Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam

top 10 best mystery movies malayalam

Mollywood has always held a special place in the hearts of movie enthusiasts, but movies like Bangalore Days, Premam, Drishyam, etc. made the Malayalam cinematic experience a nationwide phenomenon. Malayalam movies often stand out for their diverse and thought-provoking themes, realistic acting, rich storylines, and well-crafted character arcs. This time, Top 10s Only presents a carefully curated list of Malayalam movies celebrating suspense, investigation, and unforgettable twists. Read on to choose your pick for your weekend movie marathon from the Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam.

 Treasure Trove Of Mollywood’s Most Gripping Mysterious Movies 

Movies under the mystery genre have always had a devoted audience. They transport you to a world of suspense and drama heightened by the interplay of music, lighting, and unforeseeable plot twists. The Malayalam movie industry has also produced some iconic nail-biters like the ‘CBI Diary Series’, Drishyam 1 and 2, Rorschach, etc., to name a few. Let’s walk you through a  meticulously researched list of Mollywood’s really good mystery movies for you to choose from.

1. Kaanathaya Penkutty (1985)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Kaanathaya Penkutty (1985)

Kaanathaya Penkutty, directed by K.N. Sasidharan, is an evergreen Malayalam mystery film based on true events, starring Mammotty, Jayabharathi, and Bharath Gopi in the lead roles. As the name translates, the narrative unfolds around a schoolgirl who mysteriously disappears after a school bus accident, with her lifeless body later discovered on the railway tracks by locals. The ensuing storyline takes you through a series of plot twists during the crime investigation, where everyone becomes either a suspect or a witness, leading to the shocking final turn of events. The movie is based on a gruesome real-life crime in the Thrissur district of Kerala in 1979. With its naturalistic yet suspenseful making and incredible acting by veterans including Thilakan and Jagathy Sreekumar, this movie is a perfect addition to the list of must-watch Malayalam mystery movies. 

2. Jagratha (1989)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Jagratha (1989)

Following the resounding success of the 1988 movie ‘Oru CBI Diary Kurup’, the makers brought back the magic of the charismatic Sethurama Iyer and his investigative team in its sequel, ‘Jagratha’. The popularity of the CBI team paved the way for three more additions to the series of best crime suspense thriller movies in Malayalam, continuing to captivate the Malayali audience, who still relish the thrilling background score accompanying Sethurama Iyer’s entrances. This time, the murder victim is a celebrity actress, Aswathy, and the investigation is handed over to the CBI, but with a tight deadline. The rest of the plot becomes a race against time where Sethurama Iyer, along with his assistants Vikram and Chacko, employ his distinctive ways to unearth clues, bringing into light a line of suspects before ultimately unveiling the truth. S.N. Swamy’s prowess in crafting mind-bending scripts was once again demonstrated, making Jagratha a commercial success and one of the best suspense movies in Malayalam with Megastar Mammootty in the lead

3. Utharam (1989)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Utharam (1989)

Even over three decades since its release, Utharam, starring Mammootty, Parvathy, and Sukumaran in the lead roles, remains one of the top investigation mystery thriller movies in Malayalam. The storyline of Utharam is loosely based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story “No Motive” and tells the tale of a promising poet, Selena, who is found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot. Left with no alternative, her husband Matthew entrusts his best friend and private detective, Balu, to unravel the mystery, who ultimately digs out some uncomfortable truths about Selena and her life. Through their unconventional story-telling, director Pavithran and writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair not only create one of the top 10 best mystery movies in Malayalam but also boldly address the social taboos associated with teenage pregnancy, rape, and suicide. This timeless classic continues to be a compelling watch with complex themes.

4. Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu (1990)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu (1990)

Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu is yet another addition to the list of old Malayalam mystery movies starring Mammootty. It was written by Padmarajan and directed by Joshy. The plot unfolds with a series of murders, all involving prominent personalities as victims, where the killer uses the same modus operandi. SP Haridas Damodaran (played by Mammootty) takes charge of investigating the serial killings and connects the dots to catch the killer before he gets his hand on the next victim. The movie steers through numerous unpredictable twists before finally unmasking the criminal in the climax.

 Ee Thanutha Veluppan Kalathu is a fast-paced thriller that manages to keep the audience on the edge of their seats till the end. The movie is said to be Mollywood’s first film about a serial killer, but it was sadly underrated because it was way ahead of its time. 

5. Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha (2009)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha (2009)

Written and Directed by Ranjith, Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha is one of the popular mystery movies in Malayalam. The film narrates the story of the rape and murder of a girl in the 1950s in a small hamlet named Paleri. Decades later, a private detective named Haridas (Mammootty) returns to his hometown to investigate the murder that coincidentally occurred on the same day as he was born. 

Paleri Manikyam was originally a Malayalam mystery novel adapted into the film, written by T.P. Rajeevan. It is based on a true event, which, according to the writer, was the first officially recorded murder in Kerala. The movie’s plot is highly intriguing, as everything seems vague initially, with many characters making entries and exits, leaving the audience wondering where the story is headed. But towards the end, all subplots and flashbacks are perfectly sewn together to make a flawless climax. 

6. Mumbai Police (2013)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Mumbai Police (2013)

This dark thriller, starring Prithviraj and Jayasurya, is an engaging movie that engages audiences with bold, less-discussed themes, making it one of the best Malayalam murder mystery movies to watch. Directed by Rosshan Andrrews and written by the famous duo Bobby-Sanjay, Mumbai Police focuses on ACP Aryan John Jacob’s (Jayasurya) murder investigation led by his best friend ACP Antony Moses (Prithviraj). Antony identifies the killer but gets involved in an accident in which he suffers partial memory loss. The rest of the plot unfolds like a complex puzzle, with Antony struggling to reveal the events of his life prior to the accident before finally unmasking the killer.

