There’s no denying the heart-pounding delights of a masterful thriller movie. A genre pioneered by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and James Whale, the thriller genre has been refined over and over again through the ages of cinema — imbuing the classic narrative design with influences from genres like drama, horror, and even comedy. For those seeking an effective thriller (or hundreds of them), perhaps to get in the Halloween spirit or just get a jolt of adrenaline, Hulu is a great place to go diving. To help you pick a gem, we’ve rounded up the best thriller movies on Hulu this month.

Hulu isn’t the only streaming platform around. Thankfully, we’ve also put together guides to the best thrillers on Netflix, the best thrillers on Amazon Prime Video, and the best horror movies on Netflix as well if you want to crank up the terror! 

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The Guilty (2018)

Remade as a Netflix film starring Jake Gyllenhaal, the 2018 original is a Danish film starring Jakob Cedergren as Asger Holm, a police officer awaiting trial for the killing of a 19-year-old while on duty. Assigned to emergency dispatch the night before his hearing, Asger takes a call from a woman that claims to be abducted. Doing everything he can to assist the kidnapped caller, Asger soon finds himself embroiled in a thick game of cat-and-mouse with little intel to assist him in his race against the clock. A sparse but brutally effective thriller, The Guilty was co-writer-director Gustav Möller’s debut feature — a great splash of a caper that introduced the international auteur to the cinematic landscape.

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%
Stars: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Omar Shargawi
Director: Gustav Möller
Rating: R
Runtime: 85 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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Fear of Rain (2021)

One of the best types of thriller films is one where you can’t even trust the main character. Such is the case with writer-director Castille Landon’s Fear of Rain. Starring Madison Iseman as Rain Burroughs, a teenage girl diagnosed with schizophrenia, Rain begins experiencing a series of disturbing, so-called hallucinations. Fearing something is awry at her neighbor’s house, Rain’s parents don’t believe her. Recruiting the awkward new kid at school (Israel Broussard) to help her investigate, we soon discover that Rain’s horrific visions may be all too real. Fear of Rain is a stone’s throw away from movies like Disturbia and Rear Window, but strong performances and an intriguing narrative keep you invested throughout.

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Stars: Katherine Heigl, Madison Iseman, Israel Broussard
Director: Castille Landon
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 92 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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Silk Road (2021)

Silk Road is based on all-too-disturbing true-life events. Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) creates Silk Road, a Dark Web site that was the first of its kind. But when the hub becomes an illegal trading space for drug traffickers, DEA agent Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke) enters the fold. Bringing the powers of the DEA and U.S. Secret Service down on the platform, Bowden and his cohorts will do everything in their power to put an end to Ulbricht’s unforeseen empire. A sleek cyber-thriller, Silk Road combines great performances with a true-crime narrative that takes a few of its own liberties (some not so great) — but we still dig the end result.

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Stars: Jason Clarke, Nick Robinson, Katie Aselton
Director: Tiller Russell
Rating: R
Runtime: 116 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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Arrival (2015)

Grieving linguistics instructor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is summoned by the U.S. government for the task of a lifetime: Use every trick available in her repertoire of language skills to make contact with several extraterrestrial spacecrafts that have descended to Earth. While an undeniable sci-fi backbone runs through the core of the film, Arrival‘s thriller elements come to light through the sheer urgency of the planet’s situation. If Louise can’t communicate with the interstellar visitors quickly enough, the world as we know it may come to an end.

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 116 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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Jack Reacher (2012)

Based on the Lee Child book series, Jack Reacher stars Tom Cruise as the titular protagonist, an ex-Army homicide investigator. When a trained sniper shoots five people dead with no apparent motive, the authorities bring Reacher into the mix to help them determine if the suspect in question is truly their guy. But it seems that the further down the rabbit hole Reacher goes, the more enigmatic the case becomes. Touting several high-adrenaline action sequences that’ll have you glued to the edge of your couch cushions, Jack Reacher still packs in plenty of thrills close to 10 years after it first hit theaters.

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall
Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 130 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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Lords of Chaos (2018)

The true story of Norwegian black-metal band Mayhem is packed with enough madness and violence to send anyone’s head spinning. In director Jonas Akerlund’s interpretation of the band’s infamy, Rory Culkin stars as Euronymous, the guitarist of Mayhem. Hoping to get the band into the morbid limelight of the ’90s black-metal scene, all bets are off as Euronymous plunges deep into a world of violence and destruction, fulfilling shades of his sinister hubris. In terms of onscreen carnage, Lords of Chaos isn’t the easiest film to watch, although the story of Mayhem’s evil leanings is hard to pull away from once you’ve invested five minutes or less.

