Weekend Watchlist | Mysteries and Thrillers

By The Pitt News Staff

Most people who study literature consider Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” to be the first detective story, and with it Poe kicked off a genre that’s still going strong. Whether it’s a mystery where you try to put the pieces together or a thriller keeping you on the edge of your seat, The Pitt News Staff has recommendations to make your weekend more heart-pumping.

Get Out (Amazon Prime) // Patrick Swain, For The Pitt News 

Meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time always feels a bit nerve-wracking, but “Get Out” takes things up a notch.

Before 2017, few thought of Jordan Peele as more than half of a sketch comedy duo with fellow funnyman Keegan-Michael Key. That’s why Peele’s critically-acclaimed directorial debut “Get Out” shocked audiences. Throughout his comedic career, Peele often found ways to incorporate social commentary into his humor, and he continues this with “Get Out,” a dark departure from his past work. In a brilliant left turn, the captivating thriller employs sublime suspense to truly defy the audience’s expectations.

The film follows a Black man (Daniel Kaluuya) as he ventures with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to visit her parents’ rural estate. The idyllic family seems hospitable, but it gradually becomes clear that things aren’t quite as they seem. Between a mysterious basement, peculiar housekeepers and an eerily silent auction, a sinister conspiracy on the property unravels piece by piece. Jordan Peele packs a sharp critique of race relations in the United States into an entertaining, unpredictable mystery thriller.

I saw “Get Out” in a packed theater when I was 14, and it’s still the best moviegoing experience I can remember. I’ve never heard so many people cheering at a screen for characters that can’t hear them. I went into that theater knowing as little as possible about what I was about to witness, and I recommend you do the same.

Erased (Hulu) // Saraya Velez, Staff Writer

I’ll be honest, I was never into anime or found any interest in it until I sat down and spent five out of 24 hours of my day dedicated to binge watching “Erased.” And this may be a stretch, but there’s nothing better than finding a binge worthy show that you can start and finish in the same day. 

“Erased” is a mystery thriller anime based on Kei Sanbe’s manga series, “Boku dake ga Inai Machi.” The 12-episode series follows 29-year-old Satoru Fujinuma (Tatsuya Fujiwara and Tsubasa Nakagawa) into the past with occurrences he calls “revivals.” His revivals allow him to go back before certain tragedies occur with the opportunity to change the outcome.

The series applies plot devices such as time loops to send Satoru back in time to prevent the death of his mother as well three of his childhood friends while trying to figure out who was behind it. Although we don’t figure out who was behind the murders until the end, the series does a successful job of keeping us on our toes, giving us the climactic and twisted ending we could not have expected.


Prisoners (Hulu) // Mera D’Aquila, Staff Writer

Denis Villeneuve’s 2013 crime thriller “Prisoners” is just as shocking as it is visceral. There’s something about Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematography — and the unsettlingly familiar Pennsylvanian setting — that makes the film’s horrifying events feel inescapable, trapping both the protagonists and viewers in a small-town purgatory of labyrinthine woods and questionable morals.

What starts as a quiet Thanksgiving dinner between the Dovers and the Birches suddenly morphs into a tortuous nightmare after their two youngest daughters, Anna and Joy, go missing. Suspecting that a local man (Paul Dano) kidnapped them, father Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) begins a ruthless pursuit to interrogate him for answers. In the midst of the chaos, the town’s scrupulous Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) leads the investigation, unraveling the dark truth with a weary, yet unrelenting mind.

There’s nothing better than seeing Jackman test his emotional limits and slowly, tragically crescendo into a madman with each moment. Gyllenhaal’s careful and contemplative portrayal of Loki beautifully compliments Jackman’s heart-wrenching performance. The fully fledged protagonists are where Villeneuve strikes a chord of brilliance within the picture — he allows the characters to painfully ruminate on the situation at hand, questioning the strength of their consciences and faith.

“Prisoners” is a must-see film, and arguably Villeneuve’s best, but I must warn you — it’s going to take more than a warm shower to erase it from your memory.