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The 23 Breathtaking Spanish Action Thrillers You Must See

Spanish thriller movies

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We review the best thrillers in the history of Spanish cinema. And it is that from the French Polar to the fierce awakening of North American filmmakers in the seventies, without forgetting the European response of the 90s or the South Korean leadership since the arrival of the new millennium, the thriller seems to have been finding its place in the international market.

At the same time, somehow, in Spain, it managed to establish itself as one of the bases of our cinematography (always with the permission of comedy).

After watching more than 100 Thrillers and Suspense Movies on streaming platforms, we made a list of the best 23 Spanish thriller movies critics loved.

Best Spanish Thriller Movies

Here you will get 17 breathtaking Spanish thriller movies list and synopsis. 

Thesis (Alejandro Amenábar, 1996)

It is true that the director’s next work, ‘Open your eyes’, is even more convoluted and that ‘Los Otros would be the chosen one if we also opened the range of the genre to terror, but since it is not like that and what counts are the first impressions, we are left with ‘Thesis’ for being one of those first films that go down in history. Smart, dark, and beautifully told, discover an even darker version of Information Science College.

The Skin I Live in (Pedro Almodóvar, 2011)

It is the film by our international from La Mancha that is closest to the genre. Although it is true that it plays especially within the psychological drama, and includes unclassifiable moments such as the intervention of Roberto Álamo disguised as a tiger, this story of kidnapping and revenge starring Elena Anaya and Antonio Banderas has enough excuses to appear on our list.

No Rest for the Wicked (Enrique Urbizu, 2011)

The big boss José Coronado embodies the already mythical Santos Trinidad, a fifty-year-old and grumpy cop who spends his salary in bars. After being implicated in a triple murder at a road club, including an escaped witness, he begins a race to find and eliminate this loose end before his colleagues solve the case. A stupendous work by Enrique Urbizu that managed to further obscure a genre that he had already played before with success in ‘La caja 507’.

Celda 211 (Daniel Monzón, 2009)

With ‘The heart of the warrior’, we live the PHOTOGRAMS the great leap of Daniel Monzón. The good reception in Venice for the Spanish ‘Celda 211’ advanced the award-winning run of the film. “This is a film about friendship in times of war, about what happens to a normal person when chance places the label of the survivor in a context that requires chameleonic adaptation.

Open Windows (Nacho Vigalondo, 2014)

The best filmmaker from Cabezón de la Sal managed to tell his story of kidnappings, obsessions, and computer tricks thanks to a complex technical section and his intelligent editing. Never has a computer screen offered us so much, including its crazy final climax.

To Steal From a Thief (Daniel Calparsoro, 2016)

[Video credit: @Vaca Films]

A group of masked robbers assaults the headquarters of a bank in Valencia. The robbery gets complicated, mistrust arises between the leaders (Rodrigo de la Serna and Luis Tosar), and the content of one of the boxes, much more than money, puts bankers and the government on edge.

The movie absorbs that political framework in which we are installed to set up an exemplary exercise in entertainment, action, denunciation, and ethical commitment cinema that works like a time bomb,” says our review of ‘One Hundred Years of Forgiveness ‘. “As vibrant as flooded with rage.”

Marshland (Alberto Rodríguez, 2014)

He had been releasing quality products for years but, after the great ‘Group 7’, the Sevillian left us all riveted to the seat with this dark story in the Guadalquivir marshes. Javier Gutiérrez and Raúl Arévalo form a perfect couple who know how to move through the incredible photography of Alex Catalán. In the full success of ‘True Detective’, we discover that we have our own Louisiana.

“Exciting from the point of view of the genre: there is nothing to successfully redirect up to three criminal plots in a single film, never losing sight of any, and satisfyingly fulfilling the conclusion of all,” said our review of Marshland.

Buried (Rodrigo Cortés, 2010)

It is another one of those cases in which it is difficult to choose since both ‘Contestant’ and ‘Red lights’ could be on this list, but if there is a Cortés title that has been a success and that is a great example of a thriller, this one this story about poor Ryan Reynolds buried alive for an hour and a half.

The Dead Mother (Juanma Bajo Ulloa, 1993)

Ismael (Karra Elejalde) shoots the owner of the house where he is robbing. Before leaving the place, the man discovers a piece of chocolate and feels a strange presence: the eyes of a girl threaten him in the dark. Years later, Ismael shares his dark life with a woman named Maite (Lio), but the casual appearance of the girl, turned into a beautiful young woman with apparent mental incapacity (magnificently played by Ana Álvarez), will produce in him an obsessive feeling of insecurity. and attraction that will radically change the lives of the three characters.

Intacto (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, 2001)

After the success of the short ‘Handcuffs’, including an Oscar nomination, the canary made his debut in the world of feature films with this story about luck and revenge. Its cast includes the imposing Leonardo Sbaraglia, Eusebio Poncela, Antonio Dechent, and Max Von Sydow.

The Fury of a Patient Man (Raúl Arévalo, 2016)

[Video Credit: @Marc Nadal]

The debut of Raúl Arévalo behind the cameras for everything great. With a grain from another era, an authentic video store character, and a furious talent, it also contains the umpteenth brilliant interpretation of Antonio de la Torre, forces us to learn the name of Luis Callejo once and for all and includes Manolo Solo in one of those secondaries that they can snack on a movie if they get hungry.

