Great Psychological Horror Movies

Great psychological horror movies.
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1.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. (118 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
“ An aspiring FBI agent on the hunt for a serial killer, must allow an incarcerated madman to probe her mind for information. ” - AdamVenrick
 
2.
Repulsion (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence. (105 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ Like the inverse of a slasher movie, this "virtuous virgin," is left home alone by her sister, what follows is a hallucinatory odyssey of terror, leading the deaths of two people. ” - AdamVenrick
 
3.
Peeping Tom (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A young man murders women, using a movie camera to film their dying expressions of terror. (101 mins.)
Director: Michael Powell
“ A voyeuristic young man, tortured by his psychologist father turns to murder as a means of taking out his impulsive urges. Yet when the pretty girl downstairs takes a liking to him, he's forced to choose between the possibility of sanity and the secret life he's become adjusted to. ” - AdamVenrick
 
4.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. (109 mins.)
“ A young woman steals some money and runs to her boyfriend. She never makes it, along the way, she meets quiet motel owner Norman Bates and encounters the corruptive influence of his mysterious "mother." ” - AdamVenrick
 
5.
American Psycho (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies. (102 mins.)
Director: Mary Harron
“ By day, a ruthless "Gordon Gekko-esque" Wall Street worker. By night, he indulges in (what may simply be fantasies of) brutal murder. ” - AdamVenrick
 
6.
Blue Velvet (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child. (120 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ A film which deals with the conscious and subconscious parts of humanity. Home from college, a young man is drawn into a blackmail plot involving an enigmatic nightclub singer, a sadistic killer and rapist, and he brings the girl of his dreams along with him. ” - AdamVenrick
 
7.
Lost Highway (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life. (134 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ A musician accused of killing his wife wakes up to find that he's transformed into someone else. But the alluring femme fatale character can't let him alone, as she reappears in his new life. ” - AdamVenrick
 
8.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality. (147 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ An actress encounters an amnesiac woman in her home, meanwhile a director is recasting his movie. The film explores themes of guilt and envy to a murderous and hallucinatory degree. ” - AdamVenrick
 
9.
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death. (113 mins.)
Director: Adrian Lyne
“ A troubled veteran is plagued by terrifying hallucinations. ” - AdamVenrick
 
10.
Se7en (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives. (127 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Two detectives hunt for an enigmatic killer who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins. ” - AdamVenrick
 
11.
Zodiac (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree. (157 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Based on the true story of the uncaught zodiac killer who terrorized America in the 60s and 70s. ” - AdamVenrick
 
12.
Saw (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there or why, and soon discover they are pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer. (103 mins.)
Director: James Wan
“ A film which opens almost like a joke. Two men wake up in a bathroom chained to pipes, but soon find themselves tangled in a web of deceit and murder. ” - AdamVenrick
 
13.
Donnie Darko (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident. (113 mins.)
Director: Richard Kelly
“ A mentally unstable teen has dark visions of the end of the world, heralded by a man in a horrifying rabbit suit. ” - AdamVenrick
 
14.
Black Christmas (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
During their Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger. (98 mins.)
Director: Bob Clark
“ A group of sorority girls are terrorized by an unseen killer living in their sorority house in this gothic slasher/serial killer movie. ” - AdamVenrick
 
15.
Don't Look Now (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond. (110 mins.)
Director: Nicolas Roeg
“ After their daughter dies in a freak accident, a couple finds work in Italy. Only to find that their new home may prove the haunting ground for the ghost of guilt. ” - AdamVenrick
 
16.
The Haunting (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind. (112 mins.)
Director: Robert Wise
“ As part of a psychological experiment, four people stay in a supposedly haunted house. A house which is preparing to take one of them as its own. ” - AdamVenrick
 
17.
The Others (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted. (101 mins.)
“ A fanatically religious mother and her photosensitive children are stalked by unseen, paranormal intruders in this gothic psychological horror movie. ” - AdamVenrick
 
18.
The Innocents (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted. (100 mins.)
Director: Jack Clayton
“ Based on the novel "The Turn of the Screw," a governess takes on two children in a gothic mansion, only to find that her sanity is starting to deteriorate, as she is plagued by visions of former employees. ” - AdamVenrick
 
19.
Hour of the Wolf (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires. (90 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ A woman gets a look into her troubled husband's life, as they vacation on a barren, nordic island, and he begins speaking of "demons," which haunt him. ” - AdamVenrick
 
20.
Persona (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personas are melding together. (85 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
“ A nurse charged to look after a mute stage actress finds that she her personality is melding with that of her charge. ” - AdamVenrick
 
21.
The Shining (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future. (146 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ A man and his family are sent to look after a massive hotel for a winter. Only to find that isolation can do funny things to the mind. Especially when the hotel comes with its own ghost story. ” - AdamVenrick
 
22.
The Babadook (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A widowed mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. (93 mins.)
Director: Jennifer Kent
“ A single mother, plagued by her husband's death experiences supernatural disturbances after reading a strange book to her son. ” - AdamVenrick
 
23.
Rosemary's Baby (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young couple move into an apartment, only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life. (137 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ A young couple moves to a beautiful apartment building, and are welcomed with open arms. The wife becomes pregnant, but begins to fear that her baby is not of human origin. ” - AdamVenrick
 
24.
Inland Empire (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal. (180 mins.)
Director: David Lynch
“ An actress's sanity begins to break down and her world becomes nightmarish. ” - AdamVenrick
 
