Robert logs into his social media account, and is appalled by the picture he finds on the website. His dead fiancé has been tagged in the picture, with another name and in another country. The picture dated, 2 weeks after the girl’s death. Is Robert hallucinating? Or is there truth behind this? Taking a toll on the mind, and giving you a thrill to find the answers, this is essentially the plot of a psychological-thriller. Aimed to give you ample nail-biting experiences, a movie that belongs to this genre will have you at the edge-of-your-seat.
Films that belong to this genre are nothing short of a horror film, they provide the same spine-chilling experience but without any supernatural element in them. If you’re a fan, and don’t mind spending a suspense-filled weekend, then this list is just for you:
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Clarice, a young FBI trainee has been sent to a Hannibal Lecter (The Cannibal); a well-renowned psychiatrist-turned-serial killer. Clarice learns to match wits him, in order to track information about ‘Buffalo Bill’ a serial-killer on the loose. Clarice decides to trade her soul with the devil by revealing information about her disturbed childhood, in order to get Lecter’s help. What follows next is a witty game of a cat-and-mouse chase that’ll stun you. One of the most-taut, suspenseful films, Silence of the Lambs tops my list of the best psychological-thrillers ever made! Watch it for the brilliant conversational scenes between Lecter and Clarice – “A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” – Hannibal Lecter
The Black Swan (2010)
Black Swan is one of the most-riveting, psychological-thrillers in recent times. The film explores the life of Nina, a shy ballet dancer, who undergoes a metamorphosis and slowly transforms herself into the role of a swan. Blending the delicate dance performances, and the vivid twists and turns, the film shows us how one’s alter-ego can over their personality. Watch out for the scene where Nina undergoes mutations on her body. This scene might boggle your mind, and give you an effect of a creepy horror film. For those of you, who didn’t understand the movie after you watched it once, please go ahead and watch it again. This phenomenal film illustrates the concept of dominance, mind control which eventually leads to self-destruction.
The film Memento, chronicles two stories that revolve around its protagonist Leonard. An ex-insurance agent, who can no longer retain new memories, ever since the death of his wife. He attempts to find his wife’s murderer, who is the only person Leonard remembers. With a compelling screenplay and brilliant direction by Christopher Nolan, this film brought the concept of short-term memory loss to the forefront. Subsequently, a Tamil and Hindi version of the film was made, which gave the audience an insight into the subject of memory loss.
The Machinist (2004)
Remember the film where Christian Bale lost oodles of weight, and looked like a creepy, hollow man? Well, that film is The Machinist. The film traces the life of Trevor Reznik, an insomniac, who has not slept in a year. He goes on a quest to find, Ivan, who he thinks is responsible for the condition of his deteriorating situation. The climax of this eerie film, will thoroughly convince you, and you might empathize with the character. The film gives us an in-depth understanding of Hallucinations, Inter-conflict and the disturbing reality into self-punishment.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Fatal Attraction is the story of a married lawyer, Dan, who has an affair with his colleague, Alex, while his wife and children are away. Sounds like the routine plot, right? But here’s the twist. When Dan decides to part ways with her, she is reluctant to let go of him. She will stop at nothing to have him, even if it requires killing his family. Released in the ‘80s, the film shone light on the concept of borderline personality disorder, obsession and stalking.
Is there any other film you would like us to add to the list? Do share your views with us. Until then, remember the concepts of psychology, that these films have taught you. It might just come in handy one day.