There is an allure to kidnap movies that keeps viewers hooked until the credits roll. Perhaps it’s viewing people in suspense or imagining oneself in precarious situations, but whatever the reason, these films are some of the most captivating genres around. There is a sense of exhilaration that comes with trying to predict who the kidnapper is, if anyone will be rescued, and guessing how justice will ultimately be served. So, if you’re looking for a thrill, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 kidnap movies sure to give you an adrenaline rush.
Prisoners is a suspenseful thriller about a desperate father’s search for his missing daughter and her friend. Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is a father of two girls and when his youngest and her friend are abducted, he is willing to do anything to get them back. With the help of Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), he embarks on a search for the girls, leading him to a mysterious and deeply disturbed man. As the search progresses, Keller’s desperation and frustration cause him to take matters into his own hands, with devastating consequences. With a great performance by Hugh Jackman and a riveting plot, Prisoners is an intense and unforgettable thriller.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed 
The plot of this film follows Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), the daughter of a rich family, as she’s kidnapped for ransom by two masked men. Unbeknownst to Vic (Eddie Marsan), one of these abductors is actually Alice’s boyfriend Danny (Martin Compston). Throughout their charade, Alice and Danny must remain strangers to each other or risk being killed by Vic.
Kevin suffers from dissociative identity disorder and is capable of taking on different personalities. When he kidnaps three teenage girls, they must find a way to escape his clutches before it’s too late.
Berlin Syndrome 
This kidnap movie is a psychological thriller about an Australian photographer, Clare (Teresa Palmer), who embarks on a romantic holiday in Berlin. But her vacation takes a sinister turn when she meets Andi (Max Riemelt) and becomes his prisoner in his own home. With no way out and limited contact to the outside world, her only choice is become the perfect captive in order to survive.
On a cross-country drive, Jeff (Kurt Russell) and Amy Taylor (Kathleen Quinlan), get into an accident which leaves them stranded in the New Mexico desert. A truck driver who passes by, Red Barr (J.T. Walsh), offers to take Amy to a café nearby so she can call for help whilst Jeff stays behind to fix the car. However, once he arrives at the café himself and looks for his wife, he finds her missing with Barr professing innocence. This sets off Jeff on a frantic search for Amy throughout the town.
Misery tells the story of a novelist, Paul Sheldon (James Caan), who is held captive by his number one fan, Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). After being rescued from a car crash in the middle of a snowstorm by Annie, Paul soon discovers that she will not let him go until he finishes writing the book she wants. Annie’s erratic behavior and desperation to keep Paul in her home slowly take a psychological toll on him, leaving viewers on the edge of their seat until the very end.
Taken is a 2008 action thriller starring Liam Neeson as a retired CIA operative who is forced to come out of retirement when his teenage daughter is kidnapped by human traffickers while vacationing in Paris. With the help of a former colleague, Neeson embarks on a frantic search to rescue his daughter, stopping at nothing to get her back. Along the way, he uncovers a deep-seated conspiracy…
Man on Fire 
In this film, ex-government agent John Creasy (played by Denzel Washington) takes a job as a bodyguard for a wealthy Mexican family. When the family’s young daughter Lupita is kidnapped and held for ransom, Creasy starts his own investigation to save her.
Pet is a 2016 psychological thriller about Seth, a lonely, disgruntled employee at a pet store who abducts a young woman named Holly. In his twisted mind, Seth believes that if he can keep Holly captive long enough, she will eventually fall in love with him. Meanwhile, Seth’s bosses at the pet store are starting to suspect his involvement in her disappearance.
Joy, has been held captive by a man known as “Old Nick”, who has been controlling her and her son’s lives. Joy has managed to keep her son, Jack, safe and happy by providing him with a loving and supportive environment in the small room, while also protecting him from the harsh reality of their situation. After a daring escape plan, Joy and Jack eventually escape their captivity and must learn to adjust to their newfound freedom. They are faced with the challenge of rebuilding their lives while dealing with the consequences of their past experiences.
10 Cloverfield Lane 
After being in a car accident, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up to find herself locked in an underground bunker with two strangers. They tell her that the outside world is no longer safe and she must stay with them for her own safety. As time goes on, Michelle begins to question why they are really keeping her there.
This classic kidnap thriller follows Tom Mullen (Mel Gibson), a millionaire CEO whose son is kidnapped in an expertly executed plot. To get his son back, Tom must pay the ransom demanded by the kidnappers or risk never seeing him again. With time and money running out, Tom must do whatever it takes to save his son before it’s too late.
Gone Baby Gone 
Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 crime drama directed by Ben Affleck. Set in the working-class neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts, the story follows private detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro as they search for four-year-old Amanda McCready, a missing girl. As they look into the case, they uncover a much bigger and darker conspiracy involving drug dealers, corrupt cops, and Amanda’s own family.
The Vanishing 
The Vanishing is a 1988 psychological thriller directed by George Sluizer. The movie follows the story of Rex, an average Dutch man, and Saskia, the love of his life. After Saskia mysteriously disappears at a rest stop, Rex becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her. He soon discovers that a mysterious man named Raymond is responsible for her disappearance, and he will stop at nothing to find her. The Vanishing is a suspenseful exploration of obsession and the lengths we can go to in the name of love. It is a gripping testament to the power of the human spirit and its ability to overcome even the most daunting of obstacles.
Sympathy for Mr Vengance 
This South Korean kidnap thriller follows a deaf and mute man, Ryu, who kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy businessman in order to pay for his sister’s kidney transplant. When negotiations with the family break down and the girl is killed, Ryu turns to violent means to get revenge on those responsible.