by Ask MDL, November 10, 2019
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The Ask MDL team is thrillingly back to thrill you with… well… thrillers. That line is also almost a textbook example of how not to write a thriller: no surprise, too much explanation, and too soon. Thrillers are, by definition, suspenseful and written to trigger the fight-or-flight response in the viewer: the adrenaline rush. Fear grips us, and we anxiously grasp at slippery hope as we follow the tumultuous fortunes of the lead character(s) over unexpected plot developments. A well-written thriller does more than maintain excitement by having suspense, mystery and plot twists; it actually tugs at our heartstrings and makes us care about the characters. The best ones also make us think really hard, and our grey cells get a great workout.

Thrillers are not easy to classify because any among mystery, crime, horror, psychological, political, legal, science-fiction or action plots could form a compelling thriller. There is a nerve-wracking tension that builds up throughout; a good thriller could build an atmosphere so tense and intriguing that hearing an out of place sound in the house could make us jump up in our seats. It takes a special kind of viewer to not binge-watch a thriller series as cliffhangers make us keep ongoing. It also takes a special kind of writer to write a good one. Thrillers are arguably the genre most reliant on good writing and direction. An otherwise engaging ride could easily only be remembered by a viewer for unresolved plot holes at the end. You do not need to worry about those though because our team has compiled a list of titles that try their best to take you on thrilling rides that you will reminisce about later.   


Sometimes your intuition about that one neighbour is correct.
A true game is when both players can maneuver around the other
Being the first anything is tough, whether you are strong and brave enough is the question
Guilty Pleasure
 Such a great series combining a tiny bit of fear with mystery.  

I went with the label of thriller for the bonus recs even if they did not fit my criteria for the genre.

Bonus

Dramas: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, BORDER, BORDER: Shokuzai, Crisis: Kouan Kidou Sousatai Tokusou-han,  Death Note, Dias Police: Ihou Keisatsu, Hard Nut!,  LADY - Saigo no Hanzai Profile,  Meishi Game, One Million Stars Falling from the Sky, Orphan Black: Nanatsu no Idenshi, Runaway - Aisuru Kimi no Tame ni, Soumatou Kabushikigaisha, The Great Horror Family

Movies: 12 Suicidal Children, As the Gods Will, Battle Royale, Clone Baby, Confession of Murder, Confessions, Crows Zero, Crows Zero 2, Crows Explode, Death Note, Death Note: The Last Name, Death Tube, Dias Police: Dirty Yellow Boys, Gantz, Gantz: Perfect Answer, Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, Joker Game, Kaiji, Karate Girl, Karate Kill, L: Change the World, M.W., Masquerade Hotel, Me & 23 Slaves, Monsterz, Nanase Futatabi (2008), Nanase Futatabi (2010), Sanjuro, Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl, The Incite Mill



A farm girl who wanders into the boundaries of a Philippine reservation forest got involved in more than what she bargained for.
A mother lost her child and had to do everything to find her child and seek justice for what happened.  
An actress shooting her launching drama series who acquires a stalker.
(currently airing)
A woman who was supposed to have died came back to the town who accused her and sent her to prison. She exacts her revenge by making the tale of "The Killer Bride" a reality.

Bonus

Dramas: Wildflower, Spirits Reawaken, Carmela: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World

Movies: AuroraBlissAfflictionFeng ShuiThe Wedding Curse, Tiktik: The Aswang ChroniclesShake, Rattle and Roll IPatient XOuijaBuy Bust, Bloody Crayons, Seklusyon, Honor Thy Father, Captured, Pedro Calungsod: Young Martyr




A surprise invite brought together 8 friends to a mountain retreat to dig up a time capsule from their high school days. They unexpectedly unearthed an old scandal that threatened their sanity with grudges and hatred. The first dead body shattered their tenuous friendship. The second body signalled the start of a killing game. With the body count rising and the road is blocked, the person unwilling to pull the trigger may be the next to die.









Wei Song Yan comes back from the United States to open up a psychology clinic in Taiwan called Green Door. His meticulous ways and principles get in the way of the success of Green Door despite his girlfriend, Hong Yu Mei, referring clients in his direction. The first clients he gets without the help of Yu Mei, however, turn out to be ghosts: the spirit of a young girl from the future that only appears in mirrors, the spirit of a gangster who is currently trapped in the body of Yu Xiu Qi, and a ghost who can't move on from her memory of the past. Wei Song Yan attempts to help the ghosts of the past, present, and future; all while being haunted by the guilt and grief of his own life. 

Based on true events and long-circulating urban legend in Taiwan. Wei is nowhere to be found one day before his grandma returns from her own strange missing incident. Wei's girlfriend desperately searches for his whereabouts and finds that it is the horrifying mystery of the little girl in red that has followed and haunted them all along.
















One of two identical twins is murdered, and soon after the suspect commits suicide and the case is closed. The other twin unable to accept this as the truth tries to find out the truth. In her search, she discovers some dark secrets about her sister and is faced with a whole new web of secrets regarding her family.

















Bonus

Dramas: Channel - X, Nowhere Man

Movies: The Tag-Along 2, Silk, Hua Yang, Make Up, DetentionThe Perfect Girl



The story revolves around "Pang", a high schooler with low-class ranking, who enters a special program called "Gifted Program" for unknown reasons. This suspense fantasy takes you through the secrets of the school and the students, and what they are trying to hide.



A couple hit a girl with their car and run away from the scene. What follows is a strange series of events where they start seeing strange things and shadows in the photographs he takes.







