15 Best Psychological Thriller movies That You Must Watch

Psychological movies are a popular film genre that has been around for decades. Mental disorders, such as Schizophrenia or Psychosis, often characterise them. 

These films are popular among people interested in these mental disorders and those who want to learn more about them.

Some psychological movies released in recent years include “A Quiet Place” and “The Babadook.” It is also worth watching.

1. Psycho (1960)

Psycho is a psychological thriller and suspense film. The story is about a woman’s mental state, the protagonist of this movie. Norman Bates is her name, and she thinks that her mother was murdered by her father, who is also dead now.

The movie starts with Marion Crane going to work on a rainy day.

 She has just been given a large sum of money from her boss to purchase land for his company. 

She arrives at the office and takes out the cash to count it when she hears someone enter behind her. 

When she turns around, she sees Sam Loomis standing there with a gun pointed at her head. He demands that Marion hand over all the money, or he will shoot her right then and there.

This movie was made in 1960 by Alfred Hitchcock, and its genre would be psychological thriller and suspense film.

Where to watch -Free Classic Movies, Prime Video, Vudu, Redbox. or Apple TV 

2. The Shining (1980)

A 1980 American psychological horror film starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, and Scatman Crothers, The Shining was written and co-directed by Stanley Kubrick with author Diane Johnson. 

Jack Torrance’s narrative is depicted in the film. (Nicholson), a writer and former teacher who accepts a position as a caretaker during the off-season at the remote Overlook Hotel Oregon. As Jack starts to lose his sanity, he becomes increasingly violent.

The Shining is produced, ranked by Rotten as one of the top 100 greatest movies ever made in 1998, and has been recognized by the American National Film Registry as “culturally significant” or “aesthetically significant.”

Where to watch: Redbox, Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV, ReDiscover Television, HBO Max, and so on

3. M (1931)

M is a 1931 German drama film directed by Fritz Lang. It was Lang’s first sound film and one of the earliest psychological horror films. 

The screenplay was written by Thea von Harbou, based on her novel of the same name.

The story is a murder mystery in which a child murderer is hunted by the police and a child psychologist. 

The killer’s identity is revealed in the end to be Hans Beckert, who had been convicted of another murder six years earlier.

 He had released from prison after serving that sentence because he also killed his victim with an axe, and Beckert had not been found guilty of using any other weapon to kill his other victims.

Where to watch – PLEX

4. The Silence of the Lambs(1991)

1991’s The Silence of the Lambs psychological thriller by Jonathan Demme. 

It is modeled on the same-titled book by Thomas Harris and stars Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Scott Glenn, and Ted Levine. 

The Silence of the Lambs won five Academy Awards in 1992: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Best Actress (Jodie Foster), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally).

Where to watch – Hulu (Free Trial)

5. The Sixth Sense (1999)

In The Sixth Sense, a child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe is inexplicably contacted by a young boy named Cole Sear, who has been speaking to ghosts.

M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed the 1999 American psychological horror movie. 

The Sixth Sense is about an eight-year-old boy named Cole Sear, who has the power to communicate with and see the dead, and troubled child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) tries to help him while dealing with his ghosts.

Where to watch – Hulu, Disney Plus

6. Misery (1990)

Misery is a 1990 psychological thriller, the film stars James Caan and Kathy Bates and is directed by Rob Reiner, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, and Lauren Bacall. 

The film tells the story of novelist Paul Sheldon, who had his right foot amputated following an automobile accident. He’s rescued by Annie Wilkes (Bates), a nurse who was his biggest fan. She brings him to her remote home in the Colorado mountains, where she insists he writes a new novel to keep him alive as long as possible.

Where to watch – HBO Max, fuboTV, and AMC

7. Se7en (1995)

Se7en is a psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as two detectives trying to catch a serial murderer who operates according to the seven deadly sins. 

It was released on September 22, 1995, in North America and on February 4, 1996, in the United Kingdom.

The film has been well-received by critics, with a current approval rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 59 reviews with an 8/10 average score.

 The consensus of the site’s reviewers is as follows: Roger Ebert gave the movie four out of four stars and described it as “Impressive visuals and an eerie score help Se7en transcend its gory subject matter.”

The movie received a four-star rating from Roger Ebert, who described it as “a movie that works as both a horror film and clever detective story.”

Where to watch – HBO Max

8. Wait Until Dark (1967)

Wait Until Dark is a psychological thriller set in New York City in the early 1960s.

 It is the story of a blind woman terrorized by three men who have broken into her apartment to rob her.

The movie starts with a couple, Sam and Lisa Ellington, arriving at their apartment building after dark.

 They are met by three men who have been waiting for them, and they are forced inside the building and up to their apartment, where they are held hostage. 

The thieves want the Ellingtons’ jewellery, but Lisa cannot find it anywhere in the apartment. One of the thieves then tells Lisa that he has her daughter and will kill her if she does not reveal where she has hidden it.

Lisa finally gives in to their demands and tells them that she hid it inside a small music box located on top of an armoire across from where they are standing.

 The thieves force Sam to retrieve it for them before he can get their two shots.

