Best South Indian Suspense Thriller Movies to watch

Best south Indian suspense thriller movies to watch: Suspense is everything. When done right, a suspense thriller is your sure shot to fame. But doing suspense right is no small feat. You cannot make the mystery too easy for the audience to figure out.

Neither can you have information that only your characters would know withhold from the audience? However, it’s a fine line to thread. But when done right, God is it entertaining.

There are millions upon millions of suspense thrillers in world cinema.  With this list of south Indian suspense thriller movies, we hope to bring to you the best of the bunch, the cream of the crop from the south Indian film industry. These include movies from the Tamil, Telegu, and Malayalam film industries.

These movies are not in any particular order. It means that I wouldn’t say one movie is better than another. And this is a list of my personal favourites. If you don’t see your favourite movie on this list, I probably haven’t seen it or seen it and didn’t think it were entertaining enough. But feel free to express your thoughts in the comments below.

Here is our list of 10 Best south Indian suspense thriller movies:

  1. Aaranya Kaandam (2010)

Thiagarajan Kumararaja does not have a huge list of films under his belt. He only made 2 full feature-length films in his career spanning almost 15 years. But boy, were they some films! The director who would go on to direct Super Deluxe made his debut with Aaranya Kaandam in 2010. However, it did not feel like a debutant film, far from it.

The movie is about gangsters and gang wars in Chennai. It has several intricate plots converging into a point of mayhem in its finale. And its climax would leave you utterly speechless.

The music of Yuvan Shankar Raja and performances by Jackie Shroff and Sampath Raj all make this movie a must-watch for suspense lovers worldwide.

  1. Memories (2013)

Memories is a movie about second chances. And it is also one of the best suspense thrillers of south Indian cinema. Jeethu Joseph is one of those directors who either hits the hammer right on the top of the nail or misses the plank completely. With Memories, however, he seemed to have found his rhythm by putting out a thriller masterpiece.

Sam Alex is a police officer. He resorted to a life of drinking and gambling after a tragic accident saw his wife and daughter murdered. He has no further will to live. However, when a serial killer is on the loose, there is no one but Sam who can solve the case.

Memories is an extremely good example of a suspense thriller done right. With brilliant performances from its actors and gripping sequences, it always keeps you on the edge of your seat.

  1. 13B (2009)

This Madhavan starred thriller was released in both Hindi and Tamil. Since the director, Vikram Kumar is predominant in the south Indian industry; I choose to include this film on our list. 13B is one such film that will haunt you.

Manohar moves to a new apartment. It is on the 13th floor. He soon comes to realise his apartment holds more sinister secrets than he might have expected.

  1. Ratsasan (2018)

How can I make a list of the best south Indian suspense thriller movies and not include this one? Within 2 years of its release, Ratsasan became the face of the south Indian crime thriller genre. The director, Ram Kumar, has drawn inspiration from Hollywood classics like 7 to create this modern classic of a movie.

Arun is an aspiring filmmaker. But facing rejection from all over, he decides to give up on his dreams. As his father dies and the burden of his family falls on his shoulder, he decides to become a police officer.

  1. Vikram Vedha (2017)

Vikram Vedha is a crime thriller designed to keep the audience guessing. A modern spin on the classic Vikram and Vethal stories, Vikram Vedha, is a spectacle to watch.

Vikram and his partner Simon are two police officers on the hunt for Vedha, a notorious gangster. Their life turns upside down as the criminal voluntarily walks into the station to be captured. He has a story to tell.

The directors Gayatri and Pushkar work their magic with wonderfully written characters and an original plot exploring the grey areas of morality.

What is right and what is wrong? What makes a person bad, and what makes them good? Is morality arbitrary? All these and more are explored through a thrilling cat and mouse game between a “criminal” and a “police officer”. The music by Sam C.S is as thrilling as the movie. However, it’s the performances of Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathy as Vikram and Vedha that take the cake.

  1. Joseph (2018)

An investigation thriller masterpiece. This is the only way I can describe the 2018 Joseph directed by P. Padmakumar. Known for creating movies with social messages, Padmakumar delivers a solid thriller in this outing. He masterfully creates a world with life all around yet feels melancholic. Joju George lives as the titular Joseph.

Joseph is a retired police officer and a wonderful detective with a troubled past. He finds solace in alcohol. However, he is pulled into a world of conspiracies as he investigates the death of his ex-wife.