Lynn, a genius student, makes money by cheating tests for others. Now, she is entrusted with the task to take the SATS in Australia and deliver the answers back home before the exam takes place in Thailand.






Perth and Tan are two friends who are competitive swimmers. Perth is jealous of Tan, who is better at sports and has a girlfriend. Suddenly, Tan's girlfriend commits suicide, and Tan sets out to find the reason behind it. Meanwhile, Perth starts gaining popularity in the sport but also is haunted by strange events.

Bonus

Dramas: 3 will be free, Thirteen Terrors, Please... Seiyng Reiyk Wiyyan, Behind the Sin

Movies: Ong BakRaging PhoenixTake me homeVideo clip



Manhunt tells the story of international lawyer Du Qiu, who finds himself accused of murdering a female colleague following his farewell party. Detective Yamura is summoned to chase Du, but when he manages to escape repeatedly, the hard-boiled detective starts to develop respect for the fugitive and begins to believe in his claims of innocence. In the end, the duo joins forces in pursuit of the truth.

A down and out guy called Ping gets a job at a convenience store one night. Ping decides to have some fun to strike back against his new unpleasant employer, Fat Boss, and colleague Mabel joins in the mischief. During the night, a passerby needs the toilet, a young woman in a cheerleader's outfit wants some condoms, and Grandpa wants a sandwich and some large scissors. Before long, insanity ensues, and the Exceed convenience store becomes the scene of a robbery.


Chan Wing Yan, a young police officer, has been sent undercover as a mole in the local mafia. Lau Kin Ming, a young mafia member, infiltrates the police force. Years later, their older counterparts, Chen Wing Yan and Inspector Lau Kin Ming, respectively, race against time to expose the mole within their midst. Awards - 23 wins & 19 nominations.  

During the late Ming Dynasty, the Chinese imperial court is plagued by corruption as eunuchs usurp state power, and the reigning emperor is deemed incompetent. The Jinyi Wei (literally: Brocade-clad Guards) is the government's secret police, trained in clandestine combat since childhood; they are in charge of conducting missions to ensure peace and stability within the empire. They have the authority to prosecute anyone deemed as an enemy of the state, and they devote their lives and lethal prowess to serving the emperor only. 

Bonus

Dramas: Last One StandingSergeant Tabloid

Movies: Infernal Affairs II, Infernal Affairs III, Re-CycleNaked Weapon, Triple TapThe Detective, The Detective 2



Getting inside the head of a violent criminal is not easy. But Simon, Bo Jinyan, a brilliant criminal psychologist, has the ability to get into the minds of even the most mysterious and violent criminals. He was a professor at The University of Maryland and now works as an analyst and advisor on the police department’s most violent or difficult cases. With the help of his young assistant, Jenny Jian Yao, Simon delves into the thoughts and intentions of the criminal mind. As the daughter of a veteran police investigator with a deep sense of justice, can Jenny help Simon open up emotionally as they work together to solve crimes?  

The usually carefree Guan Hong Yu gets accused of having murdered a whole family. To clear his younger twin brother’s charge, the team leader of the criminal investigation department Guan Hong Feng wants to take on this case, but since he’s a relative, he’s not allowed to participate in the investigation. A new team leader named Zhou Shu Tong is assigned and ends up seeking Hong Feng’s help. Zhou Shu Tong and Hong Feng as his “consultant” uncover a number of cases together. 







Based on the bestselling novel by Zi Jin Chen. To protect the woman he loves, a white-collar worker unintentionally becomes involved in a murder case and is from then on a suspect. In the blink of an eye, his quiet and boring life gets completely shaken up as he suddenly is both being chased by the police as well as gangsters.

















Luo Ran has been investigating the death of his wife with his best friend, Ning Yu. They end up getting onto a train headed for C City in order to chase female suspect Jiang Xue. The train suddenly derails mid-journey, and the hundred or so survivors find themselves transported to a ruined city with no living soul in sight, cut off from the rest of the world. The city is filled with dangers on all sides and supplies are dwindling. The survivors start dying off or disappearing one by one—a brutal game of survival begins.





Day and Night and Burning Ice recommended by mengosteen

Bonus

Dramas: When a Snail Falls in Love, Head Above Water, Age of Legends, Evil Minds, Evil Minds 2, Detective Sweet, Wind Chime, Lost in 1949,  Talking Bones, The City of Chaos, Madhouse, Seven Days, Never Say Never

TBA Dramas: Day and Night 2, The Message, Hunting

Movies: Oppressive Love, Guilty of MindThe Message



A horror as well as a thriller about a priest, a detective and a taxi driver who come together to fight a demon called "The Guest" who is also linked to their past.







Yoon Na Moo and Gil Nak Won are tied by a tragedy in their past. When they meet up as adults, Na Moo is now a detective, and Nak Won is an actress, and they are both still affected by the tragedy. This is a story about them trying to heal as they are faced with a serial killer who comes back to haunt their present.

A historical drama about a Crown prince trying to find the truth behind his father's apparent death after being framed as a traitor.








Yoo Seok is kidnapped, but when he returns 19 days later, he has no memory of it. His brother Jin Seok tries to find out about the kidnapping and his brother's changed behaviour.





Bonus

Dramas: Stranger, Save Me, Tunnel, I hear your voice, The Guardians, Defendant, Duel, Hello Monster, God's Gift - 14 days, Liar Game, The Smile has left your Eyes, Lawless Attorney, Kill It 

Movies: Memories of Murder, Old Boy, The Con Artists, Confession of Murder, Hwayi - A Monster BoyMemoir of a Murderer


horror thriller crime recommendations ghosts

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