The 3 Best Pulse-pounding Thrillers to Stream on Netflix in April

The 3 Best Pulse-pounding Thrillers to Stream on Netflix in April
Image credit: Umedia, Scene23

These movies are sure to get your blood pumping.

April is here (well, it's already been two weeks, but still!), and with it comes a slew of high-octane releases that promise to bring plenty of nail-biting excitement to American theaters. But you don't have to leave the house to get your thrills — all you have to do is subscribe to Netflix, because the streaming service's library is full of just as exciting thriller movies and series.

Today, however, we propose to talk specifically about full-length examples of thrillers, because Netflix is known for its excellent original and licensed films in the genre. From Brian De Palma's cult classic to a visually stunning South African action film to a French revenge story starring Olga Kurylenko, let's take a look at three thriller movies on Netflix that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat this April.

3. Sentinelle

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Release Date: March 5, 2021

Genre: Action thriller, Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

The list starts with a French action thriller directed by Julien Leclercq, who recently released a remake of the 1953 cult film The Wages of Fear on Netflix — unfortunately, the result was distasteful to say the least, as instead of an existential noir dread, we got an action movie in the vein of Fast and Furious. Still, Leclercq knows how to work in the genre, as three years ago he made a great movie with Olga Kurylenko, who played a returned soldier of the French army suffering from PTSD and nagging migraines. One day, her sister is severely beaten and raped, and the trail leads to Russian tycoons. As a result, the protagonist embarks on a bloody quest to take revenge on those who hurt her sister.

2. Body Double

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Release Date: October 26, 1984

Genre: Erotic thriller, Neo-noir, Crime drama

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Our list continues with an already classic (but received lukewarm reviews upon release) film by Brian de Palma, an absolute master at creating blood-curdling, soul-crushing suspense, whether it's in a supernatural or criminal setting. Body Double is an erotic thriller starring Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry, and Deborah Shelton that is one big homage to Alfred Hitchcock's oeuvre.

The plot follows struggling actor Jake Scully (Wasson), a claustrophobic man who becomes a house sitter in a wealthy Hollywood home. But what attracts him most is his beautiful neighbor, whom he begins to watch closely through a telescope. At one point, Scully witnesses a domestic violence situation across the street, but the truth behind it may be very different from what the protagonist expects.

The film wittily mocks voyeurism and exhibitionism in contemporary media, the male gaze and the commodification of sex, as well as other problematic practices in Hollywood. As we said, the film did not initially receive the most positive reviews, but 40 years later, Body Double still stands as a profound and relevant thriller.

1. Heart of the Hunter

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Release Date: March 29, 2024

Genre: Action thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Finally, a great option to watch could be the new South African action movie directed by Mandla Walter Dube, for whom this is not his first collaboration with Netflix, and we are definitely happy to see new high-octane projects being produced outside of Hollywood. The plot follows a retired assassin (Bonko Khoza) who is drawn back into dangerous events involving government conspiracies.

Upon release, the film broke into Netflix's Global Top 10 almost immediately, indicating that audiences embraced it. Although the film's audience score on Rotten Tomatoes was only 55%, in contrast to the critics' assessment, many viewers praised both the acting and the production quality of the film, which boasts top-notch VFX.