrors and everything in between. If you’re up for such edge-of-the-seat fun, you’ll love this list of the best thriller movies on Netflix to watch in September 2021. I’ve included all the must-watch latest titles, so grab some snacks (and some company) for comfort before turning in!
From shivers down your spine to a racing heart, prickling skin, and squirming insides, nothing can match the roller coasters of emotions that suspense movies incite. But, be warned, they range from mysteries to horrors and everything in between.
If you’re up for such edge-of-the-seat fun, you’ll love this list of the best thriller movies on Netflix to watch in September 2021. I’ve included all the must-watch latest titles, so grab some snacks (and some company) for comfort before turning in!
1. Apostle (2018)
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Horror
Cast: Dan Steevens, Michael Sheen, Lucy Boynton
Director: Gareth Evans
This is the movie you need to check out if you’re craving for a one-hell-of-a thriller experience. It’s got all the vibes of an epic thriller movie. There are the epic battles and bloody fights, the wild craziness that one might expect from an insane religious cult, and the cold humor that makes everyone want to be there in the scene.
Spill the sauce: Dan Stevens, who plays Thomas Richardson, comes back to his hometown to visit his sister, Jennifer. Things take in for a toss when he finds out that his sister is kidnapped by an insane religious cult headed by Prophet Malcolm. Will he be able to deliver his sister out of their hands?
Director Gareth Evans has done an excellent job by bringing in Dan Stevens for the prominent role. The action star just kicks it in with his prodigious acting and heroic skills.
He becomes an instant favorite to do some badass kicking and rescue his sister from the hands of the enemy. You would also get drawn into the world of these religious insomniacs as they are far too entertaining with their craziness and immoral beliefs.
2. His House (2020)
Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Horror
Cast: Sope Dirisu, Wunmi Mosaku, Matt Smith
Director: Remi Weekes
This is what you need to watch if you’re looking for a thriller-horror movie. It has got all the suspense and terrifying drama that picks in as the lights fade out. Bol Major and his wife Rial are in for a Halloween ride at their new house.
Spill the sauce: As the movie suggests, the story revolves around a haunted house, wherein ghosts and evil spirits lurk in the house. Bol and Rial Major are refugees from South Sudan who are sent by the authorities of the place to reside in a house in England. Boy, I bet you wouldn't want to go there for a million dollars!
The thrill that unfolds as evil spirits luringly scare the couple to death is what will keep you glued to your seats, asking for more. The audio quality is just insane as the mystifying ghost-voices seem to hover down your ears.
The reassuring character of Bol, even when things are going haywire, makes it seem as though he’s not the man who’d just get scared by some inanimate noises or creatures. That’s what makes it more interesting. The ghosts have to up their game, resulting in horrifying scenes that will haunt me for a while!
3. Blood Red Sky (2021)
Cast: Peri Baumeiste, Dominic Purcell
Director: Peter Thorwarth
Brace yourself for some good old-fashioned gore, delirious surprises, and preposterously creepy moments that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Blood Red Sky is an action-horror spectacle about a plane hijacking that’s one of the best high-altitude (pun-intended) thrillers I’ve watched recently.
Spill the sauce: A terrorist group hijacks an overnight transatlantic flight. Among the passengers are a mysteriously ill woman and her son. What lengths will she go to to protect her young child?
I love how the plot begins defying exactions from the get-go and combines the supernatural with the relatable premise of familial bonds. It might lack the deeper psychological proddings that I enjoy in thrillers, but it’s full of the kind of havoc that makes such movies so much fun. I’ll certainly be thinking of it the next time I step on an airplane!
4. Security (2021)
Cast: Marco D’Amore, Maya Sansa
Director: Peter Chelsom
Right from the opening scene of a seaside town accompanied by a voiceover, this movie has a haunting quality that only gets more intense as the plot unfolds. It walks the tightrope between keeping you engaged and offering just the right balance of thrills and chills.
Spill the sauce: After the assault of a young woman, a security expert and his family gets entangled in an ugly web of secrets and lies in a picture-perfect Italian seaside town. Who will pay the price of security?
