Some people like to drink green tea and meditate to wind down after a long week. Other people like to rock climb and skydive to blow off some steam. Then there’s a third group of people-presumably including you-who like the adrenaline rush of a good scare, but don’t want to leave the couch to get it. That’s why we’re giving you what you want: the best nail-biting thrillers you can find on Amazon Prime. So check your windows and doors to make sure they’re locked, turn on all the lights, and sit on the edge of your seat, because you’re in for a wild ride.
This indie is a sharp, pleasantly nasty tale about women and murder in a tiny Maine town. The movie, by Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, opens with a chorus of burly fishermen singing the sea shanty that gives the film its title, but it quickly grows disinterested in any of the dudes. Sophie Lowe and Morgan Saylor, the latter of whom is best known as Dana Brody on Homeland, play the Connelly sisters. The day of their mother’s funeral, Saylor’s Mary Beth acts out, absconds to a bar, and takes up with a shady character who she ends up accidentally killing. That incident leads the siblings to discover a whole new seedy facet of their community. Blow the Man Down is constantly tense, and features wonderfully prickly performances from the likes of Margo Martindale, who plays the brothel owner next door. Watch it now on Amazon
Clear and Present Danger (1994)
Maybe you’ve seen Amazon’s Jack Ryan series starring sitcom-nice-boy-turned-action-hero John Krasinski. But the CIA agent character from Tom Clancy’s popular book series has been around for a lot longer than the 2010s, and the ultimate action star Harrison Ford took on the role for the big screen in the ’90s. While Patriot Games is Ford’s first appearance in the political thriller franchise, you can strap in and enjoy the blockbuster patriotism of Clear and Present Danger all the same. Featuring Ryan on a mission to intervene with the Colombian drug cartel, the schmaltzy espionage action never stops. Watch it now on Amazon
The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (2010)
This Swedish book series was a worldwide phenomenon, and Amazon Prime has all three of its original film adaptations available as an easily bingeable extended-edition miniseries. Broken down into six 90-minute episodes, the saga of hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and journalist Mikael Blomkvist unfolds with enough murder, sexual violence, concealed identities, and techno-stalking to keep even the most hardened of mystery buffs enthralled. Rent it now on Amazon
Gemini Man (2019)
Playing a retired assassin and his younger clone, who hunts him down with deadly accuracy, the Will Smith brings sensitivity, wisdom, and humor to bear on a challenging double role that might have felt cheesy in less experienced hands. Confronted with his own capacity to kill, you feel his pain and his bewilderment as his violent past catches up with him. Like he did with 2003’s underrated Hulk, director Ang Lee finds psychological nuance in cheesy B-movie material, staging bullet-ridden action set-pieces that push technological limits while still reflecting heavier themes about identity, guilt, and the passage of time. Watch it now on Amazon
The Handmaiden (2016)
Some movies splash across the screen, others turn scenes into bold brushstrokes. The Handmaiden, an erotic thriller with twists and turns and thrusts aplenty, is Park Chan-wook’s drip painting. Set in 1930s Korea, the movie follows Sook-hee, a pickpocket, who slips undercover into the staff of a sheltered heiress, with hopes of luring the deep-pocketed woman into the romantic grasp of her con-man partner in crime. The problem: Sook-hee falls madly, lustfully in love with her target. In The Handmaiden, single, sensual drops-a prolonged glance, the zipping up of a dress, whispered white lies-fan out through the entire two-and-a-half-hour narrative into the unexpected. Watch it now on Amazon
High Life (2019)
French filmmaker Claire Denis makes movies that claw at the brain and activate the senses, and with High Life, she crafted a story that’s equal parts heady prison thriller, psycho-sexual medical mystery, and bong-rip journey through the cosmos. Bouncing backwards and forwards in chronology, the story tracks quiet inmate Monte (Robert Pattinson) as he raises a baby in a cavernous, dorm-like shuttle in one timeline and attempts to thwart the secretive plans of an oddball scientist (Juliette Binoche) in another thread. Exactly how Monte ends up alone with the baby, playing the role of single parent in the stars, would be the central question of a more conventional sci-fi narrative, and there are surprising plot twists and shocking violent acts committed here. But Denis fills the movie with curious images and wild ideas that complicate the dystopian set-up. High Life resists the solutions of puzzle-box filmmaking, choosing instead to explore its own perilous terrain of desire. Watch it now on Amazon
I’m Your Woman (2020)
This film from director Julia Hart (Fast Color) is a ’70s gangster story that defies all of the tropes of what you expect when you read “’70s gangster story.” The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Rachel Brosnahan plays Jean, a new mother and wife of a mobster. When she’s told that her husband in in trouble and she needs to disappear in the middle of the night, Jean is forced into a life of isolation that forces her to reckon with her own ignorance. There’s a deliberate slowness to the narrative-an almost carefulness, like someone tiptoeing around a room so as not to be heard-even as it is punctuated by bursts of action. Watch it now on Amazon
Have you ever found yourself on a vacation trip you immediately regretted? Weird people, freaky food, uncomfortable lodgings, and all you can do is try your best to grin and bear it until you can finally return home? We’ve all been there, and now there’s a supremely creepy new “folk horror” story from horror auteur Ari Aster (Hereditary) that captures that discomfort perfectly. In a nutshell, four college friends, plus one of the group’s grieving girlfriends (Florence Pugh), decide to visit an obscure Swedish festival deep in the Scandinavian forest-and things quickly go from odd to uncomfortable to downright horrific. To say much more would ruin the dreadful fun. Watch it now on Amazon
The Report (2019)
