10 best French thriller series on Netflix, Prime Video & more

The French language is considered so sultry and seductive that it is most commonly attributed to romance dramas or slow-burn epics, but they have proved that it works perfectly well in any particular setting.

Most streaming platforms are following the example of Netflix and expanding their collection to include more foreign-language series of all genres. Among these genres is the French thriller that engages and excites in equal measure. Here are the 10 best French thriller series you must watch.

1. Lupin

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Hervé Pierre, Soufiane Guerrab, Etan Simon, Shirine Boutella

Assane Diop (Sy) is a professional thief brimming with tons of charm, charisma and talent. 25 years ago, his father was framed by his wealthy employer and Assane became an orphan. Now he plans on taking revenge, carrying out crimes inspired by a fictional character, ‘Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Thief’.

Lupin is a very popular series that took the world by storm upon release, momentarily becoming one of the most-watched foreign-language series on Netflix.

2. Le chalet (The Chalet)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Chloé Lambert, Philippe Dusseau, Blanche Veisberg, Eric Savin, Mia Delmaë, Manuel Blanc

A group of childhood friends reunite as part of a wedding party and head to a secluded chalet situated in the French Alps. When their only route back is cut off, they realise that they’re stranded in a location with no proper access to technology and many troubling secrets. The group of friends attempt to survive as more about the chalet’s worrying past emerges.

Shot in such a serene location, the cinematography is of the highest quality in this series as the haunting score and suspenseful plot elevate the series.

3. Totems

Available on: Prime Video

Cast: Niels Schneider, Vera Kolesnikova, José Garcia, Lambert Wilson, Ana Girardot, Aleksey Guskov

A brilliant young rocket scientist is thrown into the field to complete a very integral spy mission amid the Cold War in the 1960s. While on the mission he meets a Soviet woman and falls in love with her, but is forced to make some very difficult decisions when he finds out that she is secretly working for the KGB.

This series captures the tone and the allure of the 60s magnificently as the international cast deliver their absolute best performances for the audience.

4. Braqueurs (Ganglands)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Dahlia Salem, Nabiha Akkari, Sami Bouajila, Geert Van Rampelberg, Salim Kechiouche, Tracy Gotoas

A petty thief steals some drugs from the wrong person and as a result, her girlfriend is kidnapped. To secure her safety, the thief has to team up her girlfriend’s uncle, a qualified robber, and carry out some jobs that put them smack dab in the middle of a turf war between rival drug cartels.

The series involves some heart-stopping action and some well fleshed out characters. The pacing is on point as this French thriller keeps the audience hooked on.

5. Zone Blanche (Black Spot)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Suliane Brahim, Hubert Delattre, Laurent Capelluto, Samuel Jouy, Camille Aguilar, Renaud Rutten

An ambitious new prosecutor travels to the small, isolated town of Villefranche where he means to investigate the reasons behind the ridiculously high murder rate as well as the town’s mayor who seems to have a shady past. Also on the case is a local inspector who has been a victim in the past and is out of her depths with each newly discovered corpse.

The supernatural setting is absolutely terrifying and has the audience chewing on fingernails and watching their backs in search of the next scare. The story of this French thriller is well written and is complemented by the cast and score of the series.

6.  Disparu à jamais (Gone for Good)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Finnegan Oldfield, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Guillaume Gouix, Garance Marillier, Nailia Harzoune, Tómas Lemarquis

Guillaume (Oldfield) has gone through a lot of tragedy in his young life. After losing his first love, and his brother, he doesn’t believe he will ever find happiness again. After falling in love with someone, things look to be headed in the right direction. But when his girlfriend disappears without a trace, he’s forced to dig deep and uncover the many secrets that have been kept from him.

Based on a Harlan Coben novel, this series has everything you would expect from an adaptation of his story. The winding story, the intrigue, the tension, all characteristics of a solid French thriller.

7. Into the Night

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Pauline Etienne, Laurent Capelluto, Mehmet Kurtulus, Babetida Sadjo, Jan Bijvoet, Ksawery Szlenkier

When the sun begins to kill everyone on Earth, a group of eclectic passengers on an overnight flight band together to outrun the sunrise and survive for as long as they possibly can. They also have to contend with each other’s egos as well maintain their supplies and take every precaution they possibly can.

An extremely thrilling sci-fi plot with a wonderful blend of characters means that this French thriller is bound to grab the attention of its audience.

8. Criminal: France

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Margot Bancilhon, Laurent Lucas, Stéphane Jobert, Anne Azoulay, Mhamed Arezki, Valentin Merlet

A group of investigators have three different suspects in three different cases and it is their job to break down these mysteries and get to the bottom of the barrel. These suspects are subject to tense interrogations as it becomes a case of who will break first and lose their minds in the confines of the interrogation room.

Just one part of a much larger series, the concept of the entirety of episodes taking place in a single room has an air of anxiety to it as the stakes are raised in the procedural French thriller.

9.  Dérapages (Inhuman Resources)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Eric Cantona, Suzanne Clément, Alex Lutz, Gustave Kervern, Alice de Lencquesaing, Louise Coldefy

Alain is a man who has been down in the dumps for almost 6 years after he was let go as a company-wide cull of older employees. When he gets an opportunity to work for a huge company, he’s excited by the opportunity. However, the application process involves a strange role=playing game as the company prepares to let go almost 2500 employees from their factory.

Former football star Eric Cantona shows off his acting chops in this series that has a real root to its plot and showcase the depths that a man will go when he has nothing to lose.

10. La forêt (The Forest)

Available on: Netflix

Cast: Samuel Labarthe, Suzanne Clément, Alexia Barlier, Frédéric Diefenthal, Patrick Ridremont, Nicolas MariéThre

When a 16-year-old girl goes missing in a forest in the Ardennes, France, it falls to Captain Gaspard Deker and officer Virginie Musso to find out what happened to her. To help them in these mysterious circumstances is Eve, a lonely woman who has her own painful history connected to the history.

The very realistic setting coupled with some top-notch performances in this French thriller series makes it one of the most interesting properties on the platform to watch.


Also Read: 10 best French comedy series & movies on Netflix, Prime Video & more

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