Some of the best thriller stories out there center around a person or persons that have lost something or everything and would do anything to get it back. A story about a character so overcome by love that they become determinedly obsessed with the idea of getting what they love back or finding it again. Not only do these types of thrillers have audiences connecting with the narrative, but they have a compelling message that still resonates with audiences long after they have seen the film.
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, what’s a better way for those romantics who love the seriousness of a thriller to spend their day? Watching some thrillers about characters that will go to the ends of the earth for those they love.
The strange, global pandemic of insomnia threatens to wipe out the whole human species, and unquestionably, this is the end of the world as we know it. Jill (Gina Rodriguez), a former U.S. Army medic and widowed mother of two, is having difficulty protecting her children. But what if Matilda, Jill’s ten-year-old daughter, holds the key to a cure? If everyone has only a few days to live, can sleep-deprived Jill protect her kids?
Awake comes with a new and fresh perspective of a sci-fi/thriller about the end of the world. It is also a powerful testament to a mother’s love, as audiences see a woman who knows she is dying (as is the world) struggle to protect her kids yet makes sure that her daughter will have all the knowledge required to survive.
Georgia (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her boyfriend Sam (Algee Smith) embark on a perilous trip to flee their nation since it has been embroiled in an unanticipated war with artificial intelligence. The couple must navigate No Man’s Land, a center of the android rebellion, in the hopes of finding safety just days before the birth of their first child.
With her character being pregnant for most of the film, Moretz plays her role as a mother who will do anything to protect her child’s future. Mother/Android is a powerful film about familial love that endures even through a human vs. android apocalypse.
Departing from the protection side of love, Archive follows the story of a man desperate to have a love of his life back. The year is 2038. George Almore (Theo James) is developing a true human-equivalent AI. His most recent prototype is almost finished. The most dangerous stage is the sensitivity phase, especially because he is working towards a secret objective: bringing his wife back from the dead.
Archive is not your average sci-fi thriller because it has several layers and presents a fascinating examination of human obsession and fragility in the context of AI. Similarly, the emotion behind the androids catches audiences off guard because who would expect to feel bad about a machine?
One of the most reputable sources for retrieving forgotten or distant memories is Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind. When Nick’s life is altered by a new client named Mae (Rebecca Ferguson), he navigates the seductive world of the past. After she vanishes, a straightforward case becomes an obsession as he battles to uncover the truth about her.
Reminiscence sees a world where memories solve mysteries. An impressive take. More impressive, though, is Jackman’s character, Nick. After falling madly in love with Mae, Nick finds himself utterly obsessed with his memories of her after she vanishes, to the point where he takes her case into his own hands and finds out the truth that may end up consuming him. After all, “there is no such thing as a happy ending… especially if it is a happy story.”
‘Bird Box’ (2018)
Single mother Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and her two children are forced to go on a perilous trip that could cost them their lives to find the final safe refuge on earth under the threat of global catastrophe by an unidentified and unseen entity. Upon seeing the entity, people lose their sanity, thereby robbing the world of its most vital sense: sight.
When Bird Box begins, viewers see a pregnant Malorie, unsure if she has what it takes to be a mother and not too thrilled by the idea. As disaster hits and people around her start dying, Malorie knows she must protect her children if it’s the last thing she does. An unlikely mother, yes. Nonetheless a strong and protective one.
‘What Happened to Monday’ (2017)
Seven identical sisters (all of whom are played by Noomi Rapace) live a hide-and-seek existence under the scrutiny of the Child Allocation Bureau in a not-too-distant future where overpopulation and famine have led governments to implement a severe One-Child Policy. Named after the days of the week, the sisters can go out only on the day of their name as the shared alias, Karen Settman. They live like this their whole lives until Monday doesn’t come home.
Noomi Rapace plays all seven sisters expertly; each is subtly distinct in appearance and demeanor. While raising questions about overpopulation, the dystopian thriller presents a story of a group of siblings hell-bent on protecting each other, for they are all they’ve got.
In this dystopian sci-fi thriller set in Berlin, East and West clash in a turbulent metropolis of immigrants. Naadirah (Seyneb Saleh) has vanished, which is why Leo Beiler (Alexander Skarsgård), a silent bartender, is still here. A strange pair of American surgeons appear to be the only recurring clue as Leo’s investigation brings him deeper into the city’s underbelly, but Leo is unsure whether they can help or who he should be most afraid of.
Mute is a story of a man who will flip the entire city on its head to find the woman he loves. A sweet and silent giant, Leo is unassuming at first. When he digs deeper and deeper into Naadirah’s disappearance, all hell breaks loose, as he wants her back safely.
‘The Pale Blue Eye’ (2022)
In this recently released film, Christian Bale plays a jaded detective Augustus Landor hired to investigate a West Point cadet’s death. He asks one of their own, a young man who would become known as Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling), to help solve the case after being frustrated by the other cadets’ code of silence.
The Pale Blue Eye is an emotional look into the length a father will go to avenge his daughter. When Landor’s true intentions are revealed to the audience, no one can blame him for wanting revenge. The film is a thoroughly convincing period piece with an eerie atmosphere surrounding the murder mystery.
A film like this needs no introduction as its popularity proceeds itself. Sure to be a classic thriller one day, Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners is an intense thriller about the compelling story of a father who stops at nothing to find his daughter. As the police follow numerous leads and the pressure mounts, Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) intervenes when his daughter and her friend go missing.
The performances and emotionally charged screenplay make for one of the most relentless thrillers of all time. Particularly Jackman’s character Keller is quite harrowing when the audience meets him as a loving father and watches him turn into a monster of revenge and anger at the end of the film. No doubt, audiences would feel the same under the circumstances.
Retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) gets a call one day from his daughter. She tells him that while traveling alone with her friend to Paris, they have been kidnaped by an Albanian gang of human traffickers. Mills instantly goes into kill mode when talking to the kidnappers. When they wish him good luck in finding his daughter, Mills flies to Paris to hunt the men down and make them pay.
Taken is the official blueprint for action thrillers about abductions. The protectiveness of Mills radiates off the screen and into the audience, making them root for Mills to hunt everyone last one of them down.
KEEP READING: Best 10 Thrillers of 2022 That You Need to Watch ASAP