21 Psychological Thriller Movies You Will Never Regret Watching
News > 21 Psychological Thriller Movies You Will Never Regret Watching
Psychological thrillers are movies that demonstrate the main characters' ongoing mood swings and abnormal psychological stages. For movie buffs who enjoy thriller movies like Fight Club, Shutter Island or The Shining, psychological thrillers are always tempting. So we compiled a list of the best psychological thriller movies based on their IMDb ratings. Enjoy!
All the storylines are retrieved from IMDb. 21. Fatal Attraction (1987) | IMDb 6.9 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093010/
Happily married New York lawyer Dan Callagher has an affair with his colleague Alex, and the two enjoy a love weekend while Dan's wife and kid are away. But Alex will not let go of him, and she will stop at nothing to have him for herself. Just how far will she go to get what she wants?
20. Manhunter (1986) | IMDb 7.2 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091474/
Will Graham is a former FBI agent who recently retired to Florida with his wife Molly and their young son. Graham was a 'profiler'; one who profiles criminal's behavior and tries to put his mind into the minds of criminals to examine their thoughts while visiting crime scenes. Will is called out of his self-imposed retirement at the request of his former boss Jack Crawford to help the FBI catch an elusive serial killer, known to the press as the 'Tooth Fairy', who randomly kills whole families in their houses during nights of the full moon and leaves bite marks on his victims. To try to search for clues to get into the mind of the killer, Will has occasional meetings with Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, a charismatic but very dangerous imprisoned serial killer that Will captured years earlier which nearly drove him insane from the horrific encounter that nearly cost Will's life. With some help and hindrance, Will races against the clock before the next full moon when the 'Tooth Fairy' will ...
19. Arlington Road (1999) | IMDb 7.2 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137363/
In suburban Reston, Virginia, George Washington University American History professor Michael Faraday is still mourning the death of his wife, FBI agent Leah Faraday, after three years. His inside knowledge of the agency colors what he teaches in his classes. Although on good terms with Leah's ex-partner, Whit Carver, and the agency in general, Michael wants the agency at least to acknowledge their responsibility in her death in the line of duty. Michael is moving on with his personal life, he being in a serious relationship with his former teaching assistant Brooke Wolfe. Although he likes Brooke, Michael and Leah's nine year old son, Grant Faraday, may not yet be quite ready for Brooke to be a permanent part of their lives. It is only in helping adolescent Brady Lang who he sees in medical distress that Michael meets his new neighbors, Oliver and Cheryl Lang, Brady's parents. In the process, Michael and Brooke becomes friends with the Langs, as Grant and Brady become friends.
18. Audition (1999) | IMDb 7.2 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0235198/
In Tokyo, Shigeharu Aoyama is a widower that grieves the loss of his wife and raises his son Shigehiko Aoyama alone. Seven years later, the teenage Shigehiko asks why his middle-aged father does not remarry and Shigeharu meets his friend Yasuhisa Yoshikawa, who is a film producer, and tells his intention. However, Shigeharu has difficulties to approach to available women to date and Yasuhisa decide to organize a sham audition for casting the lead actress for the fake movie. They receive several portfolios of candidates and Shigeharu becomes obsessed by the gorgeous Asami Yamazaki. Despite the advice of the experienced Yasuhisa, Shigeharu calls Asami to date and he falls for her. But who is the mysterious Asami?
17. Angel Heart (1987) | IMDb 7.3 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092563/
Harry Angel has a new case, to find a man called Johnny Favourite. Except things aren't quite that simple and Johnny doesn't want to be found. Let's just say that amongst the period detail and beautiful scenery, it all gets really really nasty.
16. A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003) | IMDb 7.3 Janghwa, Hongryeon http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0365376/
Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother's obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery.
15. Frailty (2001) | IMDb 7.3 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264616/
FBI agent Wesley Doyle is startled by the spontaneous declaration of youngster Fenton Meiks about how his father's delusions to have a divine mission as avenging angel required him and his brother Adam to become his 'demon-slaying' murder accomplices. But when Doyle accepts to be shown concealed victim graves, the plot twists in the present just as gruesomely.
