Best Psychological Thrillers Part 1(10+1list)

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Best Psychological Thrillers (Part 1)

written by Souranath Banerjee

In any ordinary suspense thriller, either you have to guess the killer or experience a tense cat and mouse chase sequence; that’s more or less the height of excitement.

But psychological suspense thrillers are different.

Films from this genre are twisted enough to make you believe into something that actually may not exist at all. They deliberately play tricks with our imagination and successfully blurs the audience’s perception of reality.

Here are some of the Best Psychological Thrillers ever made. So, let the countdown begin!

10. Videodrome (1983)

Film trailer:


A sleazy cable-TV programmer (James Woods) discovers a sick TV show known as the ‘Videodrone‘, and soon enough his life turns upside down.

The show may not an ordinary one but a clue to some sinister global conspiracy!

David Cronenberg is the master of psychologically twisted films but this one really takes the cake.

9. The Wicker Man (1973)

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The story revolves around a police sergeant (Edward Woodward) who lands on a Scottish Island village in search of a missing girl.

He soon realizes that the village people doesn’t want him to investigate and more to his surprise they deny the existence of such a missing girl!

Directed by Robin Hardy, a supercool psychological thriller.

8. The Machinist (2004)

Film trailer:

the-machinist-posterArguably Christian Bale‘s best performance and undoubtedly his best physical transformation for a role till date.

A film so twisted and insane that I bet you won’t sleep for a year, this super-slim version of Bale convinces you that its possible!

Gripping, disturbing and mind boggling; director Brad Anderson has simply nailed this one.

7. Don’t Look Now (1973)

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Nicolas Roeg‘s innovative, nerve wrecking film, this one is considered as one of the most horrifying thrillers made till date.

A grieving couple (Julie Christie  and Donald Sutherland), visits Venice for a change of mood but soon things get more complicated than they could ever imagined!

Chilling suspense that makes this film a must watch.

6. The Tenant (1976)

Film trailer:

the-tenant-posterRoman Polanski and his endless list of psychological thrillers grabs the attention of every film buff.

And in this particular one, he himself is THE tenant who shifts to a new apartment that earlier belonged to a girl who died.

In Polanski’s apartment trilogy this one is my favorite; psychotic paranoia gets a new definition in this film.

5. Open Your Eyes (1997)

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A handsome man finds love in his life but soon disfigures his face in a tragic accident. He tries surgery in a quest to rebuilt his face but soon finds out that he has lost his sanity too.

Brilliant performance by Eduardo Noriega, and Penélope Cruz is simply gorgeous. 

A Spanish film from the renowned director Alejandro Amenábar that will trip your mind for sure.

4. Black Swan (2010)

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One of the best thrillers of recent times, which won Natalie Portman an Oscar in the ‘Actress in a Leading Role’ category.

Master director Darren Aronofsky creates this disturbing psychological drama based on the famous play ‘The Black Swan’.

What is real and what’s not – the whole film has a bizarre feel that keeps you guessing till the end!

3. Memento (2000)

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We can never complete this list without mentioning Christopher Nolan‘s Memento.

A man (Guy Pearce) in search of the murderer of his wife but short term memory loss makes him doubt everything and everybody around him.

Never sure whom to trust other than a few notes and photographs, and of course his unique tattoos!

2. Fight Club (1999)

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Brad Pitt and Edward Norton and their infamous creation of a ‘fight club’.

An underground club that channels primal male aggression but it soon grows and evolves into something much more than its original purpose.

David Fincher‘s best film, probably the most popular psychological thriller ever.

1. Psycho (1960)

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pyscho poster

Alfred Hitchcock demands the first position on this list.

His other films Vertigo, Rebecca, Rear Window, Rope also could have been included here but then it will be a separate Hitchcock list altogether!

But the sinister Bates Motel, the iconic shower scene, the stuffed birds, the final confrontation with ‘mother’ – that’s enough for this one to become the best psychological thriller of all times. Nod if you agree.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Mulholland Drive (2001)

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Hollywood being the backdrop, this one is a spooky tale of two women (Naomi Watts and Laura Harring) who tries to solve the weird mysteries in their lives.

Director David Lynch in his unique way blurs the lines between dreams and reality, often entering the world of surreal.

A complex film to comprehend, here are at least ten ways to interpret the film. Take a pick!

Similar Interest: Best Psychological Thrillers (Part 2)

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