For fans of good old fashioned thrillers and twisted mysteries, a trip into a world of intrigue is possible as The Host comes to Amazon Prime, Google Play and iTunes. The Host follows the deadly paths that corrupt criminals, un-suspecting detectives, and secretive heroes take when all roads lead to Amsterdam. The European city is shown off with Oona Menges’ stylish cinematography, but the darkness beneath the pleasant exteriors is mined for tense shootouts, hostile dinners and terrifying cellars. The Host is compelling viewing for Hitchcock fans, promising a journey alongside troubled London baker Robert Atkinson, who is caught in the affairs of international parties as he tries to pay his debts. A daring trip, that starts at home.
Here’s a look at ten of the best films that make travel terrifying
The Host (2019)
For fans of good old fashioned thrillers and twisted mysteries, a trip into a world of intrigue is possible as The Host comes to Amazon Prime, Google Play and Itunes. The Host follows the deadly paths that corrupt criminals, un-suspecting detectives, and secretive heroes take when all roads lead to Amsterdam. The European city is shown off with Oona Menges’ stylish cinematography, but the darkness beneath the pleasant exteriors is mined for tense shootouts, hostile dinners, and terrifying cellars. The Host is compelling viewing for Hitchcock fans, promising a journey alongside troubled London baker Robert Atkinson, who is caught in the affairs of international parties as he tries to pay his debts. A daring trip, that starts at home.
Berlin Syndrome (2017)
Berlin Syndrome is less nightmarishly surreal that Roth’s backpacker bloodbath. Cate Shortland’s take on one girl’s date gone wrong with a stranger in the city of her solo gap year travels has chilling real-life parallels for young female film fans. The grounded camerawork and claustrophobic dialogue between an unhinged bachelor and his new, “live-in” guest keeps hearts racing even as the film grinds to an excruciatingly sharp standstill. A psychological trip as long as our plucky heroine’s route in and out of Berlin, Berlin Syndrome examines the way one young girl can get out of any scenario with imagination and courage.
Nothing inspires more fear than true stories captured well. The first of two Tom Hanks performances on this list, Sully references the heroic real act of an American pilot achieving an emergency landing that saved the lives of his passengers and crew. The Hudson may save the day but the episode of turbulence and panic beforehand is a brilliantly acted moment of the high stakes of commercial travel. A film that hits home – thankfully – with grace and style.
The Lobster (2015)
Did Yorgos Lanthimos envision the most terrifying holiday resort of all time? Maybe so. A grim holiday hotel on the barren edge of the countryside is the destination. But it offers little relaxation or recuperation for a series of emotionally constipated guests, who must partner up into stale, forced marriages or be turned into an animal and have to hop, fly, or crawl back home through the woodland. With a pre-Oscar appearance by the great Olivia Coleman as the hotel manager – before she reunited with Lanthimos for The Favourite years later – The Lobster puts a desperate, gut-churning spin on the idea of the whirlwind holiday romance.
Sometimes the unknown parts of the world beckon, sometimes they threaten. The outback did both for solo hiker Cheryl, portrayed by Reese Witherspoon in the screen account of her long journey. Cheryl encounters wild animals, untamed landscapes and powerful storms – but the scariest thing the Witherspoon captures all too well is the fear of really seeing all your weakness when you’re left far from home, all alone. In the end, Wild is an unnerving, but ultimately rewarding journey through one women’s psyche – proving you have to go far away to, one way or another, to find yourself.
Keeping with the theme of airborne fear – Denzel Washington’s smash hit pilot blockbuster redefined the meaning of an actor’s’ “vehicle” picture. When the pilot of an airliner must turn his passenger’s worlds, quite literally, upside down, fans of air-travel will find their hearts in their mouth. Screen smashing visuals and ingenious use of perspective put audiences in the mouth of a flight falling out of the sky: a trip from the clouds to the ground has never been more painful, or more visceral.
Derek Martini left a mark on the Hitchhiking story with a sordid tale of increasingly worse rides for Nebraskan runaway Luli. Grabbing a ride from a stranger has gone out of fashion, for good reason, but care-free travelers will be starkly reminded of a bullet, a cage or another type of monster that might be waiting along the road to freedom. Chloe Grace Moretz is convincingly fierce and afraid at the wheel of untrustworthy journeymen: audiences will be glad when she finally reaches home.
Eli Roth booked a space in the audience subconscious with a devastating display of every backpacker’s worst nightmare. 3 guests head to Eastern Europe with a promise of luxury, adventure, and hedonism. Instead, they’d be hard-pressed to leave with all their limbs. Last-minute trips have never lead to trickier traps.
Red Eye (2005)
Flights can be challenging at the best of times. Cramped seating, extreme altitudes, and limited snack choice. Throw in a threat upon your family’s life and an intense Cillian Murphy stares targeting you from the aisle over and we’d all be as uncomfortable as Rachel Mcadam’s character Lisa gets on what would otherwise be her routine flight. Red Eye makes stunning use of transport as a setting, weapon, and part of an antagonist’s plan all in one.
The Terminal (2004)
Coming into land with a classic Tom Hanks heart-breaker, The Terminal broke the mold with an introspective, fully felt portrait of people in transit. Stuck in an airport with an unusable VISA, Tom Hanks’ sweet-natured Viktor (based on the real-life 2-decade stay of Mehran Karmini Nasseri) has his immigration halted indefinitely by the world in unrest. The Terminal explores the ways characters, friendships, and curiosity can thrive in stasis, and as much as it is about every restless traveler’s worst scenario (becoming a prisoner of the migratory system) it also proves one of Steven Spielberg’s greatest adventures, teaching us how to appreciate the worlds to discover in the people and surroundings closest.