Where to watch – Movieland.Tv, HBO Max, Prime Video, Vudu, or Apple TV

9. Les Diaboliques (1955)

Les Diaboliques is a French psychological thriller directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and written by Clouzot and Pierre Boileau.

Les Diaboliques is an underrated classic. The story revolves around two women who are plotting to murder their husbands.

 It’s a very dark, twisted, and suspenseful movie. The film has many that’ll keep you glued to your seat by unexpected turns until the end.

Where to watch -Plex 

10. The Vanishing (1988)

The Vanishing is a 1988 American psychological thriller film directed by George Sluizer.

The film was based on the novel The Golden Egg written by Tim Krabbé. 

The movie starts with Rex Hofman (Gene Bervoets) and his wife Saskia (Johanna ter Steege) driving to an unknown destination for their vacation. 

They stop at a gas station to refuel and get some drinks, but Rex realizes that he left his wallet home. He leaves Saskia in the car and goes back to get it. 

When he returns, she has vanished without a trace from the car.

The movie is about Rex’s search for Saskia, which takes him from Amsterdam to France with no success until he finds out that she was kidnapped by an old acquaintance who wants money for her release. 

It turns out that this acquaintance was also involved in the disappearance of Saskia’s sister years ago, but this is never revealed in the film.

Where to watch -Criterion Channel, Prime Video, or Apple TV

11. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby is an American psychological horror picture. Rosemary’s Baby is a psychological thriller based on Ira Levin’s best-selling 1967 novel of the same name.

The movie chronicles the tale of her moving into an apartment in New York City with her husband and becoming pregnant while they are trying to start a family.

 Her pregnancy has disturbing effects on her body and mind, including signs of paranoia and psychosis.

Rosemary’s Baby is considered one of the top-grossing movies and one of the best horror movies ever made in 1968.

 It won Best Horror Film at the Golden Globes in 1969 and Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Academy Awards in 1970.

Where to watch -Movieland.Tv, Paramount Plus, Spectrum TV, SHOWTIME, Showtime Anytime, Prime Video, Vudu, Redbox.

12. Cat People (1942)

Cat People is a 1942 horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur, starring Simone Simon and Tom Conway.

The film opens with the protagonist, Irena Dubrovna (Simone Simon), a Serbian-born fashion designer living in New York City, haunted by a recurring dream of being attacked by a black panther. 

She meets and falls in love with Oliver Reed (Tom Conway), an American architect. They marry and settle down together in Irena’s home city of Belgrade.

Irena has difficulty adjusting to life in Serbia and becomes increasingly fearful that she will transform into a panther when she gets angry or feels threatened.

One night, after they argue about her desire to return to America, she transforms into the creature from her dream but manages to control herself from killing him.

To avoid transforming again, she decides not to see him for three months until he leaves for business on another continent when Oliver returns three months later.

Where to watch – HBO Max or TCM

13. Don’t Look Now (1973)

Don’t Look Now is a British-Italian horror film directed by Nicolas Roeg in 1973. 

It is based on the same-named short story by Daphne du Maurier.

The movie starts with two people, John and Laura, grieving over their daughter’s death in a car accident. 

They move to Venice and find an old church which they decide to fix up as a new home. 

The church has been abandoned for many years and is full of dirt, moss, and cobwebs.

 As they start renovating the church, they start noticing strange occurrences, such as seeing their daughter’s face in the stained glass window or hearing her voice from behind closed doors. 

They also start seeing their daughter’s ghost around the city too – at one point, she even jumps out from under a bridge where she drowned after her death.

John begins to believe that there might be some truth to these visions, and he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to his daughter.

Where to watch – Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Microsoft Store, Google Play Movies, YouTube, AMC on Demand

14. Black Swan (2010)

The psychological thriller Black Swan, released in 2010, was directed by Darren Aronofsky.

 It stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Vincent Cassel.

Natalie Portman stars in the film as Nina, a ballerina who has been given the role of the Swan Queen in her company’s production of “Swan Lake.”

 Nina is a perfectionist, and she is very dedicated to her profession. She has a history of being obsessive about food and weight control.

Her mother died from an eating disorder when she was young, which made her fear becoming obese herself.

Nina’s rival for the lead role is Lily (Mila Kunis), who was born to dance but has been sidelined by an injury. 

She had a shorter leg than the other.

Lily wants to be perfect and aspires to be like Nina, but she lacks Nina’s discipline and drives. 

At first, Lily seems like an innocent victim in this rivalry, but it soon becomes clear.

Where to watch – Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV, or Redbox

15. American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho is a 2000 American psychological thriller film directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis’s novel of the same name. 

It stars Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman, with Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, Samantha Mathis, Cara Seymour, and Willem Dafoe in supporting roles. 

The film focuses on Wall Street yuppie Patrick Bateman (Bale), who works on the trading floor of a financial institution in Manhattan during the late 1980s. 

Bateman has developed a strong sense of entitlement to his material possessions and status. 

He also has a deep-seated contempt for everyone around him, including his colleagues and those he considers lower than him, such as women and minorities.

The movie opens with a quote from “The Great Gatsby” “Let me tell you about the exceedingly rich,” said F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald wrote in 1922’s “The Great Gatsby.” 

Where to watch – Hulu, Disney plus

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