20 best fantasy thrillers

Thriller is one of the most complex film genres. Only real masters of directing are able to evoke a feeling of excitement and anxiety in the viewer, and make them follow what is happening on the screen in one breath. And when it comes to fantasy, the director’s task becomes even more difficult. We have compiled a list of the best sci-fi thrillers of recent years that are sure to make you freeze with tension.


The Invisible Man (2020)

Cecilia is on the run from a rich but abusive boyfriend who has controlled her every move. Two weeks later, he leaves the girl a solid inheritance and commits suicide. But instead of a new carefree life, Cecilia is in for a nightmare: an invisible dead fiancé begins to haunt her. Or is it just imagination? The exciting plot of this fantastic film has little in common with the H. G. Wells novel of the same name, but the thriller is definitely worth your attention.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
The Invisible Man

Actors:
Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Harriet Dyer…

Country:
Australia, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
18+


Satellite (2020)

The top science fiction thrillers are continued by an interesting novelty of the domestic cinema, which was released on screens in the spring of 2020. In 1983, the Russian spacecraft Orbita-4 returns from space after an accident that killed a crew member. During the investigation of the circumstances of the incident, it turns out that a dangerous alien creature arrived on Earth along with people , who moved into the astronaut. The Russian version of the combination of a thriller with science fiction did not come out without a flaw, but this did not prevent the film from getting a fairly high rating and good reviews from the audience.

Actors:
Oksana Akinshina, Pyotr Fedorov, Fedor Bondarchuk …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
16+


Fantasy Island (2020)

Five people find themselves on a picturesque island where any dream becomes a reality. The place is run by the benevolent and helpful Mr. Roarke, who promises guests that their lives will change forever. In the list of rules in force on the island, the only item: any fantasy must live to its logical conclusion. Foreign science fiction thriller 2020 will have to be reviewed twice to understand the twisted plot.

Original title:
Fantasy Island

Actors:
Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.4, IMDb – 4.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Doctor Sleep (2019)

The film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King continues . The master of horror and mysticism has returned to the plot of the cult film The Shining, which became the basis for the best fantasy thriller of 2019. A grown-up Danny Torrance is forced to return to the abandoned Overlook Hotel after the sinister events of the distant past. Children with superpowers who are hunted by immortal beings need Danny’s help. A good continuation of Kubrick’s film is not inferior to the original.

Original title:
Doctor Sleep

Actors:
Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kylie Curran …

Country:
UK, Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Don’t Let Go (2019)

After receiving a call from Ashley’s niece, Detective Jack Radcliffe rushes to help, but is too late: the girl was killed along with her family. A desperate police officer blames himself for the death of his relatives, when he suddenly receives a call from Ashley from the past, where the terrible events have not yet happened. Will Jack be able to change the course of events? An unusual film from the producers of the acclaimed thriller Get Out is first of all worth watching for lovers of science fiction about a time loop .

Original title:
Don’t Let Go

Actors:
David Oyelowo, Storm Reid, Mykelti Williamson…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.4

Age Limits :
18+


In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

An exciting thriller with an admixture of fantasy begins with the fact that three people are killed in different parts of Philadelphia. All murders have the same handwriting, the only suspect is a black girl in a blue hoodie. Policeman Thomas Lockhart is on the trail, but loses the killer. Nine years later, events begin to repeat themselves with amazing accuracy, and the same mysterious girl is behind a similar list of murders … The new detective thriller , released on the screen thanks to Netflix, looks in one breath and surprises with an unpredictable denouement.

Original title:
In the Shadow of the Moon

Actors:
Boyd Holbrook, Cleopatra Coleman, Bokeem Woodbine …

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Outpost (2019)

Russian science fiction cinema rarely pleases the viewer, but this thriller can be recommended for viewing. A global catastrophe is taking place on Earth, as a result of which the planet is plunged into darkness and all living things die. Only a small area of ​​the planet, the Circle of Life, is unaffected by the cataclysm. A special-purpose detachment moves out of the circle to find out the causes of the disaster.

Actors:
Lukerya Ilyashenko, Pyotr Fedorov, Svetlana Ivanova …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.0, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


Silence (2019)

An expedition of speleologists to the unexplored caves of Pennsylvania ends in a nightmare for all mankind: giant bats break out. Creatures are guided only by sound, multiply at a tremendous speed and consider people only as food. The only way to remain unnoticed is not to make a sound. Fiction from Netflix in the best traditions of “A Quiet Place” has become a worthy addition to the list.

Original title:
The Silence

Actors:
Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto …

Country:
Canada, Germany, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.3

Age restrictions:
16+


During a thunderstorm (2018)

A selection of highly rated sci-fi thrillers continues with a Spanish film about a young mother and a loving wife who moves into a new home with her family. During a thunderstorm, Vera witnesses an accident with a neighbor’s boy and saves him from death. Soon the woman finds out that she has been in the past, and because of her heroic act, the present has changed: Vera no longer has a daughter, and her husband has never met her.

