Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Times You Need To Watch

Best Psychological Thrillers Of All Times

Psychological thriller is a combination of a movie that has elements of both, a thriller and a mind-challenging film. Films of this genre, are often unsettling and can leave the viewers baffled and intrigued. They give the watchers a heightened feeling of excitement, anxiousness, and even anxiety, depending upon how deeply the person is engrossed in the film. While genres like rom-coms, comedies, adventure, romance are light and produce happy emotions, psychological thrillers can be jaw-dropping and spine chilling. Such movies often play with the notion of predictability, as viewers might believe that a certain thing would happen but suddenly they’ll be surprised with a shocking plot twist, which would leave a deep impact on the mind.


1.      Orphan

Orphan-Psychological Thrillers Of All Times


Rotten Tomatoes: 56%

IMDb: 6.9/10

Metacritic: 42%

·         Release date: 22nd July, 2009

·         Running time: 2h 3m

·         Where to watch: Hotstar subscription, YouTube rent, popcorn time


This movie always tops the list of psychological thrillers. A movie like this comes once in more than a decade. The reviews didn’t work out very well for the movie but it shocked its entire viewer population. Released in 2009, this movie is one of the greatest directions of Jaume Collet Serra, a Spanish director, and producer who has made successful movies like The Matrix, remake of a horror film House Of Wax and more.

Orphan has been popularly remarked as bone-chilling, crazy and horrifying. It can be disturbing, twisty, as well as gruesome for some viewers. The story revolves around a married couple, they have two children and the wife loses the third baby after which she decides to adopt a nine-year-old girl, Ether. Problems occur when Ether’s behavior seems icky to the mother and she discovers a terrifying truth about her. It all comes down to Ether not being who she pretends to be.

The climax is the hit of the film. The film builds up to the climax. If we speak of the cinematic and creative elements, this film creates an aura of a dark picture. This movie’s visualization and screenplay add on to the thrill and it doesn’t fail to bring horror sensations.


2.      Get out

Get-out - Psychological Thrillers movies


Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

IMDb: 7.7/10

Metacritic: 84%


·         Release date: 27th Feb, 2017

·         Running time: 1h 44m

·         Where to watch: popcorn time, amazon rent

This movie is of the new generation and a classic example of a psychological thriller. It’s definitely not a cliché, rather a very smart and unique piece. It might take a while for you to understand what’s happening in the film and it can be called complex. In a gist, it’s about a dinner party, going horribly wrong. Chris, the protagonist of the film, visits his girlfriend Rose’s parents, who seem to be unhappy with his smoke addiction and the fact that he’s black. They’re often seen as passing hateful comments towards him. Rose’s mother, being a hypnotherapist, persuades Chris into therapy and things turn wired. This movie did very well at the box office and earned a lot of fame for the lead actors, as well as, the director.


3.      Split

Split - Best Psychological Thrillers


Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

IMDb: 7.3/10

Metacritic: 62%


·         Release date:24th Feb, 2014

·         Running time: 1h 57m

·         Where to watch: popcorn time


Split is a solid example of dissociative identity disorder, known as the split personality disorder in common terms. The surprise in the movie is the element of horror, which will be revealed only at the end.

The film stars James McAvoy, the ‘Dark Phoenix’ and ‘X-Men: First Class’ star, who has shown true brilliance in the movie. He plays a character who holds 23 alter egos. As the movie proceeds, he takes three teens into hostage. They struggle to survive and must protect themselves before he unshackles his 24th and the most dangerous personality. The last scenes of the movie provide jump scares. There is a buildup of tension, which makes the viewers stick to the screen until completion of the film. It’s a perfect blend of horror, thriller and it successfully plays with the mind. James portrays each of the twenty-four personalities with precision and masterfully.

It’s directed by none other than M. Night Shyamalan, who earlier shook everyone with the outstanding and ingenious movie, ‘The Sixth Sense’.


4.      The Silence of the lambs



Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

IMDb: 8.6/10

Common sense media: 4/5


·         Release date: 14th Feb, 1991

·         Running time: 2h 18m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time


Directed by Jonathan Demme, this movie is a masterpiece and made him bag the academy awards for best direction, while the movie won the best picture award. The very professional cast of the movie helped this creative film reach the audience well and perfectly enact the script.

The movie revolves around an FBI agent, played by Jodie Foster, who approaches Hannibal Lecter, who was a psychopathic serial killer to catch another serial killer who targets females.

Every thriller lover must watch this film as it’s a classic of this genre. Anthony Hopkins’s portrayal of Hannibal Lector, a psychiatrist turned psychopathic serial killer, is an example of mind-blowing acting skills, which could’ve been done only by Hopkins.


