From Zodiac to Dial M for Murder, here’s a list of spine-chilling crime mysteries
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From Zodiac to Dial M for Murder, here’s a list of spine-chilling crime mysteries
Shreya Paul
Oct 07, 2021

Crime mysteries have always enthralled audiences through ages. From unsolved murders to serial killings, people have found an odd pleasure in consuming the macabre. In fact, crime thrillers and mysteries have been one of the most profitable genres in Hollywood for the longest time. From the days of Alfred Hitchcock to the current Paul Greengrass, crime has attracted both filmmakers and viewers alike. Here are some films that you ought to give a watch if your adrenaline also pumps considerably when things go awry on screen. 

7.9OTTplay Rating
The 2007 thriller, starring Robert Downy Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo, is about the real life serial killer who terrorised the San Francisco Bay Area between the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film follows the murders which are believed to have been committed by the serial killer who was given the moniker “Zodiac Killer”. Much like in the case of the real Zodiac killer, the killer in the movie remains shrouded in mystery. Political cartoonist Robert Graysmith is seen hunting down the killer in his own independent investigation. His investigation points at a suspect who is never implicated due to lack of evidence. The film ends with the case remaining open, mirroring the real investigation into the killings.
Dial M For Murder
Few filmmakers come close to the brilliance of Alfred Hitchcock when it comes to thrillers. One of the most memorable masterpieces of the director is Dial M for Murder. The film follows the cruel murder plan of a husband after he finds out that his wife was having an extra-marital affair. Wanting to get rid of his wealthy partner and get his hands on her money, Tony Wendice blackmailed an old acquaintance. He forced Charles Swann to join his murder plot. However, the plan goes awry and eventually leads to Tony’s arrest after Margot Wendice refuses to go down without a fight.
Knives Out
8OTTplay Rating
Knives Out plays like a comedy crime film, which is fashioned after a classic “whodunit”. Christopher Plummer plays Harlan Thrombay, a wealthy crime novelist who invites his considerably large family to his Massachusetts mansion to celebrate his 85th birthday. When Harlan is found murdered the next day, Daniel Craig enters the scene as the private investigator hired to deduce a solution. In a very tongue in cheek manner, Knives Out seems to portray a hard-boiled murder mystery while at the same time being very aware of its own archetypes. Earning widespread critical acclaim and being nominated for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, Knives Out boasts of an impressive cast with Jaime Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Ana dr Armas and many others.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
8.2OTTplay Rating
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 film which was selected for preservation by the Library Of Congress. This noir comedy is set in a fictional 1940s world where both cartoon characters and real humans live in perfect harmony. This delightful mixture of live action and animation gives the film a distinctive edge and also appeals to various audience groups. When well known ‘Toon' Roger Rabbit is accused of murder, human private investigator Eddie Valiant tasks himself with exonerating him. The film is notable for its technical accomplishments, which pays homage to the golden age of American animation. It had even won four Academy Awards. According to GQ Eddie’s character in many ways is the “loving parody of a classic film noir hero.”
Rear Window
8.6OTTplay Rating
This 1954 classic is arguably one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest works. Featuring James Stewart as an injured, house-bound photojournalist, this thriller follows his character while he idly plays peeping-tom to his neighbours. Things take an unexpected turn when he becomes convinced that he has witnessed a murder in the apartment opposite his. His girlfriend (played by Grace Kelly) his nurse (Thelma Ritter) then accompany him in solving the alleged murder. The film stood out from its contemporaries largely for Hitchcock’s treatment of spatially restrictive narratives. Since the film was largely shot indoors, Paramount Pictures, the studio that backed the film, built a set that is still considered the largest ever constructed within their premises. Rear Window even had Hitchcock’s trademark cameo appearance where the filmmaker can be seen winding a clock in a crucial sequence.
Murder On the Orient Express
6.7OTTplay Rating
Kenneth Branagh’s take on Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel was as kitschy as it gets. The 2017 movie, featuring Branagh in the role of the legendary Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot, roped in some of the biggest names in the business. Johnny Depp, Olivia Colman and Judi Dench, came onboard to recreate the mysterious, grizzly murder that takes place on board a luxury train. From the cantankerous White Russian Princess (played by Dench) to a nefarious art dealer (played by Depp), Branagh’s film was deliberately over-the-top. Despite the action centered around what seems like an implausible murder, Branagh’s characters ensure the film never veers into grim territory. Also starring Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley, the whodunit is an authentic adaptation and keeps viewers consistently tense about the proceedings on the screen.

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