Since the days of Hitchcock, writers and directors have been trying to perfect the Murder-Mystery.
Why? Because there is something psychologically scintillating about being on the edge of our seat; we, as the audience, love it and hate it. It's like playing with fire - you know that once you touch it you'll get burned, but you just can't help yourself.
Hitchcock knew that that the audience loved to be fooled, to be toyed and played with. We want to be shocked and awed, and, if we could, have our pants blown literally right off in the process.
That said, some films do this better than others. But what separates the greats from the rest of the pack is their ability to keep us guessing until the very end.
Whether it's a head in a box, or discovering the killer has a split personality, these films have climbed to the top of the murder-mystery genre - and for good reason. Sit back and make sure your pants are on tight, these are the greatest murder-mystery films that fooled us all.
10. Rear Window
Rear Window follows a photographer, L.B. Jeffries, who broke his leg and is now confined to a wheelchair in his apartment. With time on his hands, he begins noticing bizarre activities of his neighbor, who, at this point, has a wife who is missing, and, as good ole' Jeffries notices, has been out late for the last several nights.
It isn't just Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly's acting that keeps us bolstered to the chair (much like Jeffries by the way), it's the suspense built from the moment the audience is introduced to the characters in Greenwich Village.
First, Jeffries hears a woman cry, "Don't!". Next, he catches his neighbor cleaning a large knife and a chainsaw. As Jeffries' suspicions rise, so do ours. The whole time we watch Jeffries snap photographs of the events going on across the street, we keep in the back of our heads that Jeffries is paralyzed for the time being and if the killer even glances across the street he'll be as good as dead.
We pray and hope that he doesn't look our way, but deep down you know he will. And he does. It's Hitchcock all the way, from the camera shots detailing the lives of each of the tenants to the finale, where the killer is on Jeffries' door step and there's no one to help him.