• Fatal Attraction, Red Hill, The Guilt and Apocalypto (SBS)Source: SBS
Grab some popcorn and a blanket to hide behind for when the pressure and intensity gets too much. The SBS On Demand thriller collection is here to get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping. Just remember to breathe.
SBS Guide

19 May 2020 - 5:55 PM  UPDATED 19 May 2020 - 5:55 PM

The Guilty

Denmark, 2018
Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller
Language: Danish
Director: Gustav Moller
Starring: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Omar Shargawi, Johan Olsen, Jacob Ulrik Lohmann, Katinka Evers-Jahnsen, 
What's it about?
Police officer Asger Holm, demoted to desk work as an alarm dispatcher, answers a call from a panicked woman who claims to have been kidnapped. Confined to the police station and with the phone as his only tool, Asger races against time to get help and find her. Less is certainly more with this film, similar to Locke, the audience is with Asger in the one location, tied to his headset, trying to find out what happened to this woman. This film shows you don't need a big budget to keep an audience on the edge of their seat.

'The Guilty': High-Concept, Low-Budget, Muscle-Tensing Thriller


USA, Mexico, UK, 2006
Genre: Drama, Adventure, Action
Language: Maya
Director: Mel Gibson
Starring: Rudy Youngblood, Jonathan Brewer
What's it about?
A mythic, heart-stopping film set against the turbulent end of the once-great Mayan civilisation. When his idyllic existence is brutally disrupted by a violent invading force, young Jaguar Paw is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression, where a harrowing end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred on by the power of his love for his family, he makes a desperate break to return home and fulfil his destiny. Directed by Mel Gibson, Apocalypto is fast-paced, violent and exhilarating. 

Red Hill

Australia, 2010
Genre: Thriller, Action, Western
Language: English
Director: Patrick Hughes
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Claire van der Boom, Tommy Lewis
What's it about?
When a young police officer, Constable Shane Cooper, relocates to the small high-country town of 'Red Hill’ with his pregnant wife, he does so in the hope of starting a new family. But when news of a prison break in the city sends the local law enforcement officers into a panic, Shane’s first day on duty quickly goes from bad to worse. Enter Jimmy Conway, a convicted murderer serving life behind bars, he returns to the isolated outpost seeking revenge. Now caught in the middle of what quickly becomes a horrifying blood bath, Shane will be forced to take the law into his own hands if he is to survive.

Red Hill Review
Five faves: 'Red Hill' director Patrick Hughes picks what to watch in isolation

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

UK, USA, Ireland, 2017
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy, 
What's it about?
Dr. Steven Murphy is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon who presides over a spotless household with his wife and two children. Lurking at the margins of his idyllic suburban existence is Martin, a fatherless teen who insinuates himself into the doctor's life in gradually unsettling ways. Yorgos Lanthimos has crafted a sensational thriller brimming with unsettling humour and creeping dread, steeped in Greek tragedy, Hitchcockian psychodrama, and riveting suspense. Darting confidently between genres to subvert our expectations at every turn, The Killing of a Sacred Deer firmly cements Lanthimos in the pantheon of world-class auteurs and marks him as a cinematic provocateur without precedent.

'The Killing of a Sacred Deer' review: Masterfully Orchestrated, Extremely Discomforting


Norway, 2012
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Action
Language: Norwegian, Danish
Director: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nils Jørgen Kaalstad, Aksel Hennie, Reidar Sørensen, Julie R. Á˜lgaard
What's it about?
Roger Brown makes his living as a corporate recruiter, finding talented people who work for other companies and making them lucrative offers to join the firm currently signing his paychecks. Roger's work pays a handsome salary, but he suffers crushing insecurity when it comes to his beautiful wife Diana, and he constantly showers her with expensive gifts in hopes of staying on her good side. Between Diana's expectations and the expensive tastes of Roger's mistress Lotte, Roger needs cash, so he's taken on a high-paying second job – stealing rare works of art. Roger is just good enough and smart enough to know that he'll get caught eventually, and when he learns of a man with an authentic Rubens, he hopes to make one last score that will keep him well set for a long time. But Roger soon learns there's a catch – the man with the painting is also someone he's supposed to recruit for a client, and he's clearly a few steps ahead of Roger. Based on the novel by renowned best-selling Norwegian author Jo Nesbø.