The protagonist, Roberto, is the man behind the extensive camera and alarm systems protecting most of the gated villas of the resort town of Forte del Marmi. This makes him privy to insider information that begins weighing on him and turns his life upside down.
Security might be a bit of a forgettable name, but the movie will stay with you. It’s stylishly directed and tightly woven to be an interesting study of how we harbor objective truths in a modern age of persistent surveillance.
5. Prime Time (2021)
Cast: Bartosz Bielenia, Magdalena Poplawska, Andrzej Kłak
Director: Jakub Piatek
There’s nothing like an edgy hostage drama to keep my eyes glued to the screen! Prime Time sure delivers in this regard, albeit focusing on hints and subtleties than blatant in-your-face storytelling. This Polish thriller premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2021 and is a promising debut.
Spill the sauce: On New Year's Eve, 20-year-old Sebastian locks himself in a TV studio with his two hostages, a gun, and a message for the world. How will the tense standoff between Sebastian and the police unfold?
What makes this movie worth watching is the brilliant performances and mind-blowing plot that never judges the protagonist’s motives. It instead takes an exploratory lens to depict themes of visibility and control. It raises some poignant questions, though the drama itself could have played out better.
6. The Woman in the Window (2021)
Cast: Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman
Director: Joe Wright
If you’re looking for the best psychological thrillers on Netflix, The Woman in the Window deserves your attention. It’s about Anna Fox, a child psychologist who has agoraphobia and inadvertently gets involved in a criminal case.
Spill the sauce: Confined to her home due to her fear of being in places that are hard to escape, Anna obsessively observes the perfect family that are her new neighbors, which leads to her life turning upside down.
I was enthralled by how the protagonist depicts her instability through panicked trembles and manic cackles, yet with a muted wisdom underneath. Shocking secrets are revealed, and nothing is what it first seems in this movie based on A. J. Finn’s bestselling novel, and adapted for the screen by Tracy Letts,
7. I Am All Girls (2021)
Cast: Erica Wessels, Hlubi Mboya
Director: Donovan Marsh
Here’s a South African mystery thriller film that’s dark, gritty, and emotionally draining yet a must-watch for everyone. A trigger warning is warranted as the story brilliantly shines a light on the horrors of human trafficking in a sensitive but gutting way.
It’s based on true events and is set in multiple timelines in South Africa during the apartheid and the present.
Spill the sauce: A relentless special crimes investigator finds common ground with a serial killer to take down the perpetrators of a powerful global child-trafficking ring. Will justice prevail, and is it enough?
What I love about this movie is how it depicts women pursuing justice on their terms. This is a welcome departure from most revenge and vigilante movies, where men are the heroes doing all the heavy lifting.
The two characters at the tale’s heart are bound together in a powerful friendship that adds an extra special touch to the story. In addition, both follow journeys of their own that come to life, thanks to the moving performances by the lead actors.
Overall, if you’re wondering what is the best crime thriller on Netflix, this movie could be the answer. It does an exceptional job of portraying a delicate topic like the sex trafficking of young children with nuance and sensitivity. It’s intelligently woven and absorbing in every frame.
8. Oxygen (2021)
Cast: Mélanie Laurent, Anne Hathaway
Director: Alexandre Aja
What an apt film for our literally suffocating pandemic times! This French survival thriller will make you feel claustrophobia and anxiety as you watch from the edge of your seat.
Spill the sauce: Liz Hansen wakes up from deep hypnosis in a cryogenic chamber reminiscent of a coffin. She can't remember how she got there, but it's vital she stay composed to piece together her fragmented memories. Will Liz make it out alive?
Our protagonist wakes up in a suffocating coffin-like enclosure without any recollection of how she got there. The only hints she has are disorienting flashbacks of a hospital gurney and lab rats.
Her sole point of human contact is the AI voice of an operating system that keeps delivering distressing news of the dwindling oxygen supply in the chamber she’s trapped within. Not exactly helpful!
Director Alexandre Aja is an intelligent and effective storyteller known for the classic horror The Hills Have Eyes. In Oxygen, he skillfully demonstrates how it’s not always necessary to flood the screen with action and effects to create a gripping thriller.