Mumbai Police is a one of its kind knotty thriller that breaks stereotypes in the thriller genre. With its brilliantly crafted script, the movie seamlessly blends suspense, mystery, and emotions, making it an obvious choice if you are looking for a good crime thriller.

7. Forensic (2020)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Forensic (2020)

This psychological thriller, released in 2020, is another popular choice among Malayalam mystery movies streaming online. Forensic is an intense suspense movie revolving around a medico-legal advisor, Samuel John Kattokkaran, played by Tovino Thomas, who sets out to unravel clues to reach a heinous serial killer targetting young girls. The writer-director duo Akhil Paul and Anas Khan concoct an engaging plot with scientific twists, applying forensic science to deconstruct the crimes. Noteworthy performances, particularly by the child artist Thamanna Pramod, add to the movie’s dramatic and power-packed appeal.

Forensic takes the audience on a rollercoaster ride with many goosebumps-inducing moments throughout the narration, some of them sending chills down the spine. It is a must-watch for those who love mystery and suspense genres.

8. C U Soon (2020)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
C U Soon (2020)

C U Soon is a compelling thriller released on Amazon Prime during the COVID-19 pandemic, showcasing Fahadh Faasil’s stellar performance. Written and directed by Mahesh Narayanan, this movie was completely shot on an iPhone inside lead actor Fahadh Faasil’s flat. C U Soon is not just one of the superhit Malayalam mystery films on OTT but also holds the distinction of being India’s first Screenlife movie. The movie narrates the story of Jimmy (Roshan Mathew) and Anu (Darshana Rajendran), who fall in love through an online dating site. But their romance takes a dark turn when Anu mysteriously disappears, leaving no traces but a video-based suicide note for Jimmy. Jimmy’s cousin, Kevin (Fahadh Faasil), takes matters into his own hands and hacks into Anu’s IP address, only to discover unsettling, shocking truths about her. 

Though shot within the limitations of the global pandemic, with its out-of-the-box plotline conveyed completely through chatboxes and screen orientations, C U Soon stands out as one of Fahadh Faasil’s best thriller movies in Malayalam

9. 12th Man (2022)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
12th Man (2022)

Loosely based on the 2016 Italian movie ‘Perfect Strangers’, 12th Man is yet another addition to the top Malayalam crime mystery movies starring Superstar Mohanlal. Master of the thriller genre, director Jeethu Joseph re-united with Mohanlal after the success of Drishyam and Drishyam 2 to craft this tantalising whodunit that keeps you guessing till the last minute. Featuring an ensemble cast, the 12th man narrates the story of 11 friends gathered for a bachelor party in a luxury resort. However, the night takes an unexpected turn when one of them is found dead near the resort, with each friend harbouring a personal motive to be the killer. Jeethu Joseph skillfully interweaves each subplot revolving around affairs and personal rivalries, paying attention to nuanced details. If you are an ardent fan of this genre, 12th Man must be your next stop in the search for good Malayalam mystery movies.

10. Antakshari (2022)

Top 10 Best Mystery Movies In Malayalam
Antakshari (2022)

Last but not least on the Malayalam mystery movies list is Antakshari- a slow-paced psycho-thriller starring Saiju Kurup and directed by Vipin Das. The movie has an engrossing plot where a nostalgic game takes a horrifying turn when a psycho killer challenges the protagonist, Circe Inspector Das, to a game of Antakshari. On refusing to do so, the anonymous criminal threatens to harm Das’s daughter. Even with a short runtime of just 2 hours, Antakshari manages to keep you on your toes till the end, when the killer and his motives are finally revealed. Unlike other thrillers, the focus of this movie was not on frequent jarring twists but on establishing the connection between the characters and the events in their lives, which unfolds organically. Saiju Kurup, Sudhi Koppa, Priyanka, and other cast members have also portrayed each of their characters convincingly, making this movie a must-watch mystery thriller. 

A Guide To Top Ten Malayalam Mind-Twister Movies

The world of Malayam movies offers a plethora of choices for suspense, mystery, and crime thrillers. With masterful storytelling and brilliant characterisations, Mollywood proves to carve a niche even in the Mystery genre.  We hope that with this article, we have walked you through the top 10 Malayalam mystery movies list catering to cinephiles seeking an engaging and intellectually stimulating cinematic experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Malayalam Mystery Movies

1. What are the top 10 mystery movies in Malayalam? 

The top 10 mystery movies in Malayalam are Kaanathaya Penkutty, Jagratha, Utharam, Ee Thanutha Veluppankalathu, Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha, Mumbai Police, Forensic, C U Soon, 12th Man, and Antakshari.

2. Which Malayalam mystery movies are inspired by true incidents?

Malayalam mystery movies like Paleri Manikyam, Kaanathaya Penkutty, and Oru CBI Diary Kurippu are inspired by true events.

3. Which are some old Malayalam mystery movies that need to be watched?

Kaanathaya Penkutty, Jagratha, Utharam, and Ee Thanutha Veluppankalathu are some of the old Malayalam mystery movies that are a must-watch.

4. Who wrote the novel Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha?

Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha is a novel based on true events written by T. P. Rajeevan.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.