Directed by Tseng Ying-ting, ‘The Abandoned’ acquaints us with police officer Wu Jie, whose attempt to take her own life changes it dramatically. On the outskirts of town, she discovers the body of a young Thai woman with a missing heart and finger. Soon, Wu Jie’s investigation with her rookie partner reveals a grim pattern of grisly murders involving missing migrant women. As they race against time to unravel the clues and prevent further fatalities, the case plunges them into a world of dark secrets, and impending danger.
Amidst the relentless pursuit of the truth, Wu Jie confronts her own internal struggles while delving deeper into the complexities of the case. The 2022 film not only sheds light on the chilling mystery behind the murders but also portrays the detectives’ internal battles, culminating in a haunting tale of desperation, suspicion, and a quest for justice. If you’re searching for more intense movies like ‘The Abandoned,’ we’ve just the appropriate recommendations for you.
8. Copycat (1995)
Directed by Jon Amiel, ‘Copycat’ follows Helen Hudson (Sigourney Weaver), a criminal psychologist who specializes in serial killers. When a slew of murders are committed across the city, she recognizes a pattern. The killer is targetting women and copying the methodology of famous historical serial killers, seeking a twisted breed of fame. She begins to work with detectives M.J. Monahan and Reuben Goetz, analyzing the killer’s pattern to prevent the next murder.
To their horror, the psychopath begins to target them personally, going after the reclusive Helen, and taunting her by leaving a book in her bed. Hair-raising sequences of the hunters becoming the hunted leave us at the edge of our seats, resonating in familiarity with Wu Jie’s dangerous investigation. The eerie atmosphere created in both films can be attributed to the mystery of the killer’s plans and intentions, striking at any moment.
7. The Snowman (2017)
A truly chilling serial killer film, ‘The Snowman’ introduces us to seasoned detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) and his rookie partner, Katrine Bratt. As the first snow falls on their quiet Norwegian town, a serial killer emerges, dismembering women and making snowmen around their body parts. Harry suspects a warped childlike mind behind the murder and soon finds himself being taunted by messages left by the snowman-killer. Like in ‘The Abandoned,’ the struggle to uncover the murderer in the Tomas Alfredson directorial becomes an incredibly personal one as a connection is unveiled between them. Fans of the former will find ‘The Snowman’ to be a terrifyingly gripping tale, as striking as its visuals of blood on snow.
6. The Bone Collector (1999)
Helmed by director Phillip Noyce, ‘The Bone Collector’ is a gripping crime thriller that follows Lincoln Rhyme (Denzel Washington), a brilliant forensics detective who is left quadriplegic after an accident. Just as he is contemplating assisted suicide, the department brings him a case of a serial killer abducting people in a cab, and dispatching them using gruesome methods.
Lincoln convinces a reluctant Amelia Donaghy (Angelina Jolie) to be his eyes and ears on the ground for the investigation. The killer leaves cryptic clues, challenging Rhyme and Amelia to solve them before another victim falls prey to the ruthless murderer. Just as in ‘The Abandoned,’ the cops have a fervent urgency to find the psychopath before any more lives are lost, and in their desperation, end up putting themselves in the killer’s crosshairs.
5. Montage (2013)
‘Montage’ or ‘Mong-ta-Joo’ is a South Korean thriller that revolves around the unsolved kidnapping and murder of a young girl named Yoon Su-Yeon. Fifteen years later, a new case emerges with similarities to the past crime, shaking up the lives of those involved in the original investigation. Haunted by his inability to solve the tragic case 15 years ago, retired detective Kang sets out to unravel the recurring mystery. Meanwhile, Su-Yeon’s mother receives a letter claiming to know the truth behind her daughter’s death. As the past and present collide, the search for justice intensifies in the Geun-seop Jeong directorial, bringing to light secrets and unexpected revelations. Fans of ‘The Abandoned’ will find a similar, emotionally charged investigation in ‘Montage,’ also involving a race against time to prevent another terrible loss.
4. Holy Spider (2022)
A serial killer targetting sex workers is loose in Iran’s holy city of Mashhad. Female journalist Rahimi travels to the city for an investigation and witnesses the “Spider Killer” being hailed as a hero doing God’s work. She uncovers a web of suffocating biases against the victims, with officials discouraging her involvement in the case, seeing them as corrupt women. With Ali Abbasi in the director’s chair, ‘Holy Spider’ chronicles the appalling true story of Saeed Hanaei, an old man who saw himself as on a holy mission or jihad. The film matches ‘The Abandoned’ by offering a window into the disturbed mind of the serial killer, and showcasing society’s heartrending apathy towards a marginalized group; immigrants in ‘The Abandoned’ and sex workers in ‘Holy Spider.’
3. The Chaser (2008)
‘The Chaser,’ helmed by Na Hong-jin, is a South Korean action thriller that delves into the life of a former detective turned pimp named Joong-ho. When his girls start mysteriously disappearing after being called up by the same client, he begins to suspect a twisted serial killer. Urgently pursuing a lead, he discovers that the sadistic client behind the disappearances is Young-min. Racing against time to save one of his missing girls, Joong-ho is met with a frustrating lack of police support, leading him to take matters into his own hands.
His desperate pursuit becomes a gripping battle of wits and survival as he tries to outsmart a ruthless and cunning adversary while dealing with his own troubled past. ‘The Chaser’ features a pulse-pounding pursuit sure to enthrall fans of ‘The Abandoned.’ Both films follow a protagonist fighting almost singlehandedly for a vilified group of people against an unpredictable and dangerous foe.
2. The Crimson Rivers (2000)
‘The Crimson Rivers,’ by director Mathieu Kassovitz, is a French murder mystery that intertwines the investigations of two detectives, Pierre Niemans (Jean Reno) and Max Kerkerian. These two officers with clashing personalities delve into separate cases, which ultimately converge. Niemans is assigned to a peculiar murder in an elite university while Kerkerian investigates a desecrated grave in a remote Alpine village. As their paths cross, they uncover a sinister secret lurking within the secluded elitist community.
Their relentless pursuit uncovers a web of dark rituals, genetic experiments, and long-buried secrets tied to an enigmatic sect. Facing twisted foes and a labyrinthine conspiracy, the detectives must combine their skills and instincts to unearth the truth before it’s too late. ‘The Crimson Rivers’ will appeal to those who enjoyed ‘The Abandoned’ for its gripping and atmospheric storytelling that weaves together mystery, suspense, and a compelling exploration of the human psyche.
1. Memories of Murder (2003)
With acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho at the helm, ‘Memories of Murder,’ unveils an unsettling narrative inspired by a real-life serial killer case in South Korea during the 1980s. Detectives Park and Seo, grapple with the brutal murders of young women in a rural province. Their ham-handed investigation highlights the flawed system of police work and their own limitations. Depicting the comical ineptitude and frustration of the investigators, the film artfully juxtaposes intense crime scenes with dark humor.
Amidst a backdrop of political unrest and social change, the detectives face numerous dead ends and false leads. As the killer continues to elude capture, the film offers a stark reflection on the harrowing toll that the pursuit of justice takes on those seeking it. If you liked ‘The Abandoned’ for its gritty and dark navigation of the complexities of policework, ‘Memories of Murder’ will blow you away with its authentic period portrayal, deeply flawed characters, and stellar performances across the board.