To watch a character question their own reality is one of the most thrilling emotions for lovers of suspense movies. The inexplicable fear of the unknown is sometimes so magnetic for viewers that films based on such themes catch the maximum attention. There is a peculiar delight in the nail-biting sequences where you aren’t quite sure of what lies ahead. One of the best themes recurrently used is the mistaken identity theme wherein the character develops contradictory personalities or is turning into someone they are not.
Movies have the freedom to explore reality and illusion in a single frame. Here are some of the finest movies that portray this struggle within ones mind in the best way possible.
A ballerina (Natalie Portman) begins to lose her sanity while preparing for her role in a big house production named ‘Swan Lake’. She finds herself getting closer to her dark side that was lying hidden in her subconscious.
Director Ingmar Bergman hits a masterstroke in mixing the identities of two women going through an identity crisis in their lives at the same time.
Popularly known for his eerie horror film Rosemary’s Baby, Roman Polanski delved into varied themes of desire, war and loneliness. A new tenant gets disillusioned due to isolation thus illuminating the dark corners of his psyche and begins to see in himself the old tenant who committed suicide.
One of Christian Bale’s finest performances as Reznik, The Machinist took audiences into the mind of a man who has not slept for a year. The isolated and paranoid insomniac Trevor Reznik loses himself more and more while reaching the final heights of insanity.
Money can’t buy everything and certainly not sanity. There is no single identity of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. A wealthy investment banker turns into a serial killer by night as he encourages his alternate ego to delve into more and more decadent fantasies.
Martin Scorsese’s psychological horror will make you question everything about the film, its characters, its story and everything within it. Marshal Edward Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is sent to investigate the disappearance of an inmate from the prison for the criminally insane. A series of sinister events and revelations lead to more and more puzzles making the protagonist doubt his own sanity.