There is no thriller like a psychological thriller that messes with your brain. Sometimes you can see the twist coming a mile away, while sometimes, the twists are so outlandish you could never possibly know about them. Whereas sometimes psychological thrillers are so bizarre it takes multiple watchings to understand what is going on. This list will talk about five psychological thrillers that every film enthusiast must watch if they haven’t as soon as possible.
1. Psycho (1960) – Psychological Thrillers
The film that started it all. Made by the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho was a massively risky project. The film was shot entirely in black and white as the studio had no faith in the film. Little did they know that Psycho would revolutionize thrillers and even the entire film industry in general.
A boy’s best friend is his mother.Norman Bates
The film was so phenomenal that Alfred Hitchcock discouraged people from revealing the twists present in the film. Despite the fact that staging a horrific stabbing scene in a shower was a major risk, Psycho was a massive success. Although today’s audience can predict the twists before they happen, that is because Psycho has served as the blueprint of a psychological thriller for decades now.
2. Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher’s masterpiece Fight Club is easily the most misunderstood psychological thriller. People misinterpret the film’s message and consider it a promotion of violent men when it’s the exact opposite. The film beautifully pits its themes of toxic masculinity and corporate culture against each other, forcing you to see how both these ideas sell themselves to us.
The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!Tyler Durden
Fight Club is an amazing addition to the psychological thriller genre and is still talked about years later. With different interpretations coming out all the time, this is a film to be watched and then re-watched again and again.
3. American Psycho (2000)
The film American Psycho presents us the character of Patrick Bateman, a man who has sold his soul to consumerism and materialism while simultaneously claiming to be above it. Christian Bale masterfully portrays the pettiness of Bateman from the beginning of the film. As if his character isn’t hateful enough, Bateman turns out to be a serial killer who preys on prostitutes and poor people.
There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there.Patrick Bateman
The film has a deliberately ambiguous ending that is left to the interpretation of the viewer. But even its open ending doesn’t make Patrick Bateman any less of a horrible person and an absolute masterpiece of a character.
4. Mulholland Drive (2001)
You do not get more psychological than this. As much as we can say about David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, you can never understand why it’s so amazing till you watch it yourself. This film isn’t made to be understood but rather to be figured out by the viewers. Don’t dig into this film expecting to do it right the first time; it’s impossible.
It’s strange calling yourself.Betty Elms
Lynch has claimed that Mulholland Drive has a plot that can be made out with the clues scattered throughout the film. Multiple explanations of the film exist everywhere, each being crazier than the previous one.
5. Black Swan (2010) – Psychological Thrillers
Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan shows Nina Sayers’ journey to perfection. We witness the psychological tearing of Nina as she trains to be a more sinister person. She does, eventually, become perfect, but at the cost of losing her sanity and a lot more…
I felt it. Perfect. It was perfect.Nina Sayers
Black Swan is easily Darren Aranofsky’s best psychological thriller, one of the reasons being Natalie Portman’s, dare I say, perfect performance. The film fools you into believing that you understand it and then quickly bursts your bubble on subsequent watches.