9. Ferry (2021)
Genre: Crime thriller
Cast: Frank Lammers, Elise Schaap
Director: Cecilia Verheyden
This one’s a Dutch crime drama that’s fun and engaging in a way that violent gangster movies seldom are.
Spill the sauce: Dutch gangster Ferry is the right-hand man of his boss Brink. So when a rival gang murders Brink's son, Ferry is sent to seek revenge in Brabant, the beloved childhood home he had fled years before. But how will he handle the old family feuds that resurface and his charming neighbor Danielle?
It’s the origin story of Ferry Bouman, the drug lord character from the popular Belgian-Dutch crime series Undercover.
We follow his journey from a tough traumatic childhood in a trailer park to falling for pretty, feisty Danielle, the woman who makes him wonder if there’s more to life than the one he’s been leading.
Ferry might be riddled with gangster cliches, but there are just enough twists to keep you hooked. It doesn’t surprise but still manages to hold its own among good thriller movies on Netflix.
10. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Cast: Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons
Director: Charlie Kaufman
Fans of the famed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will especially enjoy this flick from the same director. It’s adapted from Iain Reid’s acclaimed novel of the same name and follows the story of a woman visiting her boyfriend’s parents on a secluded farm.
Spill the sauce: A young woman goes on a road trip with her new boyfriend to his parents' remote farm. The journey unfolds to make her question everything she thought she knew about him and herself. What does she really mean when she keeps repeating the ominous line, I'm thinking of ending things?
As a snowy day turns into a dangerous night, psychological horror unfolds, moving back and forth between reality and a dreamlike – or nightmarish – commentary on human connection.
The lead character is introduced as Lucy, but she takes on other names and identities as the narrative progresses. The labyrinthine surrealism can be a bit confusing to follow, but therein lies the film’s profound impact.
You’ll feel the mounting panic, and the story – or what you make of it – will keep playing in your mind long after the end credits have rolled.
11. I Care A Lot (2020)
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Eiza González, Peter Dinklage
Director: J Blakeson
This comic thriller is based on Marla Grayson, a caretaker whose job is to care for lonely older people. Apparently, she is too good a caretaker, as she sells their properties and makes a living out of the commission money. And guess what, this lady is legally chosen to be their guardian!
Moreover, there couldn’t have been a better choice than Rosamund Pike for the character. Her flawless work in Gone Girl stands testimony to it. She keeps you hooked to the TV screen.
Spill the sauce: Enter Jennifer Peterson, a crazy obnoxious person who disrupts Marla's cash flow and her friends trouble the very core of her existence. Will she succeed over the rebellious psycho old lady?
This entertainer is the extremities of profanity. Although its core lies in its humor, the foul language, the vicious game plans, and no sense of morality make it one of the must-watch thriller movies on Netflix. Peter Dinklage is a delight to watch and will remind you of that loyal friend you always had in college.
12. Homunculus (2021)
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Cast:Ryo Narita, Gō Ayano, Anna Ishii, Yukino Kishii
Director: Takashi Shimizu
Japanese and Korean thrillers have some of the best storylines I have ever witnessed. Japanese thrillers are on the scientific side, keeping you engrossed over the possibilities of it happening in real life. And homunculus is no exception. Despite some scenes being extremely dark (read: the rape scene), the film depicts what a brain can achieve if used to its full potential.
Spill the sauce: A homeless amnesiac man wakes up to see disfigured brains, witnessing everyone's innermost trauma in a dysfunctional physical format and understanding their problems. What may seem like God's gift is, in reality, an outcome of a forbidden experiment by a medical intern. What will this homeless man do of his newfound power?
The lead actor has done a stellar job; he embraces his power and starts helping people get rid of their worst traumas. The visual effects used for the trauma add uniqueness to the movie.
The twist and spice will keep you glued to your chair, occasionally adding a moment or two of laughter. But as you proceed towards the end, you will be pondering a lot of emotional aspects of your and your loved one’s lives. Also, what happens to the lead actor? Tune in to the film to find out!
