It would be difficult to justify any kind of list concerning the thriller genre without including the work of Brian De Palma – he directed two of the biggest movies in the '80s in Scarface and The Untouchables. He also directed a number of other thrillers throughout which could have made this list. Blow Out has always been underrated in that it is an unbelievably good thriller by any standard, which deserves much more acclaim and popularity.
Blow Out is based on the 1966 movie Blow-Up by Michelangelo Antonioni and stars John Travolta in a stand out performance. Travolta plays a sound-effect artist; he is out recording one night when a car plummets from a bridge following a blow out. Travolta rescues Nancy Allen’s Sally from the river but the driver dies.
The driver turns out to be a presidential candidate and on listening to his recordings, Travolta becomes convinced he has recorded a gunshot. From here the plot thickens and twists in exceptional ways. There are some excellent sequences throughout and much of the film’s execution is deliberately reminiscent of Hitchcock and Argento.
This is an absolutely first-rate thriller by a director at the very top of his game.