Looking Forward to ‘Calls’? Watch These These 7 Mind-Bending & Genre Defying TV Thrillers

Mr Robot Rami Malek Elliot Alderson Pilot
USA Network

Pulse-raising TV thriller, but make it a phone call. That’s the best way to describe Apple TV+’s upcoming series Calls, which launches with all nine episodes on March 19. The unique series is described as being fully immersive and using minimal visuals with a reliance on complete auditory storytelling. With a star-studded voice cast including talents such as Ben Schwartz, Nick Jonas, Lily Collins, Pedro Pascal, and Rosario Dawson, you won’t want to let these Calls go to voicemail!

But Calls isn’t the first to offer a unique take on the TV thriller. Scroll down for some equally exhilarating and genre-defying picks — like the creepy but touching Black Mirror and the gripping and comedic Room 104 — to hold you over until the series drops.

Black Mirror Shut Up And Dance Alex Lawther

Black Mirror

Charlie Brooker’s sci-fi thriller anthology series has been hooking audiences ever since its premiere in 2011. With a focus on the unsettling realities of technology and its deep-rooted effect on humankind, Black Mirror has presented some of the creepiest episodes that Netflix has to offer. Among those, however, lie some truly touching moments, such as the critically-lauded episodes “San Junipero” and “Hang the DJ,” which bring an element of light-hearted romance in conjunction with the show’s classic trippy technological plot-twists.

Black Mirror is available to stream on Netflix.

Twin Peaks Pilot Dale Cooper Harry Truman Kyle MacLachlan

Twin Peaks

Welcome to the small town of Twin Peaks, Washington, where the coffee is hot, the pie is fresh, and the mysteries are mind-bending. From the twisted masterminds of Mark Frost and David Lynch, Twin Peaks has transcended the label of cult classic and is often regarded as a hallmark of the TV horror/thriller genre — and for good reason! Somehow Lynch was able to combine elements of surrealism, the supernatural, soap operas, and eclectic humor to culminate in one of the best TV thrillers of all time.

Seasons 1-2 of Twin Peaks are available to stream on Netflix. Twin Peaks: The Return is available to stream on Showtime.

Room 104 - Katie Aselton and Sheaun McKinney

Room 104

Often, TV thrillers occupy a variety of locations as they create a gripping story. Well, HBO’s Room 104 goes against the grain. Set in a single location — an average motel room — each episode explores the experiences of different characters as they pass through a seemingly normal space. But everything is not as it seems in this anthology series exploring the unknowns of the human experience. Whether the journey takes the form of a wacky comedy or a nail-biting thriller, that’s for the audience to discover.

Room 104 is available to stream on HBO Max.

Maniac - Emma Stone and Jonah Hill - Netflix - Owen and Annie


If you’re looking for a genre-bending weekend binge, Maniac is the show for you. Starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, and directed by No Time To Die‘s Cary Joji Fukunaga, the miniseries is already a catch on paper. But what truly makes this story stand out is its heartfelt depiction of the human condition and insightful approach to conversations surrounding mental illness. With zany storylines exploring a variety of dreamscapes and aesthetically pleasing visuals, Maniac is not a show to miss.

Maniac is available to stream on Netflix.

The Twilight Zone Rod Serling Netflix

The Twilight Zone

Shocked, right? It almost goes without saying that The Twilight Zone is one of the most iconic TV anthology series to ever grace our screens. A young boy who controls the adults in his town with a firm grip, a toy doll with an evil streak, a street of neighbors who violently turn against each other … the list goes on and on. But what does remain constant is the next level storytelling that would come to define the TV thriller genre for years to come.

The Twilight Zone is available to stream on Netflix and Paramount+.

Mr Robot Rami Malek Elliot Alderson Pilot
USA Network

Mr. Robot

The TV representation of the phrase “We live in a society,” USA Network’s four-season Mr. Robot takes cybersecurity to an anarchic level. Creator Sam Esmail’s already strong premise is bolstered by stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater, who bring their A-game to the show’s twisted world. Yes, it is a thriller, but Mr. Robot also employs a variety of important commentaries on 21st-century issues such as capitalism, mental illness, and rebellion in a fresh and engaging manner, with frequent fourth wall breaks. All in all, be prepared to have your mental code scrambled by its mind-boggling twists.

Mr. Robot is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Julia Roberts as Heidi Bergman in Homecoming on Prime Video
Amazon Studios


Julia Roberts at the center of a puzzling thriller/mystery series executive produced and directed by Esmail? Consider us hooked! The first season of Homecoming finds Roberts caught in a psychologically gripping mystery surrounding a PTSD recovery facility, while in the second season, Janelle Monáe takes the reins. It was adapted from a series of scripted podcasts of the same name, which highlights the power of scripted audio as a vessel for powerful thriller storytelling. It’s safe to say that the twists and turns of Homecoming will keep you asking questions long after the credits have rolled.

Homecoming is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.