Lights, camera, action—one take only! There’s something truly captivating about a movie filmed entirely in one shot, allowing viewers to experience the unfolding story in real time without interruption. From complex tracking shots to simpler, more intimate perspectives, these films are a true test of a director’s skill and a cinematographer’s vision.
In this list, we’ll explore 10 movies that were all captured in one unbroken shot, each providing a unique and thrilling cinematic experience.
Related: Top 10 Movies That Changed Film-Making Forever
10 Let’s Scare Julie (2019)
Let’s Scare Julie is a horror movie that will have you at the edge of your seat—and possibly clutching a pillow or two. The film follows a group of teenage girls who decide to prank their new neighbor, Julie, on Halloween night. The catch? Julie has a reputation for being a recluse and never leaves her house.
As the night progresses, things start to take a spooky turn. The girls realize that Julie may not be as harmless as they thought and that they may have bitten off more than they can chew. The entire movie takes place in one continuous shot, adding to the intensity and suspense.
While Let’s Scare Julie may not be the most groundbreaking horror movie out there, it definitely has its moments of scares and spooks. The film does a great job of building tension and keeping you on the edge of your seat. Plus, the one-shot technique is impressive and adds a uniqueness to the movie.
9 Rendez-vous (2019)
Rendez-vous is a gripping Mexican thriller that was filmed in a single take. The story follows Lili and Eduardo, who meet online. Their first date starts off with a twist in Mexico City, where the streets are known to be unforgiving. Despite arriving late and phoneless due to a mugging, Eduardo manages to charm Lili. However, when she discovers his phone hidden in his jacket, their evening takes a chilling and unexpected turn.
As the night unfolds, Lili and Eduardo are thrown into a spine-tingling, suspense-filled race against time to unravel the mystery of the phone’s contents and the terrifying truth behind Eduardo’s late arrival. They soon become entangled in a dangerous web of deceit, violence, and betrayal.
The one-shot filming style adds to the tension and urgency of the story, as viewers feel like they’re experiencing the events in real time. The use of gritty urban locations and a haunting score creates a palpable sense of dread throughout the film.
8 Utøya: July 22 (2018)
Utøya: July 22 is a Norwegian film that tells the harrowing story of the 2011 terrorist attack that took place on the island of Utøya. The entire movie is shot in one long take, which adds to the intensity and realism of the story.
The film follows 18-year-old Kaja as she struggles to survive the attack and find her younger sister. With the sounds of gunshots and screams ringing in the background, Kaja must navigate through the island and hide from the shooter.
Despite the dark and heavy subject matter, the film manages to capture the raw emotions and terror of the situation. And if you’re into long takes, boy, do I have a treat for you!
7 A Boy. A Girl. A Dream (2018)
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream centers on the night of a lifetime for two strangers. Cass (played by Omari Hardwick) and Frida (played by Meagan Good) meet in a Los Angeles club during the night of the 2016 presidential election. Shot in a single take, the film captures the intense and electric energy of the club scene and the budding romance between Cass and Frida.
As they navigate their way through the pulsating club, the two get to know each other on a deeper level, discussing their hopes and dreams, fears and insecurities, and everything in between. But as the night wears on and tensions rise, Cass and Frida must confront the realities of their past and present and decide whether they have the courage to pursue a future together.
With a dynamic cast, stunning cinematography, and a captivating story, A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. takes us on a wild and unforgettable ride. And hey, if you’re looking for a film to impress your film-buff friends, this should definitely do the trick.
6 Fourplay (2018)
Fourplay is a romantic comedy that takes place in one continuous take. The film follows the story of a group of four friends as they navigate the ups and downs of modern relationships in Los Angeles. As the camera follows the characters around the city, viewers are given a realistic and humorous portrayal of the dating scene.
The film starts with a group of friends at a bar, where they discuss their dating lives and the difficulties of finding the right person. They all have their own unique quirks and personalities, which leads to some amusing interactions between them. One of the characters, a struggling actor, decides to approach a beautiful woman at the bar, and they hit it off. They decide to go on a date, and the camera follows them as they walk through the city and have conversations that are both funny and heartfelt.
