Best Psychological Horror

Updated
Best Psychological Horror

Have you heard all of these Best Psychological Horror? We know for sure you'll find some new movies. Here are 25 of the best ones.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Silence of the Lambs
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Jonathan Demme, starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons
Rated R

The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. It follows Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee, who is tasked with interviewing the notorious Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, in order to gain insight into the mind of another serial killer, Buffalo Bill. With Lecter's help, Clarice is able to track down and rescue Bill's latest victim and bring an end to the terror. Along the way, Clarice discovers dark secrets about herself and the world she inhabits. The Silence of the Lambs is a suspenseful and gripping story that examines the depths of human depravity and the power of redemption.

Se7en (1995)

Se7en
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From David Fincher, starring Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker
Rated R

Se7en is a crime thriller directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey. In the movie, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman play detectives investigating a series of bizarre murders. The killer, John Doe, meticulously selects victims based on the seven deadly sins – gluttony, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and wrath. As the detectives become closer to finding out the killer's identity and his motives, they are faced with an ultimate struggle between good and evil. Through unexpected plot twists and gruesome murder scenes, the movie keeps audiences on the edge of their seats until its shocking conclusion.

Psycho (1960)

Psycho
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Alfred Hitchcock, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin
Rated R

Psycho is a 1960 psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, and Vera Miles. It follows the story of Marion Crane, a young woman who steals a large sum of money from her employer and goes on the run. Her journey leads her to a secluded motel owned by the mysterious Norman Bates and his controlling mother, who becomes increasingly suspicious of Marion's intentions. As Marion's stay at the motel becomes increasingly bizarre, her fate begins to unravel in a shocking finale. Psycho is widely regarded as a masterpiece of suspense and horror, and is credited with revolutionizing the genre.

Memento (2000)

Memento
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior
Rated R

Memento is a 2000 psychological thriller film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, and based on a short story by his brother Jonathan. The film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a man suffering from anterograde amnesia (inability to form new memories). To cope with his condition, he creates a system of notes, Polaroid photos, tattoos and even body piercings to remind him of his mission, which is to find and kill the man who raped and murdered his wife. Along the way, he meets a variety of characters who all have their own agendas, and he must use his wits and his detective skills to figure out who he can trust, who he can't, and how he can find the killer and ultimately exact his revenge.

The Shining (1980)

The Shining
★★★★
★★★★
3.4 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
Rated R

The Shining is a psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, released in 1980. It follows Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring writer and recovering alcoholic who takes a job as the winter caretaker of the isolated, haunted Overlook Hotel in the Rocky Mountains as a way to try to put his life back together. Jack's wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) accompany him, but Danny has psychic abilities (the "shining") that allow him to see the hotel's horrific past. As winter sets in and Jack becomes increasingly unstable and isolated, Danny's visions become more intense and it becomes clear that the ghosts of the hotel are intent on claiming the family as their own. With help from the hotel's ghostly chef, Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), Danny is able to outwit the ghosts and escape the hotel with his family intact.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Requiem for a Dream
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Darren Aronofsky, starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans
Rated R

Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky. It is an adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr.'s novel of the same name and stars Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans and Christopher McDonald. The film depicts four different characters, all of whom are struggling with the same addiction to drugs. The main characters are Sara Goldfarb, an elderly woman whose dream of appearing on a game show, Harry Goldfarb, Sara’s son who is a heroin addict, Marion Silver, Harry's girlfriend and a fellow addict, and Tyrone C. Love, Harry's friend and fellow addict. As the four of them become increasingly addicted to drugs, their lives spiral out of control, leading to disastrous consequences. As the story progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that there may be no way out for any of them, as the only escape from the cycle of addiction is death. Through its vivid depictions of addiction, Requiem for a Dream serves as a warning about the dangers of drug abuse and stands as a stark reminder of the consequences that can result from substance abuse.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A Clockwork Orange
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke
Rated R

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 crime film directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess. The film follows the life of Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a bright young man whose life is changed when he is convicted of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison. After participating in a behavioral modification program called the Ludovico Technique, Alex is released back into society, only to find himself a target of violent attacks and a society that is unaccepting of his past. Alex must find a way to survive in a world that has no use for him. Along his journey, he learns the meaning of morality, free will and the true nature of evil.

