Psychological films have a unique ability to draw people in and make them feel uneasy because they often show how complicated the human mind is. However, it feels like every list has the same handful of flicks. So, I created a list of psychological thrillers that are amazing and not on every list. Enjoy!
1. Arlington Road (1999)
The novel Arlington Road is an exciting exploration of domestic terrorism. Michael Faraday, a single college professor played by Jeff Bridges, starts to worry about his new neighbors, Oliver and Cheryl Lang, played by Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack.
As Faraday finds more and more disturbing signs about their past, he gets caught in a web of conspiracy and paranoia. The movie is a must-see for fans of psychological tales because of how tense it is and how it turns out.
2. The Cell (2000)
The Cell takes watchers on a ride that is both beautiful to look at and scary to think about. Jennifer Lopez plays Catherine Deane, a psychologist who goes into the troubled mind of a comatose serial killer, Carl Stargher (Vincent D’Onofrio), to save his latest victim.
Inside Stargher’s mind, Catherine sees strange landscapes and scary images that blur the line between reality and the subconscious. The Cell stands out in its genre because director Tarsem Singh creates a fascinating and frightening world.
2. The Invitation (2015)
The Invitation is a slow-burning psychological thriller that keeps people thinking until the end. Will (Logan Marshall-Green) goes to a dinner party given by Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and David (Michiel Huisman), who is now married to Eden.
As the night goes on, Will becomes more sure that something terrible is happening. Director Karyn Kusama builds up tension and fear with skill, creating a feeling of unease that stays with you long after the movie is over.
4. Angel Heart (1987)
Paranormal noir thriller Angel Heart explores voodoo, mystery, and hidden truths. Mickey Rourke plays private detective Harry Angel, who is hired to find a missing person. His journey takes him to the center of the occult subculture in New Orleans and to a string of brutal killings. The film is frightening and hard to forget because it has a creepy atmosphere and reveals upsetting things.
5. Mr. Brooks (2007)
Mr. Brooks is a psychological movie about Earl Brooks (Kevin Costner), who lives two different lives. Earl seems to be a successful businessman and family man. Still, he has a dark secret: he kills people one by one cautiously.
When Dane Cook, an amateur photographer, finds out what he is doing and starts to threaten him, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins. The movie goes deep into the mind of a murderer and tells an ethically complicated and suspenseful story.
6. Enemy (2013)
Jake Gyllenhaal starred in the mind-bending thriller Enemy, where he plays a college professor who stumbles into his doppelganger while watching a film.
As he becomes obsessed with finding someone who looks just like him, the movie takes a strange and psychological turn that crosses the lines between reality and identity. Director Denis Villeneuve creates a mysterious and spooky story that makes people think about what it means long after the credits roll.
7. The Machinist (2004)
In The Machinist, Christian Bale makes a fantastic change to his body to play Trevor Reznik, a sleepless machinist with guilt and anxiety. Trevor’s life turns into a surreal nightmare of delusion and mental pain after a mystery accident at work. The film stands out in the psychological thriller genre because of how dark and depressing it is and how well Bale plays the main character.
8. Ravenous (1999)
The psychological thriller Ravenous takes a unique method by mixing horror and dark comedy. Set in a remote military base in the 19th century, the movie shows how cannibalism and going crazy can have scary results. Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle are both great in this strange and darkly funny story about survival and going crazy.
9. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)
In this classic psychological thriller, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford play famous actors in a story about sibling rivalry and madness. Baby Jane Hudson, played by Davis, is a famous child star who cares for her disabled sister Blanche, played by Crawford. The movie is about a disturbing and tense fight between the two sisters’ minds. The shocking ending has left an indelible mark on the history of film.
10. Copycat (1995)
Sigourney Weaver plays a criminal psychologist named Dr. Helen Hudson, who is stalked by a serial killer she once studied. Hudson must use her skills to outsmart the cruel killer with the help of a detective, Holly Hunter. As it looks into the mind of a crazy copycat killer, the movie is full of mystery, psychological tension, and cat-and-mouse thrills.
11. A Perfect Murder (1998)
A Perfect Murder is a suspenseful story about how cheating and greed can lead to death. Michael Douglas plays Steven Taylor. He is a wealthy financier who comes up with a detailed plan to kill his cheating wife, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. The movie is full of lies and surprises that keep people on the edge of their seats as the plot unfolds.
12. Dead Again (1991)
The supernatural mystery and psychological suspense in Dead Again come together originally. Kenneth Branagh directs the movie, and it’s about a private eye who looks into the case of an amnesiac woman (Emma Thompson) who has troubling dreams about her past life. As the secret gets bigger, the movie looks at reincarnation and the importance of the past.
13. Dead Calm (1989)
The movie Dead Calm takes place on the open sea. Nicole Kidman and Sam Neill play a couple sailing in the Pacific when they hear a call for help from a drifting boat. They save the only survivor, Billy Zane, who soon tells them his real, bad plans. Tension escalates as the film unfolds in the confined space of the yacht, creating a gripping psychological fight for survival.
14. Side Effects (2013)
The documentary Side Effects explores the seedy underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry and the possibly fatal consequences of taking some medications. Emily, played by Rooney Mara, is a woman whose moods change a lot after her doctor (Jude Law) gives her a new drug. The movie tells a complicated, exciting story with many turns and moral questions.
15. Shallow Grave (1994)
The British thriller Shallow Grave was directed by Danny Boyle, who also directed Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire. The story of the movie is about three roommates who find a suitcase full of cash in the room of their new renter after he dies suddenly.
When they decide to keep the money, a series of bad things happen, including anxiety, betrayal, and a loss of morals. Shallow Grave is a dark and gripping story about what happens when people are greedy and don’t trust each other.
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