Pulsating psychological thrillers: exciting, full of twists and turns, storylines thick with sub plot and counter plots, superb scripts, action scenes, the odd bit of romance and characters you love or hate, pity or sympathise with. It’s easy for people to say they don’t like romcoms, they're not keen on monster movies or that spoofs leave them cold, but it’s hard to write off thrillers. Surely, after all, there is a thriller for everyone. Here’s my list of 8 pulsating psychological thrillers and I hope there’s something for everybody in these choices.
1. Black Swan
If there is one thing that can be said about Black Swan, it is that the movie has transformed the public perception of ballet substantially. It is certainly a long way away from the days of Billy Elliot, exposing the cruel side of the dance and the struggle that ballet dancers face. Having been nominated for 5 Academy Awards, the list of accolades that the film has received speaks for itself: if you haven’t seen Black Swan, I would seriously recommend it.
2. The Silence of the Lambs
Widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of the 20th century, The Silence of the Lambs thoroughly deserves its inclusion in my list of pulsating psychological thrillers. The movie manages to blend together elements from both crime and horror genres, as its storyline follows the trail of a young FBI agent trying to apprehend a serial killer. Along the way, she seeks the advice of sinister but strangely fascinating convicted serial killer and cannibal, Hannibal Lecter.
3. The Prestige
“There are three acts to every great magic trick: The Pledge, The Turn and The Prestige.” This movie features three great aspects: a screenplay based on a best-selling novel, a fantastic director and cast members including Sir Michael Caine and Hugh Jackman. When two rival magicians in 19th century London embark on a bitter rivalry, there are devastating consequences – can you watch closely enough and find the trickery, or are these real magicians?
4. The Sixth Sense
This movie is responsible for leading to one of the most famous movie quotations of all time: “I see dead people…” However I would argue that it is not the screenplay that makes The Sixth Sense one of my pulsating psychological thrillers of all time. Instead, it is the superb acting from Haley Joel Osment, who was just 10 years of age at the time the movie was created.
5. Seven (Se7en)
Although is it utterly unthinkable to add a movie to this list merely because it features Brad Pitt, it does help. However, it certainly isn’t the only reason that Seven has been included here – the performances of both Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, interlaced with appearances from Gwyneth Paltrow, are fantastically believable and mastered very well. Having grossed over $327 million in total, I think we can tell that this movie is well worth a watch.
Memento is a wonderfully paced and pulsating psychological thriller that encapsulates both a plot and a story (they are different, as this film demonstrates) with amazing direction and cinematography. Certainly worth a watch, even if you have to travel to the local DVD rental store. Just be sure to pay very close attention.
7. The Game
The Game is one of the classic David Fincher movies: it captures your mind and is guaranteed to keep you watching. Much like Seven (which was directed by Fincher also), the movie contains some outstanding acting roles. Notably, Michael Douglas’ portrayal of the wealthy investment banker Nicholas Van Orton is worth watching.
8. Fatal Attraction
Aptly finishing my list is a movie that probably contains the most psychological aspect to it out of this entire list – Fatal Attraction. The movie tells the story of a woman who becomes obsessed with a married man, resulting in a psychopathically-deranged tragedy. If you haven’t yet seen this movie, and enjoy a good pulsating psychological thriller, this is the movie for you. Quick, hide the rabbit.
That is my list complete! Whilst all of the movies that I have featured here are personal favorites of mine, please do feel free to give me any of your favorite movies – you may want to create your own list of pulsating psychological thrillers! So let me know -- which thriller movies give you chills?
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