8 Psychological Thrillers for Mind-Bending Fun

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Shutter Island"

Love that feeling you get at the end of a mind-bending movie? Here are some darkly confusing psychological thrillers that will make you forget which way is up.

Shutter Island

Shutter Island is an exemplary movie that prays on the fear we all have of losing our minds. We feel as frustrated as Dicaprio as we try and suss what exactly is going on in the island’s infamous institution.

The Game

What is part of the game and what is our own paranoia? Who is part of the game and who is a just a bystander? The Game has more plot twists than Charlie Brooker’s notebook, and you’ll have no idea who is on whose side by the end of it.


Oculus is a real psychological thriller, and just as the characters have a hard time figuring out what is real and what isn’t, you will feel the same.

Black Swan

Darren Aranofsky is the master of the psychological thriller. His films have a habit of getting under your skin and Black Swan is a fine example of this. Watching Natalie Portman play a troubled ballerina who falls apart under the pressure of perfection messes with your head like nothing else.

Jacob’s Ladder

Starring Shawshank Redemption’s Tim Robbins, Jacob’s Ladder is another thriller that toys with our sense of what’s real and what isn’t.

Angel Heart

If you’re a fan of a dark detective story, Angel Heart is a hidden gem that follows a detective into a voodoo nightmare.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight subverted all expectations of what a superhero movie should be. What is most frightening about the movie is not the Joker and the threat he poses, but it’s the reflection that he paints of ourselves.


The SAW franchise went downhill quicker than one of his victims can say “Where the hell am I?!?” The original SAW movie, however, is a masterful psychological thriller that is more gripping than it is gory.