It would be no surprise if you find yourself scared to go out of your house after watching this movie. Why? Watch it to find out.

  1. D-16: Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru (2016)

Rahman was a beloved actor in the South Indian film industry in the 80s and 90s. However, he was losing his prominence coming into the 21st century owing to some terrible choices of movies.

Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, or D-16 as it is called, manages to put him on the map once again. Becoming the youngest director in Tamil cinema at the age of 22, Karthik Naren shows none of the perils of an inexperienced debutant.

Deepak is a retired police officer forced into retirement because of a horrific accident which saw him losing his leg. He is put on the spot after the son of his former friend and colleague comes to visit. Watch him as he recalls the case that changed his life.

  1. Mumbai Police (2013)

Bobby- Sanjay is a brother and a screenwriting duo known for creating tension in their stories. Even as time saw them putting out weaker films, some of their early works have been instant hits, including their debut film, “Traffic”. With director Roshan Andrews, the duo put out “Mumbai Police”, that redefined the meaning of crime thriller and set a benchmark in the Malayalam film Industry. With an interesting plot and diverse characters, Mumbai Police is a crime drama like no other.

ACP Anthony Moses is investigating the murder of his friend. He gets close to uncovering the truth as he is met with a horrific accident. This leads to his memory being wiped out completely. Follow Anthony as he re-reinvestigates the crime leading to a suspenseful climax.

  1. Nayattu (2021)

I have nothing to say about this movie. I am afraid anything I say might be an understatement to this movie. Nayattu is the kind of movie that is not meant to be watched but experienced. The plot, music, and performances all feels candid and too real.

Indians are no strangers to identity politics. But when dirty politics and corrupt officials destroy the lives of three police officers, they can do nothing else but run.

Let me say this to anyone who is about to watch this movie. This movie will make you angry. It will make you angry at politics, the system and the fact that we are helpless to do nothing about it. Director Martin Prakkat and writer Shahi Kabir have made sure of it.

  1. Varathan (2018)

Have you ever felt claustrophobic living at a new place? A feeling of paranoia as you cannot shake this thought off your mind that everyone here is out to get you. This movie is the embodiment of that feeling. Amal Neerad is a master when creating visuals out of this world.  However, in Varathan, he shows he can handle suspense just as good as he carries style.

When Aby loses his job, he and his wife, Priya, decides to come back to her family estate in Kerala. But what waits for them back there is something sinister.

  The conclusion

Suspense is a tool. It is a vehicle to keep your audience interested and invested in the story. In the right hands, it can create a spectacle of a movie. There is a number of great suspense thrillers out there. Hence, selecting the right movie to watch can be a chore. With this list of south Indian suspense thriller movies, we hope to help you with that choice. We hope you find this interesting.

Also read: Alvin and the Chipmunks Movie – 11 best things you need to know about

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. My girlfriend is coming to my home. I am thinking of watching a suspense thriller with her. What are some of the best suspense thrillers to watch from south India?

AN: First of all, congratulations on your achievement. Secondly, read our list. You will find my pick of the best 10 suspense thrillers from south India. You can have your pick from Vikram Vedha, Ratsasan, Aaranya Kaandam, Memories, Forensic, Joseph, Nayattu, 13B, Varathan, and Mumbai police. Or you can choose any other movie. I would recommend Aaranya Kaandam.

  1. Where can I watch Aaranya Kaandam?

AN: As a matter of fact, this south Indian suspense thriller movie is available in Disney+ Hot star to watch.

  1. Which movie has the most suspense?

AN: Can you weigh a movie for its suspense? As far as I know, you can’t. The best we can do is make a list of movies that have managed to keep us at the edge of our seats. That is just what we have done with this list of the best south Indian suspense thriller movies.

  1. What is so special about “south Indian” suspense thriller movies? Doesn’t any other region in India has good suspense thrillers?

AN: There is nothing special about south Indian movies. It happens to be a region that we chose arbitrarily to write an article about. In future, you can expect articles covering movies from all around the world.

  1. Why do I love suspense thrillers even if it makes me want to take a piss every 5 minutes watching them?

AN: I think it’s biology. Firstly, the adrenaline we get from living on the edge. Even as we know, the things we do might end up in disaster. Secondly, these movies give that same adrenaline rush at the comfort of not dying.

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