Home / Arts & Life / What’s on TV Thursday: ‘The Silence,’ ‘Ouija’ and ‘Merciless’

What’s on TV Thursday: ‘The Silence,’ ‘Ouija’ and ‘Merciless’


Claudia Michelsen and Wotan Wilke Möhring, far right, in “The Silence.”

Music Box Films

Seeking a chill as temperatures rise? Stream some spine-tingling thrillers from the safety of your sofa. But first, hide your Ouija board.

What’s Streaming

THE SILENCE (2013) on Shudder. In 1986 an 11-year-old girl riding a bicycle near a field of summer wheat is raped and murdered. Viewers of this film know the identity of the killer (Ulrich Thomsen), as well as that of his young accomplice (Wotan Wilke Möhring), but the case is never solved. Then, 23 years later, another crime happens in exactly the same way. In his first feature, the director Baran bo Odar “allows the story to unfold at a deliberate pace,” A. O. Scott wrote in The New York Times, “emphasizing the psychological nuances of the mystery rather than its procedural details, and using graceful wide-screen compositions and haunting sound design to create a compelling mood of menace, anxiety and sorrow.”


Riz Ahmed in “The Night Of.”

Barry Wetcher/HBO

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (2016) on Max Go and iTunes; also at 10 p.m. on Cinemax. Doris (Lulu Wilson), a 9-year-old who has been helping her widowed mother (Elizabeth Reaser) make a living as a fortune teller, tries out the newest prop in their fake routine: a Ouija board. And, suddenly, it’s not a game anymore. Henry Thomas (Elliott in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”) plays the requisite priest. Neil Genzlinger of The Times called the film “deliciously creepy.”


Débora Falabella and Bruno Gagliasso in “Merciless.”

Walter Presents

MERCILESS on Walter Presents. “He’s the type of serial killer that makes Dexter look like a softy,” says Walter Iuzzolino (the Walter on Walter Presents) of Edu (Bruno Gagliasso), a Prince Charming of a political adviser who kills women for sport in this Brazilian crime series. Now he’s playing a game of cat-and-mouse with an F.B.I-trained forensic psychologist (Luana Piovani). His girlfriend (Débora Falabella), meanwhile, has no idea whom she’s in bed with.

THE NIGHT OF on HBO Now. Nasir Khan (Riz Ahmed), a son of Pakistani immigrants, drives his father’s cab from Queens to Manhattan for a party. But when a sad-eyed young woman (Sofia Black-D’Elia) hails a ride home, an evening of drugs and sex ensues. He wakes to find her stabbed to death and is charged in the killing. Enter John Stone (John Turturro), a defense lawyer trolling for work, who recognizes the stakes. “Mind your armrests when you watch it all unfold,” James Poniewozik wrote in The Times. “You may clutch them right through the upholstery.”


Kiernan Shipka

Petr Maur/A24

THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER (2017) on Amazon and iTunes. Kat (Kiernan Shipka) and Rose (Lucy Boynton), students at a remote Roman Catholic boarding school for girls, are abandoned by their parents during midterm break and end up in the company of nuns. Elsewhere, Joan (Emma Roberts), who may have escaped from a mental hospital, is given a ride by a grieving couple. The narratives ultimately converge in acts of brutality that suggest that the director, Osgood Perkins, the elder son of Anthony Perkins, is well versed in “Psycho.” In The Times, Jeannette Catsoulis called it “a stealth weapon.”

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