4 dark and gritty films to watch during self-isolation

Hey guys, how’s self isolation treating you all? We’re on day… 26, I believe, of staying put and staying safe, and to pass the time, I’ve been delving into Netflix’s back catalogue, looking for films to while away the hours. I’m a fan of thrillers, horrors and generally dark and gritty films that make me jump.

Here you’ll find 4 films that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed since searching past Netflix’s home screen and recommended titles, and I hope you’ll enjoy them too. Everything is spoiler free too, don’t worry.

Let’s get stuck in.

Green Room

I’m beginning with Green Room even though it was the last film I watched because if you get bored and don’t finish this blog post, I don’t want it to be left out of your thoughts. Guys this film made me want to hurl physically. It was so gruesome and gory I thought I was going to be sick at least twice.

Green Room is a fantastic horror/thriller from 2015 starring the late Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, and Sir Patrick Stewart. The film follows low budget punk band, The Ain’t Rights, who play a gig and accidentally wander in on a murder scene in the green room immediately after they come off stage.

Bloody and gory chaos ensues as the entire band find themselves cornered and under attack by neo-Nazi skinheads who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets covered up.

Even though it made me feel physically ill, the Green Room has to be one of the best films I’ve seen in a while.

It is the epitome of thriller and horror – I was tense throughout and honestly running on adrenaline half way through. It’s not about creepy monsters that hide in the closet or under your bed, it’s about witnessing something you really shouldn’t have and having your life forfeited so you don’t tell anyone else. It’s the kind of horror that’s a little bit too real to leave you feeling comforted by the death of the monster at the end because it’s something that could actually happen to any one of us.


Forgotten, 2017, Netflix

Forgotten is a fantastic South Korean mystery thriller directed by Jang Hang-Jun.

Hang-Jun took inspiration for Forgotten from famous folklore tale, Blue Beard, notorious wife murderer, as well as a story told to him by a friend, where his cousin left home for around a month, and returned a ‘radically different’ person. It’s certainly mysterious.

If that doesn’t whet your whistle, watch this for the eerie soundtrack, and the dark visuals which tell this intense story in all its glory.

Our main character is Jin-Seok, an anxiety ridden young man who’s moving house with his family. When his brother is abducted in front of him one night, and returns 19 days later with no recollection of the whole ordeal, certain things just don’t seem to add up. Cue the mystery, suspense, and jump-scares (this film isn’t frightening, but I jump easily).

The narrative is completely unpredictable, and you’re left as confused as the main character, Jin-Seok until the last half hour, where the pieces seem to place themselves to unravel a grisly and tragic truth and may even actually leave you feeling remorse for the bad guy.

When I tell you I could never have predicted the twist, I mean it. This film is a masterpiece when it comes to surprising you with a unique ending.

The Invisible Guest

Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest), 2016

The Invisible Guest, is the English title of 2016’s Spanish film Contratiempo, another foreign mystery thriller recommended to me by my friend Orlagh.

Directed by Spanish screenwriter and director, Oriol Paulo, The Invisible Guest begins with the murder of Adrián Doria’s lover, Laura. It’s a seedy whodunnit from the beginning, with Adrián claiming he did not murder his mistress, despite the tower of evidence against him.

What follows is an intelligently written replay of events told by Adrián, who may or may not have done some other very bad things in the past. It’s quick paced, tense and definitely not predictable. Up until the final few minutes, I couldn’t have told you where the story was headed, which I love.

You’ll have your head pulled every which way with this one, and its twisting of the truth will definitely leave you wondering where the truth really lies.

The Gift

I dove into The Gift on a whim and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is one of those unpredictable films that you think is going to end one way and it just starts heading off in the opposite direction, which is perfect.

This 2015 psychological thriller sees Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall as married couple Simon and Robyn, relocating back to Cali after a promotion. On day dot of their new life in California, Simon runs into an old classmate, the socially awkward Gordo.

Gifts begin to appear, things start to get… a bit strange, and Simon has to step in. Are these characters all that they seem though? It’ll have you wondering who you can trust, if you’ve got a fear of monkeys, you may find yourself a little bit triggered at times, and the ending will definitely leave you with one question that you wish they’d stick around and answer.

So, will you be settling down and indulging in one of these dark and gritty films, or have you already seen them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

After more recommendations about which Netflix films and TV series I’m binge-watching during self-isolation? Check out my post on everything I watched in March here!


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  • Zarina says:

    Great tips! I’ve seen all of them except for ‘Forgotten’. ‘Contratiempo’ is my favourite in this list as I love the film noir genre and this definitely feels like one. I saw it twice within a few weeks and wouldn’t mind watching it again 🙂

    • Simone says:

      Thanks Zarina!
      You definitely need to get on and watch Forgotten, it really played with my mind. You’re right about Contratiempo feeling a bit noir-esque actually, I thought it was really cleverly written.

  • Nikki says:

    You have such fancy and somewhat gruesome taste! Then there is me, who has rewatched Shrek for which may be the 100th time. Surely I should receive an award?! Green Room is the one which caught my attention the most, but then I saw you wrote that it was “It was so gruesome and gory I thought I was going to be sick at least twice.” Now I’m doubting if I will be able to cope through such goriness!

    Great blog post as always, Simone!

    • Simone says:

      Green Room is so good, I think Danny would like it – you can watch it together… just have a cusion handy and maybe don’t go heavy on the snacks just in case you feel a bit vommy halfway through haha. Omg Shrek popped up for me the other day and I really wanted to watch it but I didn’t. Now I’m going to have to I think hehe.