Recommended Thrillers for LockDown: No One Lives, The Guest & The Gift

Hi there, as the lock down grinds on, how about we take a look at a few widely available (Amazon, Netflix etc) low-budget thrillers, all featuring twists in the lead characters – played by actors who normally essay more ‘vanilla’-type roles. All of these I found to be supremely watchable, and don’t overstay their welcome, which makes for ideal post 10:30pm fodder during a pandemic lock down.


Dan ‘Downton‘ Stevens in The Guest



Here we go then, in order of release

Watch now


Ryuhei Kitamura (Midnight Meat Train) directs Luke Evans (Beauty & The Beast, Dracula Unbound) as the kind of chap even the most depraved criminals would be best advised to cross the street rather than meet.

As you’ll see when you watch the picture.


Evans and Fox News ‘personality’ Brodus Clay in No-One Lives



Evans has obviously played bad guys before (Furious 7, Message From The King), but his career trajectory is now firmly geared to leading man status so this may throw you a curve.


No One Lives Official International Trailer #1 (2013) - Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens Movie HD


THE GUEST (2014)

Watch now on Prime

Such a nice boy in Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens flexes his acting chops in this very dark, but pretty funny movie, starring as a supposed army buddy of a family’s died-in-combat son.


A super-soldier that doesn’t have quite the same values as Steve Rogers… Stevens gets his teeth stuck into the role and is really very good.


The Guest Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Dan Stevens Thriller HD


To paraphrase Ron Perlman’s ‘Johner’ in Alien Resurrection (1997), Stevens’ character David Collins is ‘not the man with whom to fuck!’



THE GIFT (2015)
Watch now on Netflix

Lastly, something possibly a tad deeper, with Joel Edgerton (in his excellent movie directing debut) playing a creepy ex-school classmate of supposedly straight arrow Jason Bateman who returns to mix things up.

The Gift Official Trailer (2015) - Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall HD


I think you can guess that things aren’t quite what they seem. An effective little thriller and one that lets Bateman play against his usually bland onscreen persona.


The Gift' dark and intriguing

Bateman and Rebecca Hall in The Gift


In the words of the esteemed Judge Smails from Caddyshack (1980):


Judge Smails Well, We're waiting



Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'