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12 Movies Like Where The Crawdads Sing To Watch Next

In many ways, modern day Hollywood has come to be defined by remakes and blockbuster franchises that target a demographic that likes its helpings of cinema to come with plenty of explosions and CGI effects. But occasionally, smaller movies manage to break through and achieve success at the box office, like 2022's "Where the Crawdads Sing." 

Based on Delia Owens' best-selling novel of the same name, the movie follows the story of Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman who lives on her own in the marshlands of North Carolina in 1953. At first preferring to keep her own company, Kya eventually gets into a relationship with two men once she reaches adulthood. But when one of those men turns up dead, Kya suddenly finds herself in the public spotlight, fighting to clear accusations that she is the one who killed him. 

While critics weren't particularly fond of it, viewers fiercely disagreed, as seen in the gap between the critic and audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes. It's not surprising then that this coming-of-age movie managed to rake in healthy profits at the box office (via Box Office Mojo)

If you enjoyed "Where the Crawdads Sing" and are looking for something in the same vein to watch next, here are 12 films from around the world that explore similar themes of trauma, the transition to adulthood, and love surrounded by mystery and violence.

Marrowbone (2017)

The mid-2010s saw a burst of promising new horror filmmakers putting their stamp on the genre like Ari Aster, Robert Eggers, and Jordan Peele, as well as a rise of new stars in the genre. One such star is Anya-Taylor Joy, who established herself as a prominent presence in horror with films like "The Witch" (2015), "Split" (2016), and 2017's "Marrowbone." 

Written and directed by Sergio G. Sánchez, "Marrowbone" sees Taylor-Joy in the role of Allie, a young woman living in rural Maine, who befriends a group of children that move into a house called the Marrowbone Residence. Years pass, and Allie draws closer to the oldest of the children, Jack (George MacKay). But while Allie and Jack work out their feelings for each other, dark secrets hiding in Marrowbone and the threat of the arrival of Jack's abusive father look to derail all of their lives. 

With a young cast of promising actors and an emotional narrative threading throughout the film, "Marrowbone" relies more on an atmosphere of psychological fear rather than jump scares to make an impression on audiences. "Where the Crawdads Sing" allows the audience to root for the protagonist despite the accusations leveled at her and "Marrowbone" operates in the same way. You can't help but hope that Allie, Jack, and his siblings find a way out of their problems after years of abuse and isolation.  

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

The Girl on the Train (2016)

Much like "Where the Crawdads Sing," "The Girl on the Train" started out as a best-selling novel written by Paula Hawkins, which was published in 2015. Hollywood jumped at the chance to make an adaptation of the novel, and in 2016, audiences got a film adaptation starring Emily Blunt, which went on to make a nice dent at the box office (via Box Office Mojo).

Rachel Watson (Blunt) is a lonely alcoholic struggling to come to terms with her failed marriage. Rachel has taken to riding trains aimlessly, watching humanity pass her by from a safe distance. During one such trip, Rachel runs into Megan (Haley Bennett), who worked as a nanny for Rachel's ex-husband (Justin Theroux) and his new wife (Rebecca Ferguson). Hours later, Rachel wakes up covered in blood, and discovers that Megan has been reported missing. Now, Rachel must work with the police to discover the truth behind the disappearance to clear herself of all suspicion. 

With a powerful central performance by Emily Blunt as the benumbed but internally wounded Rachel, "The Girl on the Train" works as both a mystery-thriller and a moving drama about its three main female characters played by Blunt, Ferguson, and Bennett. "[T]he movie gives away the game faster than the novel," Peter Travers noted in his review for Rolling Stone. "But Emily Blunt digs so deep into the role of a blackout drunk and maybe murderer that she raises Girl to the level of spellbinder."   

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Gone Girl (2014)

Filmmaker David Fincher is well-known for his unflinching take on the worst excesses of human nature in some of the most well-received thrillers of all time. So, when it was announced that Fincher would be directing the big-screen adaptation of Gillian Flynn's 2012's bestselling psychological thriller novel "Gone Girl," fans were excited to see what the auteur filmmaker would do with the promising source material. 

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is a writing teacher and struggling novelist, who is trapped in a difficult marriage with Amy (Rosamund Pike). On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick discovers that Amy has disappeared. A media storm gathers around Nick, as a mountain of evidence begins piling up that he had been abusive towards Amy, cheated on her with one of his students, and killed his wife. But the truth turns out to be even more twisted once the audience sees the bigger picture from Amy's point of view. Like Kay in "Where the Crawdads Sing," Amy uses her innocent appearance to disguise a marked degree of ruthlessness. 

With Fincher's trademark darkly stylish mix of grime and wit, "Gone Girl" makes barely a noticeable misstep in its unfolding of the facts surrounding Amy's disappearance. Along with a talented supporting cast all bringing their A-game, Affleck and Pike give career-best performances as a tortured couple with more skeletons in their closets than they know what to do with, while struggling to present a front to the world as the perfect spousal unit. 