13. Deadly Illusions (2021)
Genre: Erotic Thriller Drama
Cast: Greer Grammer, Kristin Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Director: Anna Elizabeth James
An easy way to get a thriller movie to the top of the chartbusters is spicing it up with seduction and revenge. Well, the temperature goes higher if you have the leading lady from Sex and the City being the center of these sexual fantasies.
Spill the sauce: Mary is a thriller novelist who quits writing for good and happily lives with her husband and kids. Her publisher offers her a cheque of $2 Million as an advance and asks her to write a book again. After much trial and error, she hired a nanny to reduce her workload and increase her focus but ends up dreaming of sleeping with her.
The star cast has done complete justice to their roles; however, the story has many loopholes and is a blend of all the elements that make it too predictable and mainstream. The murder was unnecessary, the nanny is fake, and the writer fails to understand the difference between her dream and reality, expecting too much from a fake nanny.
However, it is a must-watch for all the Kristin Davis fans, for she has done quite a remarkable job as a thriller novelist, which helps her break the charming, delicate stereotype. The sensuality used doesn’t feel forced and is not vulgar. It indeed is one of the blockbuster thriller movies on Netflix.
14. A Fall From Grace (2020)
Genre: Psychological thriller
Cast: Mehcad Brooks, Crystal Fox, Cicely Tyson, Tyler Perry
Director: Tyler Perry
A fall from Grace starts as a feel-good movie. Grace’s best friend Sarah is aware of Grace’s loneliness after the divorce and forces her to get back into the dating game. Cut to three months later; Grace is married to the man of her dreams. But the knight in shining armor turns out to be a pathetic man who turns her life upside down over a few weeks.
Spill the sauce: A successful divorced lonely lady falls in love with a young man, who is perfection. Until one day, things change, and he gets Grace behind bars. But wait, if Shannon, her husband, was behind the money, why did she kill him? Or did she?
This is a perfect watch for a family brunch. It is dramatic, has a social message, and keeps your head spiraled throughout the film. Watch out for the best friend angle. Tyler Perry has done a decent job with the direction, but Mehcad Brooks is the ultimate winner. So, the next time you find yourself thinking, what’s a good thriller to watch right now, A Fall From Grace could be just what you need.
15. Things Heard And Seen (2021)
Cast: James Norton, Natalia Dyer, Amanda Seyfried.
Director: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Based on Elizabeth Brundage’s 2016 novel, All Things Cease To Appear, this Netflix film is undoubtedly here to give you The Shining chills.
An art enthusiast couple leading to a smaller town for a husband’s career leads to the wife interacting with ghosts in their house. Some people start acting weird, and every human soul feels an eerie presence in the house. The negativity gets so strong that the daughter refuses to sleep by herself and insists on sleeping in the parent’s room.
Spill the sauce: A dream come true for the husband turns out to be the wife's biggest nightmare. The couple moves to upstate New York for the wife's new job, but the house they pick has an eerie feel to it. Strange smells and occasional sightings lead to the couple growing distant and having affairs until one of them is brutally murdered.
This movie will be a treat for the 90s kid, for it stars one of the mean girls (you know who it is!). Using a painting as a metaphor is a cinematic genius, and the subtle ghoulish presence makes it a classic horror film.
I really admire Natalia Dyler’s performance in the film too; you might remember her from Yes, God, Yes. This is one of the finest horror-thriller films that 2021 has received; consider watching it over the weekend.
16. Red Dot (2021)
Genre: Drama, horror, thriller
Cast: Nanna Blondell, Johannes Kuhnke, Anastasios Soulis
Director: Alain Darborg
Red Dot is a terrifying thriller that makes you question your sanctity for the protagonists. Written by Alain Darborg and Per Dickson, the movie tells the story of Nadja and David, a married couple. The sadistic hunt brings on the couple’s past, which is scarier than the killer chasing them.
Spill the sauce: Nadja and David take a hiking trip to spice up their monotonous married life. A romantic gateway to the snowy mountains should have been a passionate trip turned into a survival fest once the red dot appears.
Red Dot is one of the best horror-thriller movies on Netflix ….
