Psychological thrillers explore the dark and twisted aspects of human psychology, often involving characters who are not what they seem, mysteries that are hard to solve, and twists that are hard to predict. These movies can keep you on the edge of your seat, mess with your mind, and make you question everything. Here are some of the best psychological thriller movies that you can watch right now.
One of the most iconic and influential psychological thrillers of all time, Se7en follows two detectives, played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, who are hunting down a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi. The film is a masterclass in suspense, atmosphere, and storytelling, with a shocking and unforgettable ending that will haunt you for days. Se7en is available to stream on Netflix.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Another classic of the genre, The Silence of the Lambs, is based on the novel by Thomas Harris and features one of the most memorable villains in cinema history: Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins. The film centers on a young FBI agent, Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, who enlists the help of Lecter, a brilliant but cannibalistic psychiatrist, to catch another serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. The film is a gripping and terrifying cat-and-mouse game between Starling and Lecter, with superb performances and direction.
The Machinist (2004)
The Machinist is a psychological thriller that showcases the incredible physical transformation of Christian Bale, who lost 60 pounds to play the role of Trevor Reznik, an industrial worker who suffers from severe insomnia and paranoia. Reznik begins to doubt his sanity as he experiences strange events and hallucinations that seem connected to a mysterious accident at his workplace. The film is a dark and disturbing journey into Reznik’s mind, with a twist that will make you rethink everything you’ve seen.
Vertigo is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made and one of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces. The film stars James Stewart as Scottie Ferguson, a retired detective who suffers from acrophobia and vertigo. He is hired by an old friend to follow his wife, Madeleine, played by Kim Novak, who seems to be possessed by the spirit of a dead woman. Scottie becomes obsessed with Madeleine and falls into a spiral of deception, obsession, and madness. Vertigo is a stunning and complex film that explores themes of identity, love, and death with stunning cinematography and music.
The Game (1997)
The Game is a psychological thriller directed by David Fincher, who also directed Se7en. The film stars Michael Douglas as Nicholas Van Orton, a wealthy and cynical businessman who receives a mysterious gift from his brother: a voucher for a game that promises to change his life. Nicholas soon finds himself involved in a dangerous and elaborate conspiracy that blurs the line between reality and fiction. The film is a thrilling and unpredictable ride that will keep you guessing until the very end.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Sixth Sense is a psychological thriller that marked the debut of writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, who became famous for his signature plot twists. The film stars Bruce Willis as Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who tries to help a young boy named Cole Sear, played by Haley Joel Osment, who claims to see dead people. The film is a haunting and emotional story that explores themes of grief, guilt, and redemption, with a shocking revelation that will make you want to watch it again.
Shutter Island (2010)
Shutter Island is a psychological thriller based on the novel by Dennis Lehane and directed by Martin Scorsese. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels, a U.S. marshal who investigates the disappearance of a patient from a mental hospital located on an isolated island. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers disturbing secrets about the island, the hospital, and himself. The film is a complex and captivating puzzle that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Gone Girl (2014)
Gone Girl is a psychological thriller based on the novel by Gillian Flynn and directed by David Fincher. The film stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, a man who becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Amy, played by Rosamund Pike. As the media frenzy and the police investigation intensify, Nick tries to prove his innocence, while Amy’s past and present reveal a different story. The film is a brilliant and twisted exploration of marriage, media, and manipulation, with a stunning performance by Pike. Gone Girl is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video.
The Girl on the Train (2016)
The Girl on the Train is a psychological thriller based on the novel by Paula Hawkins and directed by Tate Taylor. The film stars Emily Blunt as Rachel Watson, a divorced and alcoholic woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she sees from her train window every day. One day, she witnesses something shocking that leads her to get involved in a missing person case that has unexpected consequences. The film is a gripping and suspenseful mystery that will keep you hooked until the end.
Get Out (2017)
Get Out is a psychological thriller that also blends horror and comedy elements, written and directed by Jordan Peele. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington, a young black man who visits the family of his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams, for the first time. He soon discovers that something sinister is going on behind the seemingly friendly facade of the Armitage family. The film is a smart and satirical commentary on race, identity, and society, with a thrilling and original plot that will keep you on your toes.
These are some of the best psychological thrillers that will challenge your perception of reality, make you question your own sanity, and leave you with a lasting impression. If you’re in the mood for some mind-bending entertainment, you can’t go wrong with these movies.