Paper Towns (2015)

With his 2012 novel "The Fault in Our Stars," John Green established his talent for telling tortured love stories. Prior to that, Green had gone down another dark road with his 2008 coming-of-age novel "Paper Towns," which was adapted into a Hollywood feature in 2015, starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne.

Quentin "Q" Jacobsen (Wolff) is an adolescent who has long nursed a crush on his neighbor Margo (Delevingne). Despite being friends at a young age, a traumatic incident drove Q and Margo apart until their teenage years, when Margo unexpectedly recruits Q for an all-night road trip. As the duo starts to form a bond again, secrets from their childhood and an undisclosed part of Margo's personal life threatens to tear the budding relationship apart.  

Similarly to "Where the Crawdads Sing, "Paper Towns" serves up some hard lessons and uncomfortable truths about growing up in a small town. The movie works well thanks to the chemistry between the central cast, which makes the audience actually care about the interpersonal drama going on between the high-schoolers. "An engaging, if familiar, mix of teen rites of passage, the fun of friendship and mooning over a cool girl," Ian Freer noted in his review for Empire Magazine. "Still, Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne make for a watchable duo."

Kill Your Darlings (2013)

The "Beat Generation" was a post-war literary movement that became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1950s and the ensuing decades (via Britannica). The movement was spearheaded by such noted poets and writers as Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr, and their group garnered more than a little bad press for their rejection of standard moral values. "Kill Your Darlings" offers a fictionalized version of some of the Beat Generation's most notorious moments. 

In 1944, Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is a fresh-faced student at Columbia University, where he meets the charismatic Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). In college, Ginsberg and Carr find more like-mended youths like William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and their friendships become the basis of what would one day be known as the Beat Generation. But soon, the fraternity comes under threat, as its young members recklessly experiment with drugs and new experiences.

Ginsberg's real-life secretary Bob Rosenthal criticized "Kill Your Darlings" for taking liberties with the true story of Carr and Ginsberg's time at college (via Allenginsberg.org). However, despite some of these creative licenses taken, "Kill Your Darlings" also brings a rare energy and passion to the world of poets and writers. It portrays them as daring and very much human rebels, rather than a collection of high-minded geniuses removed from the real world. Fans of "Where the Crawdads Sing" will appreciate the film's period piece aspect, as well as its murder-mystery components.

Lady Vengeance (2005)

For many non-Korean fans, filmmaker Park Chan-Wook's 2003 "Oldboy" was their explosive initial introduction into the fascinating world of Korean thriller films. What fewer people know is that "Oldboy" was part of a trilogy of movies by Chan-Wook dubbed the "Vengeance Trilogy." The final part of the series arrived in 2005 with "Lady Vengeance." 

Like Kya from "Where the Crawdads Sing," Lee Geum-ja (Lee Young-ae) is a woman who has been deeply wronged by society. Geum-ja has been locked up in prison for more than a decade on charges of kidnapping and murdering of a 6-year-old. After proving herself a model prisoner, Geum-ja is finally released back into society, where she yearns to take revenge against the people who conspired to put her put in jail for a crime she did not commit. As Geum-ja walks the path of revenge, she discovers a far more horrifying criminal world than anything she could have imagined. 

Filmed with Park Chan-Wook's well-known mix of over-the-top violence and gut-wrenchingly emotional story beats, "Lady Vengeance" is a worthy successor to the previous two parts of the Vengeance Trilogy. Lee Young-ae in the lead role delivers an affectingly powerful performance as the hardened anti-heroine trying to grapple with the reality of a world where traditional morality is nothing more than a barely remembered fever dream.  

Things Heard & Seen (2021)

"All Things Cease to Appear" is a 2016 horror thriller novel by Elizabeth Brundage adapted into the 2021 psychological horror movie "Things Heard & Seen," written and directed by the joint directorial team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.

In the 1980s, art historian Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) gets offered a teaching job in upstate New York. She moves there with her husband and daughter and they rent a farmhouse that — unbeknownst to them — has a troubled past. Soon, Catherine starts experiencing a series of supernatural phenomena connected to the house. As her family falls deeper down a rabbit hole of violence and deception, Catherine realizes that the true danger comes not from spirits but from the land of the living and those she trusts the most.  

While "Things Heard & Seen" caught some flack for diluting the complexities of Elizabeth Brundage's narrative twists and turns in the original novel, the film was praised by critics for its lead performances and crafting a compelling aura of unknowable menace surrounding the lead character similar to "Where the Crawdads Sing." Johnny Oleksinski noted in his review for The New York Post that "[The movie] has a spooky atmosphere and an appealingly slow boil."  

Lost Girls (2020)

Genre cinema has come to be seen as a rare commodity in Hollywood these days due to film studios favoring big-budget franchise IPs. But streaming platforms have picked up the slack with a slew of new genre offerings by talented filmmakers. One such film is Netflix's "Lost Girls," based on the real life case of the Long Island serial killer

On the South Shore barrier islands of Long Island, Amy Ryan (Mari Gilbert) is fighting a lonely battle to discover the truth about the disappearance of her daughter Shannan (Sarah Wisser). As Amy persists in bringing law enforcement's attention to the case, a pattern of killings begin to emerge that all point towards a serial killer, who targets young female sex workers. 

