13 Disturbing Thrillers For David Fincher Fans
Director David Fincher is well known for his hard-hitting psychological thrillers, which make up a significant portion of his film credits, although he has also directed a number of biopics and book adaptations. However, even when his work isn’t focused on crime or mystery, it’s still defined by a certain gritty quality. One thing viewers can be sure of when they start a David Fincher movie is that the story they enter will haunt them past the end credits, perhaps challenging or altering their beliefs. Here are thirteen suspenseful films – including a few directed by Fincher – that are sure to unsettle audiences.
Training Day (2001)
Chez Antoine Fuqua training day, Jake (Ethan Hawke) is an ambitious and idealistic officer who joins experienced narcotics detective Alonzo (Denzel Washington in an Oscar-winning performance) for a day of training and testing. As the day continues, Jake begins to see that Alonzo’s methods aren’t always ethical. The thrilling crime film has viewers on the edge of their seats as it becomes clear that Jake is being drawn into a trap. training day is an exploration of the brutality and corruption within the police force that has stood the test of time – if anything, it’s become a movie that needs more blast than ever before.
As Training day, Se7en begins with a rookie cop joining an older, more experienced officer; like Jake and Alonzo, Brad Pitt’s David Mills often clashes with Morgan Freeman’s Detective William Somerset. The two have different views on how the case should be handled, but ultimately the scale of the crime overwhelms them and they must work together to stop a vicious serial killer from completing his killing spree. The killer, known only as John Doe, is on a mission to punish the citizens of his town for the Seven Deadly Sins. Each kill is grizzly, gruesome, and leaves an impact on both the characters and the audience. In addition to mystery and tension, Se7fr offers food for thought on the impact of civilization on human nature on an individual level as well as on a global scale.
Another Fincher film, Zodiac is based on the true story of the Zodiac Killer, who was on the run in the 60s. As one of the most unsolved serial killer cases in American history, it has been the subject of numerous public speculation and provided many pop culture elements. Zodiac is told primarily from the perspective of cartoonist Robert Graysmith (Jake Gyllenhaal), who believes his natural problem-solving skills can lead him to the killer. He teams up with detectives and reporters (Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr.) for a terrifying investigation that leaves the characters unstable and forever changed.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Corn Thesilenceofthelambs released earlier than any of Fincher’s work, it’s a must-watch for fans of his films — and fans of the thriller genre in general. The Oscar-winning film is a staple of the genre, masterfully crafting suspense and tension. Based on the eponymous novel by Thomas Harris, the film uses the source material and its skilled actors to great effect. FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) asks convicted serial killer and psychopath Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) for inside information about another serial killer case. As she delves deeper into the investigation, the trauma of her childhood gradually overtakes her and Lecter begins to penetrate her.
Somnambulist is a chilling thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, a petty thief who realizes he can make money by capturing crime scene footage for the media. As Lou descends deeper into the competitive circle of news videography, he resorts to extreme methods to secure a shot that will guarantee a purchase. He starts his own business and hires assistants to make sure every gruesome crime scene gets the best coverage. Written and directed by Dan Gilroy, Somnambulist is well paced but manages to gradually increase the suspense along with the stakes.
Missing Girl (2014)
Adapted from the novel by Gillian Flynn, by David Fincher missing girl is a meticulous study of the seemingly perfect marriage of Amy (Rosamund Pike) and Nick (Ben Affleck). As the plot unfolds, told in part through Amy’s diary entries, viewers begin to see the cracks in the relationship that led to Amy’s demise on their fifth wedding anniversary. Nick defends himself categorically with the authorities but ruins almost all his public appearances. Like the audience, the film’s audience is sure to be divided over who is responsible for the dissolution of the marriage and Amy’s disappearance. As the film progresses, the mysteries multiply, revealing the darker sides of the characters.
Fight Club (1999)
fight club is another film directed by Fincher, based on the novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. This disturbing thriller has a lot to say about capitalism, masculinity and various forms of addiction. With Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter, fight club is a satirical story of an underground fight club for men who have no other way to vent their frustrations with their otherwise bland and unfulfilling lifestyles. However, there is something sinister about Fight Club, which morphs into something much bigger as it expands into the world. Likewise, the main character isn’t who he seems to be, and even he can’t be sure who it is.
Denis Villeneuve Prisoners is a masterclass in building tension and suspense. This detective film follows the journeys of three men: a father whose daughter – and her friend – has been kidnapped, the detective in charge of the case and a potential suspect whom the father has taken prisoner. The father (Hugh Jackman) begins to lose patience with the detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) when the investigation turns up no leads. Taking matters into his own hands, the father’s growing desperation leads him to unload on the captive suspect (Paul Dano), whose guilt is questionable at best. The characters are taken on a journey that changes their lives and leads them to question their most fundamental beliefs that make them who they are.
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Like Fincher movies, David Lynch movies Mulholland Drive invites the viewer to decipher the message of the story. On a surface level, this neo-noir mystery follows the relationship of two young women in Los Angeles. Betty (Naomi Watts) is an aspiring actress with big dreams who meets Rita (Laura Harring), an amnesiac who has suffered an accident she can’t remember. Between film auditions, Betty tries to help Rita rediscover her identity. The film industry and the quest to help Rita lead Betty into strange situations where she apparently begins to recall forgotten elements from her own past. A series of seemingly unrelated vignettes serve as clues to viewers.
Another film interested in finding out the truth, Christopher Nolan Memento also features an amnesiac trying to resolve his past. Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) is an insurance investigator whose last memory is of his wife killed before him. Now he uses tattoos to remind himself of where he is in his investigation to find the killer and avenge his wife. The story jumps between timelines, putting the viewer in a mindset similar to that of Shelby, who is perpetually confused and tries to pull herself together to the present. As the stakes rise, Shelby finds himself in more danger and realizes he may be misinterpreting the few memories he has from his previous life.
Shutter Island (2008)
by Martin Scorsese shutter island is another detective film whose central character is an unreliable narrator thanks to his altered memories. Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a U.S. Marshal sent to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a remote, high-security mental hospital. Accompanied by his colleague Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), Teddy explores the island and begins to question the functioning of the establishment. The same eerie feeling that permeates Fincher’s films crawls under viewers’ skin in shutter islandespecially when more of Teddy’s past is revealed.
Emily Blunt leads the cast in this FBI drug busting film. By turns calm and action-packed, Sicario balances epic grand moments with more subtle, disturbing scenes that invite the audience to reflect on what’s really at stake. Backed by a brilliant score (Jóhann Jóhannsson) and stunning cinematography (Roger Deakins), this is another excellent thriller from Denis Villenueve. Fans of Fincher will appreciate its epic and sweeping feel, the deeply unsettling plot, as well as the focus on the main characters, FBI agents Kate (Blunt) and Reggie (Daniel Kaluuya), who come into conflict when their elders bring an assassin (Benicio del Toro) on board.
Black Swan (2010)
Thriller of a completely different nature, Darren Aronofsky Black Swan follows Nina (Natalie Portman), an ambitious ballet dancer who has been cast as the White Swan. However, her art director doesn’t believe she has the right personality to portray the downfall of the White Swan and thinks another dancer (Mila Kunis) would be a better fit for the role. This drives Nina on an obsessive quest to become better. Over time, she loses herself in the dance world, but the psychological thriller subverts expectations when you least expect it.