Today I am going to be sharing with you my five favourite psychological horror movies. This spooky sub-genre tends to focus on the mental and emotional states that characters go through, using them as a way to relate and scare the audience simultaneously. In other words, these types of films will mess with your mind. They also tend to produce the most surprising twists. Without further ado, let’s get into my list!
1.) The Night House
The Night House is very underrated and should be talked about more. It was released last year (on Disney+) and follows Beth, a woman reeling from the unexpected death of her husband. As she grieves him in their beautiful lakeside home he built for her, disturbing ghostly visions beckon. Against the advice of her friends, Beth begins digging for answers and proof that she isn’t losing her mind. The visuals in this film are stunning. I loved the concept of the ‘reverse house’ and the way it deceived those who walked upon it. The ending had so many symbolic layers to it and the acting was exceptional. I highly recommend it.
You all know by now that Jordan Peele is one of my favourite horror directors of all time. I discussed that in this post. I definitely prefer Get Out but US is still a masterpiece all of its own. It follows Adelaide Wilson and her family, who are attacked by a group of dopplegangers. Her husband and children must survive attempted murder from their exact doubles (named the Tethered) and stop them before it’s too late. This film has a shocking twist ending and a great political message. Peele wanted viewers to know that we, as a society, are afraid of the outsider. Our fear lies in the idea that a bad guy is coming to get us. There is also plenty of commentary on race and class systems. It requires multiple watches to appreciate and I urge you to check it out, if you haven’t already.
3.) The Lighthouse
It’s a scientific fact that you either love or hate The Lighthouse. I loved it! Yes, it’s strange. Yes, it’s out there. You need to go into it with an open mind because 95% of it is just weird. On a remote island, Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) arrives as a lighthouse keeper and assists his elderly supervisor, Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe). As the days pass, Winslow is haunted by strange visions and becomes convinced his boss is harbouring dark secrets. The movie is shot entirely in black and white and is full of artistic, symbolic elements. It builds suspense and tension like none other. Pattinson and Dafoe grow ever paranoid and fearful of one another, as the isolation starts to play with their minds. In one scene, Willem delivers an award-winning monologue without blinking once. It’s amazing. The ending leaves things open to interpretation but there is no doubt, it will get under your skin. It’s worth watching and forming your own opinion.
I wanted to include Orphan because not only is it a brilliant horror movie, the prequel: First Kill, should be released soon. I know it hasn’t come to Australia yet but I’m not sure about the rest of the world. The plot centers on a couple who, after the death of their unborn child, adopt a mysterious nine-year-old girl from an orphanage. As you can imagine, things start off really well but it isn’t long before their new kid begins to display violent and disturbing behaviour. This film has one of the most unique twists in cinematic history. You will not seeing it coming. It’s so creepy and eerie. I’m also such a die-hard fan of Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, The Conjuring) and she plays this role perfectly. Let me know if you have any more information about the prequel.
Last but certainly not least, we have Triangle. If you only watch one movie on this list, let it be this one. When a storm upturns their yacht, a group of passengers jump on a ship close by. However, they soon realise they are in greater danger aboard the mysterious vessel. If you love films with time-loops, this is the one for you. It is so well done and ties everything up perfectly. You will be gasping the minute you realise what is happening. I don’t want give anything away because it’s so fun going in completely blind. Rest assured, it will be an experience you don’t forget.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. What are some of your favourite psychological horror movies?
Peace & Love xoxo