Like "Where the Crawdads Sing," "Lost Girls" has its roots in female-centric crime literature. The movie was adapted from the non-fiction book of the same name by Robert Kolker, and it does a reasonable job of sticking to the source material while being driven by committed performances from its lead cast of talented actresses. Several critics praised director Liz Garbus for her telling of this story, with David Edelstein noting for Vulture, "Garbus brings off something extraordinary in a film that sets out to leave us sad, enraged, and profoundly unsatisfied."

Rebecca (2020)

Daphne du Maurier's classic 1938 novel "Rebecca" has long been a source of inspiration for Hollywood. The book has already been adapted on film, stage, and television, most notably in 1940's Best Picture Oscar winner "Rebecca" directed by master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. In 2020, filmmaker Ben Wheatley took another stab at adapting the source material for modern audiences. 

Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer) is a wealthy widower mourning the loss of his first wife Rebecca. In Monte Carlo, Maxim meets a beautiful young woman (Lily James) and the two get married after a whirlwind courtship. Soon after, the new Mrs. de Winter moves into Maxim's home. But the shadow of Rebecca's death hangs over the new couple, as details are revealed from Maxim's past that threaten to destroy their lives. 

Inevitably, the new "Rebecca" will be compared to Hitchcock's classic. Fortunately, Wheatley's film has enough of its own identity to stand tall among the competition, despite the controversy surrounding one of its lead stars. Like Kya from "Where the Crawdads Sing," the protagonist of "Rebecca" starts out beset by forces beyond her control, as she has to fight for her right to a life of love and security. David Gonzalez noted in his review for ReelTalk, "Ben Wheatley tackles the lingering spirit of Hitchcock and his Best Picture-winning film in one of the better remakes of the master of suspense's work."

Carrie (1976)

Perhaps counter-intuitively, the horror movie genre has always given female characters a lot of room for empowerment and autonomy despite also frequently making them victims and damsels in distress. One of the most famous icons of horror is Carrie White, the teen protagonist of Stephen King's best-selling novel, later adapted into a 1976 movie by Brian De Palma.

Sissy Spacek stars as the titular Carrie, a 16-year-old school student with secret telekinetic powers, who endures frequent bullying at the hands of her peers while living with her religious fanatic mother. Things escalate when Carrie gets nominated as Prom Queen in a plot for her classmates to humiliate her on stage. Things come to a gory head as Carrie prepares for the biggest night of her life while unaware of the prank being engineered against her. As with "Where the Crawdads Sing," the movie makes a pointed statement about how far you can bully and push a woman before she fights back with great fury.

This dark and disturbing adaptation of "Carrie" is often cited as one of the best horror movies of all time, as well as one of the best films dealing with high-school angst and coming-of-age themes. Scenes from the movie — particularly Carrie standing on stage covered in blood — have made their way into pop culture for decades, while Sissy Spacek is best remembered for her title role in this movie, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best actress

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Frances McDormand has long been hailed as a force for change in Hollywood, taking on a number of powerful and atypical roles in the later stages of her career. One such role is found in the 2017 crime drama film "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," where McDormand plays a character with immense inner resolve similar to Kya from "Where the Crawdads Sing," as McDormand plays a mother looking to get justice for her late daughter. 

In the town of Ebbing, Missouri, Mildred Hayes (McDormand) is still wracked with grief over the rape and murder of her teen daughter Angela (Kathryn Newton). Making matters worse is the indifference of local law enforcement, who seem disinterested in bringing Angela's killer to justice. Matters come to a head when Mildred rents three empty billboards and posts messages on them condemning the local police. The issue takes on new dimensions as Mildred finds herself squaring off against not just the police department but the entire town. 

With an impressive box-office gross (via Box Office Mojo) and several award nominations and wins to its credit (via IMDb), "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" proved a hit with both critics and audiences. According to Metro, the film inspired similar stunts in places like London and Florida, to which McDormand responded by saying she was "thrilled that activists all over the world have been inspired by the set decoration of the three billboards in [the] film."

Kahaani (2012)

Outside of India, the Bollywood film industry is most commonly associated with song-and-dance musicals that focus on sweeping romances. But Bollywood films offer a lot more variety than that, as exemplified by the 2012 thriller "Kahaani," which creates a Hitchcockian mystery that centers around a pregnant woman in a strange city.  

Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan) is a software engineer who arrives in Kolkata, India from London in search of her missing husband. Despite being pregnant, Vidya is forced to conduct the search on her own after realizing that the local police are apathetic to the issue. As Vidya delves deeper into the case, events begin to spiral out of control, as both the police and mysterious government forces seek to stop Vidya before she unearths too many skeletons in the city's closet. 

A powerful leading performance by Balan elevates "Kahaani" above the trappings of a generic mystery thriller. Vidya is left to fend for herself by the authorities much like Kya in "Where the Crawdads Sing." You can't help but root for her journey to find the truth about her missing husband, as she faces seemingly insurmountable odds. "Kahaani" also stands out thanks to its depiction of a different side of Kolkata, which is seen while Vidya and her allies dig deep into the city's seedy underbelly in search of answers.