Original title:
Durante la tormenta

Actors:
Adriana Ugarte, Chino Darin, Javier Gutierrez…

Country:
Spain

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Others (2018)

After the death of her mother, Chloe lives with her father, who protects her daughter so much that she does not even allow her to leave the house. And no wonder, because the girl has paranormal abilities , and such children in this world are mercilessly killed. But Chloe cannot spend her whole life locked up, and everything secret becomes clear sooner or later. An interesting film with an unusual setting will delight all fans of good science fiction.

Original title:
Freaks

Actors:
Lexi Kolker, Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern …

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Perspective (2018)

The sci-fi adventure thriller tells the story of a space prospector and his teenage daughter. Together they land on a little-studied planet known for its precious minerals, but encounter unfriendly competitors. After her father dies in a shootout, taking one of her opponents with her, the girl is forced to cooperate with the second in order to survive.

:

Original title:
Prospect

Actors:
Sophie Thatcher, Pedro Pascal, Jay Duplass…

Country:
Canada, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
16+


Breathe in the dark (2018)

After a powerful earthquake, Paris is shrouded in fog, killing all life. While the few survivors wait on the rooftops, Anna and Matthew are forced to descend into the deadly darkness to save their daughter. Sarah is seriously ill and cannot leave the pressure chamber. The creators of this picture conducted an interesting experiment, mixing a whole list of genres: fantasy, thriller and disaster film .

:

Original title:
Dans la brume

Actors:
Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko, Fantine Arduin …

Country:
France, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.9, IMDb – 5.9

Age restrictions:
16+


Live (2017)

Samples of Martian soil arrive at the orbital station, in which scientists discover a frozen primitive organism. An attempt to reanimate the creature in the laboratory leads to disastrous consequences: the creature turns out to be not only unusually aggressive, but also intelligent. Fantastic hermetic thriller – a new reading of Alien, not devoid of its own original ideas.

Original title:
Life

Actors:
Hiroyuki Sanada, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Health Cure (2017)

The director of a large company leaves for treatment at a closed health center in the Alps, after which communication with him is lost. To return the leader, a young and ambitious employee is sent to the hospital. Lockhart soon realizes that the hospital is not what it seems. Director Gore Verbinski called his fantasy film a “paranoid thriller,” a description that fits him perfectly.

Original title:
A Cure for Wellness

Actors:
Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth …

Country:
USA, Germany

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Out of the car (2014)

Nathan is a brilliant inventor and billionaire who prefers a hermit life and rarely receives guests. But the young programmer Caleb was lucky, it was he who was selected by a genius to conduct several tests with his creation – the world’s first artificial intelligence. The car looks like an attractive girl named Ava, and Caleb is gradually imbued with sympathy for her …

Original title:
Ex Machina

Actors:
Domhnall Gleason, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.7

Age Limits :
16+


World War Z (2013)

Continuing our list of the best thriller and sci-fi films about the dizzying adventures of former UN investigator Jerry Lane. The film about the journey would not have a place in our selection, if not for one circumstance: the world is engulfed in an epidemic of a zombie virus, and if Jerry does not have time, humanity will never see a vaccine against it. The creators of the thriller were able to add new colors to the not-so-popular zombie apocalypse.

Original title:
World War Z

Actors:
Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Sterling Jerins, Moritz Bleibtreu…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
12+


Areas of Darkness (2011)

NRT is a drug that opens up unprecedented possibilities of the brain. The pill turns a person into a genius for a while, and poor writer Eddie Mauriat, who accidentally took possession of the whole pack, uses NRT to solve his life’s problems and improve his financial situation. But Eddie doesn’t yet know about the whole list of side effects, or about how many powerful people are after the drug.

Original title:
Limitless

Actors:
Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Source Code (2011)

Our list of the best fantasy thrillers would be incomplete without this film. Corporal Colter Stevens wakes up in a bullet train car in the body of a stranger. While he’s trying to figure out what’s going on, the train explodes and all the passengers die. Now Colter will have to relive these terrible moments again and again in order to find out the causes of the explosion and find the terrorist .

Original title:
Source Code

Actors:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monahan, Vera Farmiga…

Country:
USA, Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
12+


Reality Changers (2011)

David is a popular congressman and presidential candidate. Eliza is an ordinary ballerina. A chance meeting changes their lives forever, but the lovers do not yet know about the existence of an invisible and omnipotent Correction Bureau, which ensures that people’s destinies correspond to the Plan. And the Plan says that David and Eliza were never supposed to meet…

Original title:
The Adjustment Bureau

Actors:
Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
12+


Time (2011)

The top films that combine thriller and fantasy genres close the movie about the future, in which people no longer die of old age, and time has become the only currency in the world. Every person has a clock on his arm that counts down the seconds to death, and the only way to delay the end is to earn more. The rich have millions of years in the bank, the poor, like Will, live one day, barely having time to earn the next day. But one day, Will accidentally gets 115 years old. How will he manage his time?

Original title:
In Time

Actors:
Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Vincent Kartheiser, Olivia Wilde…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
12+


Other fantasy thrillers

  • Possessor (2020)
  • Wish Room (2019)
  • Chernobyl: Exclusion Zone. Final (2019)
  • Countdown (2019)
  • Battle for Earth (2019)
  • Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
  • Robot Child (2018)
  • Anon (2018)
  • The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
  • High Society (2018)
  • Honeymoon (2018)
  • Local (2018)
  • Paradise Hills (2018)
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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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