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Psychological Thrillers Fan? Here Are My Top Faves!

A man eagerly watching TV with a popcorn bowl in his hand

Yes, I love a good horror movie with predictable jumpscares but a deep chilling stay-in-your-mind psychological thriller is where my heart’s at. I love movies that just make you question everything, the kind that leaves you spellbound in the end, a plot twist you never see coming, etc. It provides a completely new type of horror that may linger long after the credits have rolled.

For horror enthusiasts like me, a slow-burn form of fear is significantly more rewarding. To save you from needlessly scrolling through your TV the next time you want to watch a movie, I decided to compile a list of 10 top physiological thrillers because I've probably seen everyone there is. There are no spoilers here, so don't worry! If there’s one thing psychological thrillers are known for, it's the unexpected plot twist and I’ve made sure to keep that part a surprise.

The Girl On The Train (2016)

The Girl On The Train poster

Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) sees a picture-perfect pair passing by as the train passes by them every day on her commute. As the lady goes missing, Rachel is thrust into the middle of a case that becomes less clear-cut with each discovery that causes everyone else to gasp.

Black Swan (2010)

Black Swan poster

In this movie that will change the way you view ballerinas, Natalie Portman's character Nina will stop at nothing to advance her dance career. She competes with a youngster Lily (Mila Kunis) for the lead part in the new staging of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. As they compete for the role, Nina starts to lose her sense of reality, and the contest takes a sinister turn.

Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl poster

Nick (Ben Affleck), a former writer, and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) appear to be the ideal pair. Yet Nick is the main suspect after Amy vanishes on their fifth wedding anniversary. The terrible reality of what occurred is revealed after a series of unexpected turns, and it's absolutely not what you imagine.

Us (2019)

Us poster

Adelaide (Lupita Nyong'o) experiences her deadliest nightmares when a bunch of assailants arrives at the coastal home where her family resides. As Adelaide and her family learn that each attacker looks like a member of them, things become much creepier. If the concept alone doesn't terrify you, the backstory probably will. There’s also a plot twist, in the end, you NEVER see coming.

Ma (2019)

Ma poster

A group of youngsters unexpectedly become friends with Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer), a reclusive woman, and she agrees to let them have a party in her basement. Yet, soon after, events occur that cause the teenagers to doubt her hospitality, and a darker aspect of their bond begins to emerge.

Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island poster

Leo DiCaprio's dashing Edward Daniels starts investigating the abduction of a lady who ran away from a mental health facility. Yet as he proceeds, he discovers that he could be at the mercy of his own thoughts. He has to battle to get off the island safely, and this movie will get into your thoughts as well.

The Shining (1980)

The Shining poster

A true classic. In a way to strengthen his family, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) accepts a position as a winter caretaker at a remote historic resort. Yet the bucolic setting conceals a sinister past that quickly begins to invade Jack's consciousness. You may expect creepy kids, eerie visions, and one of the most thrilling chase scenes in cinema history.

Misery (1990)

Misery poster

James Caan's character, Paul, a writer, is saved by Kathy Bates' character, Annie, a former nurse, when he wrecks his vehicle. She, however, does not take it well when she learns that Paul has been murdering her favorite character in his novels. Be prepared for heartbreaking turns and some unsettling sledgehammer scenes.

American Psycho (2000)

American Psycho poster

Patrick (Christian Bale), an investment banking professional who conceals his nightly existence as a serial murderer, is the main character of this movie, which is set in 1980s New York City. His coworkers and acquaintances gradually develop suspicions, but will they ever learn the truth? You'll have to wait and see.

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

The Silence Of The Lamb poster

In this adaptation of Thomas Harris's classic book, Jodie Foster plays young FBI cadet Clarice, who is trying to find a serial murderer. Dr. Hannibal Lecter, an imprisoned cannibal killer, and former psychiatrist finds up providing her with advice, and the repercussions are exactly as unpleasant as you might expect.

Hence, if you didn't have any plans for this weekend, you do now! I hope you enjoy watching these movies as much as I did. Just make sure to keep your lights on though! After watching these, chances are you'll want to double-check your door locks.


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