The thriller genre is highly diverse, ranging from action-packed films to dark comedies and psychological dramas. The slow burn, intricate plots, and uncertainty inherent to thrillers provide independent filmmakers with a platform for experimentation and creativity. Here’s a selection of 10 independent cinema thrillers.
IMDb rating: 7.5; Rotten tomamtes 83%
Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dar Salim
The Russian translation “translator” does not reflect the meaning of the film. “Covenant” has the meaning of an obligation, a covenant, a contract. Although Guy Ritchie makes brutal films that glorify “strength in truth” and sometimes luck, this film is quite a statement, inspired by the work of Afghan translators on American bases. It is also about thinking about the consequences of political decisions and making responsibilities to those societies that have been affected. The action takes place in Afghanistan, where, after a failed reconnaissance mission, local translator Ahmed rescues American Sergeant John Kinley. He drags him along mountain paths, risking his life. Returning to America, John Kinley learns that there is a bounty on Ahmed’s head and he is forced to go into hiding.
IMDb rating: 6.1; Rotten tomamtes-92%
Director: Curtis David Harder
Starring: Emily Tennant, Cassandra Noe, Rory J. Saper and Sarah Canning
Addressing the current topic of social networks adds zest to the thriller. Madison is an influencer with enough Instagram followers to travel the world in luxury. She seems to have the perfect life. But Madison is forced to go on her new trip to Thailand alone, as her boyfriend and manager Ryan is left behind to finish things off. She feels lonely, but continues to film herself, her food, her outfits for her subscribers. She meets a charming stranger, Si Vi, who knows Thailand well at a bar. The girls begin to become friends while visiting the most beautiful and interesting places. One day they go to a desert island to take a break from their cell phones and social media, but the adventure turns out to be completely different from what they expected.
For all its bloody horror, the film is ironic at us, who have transferred our lives to the comfortable and safe world of social networks, forgetting that reality can be dangerous. Here, around every next turn, an unpredictable catastrophe or deception awaits us. Our created image can be transformed and influence the opinions of subscribers.
IMDb rating: 6.2; Rotten tomamtes-70%
Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Quintessa Swindell, Esai Morales
The film is part of the male trilogy “The Shepherd’s Diary” and “Cold Reckoning” by Paul Schrader and turned out to be the weakest of them. The setting is an elegant country house with beautiful gardens in Louisiana. Obviously, this is a former plantation with all the unspoken racial tensions that come with it. The estate is run by a powerful lady named Mrs. Norma Haverhill.
The manager of the gardens, Narvel Roth, is a silent stoic with a top button fastening, he trusts his thoughts and feelings only to his diary. Narvel uses his passion for gardening as a way to bury his mysterious past. Alas, Narvel’s tranquil world is shattered when Norma asks the gardener to take on his young great-niece Maya, a mixed-race girl from a disadvantaged neighborhood, as an apprentice. Maya is passionate about her work and fits into the team well. But her ex-boyfriend from a drug gang threatens her. Narvel’s secret past of violent crime comes to light when he comes to her defense.
The director’s unclear statement is the film’s main problem. Schrader’s attempt to find a redemptive outlet for his characters, burdened by cruelty and violence, was unsuccessful and resulted in undeveloped characters. The film’s shortcomings are only redeemed by a strong ensemble cast.
IMDb rating: 6.6; Rotten tomamtes 92%
Director: Thomas M. Wright
Starring: Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris
The film is based on the non-fiction book The Sting: The Covert Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer by Kate Kiriakou. The murder of 8-year-old Daniel Morcombe has shocked Australia. Eight years have passed and the police investigation continues. The narrative is slow and does not reveal its cards right away. It all starts with a chance meeting between Henry Teague and a man who draws him into working for a certain criminal organization of smugglers. Mark becomes Henry’s partner, raising a ten-year-old son. They transport something somewhere, meet with people who introduce themselves as mafia bosses. Which forces Henry to tell more and more about himself… But it’s not just a brilliant police operation. The film centers on Mark, an undercover detective who not only finds it difficult to lead a double life, but his interactions with Henry are destructive, making him almost a stranger to himself.