Twisted, dark, and deeply haunting, psychological thrillers are sure to have the viewer on edge. Here are a few of the best films in the genre for those of you who love films that mess with your mind:
The Silence of The Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American psychological horror film adapted from Thomas Harris’ novel. It is the story of Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee who is hunting a serial killer, who skins his female victims. To catch him, she seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Hannibal Lecter(Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. This is a film that is cited by film critics the world over as one of the messiest psychological thrillers.
This is the story of a young African-American man who goes to meet his girlfriend’s family on a vacation. Things turn chaotic for him as he discovers an unnerving secret in the process. Watch this film if you want to experience some psychological horror right under your skin!
The Girl of The Train
Based on the novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins, this is a film that follows the journey of Rachel, a young woman with mental health concerns that interfere with her sense of reality. She finds herself questioning the fundamentals about her failed marriage after she finds out some secrets related to a couple she stalks on her way to work. This film is a deeply haunting take on mental health, relationships and betrayal.
Black Swan is a masterpiece in psychological horror. Director Darren Aronofsky is known for his selection of themes that haunt the viewers for days. Black Swan showcases his capacity to influence the mind at its best. It is the story of a ballerina who is competing with a rival for a lead casting in a ballet. It maps her mind and her insecurities about reality and art that causes her to go off-grid eventually. Watch this film if you are someone who likes to be involved in a film long after you have finished watching it!
Based on the novel of the same title by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is a psychological crime thriller directed by the brilliant David Fincher. Fincher is known to play with the viewer’s psyche and he does it perfectly well in this film. Gone Girl is the story of Amy, a famous author who goes missing, and her husband Nick who is the prime suspect. It is a chilling take on modern matrimony, trust, love, and betrayal in relationships.
Alfred Hitchcock is the king of psychological horror. Psycho is his evergreen classic which sends chills down the spine even after so many years of its release. It is the story of a young woman who rents out a room in a suburban motel for a night. The shy proprietor of the secluded motel manifests uncanny behavior and the aftermath of it is a mystery that unfolds in the most unexpected way.
Another classic in the genre of the psychological thriller is the brilliant Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead, this is the story of a cop who investigates the happenings inside a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island. Dark, haunting, and deeply introspective, this is a film that will truly leave you guessing till the end.
Directed by the phenomenal filmmaker of all times, Stanley Kubrick, The Shining is the story of an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who accepts a position as the off-season caretaker of the isolated historic Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies. His son is gifted with the ability to visualize the horrific incidents from the hotel’s past and what unfolds is a tale of horror, thrill, desperation, and violence.
The Sixth Sense
A harrowing psychological horror film, The Sixth Sense is an immersive work of cinema by Manoj Night Shyamalan. It is the story of a child psychologist whose patient can speak to the dead. This film marked the director’s place in the genre and has been hailed as one of the best films in the category.
Creepy, mysterious, and disturbing, Us is the story of Adelaide. A group of attackers shows up at her family’s beachfront house one night. Things get uncanny when Adelaide and her family learn that each attacker resembles one of them. Watch this film for some really messy storytelling that will leave you wondering for many nights after!