25.
The Tenant (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia. (126 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ A tale of "Kafka-esque" alienation. A man moves into a Paris apartment, occupied formerly by am Egyptologist who committed suicide. He soon comes to fear that the mysterious tenants are trying to turn him into her. ” - AdamVenrick
 
26.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
“ After the death of her criminal husband, a mother marries a "preacher," with "LOVE" and "HATE" tattooed on his fingers. He quickly dispatches her, but her children may prove a bigger problem. ” - AdamVenrick
 
27.
Antichrist (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. (108 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
“ After the death of their child, a psychologist moves his wife into their isolated cabin in the woods, where he redefines "sexual healing." But soon, nature's Satanic fury takes its form, and proves the ultimate corruptive influence in this story of science vs. superstition. ” - AdamVenrick
 
28.
The Omen (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil's own son? (111 mins.)
Director: Richard Donner
“ A politician adopts a child, but soon comes to suspect that he may be siring the child of Satan. ” - AdamVenrick
 
29.
The Exorcist (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter. (122 mins.)
“ After an adolescent girl is possessed by the demon "Pazuzu," an ex-priest, turned psychologist, and a veteran priest are called in to drive out the evil presence, only to come face-to-face with the corrupting power of evil. ” - AdamVenrick
 
30.
Misery (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After a famous author is rescued from a car crash by a fan of his novels, he comes to realize that the care he is receiving is only the beginning of a nightmare of captivity and abuse. (107 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ A writer wakes up in the home of his "number one fan." A deranged nurse, who demands, under threat of death, that he continue writing in his best selling series of historical romance novels. ” - AdamVenrick
 
31.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family. (119 mins.)
Director: Adrian Lyne
“ A married man has a tryst with a beautiful, unstable woman, only to find that after the affair is over, she won't leave him alone. ” - AdamVenrick
 
32.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion. (134 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
“ In this gothic thriller of old Hollywood, an aging ex-vaudville starlet holds her crippled sister prisoner, as she tries to revitalize her stage career, complete with pancake makeup, and the dress of a little girl. Based on a novel by Henry Farrell. ” - AdamVenrick
 
33.
Cat People (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An American man marries a Serbian immigrant who fears that she will turn into the cat person of her homeland's fables if they are intimate together. (73 mins.)
“ A Serbian woman marries a man she's only just met, but her fear of sex (driven by her hear of becoming a murderous cat woman) drives him into the arms of his secretary. This leads to hysteria and violence in this horror-noir classic. ” - AdamVenrick
 
34.
Shutter Island (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In 1954, a U.S. Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderer, who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. (138 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ In this gothic chiller, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, two marshals search for an escaped murderous on a barren island, yet the affair is complicated by evidence of sadistic experiments on patients, and the mental ghosts haunting one of them. ” - AdamVenrick
 
35.
Play Misty for Me (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture. (102 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
“ Jessica Walter (Archer, Arrested Development) and Clint Eastwood (Dirt Harry) star in this stalker classic about a DJ who's number one fan continually harasses him. ” - AdamVenrick
 
36.
Hush (2016)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window. (81 mins.)
Director: Mike Flanagan
“ A deaf woman is stalked in her isolated home by a psychopathic killer. Yet killing her may prove a challenge, as we see in this film, which is, over all, a testament to the human will to survive. ” - AdamVenrick
 
37.
Enemy (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. (91 mins.)
“ A timid man meets his sociopathic double in this psycho-sexual thriller. ” - AdamVenrick
 
38.
The Witch (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession. (92 mins.)
Director: Robert Eggers
“ In this gothic horror movie, a hypocritically religious puritan family in 1630s New England gets a "pre-Salem" experience with witchcraft after their child disappears. Madness, blaming, rituals and familial disintegration occur as a result. ” - AdamVenrick
 
39.
Primal Fear (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep. (129 mins.)
Director: Gregory Hoblit
“ Not really a horror movie, per se, but a movie with horror aspects. An arrogant attorney is tasked to defend an alter boy accused of murder, only to be drawn into a web of lies, hypocrisy and murder. ” - AdamVenrick
 
40.
Rebecca (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife. (130 mins.)
“ In this gothic thriller, a young woman marries a widowed man and goes to his house. Only to find that the ghost of his mysterious ex-wife Rebecca still haunts the house, and the mind of its housekeeper. (Note, when I say ghost, I mean memory. There is no ghost in the film per se.) ” - AdamVenrick
 
41.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (107 mins.)
“ The story of a boy who confides his deepest secret to his psychologist. He can see dead people. ” - AdamVenrick
 
42.
Carrie (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. (98 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ An examination of cliques in high school and the corruptive power of religious hypocrisy at its core, "Carrie," deals with the eponymous teenager, a constant target for victimization at the hands of her classmates, and her fanatically religious mother. Carrie has a special power of "telekinesis," and when a prank goes too far, she unleashes it in destructive fury. ” - AdamVenrick
 
43.
Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again. (89 mins.)
Director: John Hancock
“ A woman released from a mental institution becomes convinced that her mysterious houseguest is a decades old vampire, in this classic indie-film, loosely adapted from Sheridan Le Fanu's novella "Carmilla." ” - AdamVenrick
 
44.
Cape Fear (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him. (128 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Martin Scorsese's remake (and improvement) of the classic thriller about an ex-con who seeks vengeance against his lawyer, and anyone who would get in the middle of his blood pact. Including the lawyer's family. ” - AdamVenrick
 
45.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement. (101 mins.)
“ Also not technically a horror movie, but still scary nonetheless. The film deals with a murder plot made between two men, one of them takes it as a grim joke. One... well, doesn't. ” - AdamVenrick