17. Sky High (2020)
Director: Daniel Calparsoro
Genre: Action Thriller, Gangster
Cast: Miguel Herrán, Luis Tosar, Carolina Yuste, Patricia Vico
Netflix acquired global rights to the action thriller Spanish film Sky High and redirected it in 2020. What’s the movie about? Well, it’s about a small group of thieves that manages to stay ahead of the Madrid police always through its wit, talent, and skills.
Spill the sauce: The story revolves around Angel, charmed by Estrella, and works simultaneously to gain her love and gradually moving up in his criminal life. During this heist, he falls the target of a tireless police detective, which is when the content becomes interesting.
The first impression seems like a classic action thriller with glamour, drama, and many action-packed performances. What sets it apart is the character buildup, cinematography, and gorgeous locations.
18. Uncut Gems (2019)
Genre: Crime thriller
Cast: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Idina Menzel
Directors: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
You cannot help but laugh when Adam Sandler is on the big screen. But, Sandler taking the lead in a thriller movie? Now that’s something I need time to digest. This gambling addict diamond junkie, who takes more significant risks to get out of the debt, and the hardships that come along, is what the movie is all about.
Spill the sauce: Adam Sandler’s character makes terrible decisions throughout the movie, so much that it is pretty evident that he might see his downfall any moment. Still, you feel bad for the guy and want him to work his way out. Be it the scene where the goons follow him or the time he keeps betting more money, you want him to realize and work his way out of the mistakes.
The pursuit of the ultimate win would have made an excellent title to the movie. Thus, 135 minute-something film is on the lighter side of the thriller scale, like it’s scary but funny. If you asked me just one reason to watch this movie, it would be its brilliant screenplay and Sandler’s charm.
19. Gerald’s Game (2017)
Genre: Psychological thriller
Cast: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia
Director: Mike Flanagan
A weekend getaway and a sexual fantasy gone wrong result in one of the best psychological thrillers on Netflix. Gerald’s Game depicts the journey of a couple trying to rekindle their relationship on a romantic holiday only to have it go downhill pretty quick.
Spill the sauce: At one point in the movie, you will find Carla talking to her dead husband’s spirit, discussing things like their relationship and life that she could have never discussed while she was alive. Meanwhile, the stray dog is biting the skin of the dead man’s hand and chewing it off.
A very risky adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Gerald’s Game, was regarded as his novel’s best adaption that year. It is the same year when the infamous interpretation ‘it’ was released.
Any loyal Stephan King fan knows that his novels are blessed with absurd endings, and Gerald’s Game is no exception. But, it is the direction that makes it a genius redemption.
20. Below Zero (2021)
Genre: Action Thriller
Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Karra Elejalde, Luis Callejo
Director: Lluís Quílez
Below Zero is a Spanish tense action thriller that will keep you guessing till the very end. The story revolves around Martin, a newly transferred police officer who drives the transport van over a chilly night. Six prisoners, an unknown assailant, and a lot of strength are what keeps the movie pretty top-notch.
Spill the sauce: A police officer shifting deadly prisoners for the first time, on his way at a lonely damned place, the prison transport stops. And then begins an officer's journey to fight with not one but six psychopaths and make sure no one escapes. Will he succeed?
The story development and characters’ evolution are on-point. The twists and turns in the plot will keep you on your toes and are on the entertaining side. It is not a dark film, but do not empathize with Martin too much, else you will end up pondering over it for days to come.
21. Rebecca (2020)
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Cast: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott Thomas
Director: Ben Wheatley
Imagine getting married to the love of your life and competing with your husband’s ex-wife’s ghost? An estate that one can only dream of turns out to be one of the biggest nightmares of her life.
Spill the sauce: The world is in a state of ghosts demanding on the living, the dead stepping out of the grave seeking nothing but revenge. The unnamed narrator decides to marry this dazzling Mr. Winter but is at her wit's end to find a dead Mrs. Winter at her lover's paradise. Will she be able to live up to everyone's expectations and work her way around?
With the classic 1940s style, the gorgeous house, the beautiful bride, and the ghost Rebecca’s scary presence through comb engravings, the thriller has a lot of exciting things to offer. Do not miss the added flavor of romance in the content.