5.      The shutter island



Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

IMDb: 8.1/10

Metacritic: 63%


·         Release date: 19th Feb, 2010

·         Running time: 2h 19m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, Netflix


This movie is a master of plot twists, serious revelations and the right kind of plot twists that we seek from a psychological thriller. The creative elements used, aptly compliment the film. The location of the film is isolated, has a light tower and sets the right environment for a thriller. It is very intense and complex. One cannot understand this movie without fully focusing on each and every dialogue of it. The cast is the highlight of the film.

Leonardo DiCaprio is the lead. Just like all of these movies, even this one doesn’t fail to amaze the viewers. Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams deliver a power-packed and impactful performance. The plot proceeds as Teddy, the protagonist of the film, played by Leo reaches an asylum on an isolated island and discovers some shocking truths about the place.


6.      Fight club



Rotten tomatoes: 79%

IMDb: 8.8/10

Metacritic: 66%


·         Release date: 15th October, 1999

·         Running time: 2h 31m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, YouTube rent, google play


This Brad Pitt classic received a lot of praise. This movie has also been called a celebration of violence and alcohol abuse but amidst all this, the film was a huge success for director David Fincher who, till date hasn’t failed his audiences. He has brought great movies like Gone Girl, Seven, World War Z2, The Panic Room, Seven and more. The movie also stars, Helena Bonham Carter AKA Bellatrix Lestrange.

The movie is about a fight club started by an insomniac office worker, played by Edward Norton and Tyler, played by Brad, who sells soap. The club soon turns direful.


7.      Vanilla sky



Rotten Tomatoes: 42%

IMDb: 6.9/10

Metacritic: 45%


·         Release date: 10th December, 2001

·         Running time: 2h 17m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, YouTube rent, google play


The movie shows Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz and Cameron Diaz in powerful roles. It is a little different, as a part of being a psychological thriller, it’s also science fiction. It’s a remake of a Spanish film, Open Your Eyes.

The movie also brings concepts like lucid dreams on screen. It begins with Tom Cruise being in prison and narrating his life story, where he tells about Penélope, how he falls in love with her at the same time when he’s seeing Cameron. When Cameron finds out about the two, she deliberately crashes her car, with Tom inside, which leaves, his face scarred. The story moves forward with him trying to cope with this new negative change, depression and more. This is a twisted story but won’t fail to amuse the viewers.


8.      Gerald’s Game



Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

IMDb: 6.6/10

Metacritic: 77%


·         Release date:2017

·         Running time: 1h 43m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, Netflix


Gerald’s Game is based on a Stephen King’s novel and is another jump scare thriller, all set to get a spine chilling experience. The movie is directed by Mike Flanigan, who has also directed movies like Oculus, Hush, Before IWake, Doctor Sleep and more. The screenplay has been co-written by Stephen King and Jeff Howard. The movie stars Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, and Kate Siegel, who was also lead in the popular horror series‘The Haunting Of Hill House’.

Carla and Bruce Greenwood are the protagonists. They are a married couple and things are quite rough between them. Considering which, they decide to take a holiday to spend some quality time alone and sort their differences out. The area is completely isolated, apart from the presence of a dog who apparently hasn’t been fed in a long time. Bruce’s character comes up with something kinky and a tragedy strikes.

This picture is packed up with thrill and fright. The plot is unique and will keep surprising the viewers every moment. It is very artistic and gripping, a must-watch for any psychological thriller fan.

9.      Seven



Rotten Tomatoes: 81%

IMDb: 8.6/10

Metacritic: 65%


·         Release date: 15th September, 1995

·         Running time: 2h 8m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, Netflix, Hotstar


Seven is one of Brad Pitt’s best works. It’s a gripping thriller with hints of gore and darkness. It’s David Fincher’s one of the best and has outstanding cast support, with Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow also in the lead alongside Brad.

Apart from being a psychological thriller, it’s also a crime film. It condescends around two detectives given the task of catching a serial killer, who is very much inspired by the seven deadly sins. The movie offers appalling revelations and has a superb ending. It has a religious element to it and will put across powerful ideologies.


10.  Gone girl



Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

IMDb: 8.1/10

Metacritic: 79%


·         Release date: 3rd October, 2014

·         Running time: 2h 29m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, Netflix, google play, YouTube rent


Another David Fincher film, which doesn’t fail to leave the viewers in total shock. It’s a page-turner and the change of events will leave the audience unsettled and amazed. The film has a female protagonist, played by Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne. The film also has Ben Affleck and The Big Bang Theory star, Neil Patrick Harris. The screenplay is by Gillian Flynn, who has the credit for the screenplay. The story is based on her novel, published in 2012, with the same title.

