Psychological horror

by roxox | created - 07 Jun 2012 | updated - 07 Aug 2012 | Public

Psychological horror is a subgenre of horror fiction that relies on character's fears, guilt, beliefs, eerie sound effects, relevant music and emotional instability to build tension and further the plot. Psychological horror is different from the type of horror found in "splatter films"' which derive their effects from gore and violence, and from the sub-genre of horror-of-personality, in which the object of horror does not look like a monstrous other, but rather a normal human being, whose horrific identity is often not revealed until well into the work, or even at the very end.(Wiki)

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1. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

63 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 719,819 | Gross: $44.02M

2. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono, Wesley Addy

Votes: 42,071

3. Curse of the Demon (1957)

Approved | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Maurice Denham

Votes: 9,642

4. The Innocents (1961)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror

A young governess for two children becomes convinced that the house and grounds are haunted.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Deborah Kerr, Peter Wyngarde, Megs Jenkins, Michael Redgrave

Votes: 22,108

5. Identity (2003)

R | 90 min | Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, John Hawkes

Votes: 198,769 | Gross: $52.16M

6. Misery (1990)

R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

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.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen

Votes: 153,919 | Gross: $61.28M

7. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Approved | 137 min | Drama, Horror

96 Metascore

A young couple moves in to 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.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 158,681

8. Diabolique (1955)

Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

The wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster conspire to kill him; after the murder is committed, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 52,701

9. The Haunting (1963)

G | 112 min | Horror

74 Metascore

A scientist doing research on the paranormal invites two women to a haunted mansion. One of the participants soon starts losing her mind.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 29,354 | Gross: $2.62M

10. Burnt Offerings (1976)

PG | 116 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A family moves into an old, haunted house that regenerates itself by feeding off of the life forces of its injured occupants.

Director: Dan Curtis | Stars: Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart

Votes: 7,781

11. Videodrome (1983)

R | 87 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

60 Metascore

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky

Votes: 69,758 | Gross: $2.12M

12. The Woman in Black (1989 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror, Mystery

When a friendless old widow dies in the seaside town of Crythin, a young solicitor is sent by his firm to settle the estate. The lawyer finds the townspeople reluctant to talk about or go ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Wise | Stars: Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauline Moran

Votes: 4,004

13. Nattevagten (1994)

R | 107 min | Thriller

In order to finance his law studies, Martin starts as a night watchman in a mortuary. When the victims of a serial killer of prostitutes are deposited there, scary things begin to happen. ... See full summary »

Director: Ole Bornedal | Stars: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sofie Gråbøl, Kim Bodnia, Lotte Andersen

Votes: 13,496

14. Wait Until Dark (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Thriller

81 Metascore

A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin-stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Votes: 23,430 | Gross: $17.55M

15. Straw Dogs (1971)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna

Votes: 49,819

16. Black Swan (2010)

R | 108 min | Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity.

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder

Votes: 614,476 | Gross: $106.95M

17. Come and See (1985)

Not Rated | 142 min | Drama, War

After finding an old rifle, a young boy joins the Soviet resistance movement against ruthless German forces and experiences the horrors of World War II.

Director: Elem Klimov | Stars: Aleksey Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Liubomiras Laucevicius, Vladas Bagdonas

Votes: 38,175

18. The Vanishing (1988)

Not Rated | 107 min | Mystery, Thriller

Rex and Saskia, a young couple in love, are on vacation. They stop at a busy service station and Saskia is abducted. After three years and no sign of Saskia, Rex begins receiving letters from the abductor.

Director: George Sluizer | Stars: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege, Gwen Eckhaus

Votes: 28,350

19. The Changeling (1980)

R | 107 min | Horror

A man staying at a secluded historical mansion finds himself being haunted by the presence of a spectre.

Director: Peter Medak | Stars: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh

Votes: 24,339

20. The Others (2001)

PG-13 | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

74 Metascore

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan, Alakina Mann

Votes: 299,793 | Gross: $96.52M

21. Secret Window (2004)

PG-13 | 96 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

46 Metascore

A writer is accused of plagiarism by a strange man, who then starts haunting him for "justice."

Director: David Koepp | Stars: Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, John Turturro, Timothy Hutton

Votes: 162,134 | Gross: $48.02M

22. The Ninth Gate (1999)

R | 133 min | Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 148,323 | Gross: $18.66M

23. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 799,067 | Gross: $293.51M

24. Jacob's Ladder (I) (1990)

R | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

62 Metascore

Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam War veteran attempts to uncover his past while suffering from a severe case of dissociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusions, and perceptions of death.

Director: Adrian Lyne | Stars: Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña, Danny Aiello, Matt Craven

Votes: 84,811 | Gross: $26.12M

25. Dead of Night (1945)

Approved | 77 min | Horror

An architect senses impending doom as his half-remembered recurring dream turns into reality. The guests at the country house encourage him to stay as they take turns telling supernatural tales.

Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden, Robert Hamer | Stars: Mervyn Johns, Michael Redgrave, Roland Culver, Mary Merrall

Votes: 8,883

26. Beyond the Darkness (1979)

Unrated | 94 min | Horror

Grief-struck after the death of his wife, a young man attempts to keep her with him forever - by gutting her, stuffing her and replacing her eyes with glass eyes, turning her into a doll. But his bouts of insanity are just beginning.