Taxi Driver (1976)

Taxi Driver
★★★★
★★★★
3.3 out of 4 stars

From Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks
Rated R

Taxi Driver is a 1976 American thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film tells the story of Travis Bickle, a lonely and mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran who works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City. As he suffers from insomnia, Bickle haunts the streets of the city and observes its inhabitants, who appear alien and threatening to him. When Travis meets a young political campaign worker, Betsy, he becomes obsessed with her and begins to carry a gun. His life spirals out of control as he plots a campaign of revenge against the criminals of the city and the world in general. The film explores themes of urban alienation and disillusionment, with the story taking place in a crime-ridden and morally bankrupt New York City.

Perfect Blue (1997)

Perfect Blue
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Satoshi Kon, starring Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji, Masaaki Ôkura
Rated R

Perfect Blue is a psychological thriller directed by Satoshi Kon which follows the story of Mima Kirigoe, an aspiring actress who leaves her career as a J-Pop idol to try her luck in the theater. When Mima starts to receive threatening messages from an unknown stalker, her life begins to spiral out of control. With the help of a detective and an ex-boyfriend, Mima must confront her inner demons and unravel the mystery of her stalker's identity before it's too late. Along the way, she discovers a dark side to celebrity life that she was not prepared to face. Perfect Blue is a complex exploration of identity, fame, and obsession, and is considered one of the best animated films ever made.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Richard Kelly, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne
Rated R

Donnie Darko is a psychological thriller directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Set in 1988, it follows a troubled teenager, Donnie, who survives a freak accident only to discover that he is being visited by a demonic figure named Frank, who tells him the world will end in 28 days. As the end of the world draws near, Donnie begins to unravel the secrets of his past, his present and a possible future. He must confront his own demons, as well as the physical manifestation of an apocalyptic prophecy. Along the way, Donnie learns some valuable lessons about life and death, love and freedom, and most of all, himself.

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

Pink Floyd: The Wall
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Alan Parker, starring Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson, Eleanor David
Rated R

Pink Floyd: The Wall is an avant-garde British musical drama film directed by Alan Parker and written by Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters. The film follows the story of a disillusioned rock star named Pink, who is suffering from a severe mental and emotional breakdown. Throughout the film, Pink is haunted by memories of his overbearing father, the horrors of war, and his own inner demons. As his mental state deteriorates, the wall he has built around himself begins to crumble, allowing him to reconnect with his emotions and the world around him. Through his self-exploration, Pink is able to overcome his personal issues and emerge a stronger, more mature person. The film is an exploration of alienation and the human psyche, packed with allegories and surreal imagery.

Threads (1984)

Threads
★★★★
★★★★
3.2 out of 4 stars

From Mick Jackson, starring Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly, Rita May
Rated TV-MA

Threads is a British television drama about the effects of a nuclear war on the city of Sheffield, England, and its surrounding communities. The film follows the lives of two families—the Becketts, who live in the city, and the Kemp family, who live in the countryside—as they experience the horrific events leading up to, during, and after a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The film shows the physical, psychological, and environmental effects of the war, including the aftermath of a nuclear bombing, malnutrition, radiation sickness, and the breakdown of law and order. It also depicts the tragedy of a society struggling to rebuild itself after the destruction of the war. Threads paints a stark and chilling picture of what a nuclear conflict could look like if it were to actually happen.

The Devils (1971)

The Devils
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Ken Russell, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed, Dudley Sutton, Max Adrian
Rated R

The Devils is a 1971 British historical drama written and directed by Ken Russell. The film is loosely based on the 1952 book The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley and the 1960 play The Devils by John Whiting. The film follows Father Urbain Grandier, a priest of the town of Loudun, France, who is accused of witchcraft and demonic possession. The accusations stem from Father Grandier's refusal to allow a convent of nuns to be dissolved by the unscrupulous Cardinal Richelieu. The situation is further complicated by Father Grandier's romantic entanglement with the sexually repressed Mother Superior of the convent. Full of religious and sexual symbolism, The Devils paints a startling portrait of authority and oppression, with strong performances by cast members Oliver Reed, Vanessa Redgrave, and Dudley Sutton. The film was largely controversial upon its release, but is now widely seen as a landmark of horror and tragedy.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Niels Arden Oplev, starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Ewa Fröling, Lena Endre
Rated R

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a Swedish mystery-thriller directed by Niels Arden Oplev and based on the novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The film follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander as they investigate the disappearance and murder of Harriet Vanger, a young woman from a powerful industrialist family. As the investigation leads them into the dark secrets of the Vanger family’s past, the two uncover a series of shocking revelations about the crime and those responsible for it. With its combination of suspense, mystery and thriller elements, the film is a gripping exploration of the power of evil and the strength of the human spirit.

