Let’s face it⏤films don’t always depict the most positive of circumstances. Sometimes they delve deep into real-world events that haunt and disturb us, even from just a viewing standpoint. One such circumstance is that of kidnapping, a horrible event that no human being should ever have to endure, yet tens of thousands of people heartbreakingly experience it every year in the U.S. alone.
In light of this devastating and continual truth, a whole spectrum of kidnapping stories have been committed to the screen. As unpleasant as the reality of kidnapping is, there are filmgoers out there who would make the case for the intriguing nature of these films, especially since many skew toward the kidnapped victim’s rescue by the film’s end and justice somehow being served. Even though that’s not the case for every single kidnapping story out there, most of them tend to have something of a positive ending to look forward to.
If you’re in the mood for a heart-pounding kidnapping tale to watch from the comfort of your couch, here are some of the meatiest abduction flicks you can currently stream on Netflix.
Warning: Some of the synopses below are sensitive in nature and might be triggering for some readers. Please proceed with caution.
Blake Lively does an incredible job leading the way in Savages. The 2012 film is about a beautiful young woman who finds herself in a romantic relationship with two different but very attractive young men. Even though they’ve got a complex three-way relationship going on, they all get along really well in each other’s presence. Things are running smoothly for them until Lively’s character gets kidnapped by the merciless leader of the Mexican Baja cartel. They show no patience or mercy to the beautiful girl since they plan on using her as a bargaining chip.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams are the stars of Nocturnal Animals. The dark movie is classified as both a thriller and a drama, as it focuses on a woman reading a novel written by one of her ex-lovers. She broke his heart so badly and devastated him so severely that he decided to express his pain through a fictional story. His words on paper mirror the real-life devastation he endured with her, and the story he writes includes a horrifying kidnapping scenario that results in the murder of a mother and her teenage daughter.
365 Days is considered one of the most questionably inappropriate movies ever to appear on Netflix. The reason why? It tells the story of a stunning sales director named Laura who travels to Sicily in order to try and save her relationship. Instead of things going as planned, she gets kidnapped by a member of the Sicilian mafia named Massimo. He decides to keep her locked up for 365 days in an attempt to get her to fall in love with him. Some might say this movie depicts the ultimate case of Stockholm syndrome.
One of the biggest movies to be added to Netflix in 2020 was Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth. Although most people know him as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hemsworth has starred in plenty of other action movies as well, including this one. In Extraction, he plays the role of a black market mercenary named Tyler Rake who is willing to do whatever it takes to rescue the kidnapped son of an international crime lord. Since the boy is an innocent victim, Tyler knows that he has to do the right thing. This film is rough, gory, and shocking in its video game-esque cinematography and violence. If you enjoy it, then you’ll be happy to know that a sequel is on its way to the streaming platform.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
At this point in time, pretty much everyone knows about the horrific life of Ted Bundy. He was a disturbingly devious serial killer who went after young women by preying on their maternal nature. Zac Efron and Lily Collins are the stars of the film, with the former playing the role of Bundy himself. Over the course of Bundy’s life, he kidnapped and murdered at least 36 women across several states in the 1970s. Experts now believe that he actually murdered closer to 100 young women or more even though he never confessed to such a high and heinous number. There have been several Ted Bundy movies released over the years, but not all of them have provided audiences with such a realistic perspective from the woman who was romantically involved in Ted‘s life.
Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins are the stars of Abduction, a 2011 action thriller about a young man who doesn’t know which way to turn. He discovers that his whole life has been a lie after seeing a missing persons photo of himself as a child online. The two people who raised him as his parents are not actually his blood-related family members, a fact that causes him to question everything. In an attempt to uncover his true identity, he and his beautiful female neighbor become the targets of assassins. Lautner has gotten a lot of attention over the years for his work in the Twilight franchise alongside Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, but his work in Abduction deserves just as much attention.
Seized is another 2020 action movie focused on the subject of kidnapping. The son of a former special forces agent goes missing, and if he ever wants to see his son alive again, the agent must agree to wipe out three dangerous crime syndicates. With such a huge responsibility on his task list, he’s willing to do whatever it takes in order to rescue his son.
When two men abduct a woman named Stella off the street and hold her for ransom, she does everything in her power to break free and derail their criminal plans. She’s limited when it comes to what she’s able to do since they’ve got her bound and gagged. Nevertheless, she isn’t willing to go down without a fight. Kidnapping Stella is a 2019 movie filled with a lot of high-intensity moments.
The Lovely Bones
Based on the heartbreaking novel by Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones is a 2009 movie adaptation from The Lord of the Rings’ Peter Jackson. It stars Saoirse Ronan in the leading role as Susie Salmon, a 14-year-old girl who goes missing. Her next-door neighbor watches her and stalks her for several months before moving forward with his plan to rape and kill her. She watches from heaven as her grief-stricken family mourns her loss. Her younger sister even attempts to solve the case since the police are unable to figure it out.
Abducted in Plain Sight
Abducted in Plain Sight is a documentary focused on the 1974 case of a missing 12-year-old girl named Jan Broberg. She was snatched from her small church-going community in Idaho by someone no one would’ve ever guessed: a trusted neighbor and close family friend. The true-crime movie goes into deep detail about everything that happened in Jan’s case before, during, and after the incident.
All of these films, and many more that are equally as heart-pounding, are available to stream now on Netflix.