5 best Malayalam survival thrillers; From Fahadh Faasil’s Malayankunju to Tovino’s 2018

Are you craving for some more Malayalam survival thriller movies after watching Manjummel Boys? Sit back and (don’t) relax, as we take a look at 5 brilliant Malayalam survival thriller movies.

Updated on Feb 27, 2024  |  05:29 PM IST |  244.5K
5 best Malayalam survival thrillers
Top 5 Malayalam survival thriller movies (PC: IMDb)

Perhaps one of the most exciting sub-genres in the thriller space is that of survival thrillers. When done right, they are nail-biting, engrossing, exhilarating and offer an ultimate cinematic experience for the audience. It is the innate fear of every human to be trapped or stuck in unexpected situations, making survival thrillers a terrifying escape from reality.

The recently released Manjummel Boys has really upped the benchmark for survival thrillers to follow, but fret not, here are 5 equally worthy Malayalam films in the survival genre. In fact, after watching these films, you will be convinced that nobody does this better than Mollywood. 

Top 5 Malayalam Survival Thriller Movies

1. 2018: Everyone is a Hero (2023)

  • Writer-Director: Jude Anthany Joseph
  • Runtime: 2 hours 28 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 8.4/10
  • Cast: Tovino Thomas, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Kunchako Boban, Indrans
  • Genre: Thriller/Drama
  • Where to Watch: Sony Liv

Like most survival films, 2018: Everyone is a Hero is also based on the real-life 2018 Kerala floods that sent shockwaves across the country. 2018 is a horrifying depiction of the plight of several Malayalis, but more so, it is the courage and unity of the people of Kerala that shines bright in this epic survival saga. The film was also selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars but unfortunately failed to get a nomination.


2. Malayankunju (2022)

  • Writer: Mahesh Narayanan
  • Director: Sajimon Prabhakar
  • Runtime: 1 hour 54 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
  • Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Rajisha Vijayan, Alex Alister
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video

Based on the landslide that occurred in Idukki, Kerala, Malayankunju beautifully intertwines fiction and reality to create a gripping atmosphere. The plot follows Anikuttan, a casteist quiet technician whose life turns to hell when the cries of a supposedly lower-class newborn baby take him back to muddy, treacherous memory lanes. Malayankunju is more a battle within, than a battle outside, and is one of Fahadh’s most underrated films as well as performances. 

3. Helen (2019)

  • Writer-Director: Mathukutty Xavier
  • Runtime: 1 hour 57 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Cast: Anna Ben, Noble Babu Thomas, Alfred Kurian, Lal
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Where to Watch: Online

Helen is a spine-chilling survival drama that keeps you glued throughout its runtime. Based on certain real incidents and mostly fictionalised elements, Helen attempts to tell the survival story of an ordinary girl against impossible odds. The film features a powerful Anna Ben, who captures the fear and also the unending hope of survival.

4. Virus (2019)

  • Writers: Sharfu, Suhas
  • Director: Aashiq Abu
  • Runtime: 2 hours 32 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 7.7/10
  • Cast: Tovino Thomas, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Asif Ali
  • Genre: Thriller/Drama
  • Where to Watch: Prime Video/ZEE5

Virus, as the name suggests, revolves around the deadly Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala. It is the story of how a brave group of individuals joined forces to eliminate the epidemic, as Kerala fought to stay alive. It is an utterly realistic portrayal of the incidents that occurred during the Nipah outbreak, making it an uncomfortable yet highly satisfying watch.

5. Take Off (2017)

  • Writer-Director: Mahesh Narayanan
  • Runtime: 2 hours 19 minutes
  • IMDB Rating: 8.1/10
  • Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Kunchako Boban, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Asif Ali
  • Genre: Thriller/Action
  • Where to Watch: Disney + Hotstar, Jio Cinema

Based on the struggle of the Indian nurses in Iraq during 2014, Take Off is a heart-wrenching tale, executed to near-perfection by Mahesh Narayanan. The film presents the plight of the nurses, and how a clever ambassador Manoj uses his sharp thinking skills to get the girls out of Iraq alive. Take Off takes no cinematic liberties and showcases the ordeal as it is, while also delivering a gem of a cinematic experience.

ALSO READ: Top 15 best Malayalam thriller movies on Netflix, Prime Video, and more; From Mammootty’s Kannur Squad to Fahadh Faasil’s Trance

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A wannabe programmer, with a full-time passion for cinema, Pavaman writes for breakfast, reads for lunch and watches a


Credits: YouTube/IMDb

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