6. Coherence (2013, James Ward Byrkit)
“Coherence” is not so much a recent movie as much as it is an overlooked movie. It is a thrilling sci-fi flick with an impactful concept to be enjoyed by any philosophy or physics lover. “Coherence” illustrates a certain thought experiment and does that spectacularly.
A group of friends gather for a dinner party on a night of a predicted astronomic phenomenon. Suddenly, paranormal events start to take place, which test the sanity of the group. The plot really succeeds in delivering an unsettling and mind-bending effect.
This movie is James Ward Byrkit’s directorial debut, produced on a low budget (only $50,000). He did not want to shoot the movie in a traditional way, so there was no crew, script, or special effects in the production. Yet it is an indie masterpiece that has multiple strengths to it: convincing cast, mature storytelling, and more than enough food for thought.
7. Don’t Breathe (2016, Fede Alvarez)
The dark and brooding way in which “Don’t Breathe” tells its horror story is effective and infectious. In this movie, we get to see the brilliant Dylan Minnette before his days on the TV series “13 Reasons Why”, and here he is no less powerful.
The three small time crooks Rocky, Money, and Alex have hopes and dreams of leaving Michigan and running away to California to find a better life for themselves. This could be realized if they accomplish their last robbery. Unfortunately, the seemingly simple task of a home invasion does not go as smoothly as anticipated.
“Don’t Breathe” is a fascinating movie because it confuses you about who is the villain, and who is the victim in this story. As unrealistic as the plot sometimes gets, it does not take away from the immense suspense that “Don’t Breathe” succeeds in building.
8. Nocturnal Animals (2016, Tom Ford)
After the success of “A Single Man” (2009), the world-renowned fashion designer Tom Ford wrote and directed his second movie “Nocturnal Animals”, which was praised by critics as well. It received Golden Globe nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay, and 9 BAFTA nominations, among many other awards and nominations.
“Nocturnal Animals” is Tom Ford’s adaptation of the book “Tony and Susan” by Austin Wright. The book and the movie describe one of the most dreadful imaginable scenarios that could happen to a family. A husband, wife, and daughter are travelling on a desolate road at night when their car gets attacked by another car with three strange men. The attitude of these men keeps changing from helpful to aggressive, which keeps the audience guessing about what their motivation is.
“Nocturnal Animals” is as thrilling as dramas get. It is full of symbolism that genially discusses the relation between fiction and reality. On top of that, it features remarkable performances by Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, and others.
9. The Invisible Guest (2016, Oriol Paulo)
“The Invisible Guest” is a Spanish crime thriller. It tells the story about Mr. Doria who gets knocked unconscious by an intruder in a hotel room and then awakens to find his lover murdered right next to him. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to suspect anyone other than Mr. Doria himself, so in a classic ‘whodunit’ thriller style, a distinguished lawyer slowly collects clues to dissect the truth of what really happened in order to build a defense case.
The plot is immersing: it has numerous twists and turns, and not in a particularly predictable fashion. The solid cinematography and vivid storytelling leave little to be desired. It is no surprise, then, that this movie was a huge commercial success and has recently been remade once by Italians in 2018, and even twice by Indians in 2019.
10. The Vanishing (2018, Kristoffer Nyholm)
Inspired by a true story, “The Vanishing” is a psychological drama about three lighthouse keepers on a small island and their strange disappearance. The movie is a speculation on what might have happened there 119 years ago when the island was found empty without a trace of the whereabouts of the three men.
The actual events could have occurred in a much duller way, but the fiction presented by “The Vanishing” does a great job to entertain. At its most tense moments, the tension could be cut with a knife.
Another thick aspect to “The Vanishing” is the beautiful Scottish accents. The authenticity of such an element, as well as the gorgeous Scotland locations, create a real and thrilling atmosphere. The story gets under your skin as it makes you worry about the fate of the main characters played by Peter Mullan, Gerard Butler, and Connor Swindells.