14. Dead Ringers (1988) | IMDb 7.3 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094964/
The Mantle brothers are both doctors - both gynecologists - and identical twins. Mentally however, one of them is more confident than the other, and always manages to seduce the women he meets. When he's tired of his current partner, she is passed on to the other brother - without her knowing. Everything runs smoothly, until an actress visits their clinic, and the shy brother is the first to fall in love. Will they be able to 'share' her ?
13. Cape Fear (1991) | IMDb 7.3 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101540/
Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte)is a small-town corporate attorney/'Leave It to Beaver' type family-man. Max Cady (Robert De Niro) is a tattooed, cigar smoking, bible-quoting, rapist. What do they have in common? Fourteen years, ago Sam was a public defender assigned to Max Cady's rape trial, and he made a serious error: he hid a document from his illiterate client that could have gotten him acquitted. Now, the cagey, bibliophile Cady has been released, and he intends to teach Sam Bowden and his family a thing or two about loss.
12. Don't Look Now (1973) | IMDb 7.4 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069995/
John and Laura Baxter are in Venice when they meet a pair of elderly sisters, one of whom claims to be psychic. She insists that she sees the spirit of the Baxters' daughter, who recently drowned. Laura is intrigued, but John resists the idea. He, however, seems to have his own psychic flashes, seeing their daughter walk the streets in her red cloak, as well as Laura and the sisters on a funeral gondola.
11. Jacob's Ladder (1990) | IMDb 7.5 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099871/
New York postal worker Jacob Singer is trying to keep his frayed life from unraveling. His days are increasingly being invaded by flashbacks to his first marriage, his now-dead son, and his tour of duty in Vietnam. Athough his new wife tries to help Jacob keep his grip on sanity, the line between reality and delusion is steadily growing more and more uncertain.
10. The Unknown Woman (2006) | IMDb 7.5 La sconosciuta http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0494271/
A Ukrainian woman named Irena calculatedly insinuates herself into the lives of a young, affluent Italian family. Stopping at nothing to become the couple's trusted maid and the beloved nanny to their fragile young daughter, Irena risks everything in her quest to uncover the truth about the family. Like an intricately constructed jigsaw puzzle, The Unknown Woman reveals piece by piece the enigma of Irena's past.
9. The Wicker Man (1973) | IMDb 7.6 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070917/
Sgt. Howie travels to Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He discovers that the locals are weird and unhelpful, and becomes determined to get to the bottom of the disappearance.
8. Funny Games (1997) | IMDb 7.6 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119167/
Two seemingly well-educated young men, who call each other Paul and Peter among other names, approach a family on vacation. They are, apparently, friends of the neighbors, and, at the beginning, their true intentions are not known, but soon, the family is imprisoned and tortured in its own house violently, which the viewers are forced mostly to imagine and to share a certain complicity with the criminals. It might be some kind of game with the lives of husband, wife, son, and dog, but why are they doing it?
7. Spoorloos (1988) | IMDb 7.8 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096163/
Rex and Saskia are on holiday, a young couple in love. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia disappears. Rex dedicates the next three years trying to find her. Then he receives some postcards from her abductor, who promises to reveal what has happened to Saskia. The abductor, Raymond Lemorne, is a chilling character to whom Rex is drawn by his intense desire to learn the truth behind his lovers disappearance. The truth is more sinister than he dared imagine.
6. The Tenant (1976) | IMDb 7.8 Le locataire http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074811/
In Paris, the shy bureaucrat Trelkovsky rents an old apartment without bathroom where the previous tenant, the Egyptologist Simone Choule, committed suicide. The unfriendly concierge (Shelley Winters) and the tough landlord Mr. Zy establish stringent rules of behavior and Trelkovsky feels ridden by his neighbors. Meanwhile he visits Simone in the hospital and befriends her girlfriend Stella. After the death of Simone, Trelkovsky feels obsessed for her and believes his landlord and neighbors are plotting a scheme to force him to also commit suicide.