When Zero Dark Thirty came out in 2012, controversy erupted whether or not it was accurate in claiming that American torture practices played a role in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. Seven years later, The Reportcalled bullshit on that aspect of Kathryn Bigelow’s film. But the value of The Report is not just cinematic in-fighting. Director Scott Z. Burns has made an enthralling film about Daniel Jones (Adam Driver), who authored the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the inhumanity and inefficiency of the CIA’s torture tactics in the wake of 9/11, offering an exacting play-by-play of his work, from its inception to the attempted suppression of the information he uncovered. Though it sometimes slides into book report territory, the level of talent on screen keeps it fascinating. Driver lends Jones sober-minded compassion for his task, while Annette Bening is a dead ringer for Senator Dianne Feinstein. It’s a smart, fair indictment of US policies that spares no one. Watch it now on Amazon
Road to Perdition (2002)
Sam Mendes’ followup to American Beauty, Road to Perdition is an epic revenge and redemption tale. Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins, the film tells the story of a mob enforcer (Tom Hanks) who takes to the road with his son after a hit goes wrong and one of his associates attempts to take out his family. Mendes crafts a frigid atmosphere as Hanks’ Michael Sullivan treks across 1930s America. Anchored by themes of father-son relationships, it’s a dark mob story with emotional resonance that transcends its violence. Watch it now on Amazon
This ’70s inspired espionage blockbuster was originally written with Tom Cruise in mind, but producers ended up flipping the script and casting Angelina Jolie as the titular CIA operative instead. Doing so gave the actress an opportunity to reframe her mettle as an action star many years after being a sexy Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, here playing a potential Russian double agent on the run when she’s accused of being involved in a plan to assassinate the Russian president. Jolie brings the heat in each thrilling, Bond-inspired sequence, largely holding the movie together even when its plot holes prove to be ridiculous. Regardless, we’re still holding out for that long-rumored sequel. Watch it now on Amazon
The Uninvited (2009)
Stepmothers have gotten a bad rap in fiction, and The Uninvited leans into this nightmare of a fairytale-trope with all of its weight. The movie centers on a young woman named Anna (Emily Browning) who returns home from a stint in the hospital following a suicide attempt after the disturbing death of her mother, only to find her father remarried to her late mother’s former nurse. Not only is she haunted by what feels like an entirely new home life, but she also sees visions of her dead mother yearning for her to uncover the truth of her death. The plot may be pretty predictable, but there’s a handful of frights that will leave you just as fearful as Anna in her own home. Watch it now on Amazon
The set-up of Unsane alone is interesting: The impressively eclectic Steven Soderbergh tackles full-bore horror with a movie shot entirely with an iPhone camera. But is it any good? Survey says: thankfully, yes. It’s a noir-style paranoia thriller about a troubled woman (Claire Foy) who unwittingly signs herself up to be remanded to an asylum, and things get even twistier from there. Watch it now on Amazon
A Vigilante (2018)
With a title like A Vigilante, you might expect this film to be some sort of gun-totting, relentless revenge movie. The indie thriller is much more somber and realist than that, held down by its phenomenal performance from Olivia Wilde as a domestic abuse survivor who takes it upon herself to help others escape unsafe households. An unflinching look at the trauma people endure and the lengths they must go to leave tough situations, the film is not an easy watch, but it’s more raw and rewarding than most of the vigilante tales you’ve seen before it. Watch it now on Amazon
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
Horror at its most primal. Director Lynne Ramsay teams up with the incredible Tilda Swinton for a stylized, psychologically rich portrait of a mother sent into crisis after her son commits an unforgivable crime. Featuring winning turns from John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller, the movie explores visceral, ugly truths without blinking. It’s the type of movie that will get you talking-unless you’re left in stunned silence. Watch it now on Amazon
Wind River (2017)
Taylor Sheridan was on a streak after writing the machismo-subverting Sicario and Hell or High Water, and his directorial debut, a slimmed-down, snowy thriller, continued that streak. While tracking three mountain lions, a hunter-for-hire (Jeremy Renner) stumbles upon the body of a young girl, frozen in a deserted patch of a Native American reservation. When a young FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) arrives to investigate, he’s recruited to navigate the harsh Wyoming countryside (and the even harsher residents). Stoic and steady, the show-burn mystery relies heavily on the tundra atmosphere, and when anyone in the movie takes a shot, the bullet doesn’t simply fly through the air, but thunders through the canyons and plows through prey like a cannonball. Watch it now on Amazon
You Were Never Really Here (2018)
You’ve seen hitman movies, but you’ve never seen Lynne Ramsay’s hitman movie. The Scottish director, who many first discovered with 2002’s elliptical nightlife odyssey Morvern Callar, can take a John Wick-ian premise and invest it with new meaning by reframing it from an askew angle. This crime story, adapted from a novella by Bored to Death writer Jonathan Ames, is about an ex-soldier named Joe (Phoenix) who finds himself tasked with recovering a kidnapped girl amidst a sinister political conspiracy involving human trafficking. What makes it so special? Between Phoenix’s muted performance, Jonny Greenwood’s string-drenched score, and Ramsay’s expressive jump-cuts, every image crackles with energy, style, and possibility. It’s a death-obsessed movie vibrating with life. Watch it now on Amazon
David Fincher’s period drama is for obsessives. In telling the story of the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer who captured the public imagination by sending letters and puzzles to the Bay Area press, the famously meticulous director zeroes in on the cops, journalists, and amateur code-breakers who made identifying the criminal their life’s work. With Jake Gyllenhaal’s cartoonist-turned-gumshoe Robert Graysmith at the center, and Robert Downey Jr.’s barfly reporter Paul Avery stumbling around the margins, the film stretches across time and space, becoming a rich study of how people search for meaning in life. Zodiac is a procedural thriller that makes digging through old manilla folders feel like a cosmic quest. Watch it now on AmazonNeed help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.
Follow the Thrillist Entertainment editors on Twitter: @ThrillistEnt.
Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.