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Best Mind-bending Thrillers on Netflix That You Must Watch

The list is made with our author’s discretion.

We believe the most lover genre is a thriller and if there’s one genre we’re more than qualified to recommend, it’s thrillers: What’s more pleasurable than the feeling of edge-of-your-seat tension interspersed with action sequences and high-stakes romance? All the better if it comes in multiple episodes from right on Netflix.

The most important component of a gripping thriller is an immersive atmosphere⁠, something that makes you feel like you’re actually inhabiting a whole other world. Sit back, dim the lights, cover yourself with a safety blanket and queue up one of these shows for an all-night marathon.

1. Bates Motel

This series serves as a contemporary prequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho, portraying the psyche of Norman Bates and his intricate relationship with his mother, Norma. The nascent psychopath’s struggles finally come to an end as he takes a giant leap towards fulfilling his destiny. The show is suspenseful, gripping and unsettling.


2. Bodyguard

As one might expect, the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s police service handles a number of dangerous missions.

Following officer David Budd, portrayed by Richard Madden of Games of Thrones fame, Bodyguard documents this high-risk job, specifically in the protection of the U.K.’s Home Secretary (Keeley Hawes). In the Netflix original, although Budd must devote himself to the politician’s protection, he is still reeling from PTSD after serving in Afghanistan and feels conflicted working for a major proponent of the war.


3.You

Starting with a pleasant first encounter where a clever bookstore manager, Joe takes a very strong liking to the innocent Beck and uses his internet expertise to become the ‘perfect boyfriend’. The show takes a dark turn when his attraction turns into obsession and abusive jealousy, which leads to Joe kidnapping and murdering anyone who could be a threat to their relationship – even if it’s Beck herself. Based on Caroline Kepnes’ novel by the same name, the show studies how alarming certain rom-com tropes can be when examined up close. Starring former Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg and Elizabeth Lail as Guinevere Beck, this one will break every rom-com stereotype in your mind.


4. Black Mirror

Black Mirror is an anthology series created by Charlie Brooker, featuring speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society and focus mainly on the impending hazards of technology in our lives. With such a varied palette of styles and stories, ranging from political satires and future dystopias to soulless nihilism and life-affirming humanism, this show is a must-watch. Season five, released earlier this year, even has celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Andrew Scott and Anthony Mackie playing key roles.


5. Mind Hunter

The Netflix drama takes you back to 1979 when the term ‘serial killer’ was not known to man yet. Based on the true story of the man who pioneered the science of profiling serial killers, this show revolves around two FBI agents, Holden Ford and Bill Tench, who devise a way to profile potential killers and catch them. In order to understand the mind of a serial killer, they delve into the psychology of murder by interviewing the imprisoned killers.


6. Sense 8

Sense 8 follows the story of a diverse group of people from all over the world, who share a mental bond that mysteriously links them to each other. They can telepathically experience each other’s realities irrespective of the vast borders and cultural differences between them, often without even realizing it. The show is sure to imbibe a true sense of empathy within anyone watching it when the characters experience the perils of each other’s individual lives.


7. The Sinner

This one is the television equivalent of a page-turner. Originally conceptualized as an eight-part limited series in 2017, The Sinner was renewed for a second season in 2018, and again for a third season in March 2019. The show revolves around the complexity of how and why ordinary people commit crimes and will have you gripped. Jessica Biel plays Cora Tannetti, a young mom who tries to find the answers to a gruesome crime she committed but has no memory of.


8. What/If

A new anthology from Netflix, What/If is a neo-noir thriller starring Bridget Jones actor Renee Zellweger as venture capitalist Anne Montgomery, and Castle Rock’s Jane Levy, who plays a struggling biotech entrepreneur called Lisa. Desperate to secure funding for her start-up, Lisa and her husband Sean have to accept an outrageous deal offered by Anne in a decision that will turn their lives upside down.


9. Hannibal

Adapted from a well-established franchise of novels by Thomas Harris, this show explores the budding relationship between the renowned FBI criminal profiler, Will Graham, and Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a forensic psychiatrist and cannibal.


10. Gypsy

“There’s one force more powerful than free will: our desires,” says Jean Holloway, a therapist played by the Academy Award nominee, Naomi Watts. Jean participates in the lives of her patients, often abusing her position to meddle with the people connected to her clients and fulfill her own wants.


11. Dark

This German science fiction show is a time travel thriller about four interconnected families living in a fictional town in Germany. Exploring the repercussions of fiddling with the space-time continuum, this deeply philosophical show mercilessly challenges its viewers with complex narratives and breathtaking plot twists. Watch out for season three.


12. Under the Skin

This is unified in purpose and in the drive. It is a biting examination of sexual politics and a dissertation on the bodies we inhabit – how those bodies create a paradigm of ownership. Scarlett Johansson plays the alien avatar, the predator, the cipher whose weakness is her awakening humanity. When she looks in a mirror, lost in a gaze at her own body, it’s a reminder to us to find some remove from our weary familiarity with ourselves, to think, “Golly, what strange things we are.” The film’s tragic conclusion is an assertion that we achieve some positive ideal of what it is to be human when we accept a state of vulnerability when we forsake the power position in our sexual communication.


Please suggest in the comment section if you’re thinking we’re missing something!

Written by Shalini Priya

Shalini Priya is a journalist and she loves to explore the world through her own eyes. She is currently pursuing B.A LLB. She loves to have knowledge about all the latest gadgets and is always stay updated with the things related to gadgets which are happening around. She tries to extract the best from her and is always keen on learning new things.

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