5. Repulsion (1965) | IMDb 7.8 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059646/
In London, Belgian immigrant Carol Ledoux shares an apartment with her older sister Helen, and works as a manicurist at a beauty salon. Helen uses the word 'sensitive' to describe Carol's overall demeanor, which is almost like she walks around in a daze, rarely speaking up about anything. When she does speak up, it generally is about something against one of those few issues on which she obsesses, such as Helen's boyfriend Michael's invasion of her space at the apartment. That specific issue may be more about men in general than just Michael's actions, as witnessed by Carol being agitated by hearing Helen and Michael's lovemaking, and she not being able to rebuff the advances effectively of a male suitor, Colin, who is infatuated with her. One of those other obsessive issues is noticing cracks and always wanting to fix them. While Helen and Michael leave on a vacation to Pisa, Italy, Carol chooses largely to lock herself in the apartment, ditching work. There, she is almost hypnotized...
4. Blue Velvet (1986) | IMDb 7.8 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090756/
College student Jeffrey Beaumont returns to his idyllic hometown of Lumberton to manage his father's hardware store while his father is hospitalized. Walking though a grassy meadow near the family home, Jeffrey finds a severed human ear. After an initial investigation, lead police Detective John Williams advises Jeffrey not to speak to anyone about the case as they investigate further. Detective Williams also tells Jeffrey that he cannot divulge any information about what the police know. Detective Williams' high school aged daughter, Sandy Williams, tells Jeffrey what she knows about the case from overhearing her father's private conversations on the matter: that it has to do with a nightclub singer named Dorothy Vallens, who lives in an older apartment building near the Beaumont home. His curiosity getting the better of him, Jeffrey, with Sandy's help, decides to find out more about the woman at the center of the case by breaking into Dorothy's apartment while he knows she's at work...
3. The Conversation (1974) | IMDb 7.9 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071360/
Harry Caul is a devout Catholic and a lover of jazz music who plays his saxophone while listening to his jazz records. He is a San Francisco-based electronic surveillance expert who owns and operates his own small surveillance business. He is renowned within the profession as being the best, one who designs and constructs his own surveillance equipment. He is an intensely private and solitary man in both his personal and professional life, which especially irks Stan, his business associate who often feels shut out of what is happening with their work. This privacy, which includes not letting anyone into his apartment and always telephoning his clients from pay phones is, in part, intended to control what happens around him. His and Stan's latest job (a difficult one) is to record the private discussion of a young couple meeting in crowded and noisy Union Square. The arrangement with his client, known only to him as 'the director', is to provide the audio recording of the discussion ...
2. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) | IMDb 8.0 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056687/
In a tale that almost redefines sibling rivalry, faded actresses Blanche and 'Baby' Jane Hudson live together. Jane was by far the most famous when she performed with their father in vaudeville but as they got older, it was Blanche who became the finer actress, which Jane still resents. Blanche is now confined to a wheelchair and Jane is firmly in control. As time goes by, Jane exercises greater and greater control over her sister, intercepting her letters and ensuring that few if anyone from the outside has any contact with her. As Jane slowly loses her mind, she torments her sister going to ever greater extremes.
1. The Night of the Hunter (1955) | IMDb 8.0 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048424/
It's the Great Depression. In the process of robbing a bank of $10,000, Ben Harper kills two people. Before he is captured, he is able to convince his adolescent son John and his daughter Pearl not to tell anyone, including their mother Willa, where he hid the money, namely in Pearl's favorite toy, a doll that she carries everywhere with her. Ben, who is captured, tried and convicted, is sentenced to death. But before he is executed, Ben is in the state penitentiary with a cell mate, a man by the name of Harry Powell, a self professed man of the cloth, who is really a con man and murderer, swindling lonely women, primarily rich widows, of their money before he kills them. Harry does whatever he can, unsuccessfully, to find out the location of the $10,000 from Ben. After Ben's execution, Harry decides that Willa will be his next mark, figuring that someone in the family knows where the money is hidden. Despite vowing not to remarry, Willa ends up being easy prey for Harry's outward.