Netflix Terrifying Thriller Takes Off Into The Top Ten

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

  • A Netflix disaster thriller has become one of the most-watched movies on the streamer.
  • The Abyss, a Scandinavian movie, has reached #6 on Netflix’s most-watched list
  • In The Abyss, a town finds out they are sitting on top of a massive sink hole
  • It’s a race against time to save the town and the people while figuring out how to stop the disaster.

The Sweedish disaster thriller, The Abyss, has taken Netflix by storm, reaching number six on the streaming service’s most-watched movies listing. Not to be confused with the James Cameron movie by the same name, this disaster movie is about a town sinking into the abandoned mines beneath its streets. Coupled with plenty of interfamily drama, it’s a take on the disaster genre that stands out against its more bombastic Hollywood counterparts.

The Abyss On Netflix

Netflix’s surprise success, The Abyss is inspired by the real-life town of Kiruna, where it is set, which had to begin the process of gradually moving away from the mines it was built over.

The movie explores the possibility of what could happen if the problems caused by the mine were taken to the extreme causing the whole town to become a massive, deadly sinkhole.

It follows Frigga, a mine security manager, as she tries to overcome her family’s infighting and save them from the impending disaster. 

Scandinavian Film

While most of the cast of this Scandinavian film will be unknown to much of the English-speaking audience, The Abyss does have one notable exception for Netflix viewers to look forward to.

The movie’s lead is Tuva Novotony who viewers may recognize from Annihilation or Eat Pray Love. Scandinavian actors with less notoriety in the English-speaking world round out the cast. The most notable are Edvin Ryding and Felecia Maxime, both known for their roles in the boarding school drama The Young Royals. 

A Disaster Movie

While the heyday of the disaster movie genre is long past in Hollywood, The Abyss gives Netflix viewers a new take on the disaster genre.

While the Hollywood version of disaster movies that dominated the 90s, such as Volcano and Twister, focused primarily on the spectacle of the disaster, The Abyss offers a more human-focused perspective.

Rather than using the town’s disastrous fate as an excuse to show off special effects, it examines how such a disaster pushes a fractured family to come together and survive. 

Human Story, Horrible Elements

the abyss

Family dynamics are also important to the creation of the film, which was brought together by a father and son working together to create the unexpected Netflix hit. Richard Holm directed The Abyss, but the script was a collaboration with his son Robin, making the movie’s focus on familial relations all the more interesting.

The two have created a fascinating movie that combines the humanistic elements of drama and family with the horror and spectacle of a natural disaster. 

Smaller Budget

the abyss

Despite having a smaller budget than most Hollywood movies, The Abyss has an intense style that sets it apart from other movies on Netflix.

Using mostly practical effects the movie highlights the claustrophobia of a town collapsing into mine shafts. While it has a small body count compared to most disaster movies, the deaths that are seen on screen are surprisingly gruesome and sure to satisfy the morbid itch of disaster horror fans. 

Stream The Abyss On Netflix

the abyss

The Abyss was released in 2023 in Sweden but has made its US debut on Netflix, quickly climbing Netflix’s most-watched movie list. While reviews and reactions have been mixed, the Scandinavian movie is drawing a surprisingly large audience.

If nothing else, it’s a testament to Netflix’s ability to make foreign films more available to English-speaking audiences than ever before.