Headhunters Review


France, 2005
Genre: Thriller
Language: French
Director: Michael Haneke
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil, Annie Girardot
What's it about?
The host of a popular literary TV show, Georges (Daniel Auteuil), and his wife Anne (Juliette Binoche) live with their teenage son, Pierrot (Lester Makedonsky) in a Paris suburb, where they discover they are being secretly filmed. Tapes arrive on their doorstep, growing in their intrusiveness. One of the tapes leads Georges to a small flat where he finds, Majid (Maurice Binichou), a character from his childhood, who denies involvement. Georges has his guilty reasons to suspect him, but can prove nothing. The mystery unsettles and unravels his family and his life, as his secret, hidden guilt drives him to try and find answers, which may be buried in his own childhood. Written and directed by auteur Michael Haneke, Hidden (original title Caché) proves he is the master of the psychological thriller and it will leave you many theories and questions to chat about.

The Limehouse Golem

UK, 2016
Genre: Thriller
Language: English
Director: Juan Medina
Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth
What's it about?
Set on the unforgiving, squalid streets of Victorian London in 1880, our tale begins in the baroque, grandiose music hall where the capital's most renowned performer Dan Leno takes to the stage. The whimsical thespian performs a monologue, informing his dedicated audience of the ghastly fate of a young woman who had once adorned this very stage, his dear friend Elizabeth Cree; for the beguiling songstress is facing up to her forthcoming death by hanging, having been accused of murdering her husband John Cree. Lizzie's death seems inevitable, until Detective Inspector John Kildare is assigned to the case of the Limehouse Golem – a nefarious, calculating serial killer, murdering innocent, unconnected victims, leaving behind barely identifiable corpses – and his distinctive signature in blood. All is not what it seems and everyone is a suspect and everyone has a secret.

Fatal Attraction

USA, 1987
Genre: Thriller
Language: English
Director: Adrian Lyne
Starring: Glenn Close, Michael Douglas, Anne Archer
What's it about?
Michael Douglas stars as Dan Gallagher, a happily married New York City attorney. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) is a single publishing executive, who seduces him when his wife and daughter are out of town. For Dan, this liaison is a diversion. But for Alex, the end of the affair is the start of a pathological obsession, and of a nightmare for all of them. What makes the film so impactful is Glenn Close's incredibly layered performance, she met with psychiatrists before filming to build a complex history for Alex to make her actions credible.

Shot Caller

USA, 2017
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal, Emory Cohen, Holt McCallany, Benjamin Bratt, 
What's it about?
Shot Caller follows the harrowing, often heart-rending journey of successful businessman Jacob Harlon who is transformed into Money, a stoic, ruthless prison gangster after a DUI sends him down the rabbit hole of the American prison system. As he navigates the brutality of his new home, adapting to its violent codes of ethics and rites of passage that will ensure his survival, he slowly loses his previous identity and his relationship to his former life, including his wife and son. The grip of his new family, the prison gang, extends beyond the prison walls. Upon his release, chased by the law enforcement, threatened by his incarcerated "protectors," Money must orchestrate one last dangerous crime. All is not what it seems. The ruthless process of fulfilling his obligations also becomes his path to sacrifice, retribution and self-definition.

'Shot Caller': Authentically Gritty Prison Thriller

The Ipcress File

UK, 1965 
Genre: Thriller
Language: English
Director: Sidney J. Furie
Starring: Michael Caine, Nigel Greene, Guy Doleman, Sure Lloyd
What's it about?
In London, a counter espionage Agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists. Based on the novel by Len Deighton and produced by Harry Saltzman who produced the James Bond films, The Ipcress File was made to represent the more gritty and realistic world of spies. The film cemented Michael Caine as a bonafide movie star and gave us our first glasses wearing action hero.

This and That: Michael Caine squared
The films that turned a working-class British actor into a movie star.


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