The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro, 2001)

During the Spanish Civil War, many children were left homeless and orphaned. Some of them were taken in by relatives, but others had to enter orphanages. This is the case of Carlos (Fernando Tielve), an 8-year-old boy who, after losing his family, became part of the gloomy Hospice of Santa Lucía, where the orphans of soldiers, Republican politicians, and other victims end up.
The situation is not easy. First of all, he has to adapt to new rules and finds himself up against Jaime (Íñigo Garcés), the leader of the group. In addition, the relationship with the only three adults who live there is also complicated.

The Crack (José Luis Garci, 1981)

Present in our list of the 30 best police films, Garci demonstrated with this film that Alfredo Landa was much more than a persecutor of Swedes. His immortal From him Germán AretaLouse for those in the guild, will forever be the best and toughest detective in our cinema. In 1983 ‘El crack dos’ would arrive to prove that nothing had been a matter of luck or chance and, already in 2019, Carlos Santos took over in ‘El crack Cero’.

Obra 67 (David Sainz, 2013)

That other Spanish cinema, the tiny one, also has huge genre titles. After succeeding on the internet with ‘Malviviendo’, David Sainz joined the #LittleSecretFilm manifesto to shoot this feature film in 24 hours, without prior dialogue, and with a technical and artistic team of a maximum of ten people. The result, published directly on the internet, is a great mix of legendary kinks, second-rate anguish, and disturbed books, like a strange cocktail of ‘Strray Dogs’, ‘Lock & Stock’, and ‘Funny Games’.

Sleep Tight (Jaume Balagueró, 2011)

The thriller, the suspense, and, almost, pure terror are exchanged in this masterful story where Luis Tosar and Marta Etura shine like never before. The camera casts the protagonist as the disturbed doorman of a building who is making life miserable for a young woman, forcing the viewer to fear for the villain’s safety. A guy who spends hours at the entrance of a building has never been so scary, at least in fiction.

The Night of Sunflowers (Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, 2006)

[Video Credit: @FlixOlé]

Two speleologists (Mariano Alameda and Carmelo Gómez) investigate the discovery of a cave in a mountainous area of ​​Ávila. They are accompanied by Gabi (Judith Diakhate), the girlfriend of one of them, who is waiting for them outside. When they leave the place they find the girl visibly terrified.

The Oxford Murders (Álex de la Iglesia, 2008)

Although the Bilbao native has accustomed us to a greater mix of genres, in his adaptation of the novel by Guillermo Martínez he managed to stay within the purest thriller. A murder, a threat, and mathematical clues to stop the guy who is orchestrating the macabre game, are all presented by Elijah Wood, John Hurt, and Leonor Watling.

Spanish Thriller Movies: Horror Action Thrillers

Here is some information on Spanish horror action thriller movies.

REC (Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza, 2007)

The Spanish found-footage horror action thriller REC follows a TV reporter and her cameraman as they try to survive a deadly virus quarantined inside an apartment building. They are surrounded by infected zombies as they attempt to flee.

Shrew’s Nest (Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel, 2014)

The Spanish horror thriller Shrew’s Nest follows two sisters who share a cramped Madrid apartment. When one of them gets sick, the other becomes overprotective and aggressive.

Veronica (Paco Plaza, 2017)

[Video Credit:@TRAILER CITY]

The Spanish horror action thriller Veronica has quickly become a fan favorite. The film follows a young woman as she attempts to communicate with her deceased father through the use of an Ouija board, only to accidentally unlock a doorway to the afterlife.

Spanish Thriller Movies: Political Action Thrillers

We have compiled the 3 best Spanish thriller movies which indicate political action thrillers

The Candidate (Rodrigo Sorogoyen, 2018)

Rodrigo Sorogoyen helmed the Spanish political thriller The Candidate in 2018. The film follows a corrupt Spanish politician as he becomes embroiled in a massive scandal. As the investigation progresses, he learns that those close to him are willing to do anything, including betraying him, to ensure their own safety. The Realm shows the downfall of political power and the results of ambition and avarice.

While at War (Alejandro Amenábar, 2019)

Alejandro Amenábar helms the Spanish period drama While at War, set to hit theaters in 2019. Filmed in 1936, during the height of the Spanish Civil War, it tells the story of renowned Spanish author Miguel de Unamuno and his journey from a nationalist supporter to an outspoken opponent of the regime. The political conflict and the conflict between personal convictions and ideological fanaticism are portrayed on screen.

The Invisible Guest (Oriol Paulo, 2016)

Directed by Oriol Paulo, The Invisible Guest is a 2016 Spanish suspense film. A young businessman discovers his lover dead in the hotel bathroom upon his awakening. In an effort to clear his name and save what little time he has left, he retains the services of a prominent attorney. But the case turns out to be more complicated than first thought when new evidence emerges.

Final Words on Spanish Thriller Movies

Spanish thriller movies combine suspense, intrigue, and culturally rich storytelling to captivate audiences worldwide. Spanish directors, actors, and writers have bravely explored psychological horror, crime, and the supernatural in these films. Spanish film fans can enjoy classics like “The Nameless” and “The Devil’s Backbone” and more recent hits like “The Invisible Guest” and “The Skin I Live In” by embracing the genre’s diversity.

Spanish thriller movies will continue to be popular worldwide as audiences demand gripping stories and unforgettable characters. Spanish thriller movies will keep you on the edge of your seat, whether you’re a seasoned fan or a newcomer.

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