“The concept of “thriller” falls somewhere between a genre proper and a descriptive quality that is attached to other, more clearly defined genres – such as spy thriller, detective thriller, horror thriller. There is possibly no such thing as a pure, freestanding “thriller thriller.” (Thrillers by Martin Rubin). Already I am treading on dangerous ground, so I shall try to be clear: I am looking at 10 films that, quite simply, “thrill.”
Thrillers succeed in providing suspense, more often than not by exploring the darker side of life. I am looking at films that make the nightmares real and reality nightmares. Thrillers are about the presence of “certain feelings in excess” (Rubin). We are vulnerable as an audience and are allowing ourselves to be emotionally manhandled. We’ll be shocked, horrified, swept away and generally taken on the “roller coaster ride” that is the cliché we all love so much.
As this genre is such an unstable one, I feel I must apologise if there are certain favourites that have been missed out; for example, I considered including The Shining, but it is considered by most to be a horror rather than a thriller. This is THE list to look at if you’re trying to find a film that will liven you up a bit in these cold, dozy winter months!