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10 Movies About Secret Societies That Are A Must Watch

movies about secret societies

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

  1. Tenet
  2. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  3. Hostel
  4. Spectre
  5. Rosemary’s Baby
  6. Murder by Decree
  7. Fight Club
  8. The Brotherhood of the Wolf
  9. Eyes Wide Shut
  10. 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.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few movies about secret societies that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Assassin’s Creed (2016)
  2. Society (1989)
  3. The 39 Steps (1935)
  4. Black Christmas (2019)
  5. Men in Black (1997)
  6. Angels & Demons (2009)
  7. The Skulls (2000)

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.

Lost

The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake


The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan


The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward