Psychological Horror Movies: Here’s The List Of 10 Movies!



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Psychological horror movies have been around since the Golden Age of Hollywood, and two of Universal Pictures‘ biggest stars had a hand in making them. In the 1934 movie “The Black Cat,” Bela Lugosi’s character, Dr. Vitus, kills Boris Karloff’s character, Hjalmar, while Hjalmar is still alive. However, the audience can only see the crime through the characters’ shadows.

It’s hard to choose the best of the best in this subgenre of horror stories because there are so many to choose from. Hour of the Wolf (1968) or Repulsion (1965) by Ingmar Bergman or Roman Polanski seem like good places to start for newcomers. More experienced fans of scary movies might enjoy classics like The Killing Kind (1973), Jacob’s Ladder (1990), and Don’t Breathe (1995). (2016).

Now, take a look at TNB’s list of the 10 best psychological horror movies ever made.

1. Psycho (1960)

psychological horror movies

Alfred Hitchcock‘s first horror movie made it popular to take baths instead of showers, but the story of motel manager Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his knife-wielding mother inspired almost every type of scary movie. Psycho is still the best example of psychological horror, but it’s hard to talk about the “wacked-out” details without giving away the big surprise.

Hitchcock put up most of the money for the movie, which cost just over $800,000 to make. After buying the rights to Robert Bloch’s novel, the director decided to shoot Psycho in black-and-white to save money. During its first run in theatres, the movie made $32 million.

2. The Shining (1980)

psychological horror movies

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a recovering alcoholic, goes to great lengths to get away from it all. He and his wife Shelley (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) take a job as the winter caretaker of the snowed-in Overlook Hotel so that Jack can finish his novel. What he doesn’t count on is the company of the ghosts. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a complicated horror movie that teeters between the psychological horror and supernatural horror subgenres, even though it is very different from Stephen King’s book.

The Overlook is definitely haunted, but maybe Jack’s rotting mind “shines” like his son’s mind does instead of just going crazy. Now, if fans want to try their own luck at the Overlook, they can book a room. Yes, the lodging is real, but it is known as the Stanley Hotel.

3. M (1931)

psychological horror movies

Hans Beckert, a serial killer played by Peter Lorre, did horrible things that the audience didn’t see. This is shown in the beginning of M. Hans makes Elsie think she is safe when he buys her a balloon. The bad things that happen to the poor child are left up to the viewers’ imaginations. This is done with a scary series of shots and a scary musical motif.

Elsie’s mother calls out desperately from their apartment window. A dark stairwell, a place that hasn’t been touched, and the sight of the little girl’s balloons floating into the power lines give the child’s chilling fate a cinematic setting as the ball she used to bounce comes to a stop in the leaves. Will the people get justice for their children who were killed? This nearly 100-year-old psychological masterpiece will keep modern audiences guessing all the way up to its emotional peak because of how much tension it has.

4. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

psychological horror movies

To stop murderer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) must work with even more dangerous serial killer and certified genius Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to stop the killings of young women.

The first horror movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture was The Silence of the Lambs. The movie also won Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Sound Design, and Best Editing. Hopkins won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Foster won the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Oh, and Hopkins, who is always great but shines in a particularly evil light here, played what might be the most famous bad guy in movie history.

5.  The Sixth Sense (1999)

psychological horror movies

Cole, played by Haley Joel Osment, is a young boy who can see ghosts. He goes to Dr. Malcom Crowe, played by Bruce Willis, for help. As they work together, Cole realizes that his curse might actually be a gift. This leads to one of the most surprising turns in the history of movies.

The Sixth Sense is the third movie that M. Night Shyamalan has made, and Mischa Barton from The O.C. plays the ghostly Kyra Collins. Without giving anything away, the movie needs to be seen twice. It’s so much fun to go back, especially with friends, and see how the famous twist fits into the story like jigsaw puzzle pieces.

6. Sadness (1990)

psychological horror movies

Author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is in a terrible car accident and is found by his biggest fan, Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). Annie takes care of Paul in her isolated home until he is well again. But when she finds out that the author of her favourite books killed off the main character of the series, Misery Chastain, oh no, off hobbling Annie goes! Bates got the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role because of how interesting she was in the role, and she deserves it.

At first, Jack Nicholson was asked to play Paul Sheldon, but he turned it down because he wasn’t sure if he wanted to do another Stephen King adaptation. Rob Reiner, who directed Misery, did work with Jack Nicholson on his next movie, A Few Good Men, which came out in 1992.

7. Se7en (1995)

psychological horror movies

Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) is the hungry new kid on the block, and Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is getting ready to enjoy his retirement. The serial killer known as Jon Doe is killing people in a ritualistic way by making the seven deadly sins into symbols of horrible deaths.

The gut-wrenching plot twist in Se7en will give people goosebumps, but here’s what will really send chills up your spine: Denzel Washington didn’t want to play David Mills. “And I just thought, ‘No, this is so dark,'” Washington told Larry King in an interview about why he turned down the part, which he later regrets. Then I saw the movie, which made me cry.

8. Wait Until Dark (1967)

psychological horror movies

The plot of Wait Until Dark is similar to that of The Night of the Hunter (1955) in that a doll is used to hide something that was stolen, but this time it’s heroin instead of money. And instead of Robert Mitchum, Alan Arkin and his gang of criminals are trying to steal the doll from a blind woman named Susy (Audrey Hepburn).

In the last eight minutes of Wait Until Dark, when Susy is trying to get out of her own apartment, the theatre owners turn off the lights in the auditorium for maximum effect. There are no spoilers here for movie fans, but turning off the lights is a clever Alfred Hitchcock-style trick that sets up a spine-tingling surprise.

9. Les Diaboliques (1955)

psychological horror movies

Michel Delassalle is a schoolteacher played by Paul Meurisse. His wife Christina (Véra Clouzot) and mistress Nicole (Simone Signoret) have had enough of his bad behavior. The women work together to solve a problem they both have, but things are not what they seem to be. And the truth comes out when Christina finds her dead husband in the bathtub.

No one knows who the real villain is until the end, and the famous bathtub scene is sure to scare someone to death. In the documentary Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, the famous B-movie producer says that he was inspired to make scary movies after seeing hundreds of people wait for blocks to see the French thriller Les Diaboliques.

10. The Vanishing (1988)

psychological horror movies

Rex (Gene Bervoets) has to deal with the unthinkable when his girlfriend Saskia (Johanna ter Steege) goes missing after he and her for a short time at a gas station. He looks for her for three years without success, and his pain is clear until Raymond (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), who claims to have taken his love, comes forward.

So desperate to find out what happened to Saskia, her boyfriend does the unthinkable: he tells Rex that if he drinks some drugged coffee, he’ll find out what happened to his girlfriend. Rex’s obsession has done so much damage to his mind that he agrees to Raymond’s deal. In the last few minutes of The Vanishing, what happens next will make viewers tense up in their seats and hope against hope for our weak main character.

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