Deliverance (1972)

Deliverance
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From John Boorman, starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox
Rated R

Deliverance is a 1972 American thriller film directed by John Boorman and based on the novel of the same name by James Dickey. It tells the story of four Atlanta businessmen—Lewis Medlock (Burt Reynolds), Bobby Trippe (Ned Beatty), Ed Gentry (Jon Voight), and Drew Ballinger (Ronny Cox)—who go on a weekend canoe trip in a remote area of the Cahulawassee River in the north Georgia mountains. After they encounter a pair of dangerous locals, they are forced to fight for their lives in order to make it out of the wilderness alive. Along the way, they must confront their own inner fears and prejudices and come to understand the power of nature. The film also stars Bill McKinney, Herbert "Cowboy" Coward, and J.D. Sumner.

Ex Machina (2014)

Ex Machina
★★★★
★★★★
3.1 out of 4 stars

From Alex Garland, starring Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno
Rated R

Ex Machina is a 2014 science fiction psychological thriller film written and directed by Alex Garland. The film follows Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a young programmer at a large internet company, who wins a competition to spend a week at the remote home of the company's CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Nathan has chosen Caleb to evaluate the capabilities of a humanoid robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander). During the course of the week, Caleb grows increasingly suspicious of Nathan's intentions and must determine if Ava is truly capable of human emotions and behavior. As the story progresses, Caleb is forced to confront his own preconceptions about life and humanity and make a difficult decision with far-reaching consequences.

Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Roman Polanski, starring Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Yvonne Furneaux
Rated Not Rated

Repulsion is a 1965 psychological horror film directed by Roman Polanski, starring Catherine Deneuve as a young Belgian woman left alone in her London flat when her sister and her sister's lover go on vacation. While alone, she begins to experience a series of disturbing and unexplained events that lead her to become increasingly isolated and paranoid. Gradually, she begins to descend into a state of extreme psychological distress, which leads her to lash out in violent and destructive ways. The film paints a chilling portrait of how a person’s isolation can push them to the brink of madness.

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Mary Harron, starring Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage
Rated R

American Psycho is a dark comedy-thriller directed by Mary Harron and based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. The film follows Patrick Bateman, a wealthy Wall Street investment banker who has a secret identity as a serial killer. Patrick becomes increasingly disturbed by his murders, as his colleagues and friends remain unaware of his true identity. In the end, Patrick's sanity is put to the ultimate test when he is forced to confront his own brutality and the lack of consequences for his actions. The film features an all-star cast led by Christian Bale in the title role, alongside Reese Witherspoon, Jared Leto, Samantha Mathis, Willem Dafoe, Chloë Sevigny, and Guinevere Turner. American Psycho is a darkly humorous commentary on consumer culture and societal hypocrisy.

The Skin I Live In (2011)

The Skin I Live In
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Pedro Almodóvar, starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet, Marisa Paredes
Rated R

The Skin I Live In is an award-winning psychological thriller by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. The movie revolves around plastic surgeon Robert Ledgard, who has developed an artificial skin that he hopes can withstand even the most extreme conditions. After a tragic accident involving his daughter, Robert has become obsessed with perfecting his skin and has tested it out on a human subject, a mysterious woman named Vera. As the story progresses, the truth behind Vera’s identity and the motive behind Robert’s experiment come to light, and viewers are forced to confront the realities of obsession, revenge, and the consequences of playing God.

The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Robin Hardy, starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland
Rated R

The Wicker Man (1973) is a British horror film directed by Robin Hardy. Starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland, the film follows Police Sergeant Neil Howie as he travels to the remote Hebridean island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. As Howie attempts to uncover the truth about the strange island and its inhabitants, he soon discovers that the islanders are engaging in pagan rituals and human sacrifice. As Howie's investigation intensifies, he finds himself becoming increasingly entangled in the islanders' strange and sinister beliefs, leading to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

Scream (1996)

Scream
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Wes Craven, starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich
Rated R

Man Bites Dog (1992)

Man Bites Dog
★★★★
★★★★
3 out of 4 stars

From Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde, starring Benoît Poelvoorde, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Nelly Pappaert, Hector Pappaert
Rated NC-17

Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Dario Argento, starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé
Rated R

Monster (2003)

Monster
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Patty Jenkins, starring Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Bruce Dern, Lee Tergesen
Rated R

Belladonna of Sadness (1973)

Belladonna of Sadness
★★★★
★★★★
2.9 out of 4 stars

From Eiichi Yamamoto, starring Aiko Nagayama, Chinatsu Nakayama, Masaya Takahashi, Masakane Yonekura
Rated Unrated

 



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