The world has seen its fair share of the unexplained and the unsolved. Have you ever stayed awake late at night diving into the rabbit hole that is unexplained conspiracy theories? If your answer is yes, then you will find below a list of the best movies about secret societies and the conspiracies they weave. Secret Societies have always been the subject of many conspiracies, and their depiction on the silver screen has only amplified people’s imagination around them.
List of Movies about Secret Societies
- Kingsman: The Secret Service
- Rosemary’s Baby
- Murder by Decree
- Fight Club
- The Brotherhood of the Wolf
- Eyes Wide Shut
- The Da Vinci Code
1. Tenet (2020)
With films like Dunkirk, Inception and Interstellar in his bags, it’s hardly a surprise that Tenet is yet another one of Nolan’s well-liked films. Tenet is a sci-fi action thriller that follows a former CIA agent who joins a secret governmental organisation called Tenet. There begins his global assignment in a world of international espionage to save the world from threats beyond their fold of time.
Tenet is everything you could want in a thriller- a secret organisation with knowledge of things beyond the current world, covert operations, literal inversion of time, strange artefacts and beautiful action sequences. If you are looking for movies about secret societies, you should definitely check out Tenet.
2. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
This is the movie that took the usual trope of secret society films and turned the entire genre on its head, with some claiming it to be one of the greatest spy films of all time. Recruited as a spy trainee in the secret service, Eggsy goes on a mission to stop a villain who launches a diabolical plan to solve the problem of climate change by going on a worldwide killing spree.
Our protagonist Eggsy, is nowhere close to being the sexy, suave sophisticated agent, in fact, the movie takes us on a journey with him towards becoming the spy. Spy genre films are usually serious and meticulous, but Kingsman is a surprisingly stylish and fun ride that will blow your mind (the good kind, unlike the literal ones in the movie). Check this one out if you are looking for movies about secret societies.
3. Hostel (2005)
Hostel, is a terrifyingly gory film by Eli Roth that could be speculated to be based on real stories, even if considered conspiracy. In a film about a secret society of the rich who enjoy torture and dismemberment as a game, a trio of friends decide to spend a summer backpacking through Europe, when they head off to a Slovakian hostel for a good time. Things quickly turn gory as a fun night out ends up in a horrific deadly game.
Eli Roth has been the man behind some of the most disturbing and gruesome stories in cinema. He has a way of showing what the deepest and darkest pits of a man’s mind are capable of, it’s almost voyeuristic. Hostel is a film that depicts the sickest and most twisted appetites of the rich, and the secrets one can only hope are just stories. If you’re looking for dark movies about secret societies, this is the one for you.
Also Read: Spy Movies on Netflix
4. Spectre (2015)
The iconic 007 returns once more and Daniel Craig reinvents Bond in yet another spy venture. This time, he sets off to Mexico City and Rome after receiving a cryptic message. Upon infiltrating a meeting, Bond discovers the secret organisation SPECTRE, a nefarious organisation that deals in counterintelligence, terrorism and world domination.
Spectre presents to the audience an organisation that forces them to suspend their disbelief, even as it deals in over-the-top global projects and indulges in some extremely well-choreographed action scenes. If you’re a fan of that trademark style of Bond in an action-packed spectacle fused and are looking for films about secret societies, Spectre is the pick for you.
5. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Like every happy couple headed towards doom in American horror films, Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse move into the Bramford despite repeated warnings about the house’s involvement in witchcraft and murder. Rosemary soon begins to suspect that her neighbours are members of a Satanic cult and plan to use her baby for their rituals. The film follows her as she questions everyone around her and tries to navigate her way out of the cult.
Secret societies of cult worshippers trying to birth the next antichrist is a practice prevalent even outside of the silver screen. Even with his soiled reputation, it is impossible to overlook the beautiful terror created by Polanski that is Rosemary’s Baby. It cemented not only his place in Hollywood films but also marked a niche for horror in cinema. If you are looking for horror movies about secret societies, this film is the perfect pick.
6. Murder by Decree (1979)
Our favourite detective duo, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson, features in this ol’ mystery thriller. While Jack the Ripper terrorises the city, the 1888 Whitechapel murders seem to be a part of something much bigger, something purposely eluding Holmes. The premise is influenced by Stephen King who mentioned in one of his books that the killings were perhaps a Masonic plot to overthrow the running government.
The Freemasons are an existing secret society claimed to have been behind numerous conspiracies, and this film takes an interestingly dark approach to a conspiracy that leads our lead detectives to the very heart of the British establishment. Murder by Decree is a great film about secret societies and their hand in a historic tragedy and the planned conspiracy behind the ever-elusive murderer. Check out this film if you are looking for murder mystery movies about secret societies.
7. Fight Club (1999)
Welp! There goes the first rule of Fight Club. Let’s talk about it- an insomniac office worker and a reckless soap maker become unlikely partners when they start a secret club with strict rules where men who are fed up with the misery and monotony in their lives fight out their frustrations against each other. As the fight club grows, it soon spirals out of control and becomes a threat.
This movie is a social commentary on the consumerist culture of America as well as a great psychological thriller. There is a balance that hinges on the edge of insanity in this film and the ending is absolutely mind-boggling. Fight Club is a cult classic film about secret societies that rebel against everything wrong with society and will definitely give you something to think about.
Also Read: Movies like Blade Runner 2049
8. Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)
As a big fan of fantasy and the supernatural, I loved Brotherhood of the Wolf. It is a period action horror movie that is set in 18th-century France where, in the province of Gevaudan, haunts a mysterious beast that has slaughtered hundreds (loosely based on a true incident.) King Louis sends a scientist and his Iroquois blood brother to take down the beast, however, that uncovers mysteries nobody anticipated.
This movie has drama, great mixed martial arts action scenes, intrigue and a big twist; everything you could ask for in a horror mystery. The secret society, the Brotherhood turns the Beast of Gevaudan into a beatific thing to behold.
9. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Secret societies are often ways for people to realise ambitions and desires they fear will be frowned upon in civil society. Eyes Wide Shut sort of leads in that direction when Dr Bill Hartford finds out that his wife Alice has been contemplating having an affair. As he sets out for a night walk to clear his head, he infiltrates a masked orgy of an unnamed secret society, leading to a series of inexplicable events.
Stanley Kubrick had a clear direction when he chose to talk about sexual relations in his film. It isn’t anything like Eli Roth, but there is an emotional disturbance that Kubrick does very well at crafting. Cruise is at his peak and Kidman stamps her mark in the 20 minutes she is in. Often considered one of the best Kubrick films, you should definitely check out Eyes Wide Shut if you are looking for movies about secret societies
10. The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Now I’m not saying that a film could ever be better than the book, but this film certainly came close. A murder at the Louvre in Paris causes a symbologist and a cryptologist to get involved in a battle between the Opus Dei and Priory of Sion over the debate of Jesus and Mary ever having had a child together. This storyline explores the possibility of an alternate religious history and has since been denounced by a Christian majority over blasphemy.
When a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two millennia is discovered, the very foundations of Christianity stand to crumble. Religious secret societies combined with the history of man are a match made in heaven when it comes to a rich and exciting premise for a movie. Even if shunned and banned, it’s ironic that man is always attracted to that which he is forbidden and this speaks volumes of the success The Da Vinci Code has seen.
Here are a few movies about secret societies that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Assassin’s Creed (2016)
- Society (1989)
- The 39 Steps (1935)
- Black Christmas (2019)
- Men in Black (1997)
- Angels & Demons (2009)
- The Skulls (2000)