grab your magnifying glass and get ready to investigate as mashable uncovers mysteries big and small.
no one can resist a good mystery.
Whether it’s a crime story based on a mystery, a suspenseful thriller that keeps you on your toes, or a mind-blowing psychological thriller, sitting dazed in front of your screen can be a much more pleasurable experience than it seems.
Often the best mysteries are spread over an entire series on netflix, making the tv side of things quite crowded (think sinner, dark, midnight mass, the haunting of hill house/ bly manor), but there are plenty of mysteries for those who want a fuller experience. Spanning its horror, thriller, and sci-fi genres, the streaming service has a variety of mystery movies to offer in this vein, each with an unexpected twist or reveal.
what’s inside the walls of remi weekes’s house? why does nobody get out alive santiago menghini’s pension has so many closed doors? What lies at the heart of the platform’s haunting prison system? What exactly, David Lynch asks, did Jack do? From creaky haunted houses to vengeful masked killers, these are the best mystery movies on Netflix.
1. buster’s bad heart
Directed by Sarah Adina Smith, Buster’s Bad Heart is one you may have seen on Netflix. But Rami Malek’s characteristically intense performance in this slow-burning mystery should bring him back. The film centers on a man known to local authorities as Buster, who is being tracked down for breaking into and living in vacation homes in the Montana mountains. but where we first meet buster is by no means where the story begins, in fact it will take several parallel narratives to try to uncover the awful truth. — shannon connellan, uk editor
How to watch: Buster’s Bad Heart is now available to stream on Netflix (Opens in a new tab)
2. the call
not the 2013 halle berry film nor the revenge based horror film of the same name, but rather based on matthew parkhill’s 2011 supernatural horror film the caller, lee chung-hyun’s the call is a dark and chilling South Korean mystery that you can’t hang up on.
when kim seo-yeon (park shin-hye) visits her family’s house, she loses her phone, then starts receiving strange and disturbing calls and finds a connection with a woman named young-sook (jeon jong-seo) . where this movie twists and turns from here, you’ll never predict, so paying little attention is not an option. strong performances, a disconcerting use of sound, stunning cinematography, and a well-woven structure make this a surreal and haunting journey.* — s.c.
How to watch: The Call (Opens in a new tab) is now available to stream on Netflix. (opens in a new tab)
3. scary street
What could have been just a kitschy homage to classic horror movies from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s actually has a really compelling central mystery, which means it’s on the list. the fear street trilogy, inspired by r.l. Stine’s series of more adult novels focuses on a cyclical curse that sees a series of murders plague the residents of Shadyside. Directed by Leigh Janiak, the three films (Part 1: 1994, Part 2: 1978, and Part 3: 1666) are set in different time periods, each linked by these events. a group of teenagers will have to delve into the past to find out everything before the curse reaches them. As far as horror mysteries go, Scare Street is the best thing since sliced bread (sorry). — sc
how to watch: fear street is now available to stream on netflix. (opens in a new tab)
4. your house
The best types of horror movies are more than just a box of scares. some are character studies, some explore deeper themes or tackle complex social issues, and some manage to move you in more ways than just raising your pulse. Writer-director Remi Weekes’ debut in The House of Him does all of the above at once.
Following asylum seekers Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) who arrive in the UK from South Sudan only to be thrown into an unforgiving world of bureaucracy and racism, their home blends drama with a claustrophobic mystery. haunted house Noises echo off the walls, and Bol’s fear and paranoia grow along with ours. But only as the film progresses, and Jo Willems’s creative cinematography begins to hint at what happened in the past, is the true horror of her house revealed.* — Sam Haysom, Deputy UK Editor
how to watch: your house is now available to stream on netflix (opens in a new tab).
5. I’m all girls
Fair warning: this is not an easy watch. Inspired by true events, the film opens with the interrogation of Gert Van Rooyen, a South African sex offender suspected of kidnapping six girls in the late 1980s. Set in the present day, the film uses Van Rooyen’s alleged crimes as a starting point. game, with a detective working to uncover a child trafficking ring while investigating a serial killer who seems to be targeting the criminals involved exclusively. Donavan Marsh’s film is a blend of mystery and suspense, a conspiracy that stretches from rundown drug dens to the halls of government, uncovering a series of grim revelations with roots stretching back 30 years. — s.h.
how to watch: i am all girls is now available to stream on netflix. (opens in a new tab)
6. I am a mother
the problem with robots is that you can never know what they are thinking. This is a lesson we’ve been taught over and over again in the sci-fi space, and Grant Sputore’s futuristic mystery, about a girl who is raised by a robot in a post-apocalyptic bunker, is of course no exception. Starring Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard and Rose Byrne, the suspense in this one goes hand-in-hand with the mother’s (the robotic caregiver in question) deadpan, impenetrable gaze, before going into overdrive when a stranger’s arrival casts suspicion. on the actual role of the metal guardian.* — s.h.
how to watch: soy madre(opens in a new tab) is currently streaming on netflix(opens in a new tab).
7. I’m thinking of ending things
Is this the most entertaining movie on this list? almost certainly not. but is it the best mystery? well, judging by how incredibly confused I was when I finished watching it, possibly. Writer/director Charlie Kaufman’s story of a student traveling to meet her boyfriend’s parents for the first time is a head-scratching psychological nightmare that feels like watching reality shatter for two hours straight. there’s a lot of deep writing, philosophical musings, and reality-distorting clues, all of which add up to a very lynch mob-like feeling that what we’re seeing is not what it seems. but that we’re seeing the answer may take some figuring out. — s.h.
how to watch: i’m thinking about wrapping things up is now available to stream on netflix (opens in a new tab).
