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Did Underwater Leave You Breathless? If So, Read These 4 Claustrophobic Thrillers

by  | January 22

There’s nothing like a claustrophobic thriller to get your blood pumping. In the new hair-raiser Underwater, Kristen Stewart plays Norah, a mechanical engineer who finds herself trapped at the bottom of the ocean. As she and her crewmates fight to make it to safety against elements natural and monstrous, Norah must use her wits to survive the Lovecraftian nightmare. Looking to get some more of those up close, terrifying chills of being trapped? Then these four reads will get your heart pounding faster than a speedboat, though you might never want to travel by sea again.

The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10

by Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock is a travel journalist who suffers a traumatic break-in of her home that leaves her afraid and vulnerable. However, she still goes on assignment on a luxury cruise, an exclusive invite to experience a new craft with posh guests and plush cabins. After she sees a woman go overboard, though, things change. For one, every passenger is accounted for, and now Lo is questioning everything she’s experiencing. But there’s something even darker at work here as Lo finds herself trapped onboard with a killer and nowhere to go. Ruth Ware is a master of twists and turns, and setting this thriller on a boat, no matter how luxurious, makes the reader feel, as Lo does, anxious, trapped, and isolated. The Woman in Cabin 10 is a perfect read…unless you’re going on a cruise anytime soon.

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Flight or Fright

Flight or Fright

by Stephen King

If you don’t like flying, then every flight feels like speeding through the air in a tin can that’s mere seconds away from some major catastrophe. Even if you do enjoy a nice, long flight to fun destinations, this collection might make you think twice before buying another plane ticket. It features stories from horror greats Stephen King, Joe Hill, Richard Matheson, Cody Goodfellow, Ray Bradbury, and more, all about the terrifying things that can happen thousands of feet in the air. Ranging from the classic to the contemporary, each story manages to hit different, dark fears, all revolving around being trapped with nowhere to go. I wouldn’t pack Flight or Fright in your carry-on, but it’s a great read if you’re looking to travel any other way (or just planning to stay safely at home).

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Sphere

Sphere

by Michael Crichton

The ocean is mostly unexplored, which is why Underwater is so effectively unnerving. But it’s not the only piece of media that finds horrors in the deep. Michael Crichton, best known for his seminal work Jurassic Park, takes to the deep blue sea in Sphere. A group of scientists head down to the bottom of the ocean to study an unknown spacecraft. It goes as well as you would expect, especially when one of the scientists manages to enter the sphere-like UFO as the rest of the crew are trapped when a cyclone ruins their escape. If you’re looking to get some more of the scary madness that upped the tension in Underwater, you’ll want to grab this tale of nautical nightmares.

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City of Ash and Red

City of Ash and Red

by Hye-young Pyun

Author Hye-young Pyun has a way of making you feel trapped with her prose. Her award-winning novel The Hole manages to get you into the head of a man paralyzed and unable to deal with his seemingly crazy mother-in-law. For those looking for an even more claustrophobic adventure filled with dread and paranoia, I recommend City of Ash and Red. A nameless professional rat killer is brought to C, a country on the brink of collapse, to work at his company’s home office. However, he soon finds himself trapped in quarantine, as the result of a deadly virus, and being accused of murder on top of it all. As he tries to figure out what’s happening while traversing the maze-like world of C, twists pop up that keep him, and the reader, constantly on their toes. The dizzying narrative can be difficult to navigate, but it creates a sense of lost helplessness that really drives home the horror of the situation.

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Photo Credit // Alan Markfield/Twentieth Century Fox

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A reporter by trade, Sara Roncero-Menendez is a lover of horror, sci-fi, and all things pop culture. From indies to classics to even the strangest genre pieces, all movies, TV shows, and books are fair game for a binge-fest. Follow her on Twitter @sararomenen or at her website, www.sara-roncero-menendez.com