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Stars: Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Sky Ferreira
Director: Jonas Akerlund
Rating: R
Runtime: 112 minutes

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The Conversation (1974)

In Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, Gene Hackman stars as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert and jazz saxophonist. At the beginning of the film, Harry’s security services are enlisted by one Martin Stett, a client who wants Harry to tail and record the conversation of a couple in San Francisco’s Union Square. When Harry puts mics to their private conversation, tragic memories and guilt quickly boil to the surface as Harry begins reliving the consequences of a failed wire-tap job that left three people dead. Will the San Francisco couple face the same fate? Featuring a stellar leading-man performance from Hackman, The Conversation doesn’t collect as much notoriety as Ford Coppola’s larger ’70s outings (The Godfather, especially), but it’s a gem you don’t want to miss.

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Stars: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Rating: R
Runtime: 113 minutes

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Take Shelter (2011)

Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is at the tip of the blue-collar iceberg. Employed as a construction worker, Curtis, along with his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain), struggles to make ends meet for their small family, rounded out by their hearing-impaired daughter, Hannah (Tova Stewart), and the family dog, Red. When Curtis begins experiencing horrific visions of an apocalyptic storm cell encroaching on his property, his larger-than-life waking terrors lead him to build an underground storm shelter, a financial burden that he attempts to hide from his spouse, while enlisting the help of concerned acquaintances — particularly his best friend, Dewart (Shea Whigham). An emotional thriller about familial hardship and the trials of blue-collar livelihood, Take Shelter is a pulse-pounding slow-burner that will leave you glued to your seat.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham
Director: Jeff Nichols
Rating: R
Runtime: 123 minutes

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The Secrets We Keep (2020)

In the post-World War II suburbs of America, Romanian immigrant Maja (Noomi Rapace) lives with her husband and young son. Still plagued by visions of horrific war crimes committed against her, Maja’s seemingly tranquil surface level is deeply disturbed when she encounters a man walking her streets, a gentleman she recognizes as an ex-SS officer who attacked her years before. What follows is a spiraling story of despair, regret, and past lives resurfacing. While not reinventing the genre, The Secrets We Keep leans successfully on its central talents, particularly Rapace. A Hitchcock-inspired thriller for modern-day audiences, we found it more than fitting for inclusion.

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%
Stars: Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Chris Messina
Director: Yuval Adler
Rating: R
Runtime: 98 minutes

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Angel of Mine (2019)

A remake of the 2008 French film Mark of an Angel, Angel of Mine stars Noomi Rapace as Lizzie, a grieving mother who lost her infant daughter in a tragic hospital fire … supposedly. Years later, Lizzie is raising her second child, Thomas (Finn Little), with her ex-husband, Mike (Luke Evans). When a chance encounter with a young girl at a birthday party leads Lizzie to believe the youth is actually her daughter, the distraught parent goes to extreme lengths to form a bond with the child — truly believing her to be the daughter she lost almost a decade before. A gripping domestic thriller from start to finish, Angel of Mine hits all the right dramatic beats, making for a satisfying (albeit slightly predictable) film.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Stars: Noomi Rapace, Yvonne Strahovski, Luke Evans
Director: Kim Farrant
Rating: R
Runtime: 98 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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The Nightingale (2018)

Writer-director Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale is a pulse-pounding Australian Western set in the rugged Tasmania of 1825. Clare (Aisling Franciosi), an Irish convict working for a Colonial brigade, is tragically besieged by a British officer and a small group of his comrades, men of esteemed ranks within the colony. Swearing revenge for the devastation brought upon her, Clare employs the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy to hunt down the man that showed her family no mercy. A brutal thriller built on trauma, loss, and bloodshed, The Nightingale doesn’t take a breath for its two-hour-plus runtime, but it’s a kinetic pace that’s impossible to turn away from.

 Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Stars: Aisling Franciosi, Sam Claflin, Damon Herriman
Director: Jennifer Kent
Rating: R
Runtime: 136 minutes

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Bound (1996)

Before their major success with The Matrix, the Wachowski siblings took the world by storm with their feature debut, Bound. Jennifer Tilly stars as Violet, the mistress of intimidating gangster Caesar (Joe Pantoliano). Hoping to break away from her domineering lover, Violet falls for an ex-con, Corky (Gina Gershon), a next-door neighbor. After the women enter into an affair, they concoct a plan to steal millions of dollars in mob cash, a daring plot that simply cannot go wrong, or they’ll be faced with death. A shoestring effort that paid off, Bound is renowned for its humor, performances, and bountiful homages to the noir genre.

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano
Director: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
Rating: R
Runtime: 108 minutes

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Alone (2020)

Alone stars Jules Willcox as Jessica, a widowed woman in the midst of relocating her life. On the car drive from her old stomping grounds to her new home, she encounters a mysterious stranger (Marc Menchaca) — a presence that pops up at several waypoints along Jessica’s route. After an unwelcome confrontation, Jessica awakens in the basement of the man’s home. She’s able to escape, but not without the stranger giving chase. A tense match of humans vs. wilderness, Alone is smartly scripted, passionately acted, and perfectly shot.

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Stars: Jules Willcox, Marc Menchaca, Anthony Heald
Director: John Hyams
Rating: R
Runtime: 98 minutes

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12 Hour Shift (2020)

In 12 Hour Shift, Angela Bettis stars as Mandy, a nurse with a drug problem. To fuel her fixes, she and her co-worker, Karen (Nikea Gamby-Turner), have set up an operation to transport patient organs into the hands of black-market men. After bringing her cousin, Regina (Chloe Farnworth), onboard, a mixup with a kidney unfurls a chain of horrific events as Nicholas (Mick Foley), Mandy’s trafficker, demands the organs. Mandy and her team must turn to a deeper kind of diabolical deed to pay up, or risk their very lives if they fail. A powerful siege thriller with an incredible female ensemble, 12 Hour Shift will make you wonder exactly what’s going on behind the scenes at your local hospital or doctor’s office. Hopefully not anything on display in this film.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Angela Bettis, David Arquette, Chloe Farnworth
Director: Brea Grant
Rating: R
Runtime: 86 minutes

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The Clovehitch Killer (2018)

In The Clovehitch Killer, Dylan McDermott stars as Don. A beloved scoutmaster and endearing father figure, it’s easy for his son, Tyler (Charlie Plummer), to look up to him … that is until Tyler discovers a trove of horrific photographs in his father’s possession. The unearthing of images plants a seed in Tyler’s mind that his dear parent may actually be the infamous “Clovehitch Killer,” a serial murderer who vanished without a trace 10 years prior. In this ultra-compelling slow burn of a feature, director Duncan Skiles brings remarkable tension and hyper-cinematography to a tight script by Christopher Ford.

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Stars: Dylan McDermott, Charlie Plummer, Samantha Mathias, Madisen Beaty
Director: Duncan Skiles
Rating: R
Runtime: 110 minutes

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what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Rent-A-Pal (2020)

Rent-A-Pal stars Brian Landis Folkins as David, an ill-dressed loner looking for a companion of any kind. When the recluse comes into possession of a mysterious VHS tape “Rent-A-Pal,” the man takes to the charismatic host on the TV screen, a man named Andy (Wil Wheaton). As David takes to Andy’s onscreen company, the vicarious friendship quickly devolves into something more sinister. Led by incredible performances and an imaginative and poignant story, Rent-A-Pal shows no mercy, neither to its characters or its audience.

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%
Stars: Wil Wheaton, Brian Landis Folkins, Kathleen Brady
Director: Jon Stevenson
Rating: R
Runtime: 108 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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She Dies Tomorrow (2020)

Remember that party you went to where everyone thought they were going to die? Neither do we, but if Amy (Kate Lyn Sheil) from She Dies Tomorrow mentions her own impending death to you, you too will be consumed by her existential doom. Writer/director Amy Seimetz is back with this bizarre and heady feature in which an entire town comes to believe that each denizen will walk the plank to their grave … tomorrow. Funny, moody, and filled with homages to the dark world of David Lynch, She Dies Tomorrow gets a double thumbs-up from us.