8. lost girls
Based on the true 2010 disappearance of Shannan Gilbert and her mother Mari’s attempts to find her, Lost Girls is a dark exploration of the events surrounding an unsolved case of an infamous serial killer with a focus on families. that were left behind. Liz Garbus directs with a sense of grim realism, while Amy Ryan is a picture of angry desperation as she takes on a police force that seems apathetic at best and incompetent at worst. — s.h.
How to Watch: Lost Girls is now available to stream on Netflix (Opens in a new tab).
9. no one gets out alive
more terror than mystery? maybe. But Santiago Menghini’s claustrophobic tale of the haunted house, based on an Adam Nevill novel of the same name, still raises many questions. questions like why does the boarding house where the mexican immigrant ambar (cristina rodlo) arrives have so many closed doors? and what are the noises that she keeps hearing at night, and the nightmares about a strange stone box that she keeps seeing when she has her eyes closed? You’ll have a hard time guessing, but this tense and well-written thriller will keep you guessing until the very end. — s.h.
How to Watch: Nobody Gets Out Alive is now available to stream on Netflix (Opens in a new tab).
A futuristic twist on the fear of being buried alive, Alexandre Aja’s Oxygen is a claustrophobic nightmare about a woman who wakes up in a cryo box with no idea who she is or how she got there. the good news? She can communicate with the outside world through a robotic medical unit called the M.I.L.O. The bad news? no one she talks to seems willing to open up to her, and her oxygen reserves are rapidly shooting toward 0 percent. Mélanie Laurent perfectly captures the brief dread of this role, and Christie LeBlanc’s script has enough twists and turns to keep the story moving forward at a breakneck pace. she only tread carefully if she is afraid of tight spaces; this won’t be a fun watch for the claustrophobic.* — s.h.
how to watch: oxygen(opens in a new tab) is currently streaming on netflix(opens in a new tab).
This is not the kind of movie you want to watch while eating. Richard Shepard’s musical nightmare leans heavily into the body horror genre, with protégés Charlotte (Allison Williams) and Lizzie (Logan Browning) on a truly hellish journey that begins with a bus ride through rural China and ends with them revisiting the prestigious music school where they both trained, and where all is clearly not as it seems. tread carefully, because this story really isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it’s full of surprises. — s.h.
How to watch: Perfection is now available to stream on Netflix (Opens in a new tab).
12. things heard and seen
Don’t let Rotten Tomatoes’ low score put you off. Things Heard and Seen by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on the novel All Things Fail to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage, is one of those movies that is sure to divide people. it oscillates between multiple genres, splicing drama and suspense with horror and mystery in a balancing act that could easily turn off for some. The film follows a young couple, Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) and George (James Norton), whose decision to move to a country house in upstate New York leads to the discovery of some pretty disturbing secrets (both of the ghostly and non-ghostly). ). however, don’t go in expecting straight horror, or you’ll be disappointed. but if you like well-drawn characters and a lot of simmering dread, it’s worth checking out. — s.h.
How to Watch: Things you hear and watch are now available to stream on Netflix (Opens in a new tab).
13. what did jack do?
For a truly puzzling mystery, it’s time you saw David Lynch asking a monkey in a suit if he’s ever been a member of the Communist Party. It’s a genuine thing that happens in What Did Jack Do? (opens in a new tab) by david lynch, a 17-minute film in which the director interrogates a monkey named jack in a train car.
Co-presented by Lynch’s Absurd Company and the Paris Museum of Contemporary Art’s Cartier Foundation, the film was written, directed, and edited by Lynch himself. Along with a small crew, he also did sound editing, set design, and assisted with set construction.
We won’t spoil what happens, but look for a cameo from actress Emily Stofle (Twin Peaks star and wife of David Lynch) and be sure to stick around for the catchy musical number towards the end. yes, you read that right.* — s.h.
how to watch: what did jack do? it is now streaming on netflix. (opens in a new tab)
14. the culprit
Following a cop with an anger problem during a 911 dispatch shift, the culprit sees Jake Gyllenhaal at his best in this twisted thriller about a kidnapped woman.
“With the camera focused on him for almost the entire 90 minutes in The Guilty, Gyllenhaal combines all [his] skills in an excruciatingly tense performance,” I wrote in my review. “he slips into the role of detective turned 911 dispatcher joe baylor with so much anger, hurt and sadness that you are forced to go through every emotion with him.”* — s.h.
how to watch: the culprit(opens in a new tab) is now streaming on netlfix(opens in a new tab).
15. the platform
Prison cells are stacked on top of each other, with holes in the floor and ceiling. randomly assigned levels change each month. and a platform of food slowly descends from the top, becoming more and more scarce with each floor that descends. This is the concept at the core of Spanish director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s platform, a haunting sci-fi thriller that wears its capitalist analogy clearly on its prison cloak. It’s one of those rare gems where the execution is as strong as the central idea, buoyed by an excellent screenplay by David Desola and Pedro Rivero that is full of terror and suspense. if you’re a fan of movies like the bucket or the saw, it’s worth checking out.* — s.h.
how to watch: the platform (opens in a new tab) is now streaming on netflix (opens in a new tab).
Need even more streaming recommendations? mashable has so many streaming guides to get you going. you can find:
the best netflix thrillers
best suspense movies on netflix
best action movies on netflix
best space movies on netflix
the best romantic comedies on netflix
the best horror movies on netflix
and even the most ridiculous teen dramas. Seriously, we’ve got all the streaming tips.
*this item also appeared in a previous mashable article or list.
update: May. 17, 2022, 16:06 edt This article was originally published on Nov. ’21 and updated in May ’22.