Ben and Rosamund have starred as a couple and Neil is the latter’s rich lover who can go to any extent for her and apparently still loves her despite her marital status. The story takes form when Rosamund disappears on her fifth wedding anniversary and Ben gets framed for it, with the whole media thinking of him as the culprit. The film has various scenes that would leave the audience aghast. Rosamund won the best actress award for this film.


11.  The gift



Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

IMDb: 7/10

Metacritic: 77%


·         Release date: 7th august, 2015

·         Running time: 1h 48m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, google play, YouTube rent


Directed by the Star Wars star, Joel Edgerton, this film is an edgy thriller and very creepy. Joel has done the direction, screenplay and plays the lead as well. He plays the creep of the film, named Gordo, who starts dropping by his school time friend Simon’s house unannounced and creeps him out. The couple is played by the talented Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall (Robyn).

The movie is basically about Gordo taking revenge from his school time bully, Simon which is discovered later by Robyn as the film proceeds.


12.  The others



Rotten tomatoes:83%

IMDb: 7.6/10

Metacritic: 74%


·         Release date: 2nd august, 2001

·         Running time: 1h 44m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time


The movie appears to be slightly confusing at the beginning but then everything starts making sense. It’s not a cliché horror film. It’s filled with twists and end moment revelations. Nicole Kidman is the lead and delivers an outstanding performance. The props used in the film complement the screenplay and so does the location and the house where the movie is shot. It’s the first-ever English film to achieve the Goya awards, not only one but seven, for best movie and direction.

The protagonist is Nicole Kidman, who plays the character of Grace. She has recently moved to a new house with her two children and is waiting for her husband to return. The movie’s plot is about her conception of ‘the others. With ‘the others’, she refers to some metaphysical presence, which caused certain uncalled and troubling events.  The climax is about getting to know who ‘the others’ really are.


13.  Black swan



Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

IMDb: 8/10

Metacritic: 79%


·         Release date: Feb, 2010

·         Running time: 1h 48m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, Hotstar


Director Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a magical experience. This movie is thronged with dance, emotions, artistic fluency and exciting drama. The film stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as the leads along with Vincent Cassel. The movie delivers a supernatural intrigue and combines it with a timeless love story which is performed most commonly by ballerinas.

The film centers around Nina, played by Natalie, who is a ballerina and puts up with her overprotective mother, who had to give up on her career to raise Nina. The movie opens with the director Thomas (Vincent Cassel), forcing retirement on a prima ballerina, Beth (Winona Ryder), due to her age. All the ballerinas want to take Beth’s part and Nina gets it. Discrepancies occur when Lily (Mila Kunis) enters the scenario. Thomas urges Nina to be like a lily, which makes her insecure, as she desperately wants to play the lead in the Odette, so much so that she starts hallucinating and seeing things which are not real. The insecurities rise day by day, as she tries to bring out her best for the role. More drama unfolds every second of the movie.

It is an exceptional and intoxicating movie and showcases the utter brilliance of Natalie Portman and should not be missed.


14.  Inception



Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

IMDb: 8.8/10

Metacritic: 74%


·         Release date: 8th July, 2010

·         Running time: 2h 28m

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time, YouTube rent, google play


Inception comes from a director, who has amazed us with outstanding movies like Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Dunkirk, Batman Begins and more. The movie shows pure art and excellence. It is definitely a little complex to understand but the concept is mind-blowing and jaw-dropping.

The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio, who is shown stealing information from people’s subconscious. Later as the film progresses, he is made an offer to get all his criminal records wiped off, if only he can plant an idea in the targets mind.

Inception is totally unpredictable and unique. Nolan puts across the idea of sharing dreams which is hardly ever seen in any films. This movie has been claimed to be the best movie to be ever made and must not be missed by any psych thriller lover.


15.  Memento



Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

IMDb: 8.4/10

Roger Ebert: 3/4


·         Release date: 5th September, 2000

·         Running time: 2hours

·         Where to watch: Popcorn time


Another Christopher Nolan movie, which successfully gathered loads of appreciation. It won the Edgar award for the best motion screenplay. It is claimed as the most realistic and original movies of all times.

Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce searches for his wife’s murderer while suffering from anterograde amnesia.

This movie is considered as the best feature film and is another must-watch. It uses reverse chronology and challenges the brain without fail. It is said to be also capable of changing a person’s perception and outlook of cinema.


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