Meanwhile, the other friends are also dealing with their own romantic entanglements. One of them is trying to rekindle a relationship with his ex-girlfriend, while another is trying to navigate the tricky world of online dating. The camera follows each character’s journey, capturing their triumphs and failures in love.
5 Invasion (2017)
Hold on to your seats because describing Invasion is like trying to navigate a labyrinth—confusing but thrilling nonetheless. Here’s the deal: a body is found in a stadium during a sports event (which, by the way, is never revealed). The police are quick to point fingers at the coach and his team of tattooed players, ordering them to reconstruct the events of the day the murder took place.
But as the investigation unfolds, it becomes clear that some of the team members are not quite innocent and are keen on committing more murders. To add to the chaos, the victim’s twin sister shows up and takes an active role in the investigation, revealing shocking secrets along the way.
Director Shahram Mokri takes an experimental approach to the film, presenting the story in a single-shot movie that feels more like a stage play. But be warned: disorientation is the name of the game here, with the foggy stadium corridors adding to the confusion. And if that’s not enough, there are plenty of symbolic references to the cycle of life and identity that may leave you scratching your head (Zoroastrianism, anyone?). But despite the convoluted narrative, the story is intriguing, with plenty of plot twists to keep you guessing.
4 The Wedding Party (2016)
Get ready for a wedding reception like no other with The Wedding Party. This indie film is a passion project that promises to deliver a unique and hilarious experience that will have you on the edge of your seat.
The story follows a group of old high school friends who reunite at a wedding reception. But what was supposed to be a joyous celebration quickly turns into a comedy of errors when everything that can go wrong does go wrong. And to make things even more interesting, the entire film is shot in one continuous take in real time.
With Thane Economou at the helm, a talented filmmaker who’s worked for National Lampoon, Lucas Film, and 20th Century Fox, you can expect a high-quality production that will leave you in stitches. The characters are well developed, each with their own quirks and personalities that make them stand out. And the one-shot technique adds an extra layer of excitement and anticipation, as you never know what’s going to happen next.
If you’re looking for something new and refreshing in the independent film scene, The Wedding Party is the perfect choice.
3 Victoria (2015)
Victoria is a captivating heist film that tells the story of a young Spanish woman named Victoria who unwittingly becomes involved in a bank robbery in Berlin. The movie was shot entirely in one take, providing an intense and exciting experience as Victoria is drawn into the daring scheme by a group of strangers she meets outside a nightclub.
The use of real-time filming adds to the film’s tension and danger, making it a thrilling ride through the city’s streets. In addition, there are moments of humor throughout the movie, which provide a welcome relief from the high-stakes action.
Laia Costa delivers an outstanding performance as Victoria, bringing depth and authenticity to the character and making it easy for the audience to root for her. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, creating a sense of camaraderie and tension that adds to the realism of the heist.
2 Fish & Cat (2013)
Fish & Cat is a one-shot movie that takes you on a twisted journey through time. A group of students heads to a remote region to show off their kite-flying skills, but they stumble upon a lakeside restaurant with some shady cooks who don’t seem to have the students’ best interests at heart.
As the night unfolds, strange things start to happen, and the students find themselves trapped in a complicated web of events that they cannot seem to escape. The circles of time seem to be closing in on them, and they’re left wondering if there’s any way out of this bizarre situation.
The movie takes you on a suspenseful ride, with the tension building up gradually as the students try to make sense of what’s happening around them. It’s a tale of survival and the lengths that people will go to when pushed to the brink.
1 Sirens and Screams (2019)
Get ready for a wild ride through a future dystopian city that’s in tragedy and ruin. Sirens and Screams is a one-shot movie that follows a group of low-class urban dwellers as they search for the corpse of a wealthy citizen who’s been murdered. Even better? This ragtag bunch of misfits isn’t exactly on the right side of the law.
Shot in one continuous 78-minute take, this film will have you on the edge of your seat faster than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Join our heroes as they navigate through the city’s treacherous landscape, encountering all sorts of unsavory characters along the way. With more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, Sirens and Screams will keep you guessing until the very end. So buckle up, grab some popcorn, and get ready for a thrill ride that’s sure to leave you breathless!