“The Silencing,” a gloomy crime thriller directed by Robin Pront, is situated in a misty woodland setting. The story revolves around Rayburn (Nikolaj Coster), a former hunter who protects a wildlife refuge while living a drunken stupor. His daughter had been fiercely opposed to his career as a trapper-hunter; following her unexplained disappearance, he establishes a refuge in her honor and has security cameras trained on it. He asks to visit the victim, Gustafson, the sheriff, after learning years later that the police had discovered the body of an adolescent girl. Although she was not his daughter, they find that the murderer left a disturbing cut on her throat, which rendered her speechless. He had been releasing his captives into the jungle so that he could hunt them down with spears hurled using a crude instrument called an atlatl.
Soon after they decide to track down the murderer, Rayburn sees a girl being pursued by a person dressed in a Ghillie suit in the woods. The camouflage murderer, a shadowy figure who seems to be hiding around every corner, starts chasing after the mouse in a game of cat and mouse. The excitement of a primal struggle for survival in a horrifying jungle is captured in the 2020 movie, as is the sense of urgency to apprehend a murderer before he finds his next victim. If “The Silencing’s” thrilling cinematic experience captured your attention, there are a number of similar films on our list that are just waiting to terrify you.
Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver), an agoraphobic criminal psychologist, spots the patterns in a murderer copying the techniques of notorious serial killers from history. In an attempt to find his next victim, she teams up with police detectives Monahan and Reuben; however, the deviant contacts them all beforehand. He plays tricks and taunts them, paying Helen a visit when she’s asleep and leaves a book behind.
The suspense in the Jon Amiel-helmed movie builds as they clumsily try to predict his next move while their own lives becoming progressively more terrifying. Like the Ghilee-clad stalker from “The Silencing,” the copycat killer creeps up on Helen and becomes a continual source of fear, even in her alone.
Don’t Breathe (2016)
Fede Alvarez is directing “Don’t Breathe,” a thriller with a fantastic idea and much better execution that is both very captivating and extremely nerve-wracking. Rocky, a young lady who turns to theft to get by financially and support her younger sister, makes the decision to loot the house of a blind war veteran. They go inside his residence at night with her brazen boyfriend Money and her reluctant friend Alex. However, the blind man is now standing among them after making a small sound.
They are about to receive a harsh awakening as he shoots one of them and barricades the front door before methodically pursuing the other survivors. The movie then picks up speed at an alarming rate, true to its name and providing an exhilarating experience that will leave you gasping for air. Those who have enjoyed “The Silencing” as a suspenseful thriller should see this masterwork with a sinister twist.
“Hush,” a genuinely terrifying thriller directed by Mike Flanagan, centers on a deaf and dumb writer who lives in the woods and must fight a masked attacker who is out to get her skull. Maddie lives alone, in the country, in her own head and in her surroundings. As we work on her book, unaware of the impending danger, we watch in silent fear as a survivor of the hunter’s attacks beats on her door. After being carried away, the victim is pierced by a crossbow bolt.
She is forced to fight for her life since she is defenseless and alone, making her the perfect target for the murderer to play with. Mike Flanagan masterfully captures the mood, suspense, and tempo of the movie. Considering that the murderer might be hidden in any room, Maddie must traverse the terrifying terrain of her own house. Fans of “The Silencing” will find “Hush” to be a satisfying read with just the right amount of tension, which is enhanced by the protagonist’s fragility.
Memories of Murder (2003)
The film, directed by the well-known Bong Joon Ho, is based on a true account of the horrific killings of women in a small South Korean region. The 1986 movie centers on three police officers who are much out of their league when it comes to dealing with the farce. They intimidate helpless suspects, tamper with crime scenes, and take an agonizingly long time to discover that the murders are the product of a serial killer using harsh torture methods.
Numerous crime films, such as “The Silencing,” highlight the shortcomings of local law enforcement in addressing serial murders. But “Memories of Murder” approaches the topic as a somber and realistic satire. Instead of the intensely focused detectives in Western crime dramas piecing together leads from nebulous clues, we get bumbling buffoons who may be more trouble than good. A difficult subject is handled in a gritty and realistic manner in this movie, which is masterfully portrayed by the cast as a whole.
The Clovehitch Killer (2018)
The Clovehitch Killer, directed by Duncan Skiles, is a terrifying tale of a serial killer that is eerily relatable. The killings of ten women by a psychopath known as the Clovehitch Killer rock a quiet Kentucky hamlet. Ten years later, the case is still unresolved. Tyler, a small child, finds pictures of missing girls in his own house and believes one of his relatives is the murderer.
The suspense in the movie builds as Tyler approaches the truth more and more while continuing to play and joke with the murderer on a daily basis. If you like the suspenseful, dark, hide-and-seek in Robin Pront’s books, “The Clovehitch Killer” will shock you by taking the opposite approach and use a picture-perfect, cheerful family setting to conceal a monster in plain sight, making for a very uncomfortable experience.
The Frozen Ground (2013)
“The Frozen Ground,” directed by Scott Walker, is a gripping account of the true story of Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen and his case in the 1970s and 80s. We watch as Nicholas Cage portrays Alaskan trooper Jack Halcombe, who works nonstop to piece together clues and connections leading to the deaths of multiple young women. Cindy Paulsen, who was spared from the killer’s blow, tells the authorities who he is. They make fun of her for charging Hansen, a respectable community person with several alibis and a restaurant. Before Halcombe discovers her and tries to get her to testify, she reverts to her previous lifestyle of drug addiction and prostitution.
Between this movie and “The Silencing,” there are a number of parallels. The perpetrators of these two traits abandon their victims in the chilly woods, only to pursue them later. Local law enforcement’s inaction is brought to light, and despite having a manifestly disturbed past, the murderer maintains a respectable reputation. The entire cast of the movie gives excellent performances, and Cage portrays Halcombe—a listener and a thinker who reads between the lines to outsmart a real psychopath—precisely.
The Marsh King’s Daughter (2023)
Director Neil Burger’s film “The Marsh King’s Daughter” centers on Helena, the title character, whose father abducted her mother and fled into the Upper Peninsula’s dense forests. As her father was convicted and given a life sentence, she fled after growing up and began a new life with her own family. She is forced to confront her history when the Marsh King breaks out of jail and vanishes into the woods, knowing that he will eventually find her.
As Helena goes into the bush to find the guy who had taught her everything there is to know about surviving in the wilderness, the stakes are high and her family is at risk. The film delivers an exciting family conflict in the Michigan wilderness, emulating a game of cat and mouse akin to “The Silencing” with a highly intimate and nuanced interaction between the two survivalists.
The Pledge (2001)
Retiring detective swears the mourning girl’s mother that he won’t stop looking for the culprit guilty for the girl’s murder. Jack Nicholson’s character Jerry Black devotes his life to the hunt, traveling to the mountains where the killings were committed and purchasing a petrol station to maintain watch. Black is certain that they haven’t identified the proper man and that he will carry out another murder, even though an arrest has already been made for the killings.
Jerry’s attention to detail reveals that the murderer goes by “the wizard” and gives toys porcupines as presents. With perhaps disastrous results, he lessens his isolated lifestyle and befriends a woman who has a small daughter. Sean Penn’s suspenseful build-up in “The Pledge” will captivate you with Black’s never-ending hunt and have you on the edge of your seat until the very end, especially if you liked the mystery that was built up in “The Silencing.”
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