22. The Call (2020)
Director: Chung-Hyun Lee
Cast: Park Shin-Hye, Jong-seo Jun, Sung-ryung Kim
What may seem like an innocent goodwill movie at first turns out to be much more than that. Jong-seo Jun is as magnificent as the young Sook; her power lies in her acting abilities; boy, does she keep her contained during every suspense element.
Spill the sauce: Seo-Yeon returns to her hometown after her mother's cancer diagnosis. Soon after she gets back to her home, she starts getting strange calls, her younger version from 1999 calling for help. Not just that, she also promises to bring their father back to life. But how much is this favor going to cost her? Will she end up creating a serial monster?
South Korean dramas have been amping up the thriller game for a long time, which keeps up the expectations. You should watch this film not just for the story but for the gorgeous cinematography – definitely one of the best mystery thriller movies on Netflix.
23. Bird Box (2018)
Genre: Horror Thriller
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, Sarah Paulson
Director: Susanne Bier
Based on Josh Malerman’s novel, Bird Box is brutal to its core. The story is a journey of an experimental mother striving to form a connection with her baby, start witnessing mass suicides all of a sudden, and is driven into a conquest of saving her family toward the end of the movie. You may remember this movie as the one that kept the memes coming a lot after its release.
Spill the sauce: Bird Box is divided into two time periods, five years after the end of the world and the initial days when everything started collapsing. The majority of the time, the film rolls around in flashbacks with Malorie. While casually discussing mass suicides happening on the other side of the world, Malorie and her sister end up witnessing people hurling themselves out of windows and into traffic, from a woman bashing her head into glass windows to another getting into the driver’s seat of a burning car.
Shot on a limited budget, the Bird Box keeps the audience hooked throughout the content. Bullock shows her charm, the kids are great actors, and the movie is packed with engaging dialogues. Avoid watching this one with your kids, though.
24. Time To Hunt (2020)
Genre: Crime thriller
Cast: Woo-sik Choi, Lee Je-hoon, Park Hae Soo
Director: Yoon Sung-Hyun
A Korean drama, preferably a coherent mixture of sci-fi, crime, and horror heist, Time to Hunt is here to get you an intense adrenaline rush. The movie is excellent craftsmanship of perfect acting, great cinematography accompanied by South Korean brilliancy that has always surprised us. The plot revolves around people nearing their financial crisis; pretty relatable, eh?
Spill the sauce: The film starts with a young blade releasing from prison and greeted by his friends. His immediate goal is to earn enough money for them for the robbery for which he was punished, either spent or devalued, leaving him in a critical financial crisis. And to get out of this situation and make things better, they get into ……… another robbery and gambling! Sounds stupid? Try being in their shoes and think of the horror now. It scares you to death, right?
Premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, Time to Hunt came up right before the Coronavirus lockdowns, giving everyone a perfect time to ponder the movie when the world was standing in the middle of a financial crisis. Need another push to watch the movie? One of the Parasite guys is in the film! Which one? Well, watch the film to figure it out.
25. Extraction (2020)
Genre: Action Thriller
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani
Director: Sam Hargrave
A black market mercenary with no shits to give sets upon a journey to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned crime god. Will he manage to free the son amidst an already existing ruckus of weapon dealers, drug traffickers? What problems does he face while dealing with the impossible?
Spill the sauce: What may seem like a classic hit-and-chase goons movie from the 90s is much more than that. That Chris Hemsworth charm, the rivalry he has to witness, and a string of emotions displayed in Randeep Hooda’s character convey many hidden emotions. The cherry on the cake is the action sequences in the movie that keep you on the chair the whole time.
Named Tyler Rake, the superhero mercenary is our Thor himself. The action sequences scream entertainment, and the 116 minutes of run-time are just right. Every character has a back story of their own, which seals this flick’s place on the list of best thrillers to stream on Netflix.
Which thriller movies are you binge-watching on Netflix?
That wraps up my list of the top thriller movies on Netflix, but I’d love to hear from you. So share your recommendations in the comments below! And in case you don’t have time for a full movie, you should check out the new Play Something shuffle button feature on Netflix that lets you watch fun short content from the top flicks.