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Stars: Kate Lyn Sheil, Jane Adams, Kentucker Audley
Director: Amy Seimetz
Rating: R
Runtime: 84 minutes

Watch on Hulu

what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Shirley (2020)

Free room and board is never a bad deal, that is unless your proprietors are a psychologically disturbed horror novelist and her domineering college professor husband. In Josephine Decker’s Shirley (an adaptation of the Susan Scarf Merrell novel of the same name) Elisabeth Moss plays the title role of Shirley Jackson, delivering a subtle but deeply disturbing portrait of the challenged author. Rose and Fred Nemser, the young couple that takes up residence at the Jackson home, are soon engulfed in a world of nightmarish proportions and strange sexual undertones. A mind-trip for sure, Shirley is all about the slow descent of all characters into Shirley’s personal hell. Misery loves company, they say.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young
Director: Josephine Decker
Rating: R
Runtime: 107 minutes

Watch on Hulu

what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Run (2020)

Sarah Paulson is having a moment — well, she’s always having a moment. The star actress is capping off the year with Run, an intense thriller originally set for theatrical release on Mother’s Day 2020, instead now exclusive to Hulu. Paulson stars as a mother who seems to be harboring a deep secret, as her isolated daughter Chloe is slowly discovering. Kiera Allen, who plays Chloe, matches Paulson scene for scene and advances the conversation about representation in film, as Allen is a wheelchair-bound actress. Run is the highlight of original movies that arrived to the streaming service in November.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Stars: Sarah Paulson, Kiera Allen, Pat Healy
Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 90 minutes

Watch on Hulu

what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Parasite (2019)

Arguably the most talked-about movie of 2019, director Bong Joon-ho hit it out of the park with this black comedy thriller about a poor family in South Korea who, in an attempt to improve their dire straits, hatch a seemingly clever plan. They each recommend one another for a job working for a wealthy family when, in reality, not a single one of them is qualified to fill the position they get. Sweeping the Academy Awards with four Oscars, including two of the most coveted ones, Best Picture and Best Director, the film transcends language and culture and gets right to the heart of issues like social inequality and wealth disparity.

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Stars: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun, Jang Hye-jin
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Rating: R
Runtime: 132 minutes

Watch on Hulu

what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Prisoners (2013)

Jails aren’t the only prisons. Prisoners stars Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover, a man whose child was kidnapped on Thanksgiving, along with one of the daughter’s friends. Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is tasked with finding the girls and bringing the kidnapper to justice. Dover eventually takes things into his own hands and both he and Loki deploy less-than-legal techniques to locate the victims. Jackman and Gyllenhaal both give passionate, stripped-down performances that resonate long after the credits roll, while the movie never drops its thrilling element, leaving audiences in suspense until the end.

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Rating: R
Runtime: 153 minutes

Watch on Hulu

what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Destroyer (2018)

A former undercover cop seeks revenge on the gang she was once embedded in, more than a decade after a bank robbery the gang committed. If the plot doesn’t drive you to watch Destroyer, the tour de force performance of Nicole Kidman should. Even though the film was a box office flop, Kidman gave it her all, turning in a remarkable performance that sheds any previous notions of limitations she has as an actress. Dark, gritty, and unrelenting, Destroyer is a tremendous trip that should go down as one of Kidman’s greatest cinematic roles, one which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Star: Nicole Kidman
Director: Karyn Kusama
Rating: R
Runtime: 121 minutes

Watch on Hulu

what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Eye in the Sky (2015)

The film marks the late Alan Rickman’s last live-action project and was dedicated to his memory. Exploring the ethics of drone warfare, it is set in Nairobi, Kenya, where an undercover British/Kenyan agent has been murdered by a terrorist group and the hunt begins to take them down. British Army Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) must decide if she should give the go-ahead for a missile attack to take out suicide bombers. But there’s a wrench in the plan: an innocent young girl is on the premises and there’s a high probability she would be killed, too. The film truly makes you examine the question, what is the cost of war?

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman, Barkhad Abdi, Jeremy Northam, Iain Glen
Director: Gavin Hood
Rating: R
Runtime: 102 minutes

Watch on Hulu

what to watch, thrillers, streaming tv, hulu, best thrillers

Coherence (2014)

If you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller, this one might satisfy your craving. After a comet passes by while friends are enjoying a dinner party, there’s a strange power outage; then, strange things start to happen. The friends discover a box with photos of themselves at a dinner party set for eight in an empty house across the street. It turns out the other house is an alternate, a sort of upside-down, bizarro carbon copy of the world, with identical replicas of each person there, just as confused as they are. It’s like a twisty, mind-bending funhouse come to life, and viewers will enjoy going along for the ride.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stars: Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon
Director: James Ward Byrkit
Rating: NR
Runtime: 88 minutes

Watch on Hulu

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