Director: Joe D'Amato | Stars: Kieran Canter, Cinzia Monreale, Franca Stoppi, Sam Modesto

Votes: 3,638

27. The Hole (2001)

R | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Four teenagers at a British private school secretly uncover and explore the depths of a sealed underground hole created decades ago as a possible bomb shelter.

Director: Nick Hamm | Stars: Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, Daniel Brocklebank, Laurence Fox

Votes: 41,210

28. Cape Fear (1991)

R | 128 min | Crime, Thriller

73 Metascore

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis

Votes: 143,768 | Gross: $79.10M

29. The Wicker Man (1973)

R | 88 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

Director: Robin Hardy | Stars: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland

Votes: 54,842 | Gross: $0.06M

30. Triangle (2009)

R | 99 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

A group of friends suffer a yachting accident and take refuge on a cruise drifting on the open sea, but quickly realize they were better off on the upturned yacht

Director: Christopher Smith | Stars: Melissa George, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor, Michael Dorman

Votes: 81,909

31. Session 9 (2001)

R | 97 min | Horror, Mystery

58 Metascore

Tensions rise within an asbestos cleaning crew as they work in an abandoned mental hospital with a horrific past that seems to be coming back.

Director: Brad Anderson | Stars: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas

Votes: 47,869 | Gross: $0.38M

32. Calvaire (2004)

Not Rated | 88 min | Horror

52 Metascore

Marc, a traveling entertainer, is on his way home for Christmas when his van brakes in the middle of a jerkwater town with some strange inhabitans.

Director: Fabrice du Welz | Stars: Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Lahaie, Gigi Coursigny, Jean-Luc Couchard

Votes: 10,370 | Gross: $0.00M

33. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

R | 81 min | Horror, Mystery

81 Metascore

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

Directors: Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez | Stars: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard, Bob Griffin

Votes: 207,649 | Gross: $140.54M

34. American Psycho (2000)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A wealthy New York investment banking executive, Patrick Bateman, hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he delves deeper into his violent, hedonistic fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron | Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, Bill Sage

Votes: 405,752 | Gross: $15.07M

35. What Lies Beneath (2000)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

51 Metascore

The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost - or that she is losing her mind.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katharine Towne, Miranda Otto

Votes: 106,046 | Gross: $155.46M

36. The Devil's Backbone (2001)

R | 106 min | Drama, Horror

78 Metascore

After Carlos - a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War - arrives at an ominous boys' orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.

Director: Guillermo del Toro | Stars: Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi, Fernando Tielve

Votes: 54,404 | Gross: $0.75M

37. Sauna (2008)

Unrated | 83 min | Horror

As a 25-year war between Russia and Sweden concludes, two brothers who are part of an effort to outline new border accords become undone by their actions, and their mistreatment of a young woman during their journey.

Director: Antti-Jussi Annila | Stars: Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen, Viktor Klimenko, Rain Tolk

Votes: 6,140

38. Antichrist (2009)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Horror

49 Metascore

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.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Storm Acheche Sahlstrøm

Votes: 100,073 | Gross: $0.40M

39. Tesis (1996)

R | 125 min | Mystery, Thriller

While doing a thesis about violence, Ángela finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Soon she discovers that the girl was a former student in her faculty...

Director: Alejandro Amenábar | Stars: Ana Torrent, Fele Martínez, Eduardo Noriega, Xabier Elorriaga

Votes: 31,244

40. Caché (2005)

R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

A married couple is terrorized by a series of surveillance videotapes left on their front porch.

Director: Michael Haneke | Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Bénichou, Annie Girardot

Votes: 62,870 | Gross: $3.63M

41. 1408 (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Drama, Horror

64 Metascore

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström | Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack, Paul Birchard

Votes: 232,429 | Gross: $71.99M

42. The Number 23 (2007)

R | 98 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

Walter Sparrow becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him. As his obsession increases, more and more similarities seem to arise.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Logan Lerman, Danny Huston

Votes: 178,328 | Gross: $35.19M

43. Them (2006)

R | 77 min | Horror, Thriller

60 Metascore

Lucas and Clementine live peacefully in their isolated country house, but one night they wake up to strange noise... they're not alone... and a group of hooded assailants begin to terrorize them throughout the night.

Directors: David Moreau, Xavier Palud | Stars: Olivia Bonamy, Michaël Cohen, Adriana Mocca, Maria Roman

Votes: 26,585

44. I Stand Alone (1998)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A horse meat butcher's life and mind begins to breakdown as he lashes out against various factions of society while attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter.

Director: Gaspar Noé | Stars: Philippe Nahon, Blandine Lenoir, Frankie Pain, Martine Audrain

Votes: 16,208 | Gross: $0.05M

45. The Tenant (1976)

R | 126 min | Drama, Thriller

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet

Votes: 31,878 | Gross: $1.92M

46. Ringu (1998)

Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Mystery

A reporter and her ex-husband investigate a cursed video tape that is rumored to kill the viewer seven days after watching it.

Director: Hideo Nakata | Stars: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi, Hitomi Satô

Votes: 55,814