Crime Shows and Movies The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time  

Ranker Film
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36.9k votes 5.5k voters 601.2k views 135 items

List Rules Psychological thriller movies and psychological horror films only--no slasher flicks

What are the best and scariest psychological thrillers and psychological horror  movies of all time? If you consider yourself a fan of psychological thrillers, browse through this list of the scariest psychological thrillers of all time to find a movie that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat the entire time. Listed in order of the most popular scariest psychological thrillers to the least popular , you can easily see which scary psychological horror movie was good enough to earn top ranking. If a particular favorite is on the bottom of the list, go ahead and vote for it so that it can be raised higher on the list.

If you know of a great psychological thriller that isn’t listed, add it to the list so that others can begin watching it too. Horror movies with plenty of blood and gore are fairly easy to find, but it can sometimes be difficult to find just the right scary movie that has more of a psychological plot. With this handy list, you will be able to pick some great psychological thrillers and psychological horror movies for a scary movie marathon.

Movies like Sixth Sense and the Secret Window keep the viewer guessing until the end, with plenty of thrills along the way. And, there are many other great psychological thrillers to choose from as well. Go ahead and look through the list. You may just find a new favorite for the best psychological horror or thriller movie that you’ll never tire of watching!
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Panic Room is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Panic Room Kristen Stewart, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster Panic Room is a 2002 American thriller film directed by David Fincher and written by David Koepp. The film stars Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart as a mother and daughter whose new home is ...more

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The Blair Witch Project is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
middlechild114 added The Blair Witch Project Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 American found footage horror film written, directed and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. The film was produced by the Haxan Films production ...more

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Cujo is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Julie MamaSpitta Parks added Cujo Cujo is a 1981 psychological horror novel by Stephen King about a rabid dog. The novel won the British Fantasy Award in 1982, and was made into a film in 1983.

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Insomnia is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Insomnia Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank Insomnia is a 2002 American crime thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives ...more

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Deliverance is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Deliverance Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty Deliverance is a 1972 American dramatic thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman, and starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, with the latter two making their ...more

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Mr. Brooks is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Mr. Brooks Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, Danielle Panabaker Mr. Brooks is a 2007 American psychological thriller film directed by Bruce A. Evans starring Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Dane Cook, and William Hurt. It was released on June 1, 2007. The film ...more

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Cape Fear is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Cape Fear (1962) Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Telly Savalas Cape Fear is a 1962 American psychological thriller film starring Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Martin Balsam and Polly Bergen. It was adapted by James R. Webb from the novel The Executioners by ...more

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Dial M for Murder is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Dial M for Murder Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Milland Dial M for Murder is a 1954 3-D American crime thriller film in Warnercolor directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, and Robert Cummings. The screenplay and the ...more

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The Cell is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
The Cell Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn, Vincent D'Onofrio The Cell is a 2000 horror film directed by Tarsem Singh, and starring Jennifer Lopez, Vince Vaughn and Vincent D'Onofrio.

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Strangers on a Train is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Strangers on a Train Alfred Hitchcock, Farley Granger, Leo G. Carroll Strangers on a Train is an American psychological crime thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It was shot ...more

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Reservoir Dogs is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth Reservoir Dogs is a 1992 American ensemble crime film that depicts the events before and after a botched diamond heist. The film was the debut of director and writer Quentin Tarantino, and stars ...more

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Blue Velvet is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Blue Velvet Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern Blue Velvet is a 1986 American mystery thriller flm, written and directed by David Lynch. The film stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern. The title is taken ...more

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Audition is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Audition Eihi Shiina, Renji Ishibashi, Ren Osugi Audition is a 1999 Japanese psychological horror-drama film, directed by Takashi Miike and starring Ryo Ishibashi and Eihi Shiina. It is based on a Ryu Murakami novel of the same title, from a ...more

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The Wicker Man is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added The Wicker Man Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Edward Woodward The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer. The film stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and ...more

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Martyrs is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Martyrs Mylène Jampanoï, Morjana El Alaoui, Xavier Dolan Martyrs is a 2008 horror film written and directed by Pascal Laugier. It was first screened during the 2008 Cannes Film Festival at the Marché du Film, and the film's French release was ...more

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When a Stranger Calls is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
MarialVadskaer added When a Stranger Calls Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Tessa Thompson When a Stranger Calls is a 2006 American horror thriller film directed by Simon West and written by Jake Wade Wall. The film stars Camilla Belle, Tommy Flanagan, Katie Cassidy and Clark Gregg. ...more

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The Dead Zone is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added The Dead Zone Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Tom Skerritt The Dead Zone is a 1983 American horror thriller film directed by David Cronenberg. The screenplay by Jeffrey Boam was based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Stephen King. The film stars ...more

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2001: A Space Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
2001: A Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, Leonard Rossiter, Ed Bishop 2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was partially inspired by ...more

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Ring is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Ring Hiroyuki Sanada, Miki Nakatani, Yūko Takeuchi Ring is a 1998 Japanese mystery thriller film directed by Hideo Nakata, adapted from the novel Ring by Kôji Suzuki, which in turn draws on the Japanese folk tale Banchō Sarayashiki. The ...more

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The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Tom Islava added The Dark Knight Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District ...more

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The Haunting is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
The Haunting Claire Bloom, Lois Maxwell, Julie Harris The Haunting is a 1963 British psychological horror film directed and produced by Robert Wise and adapted by Nelson Gidding from the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It stars ...more

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Videodrome is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Videodrome Debbie Harry, James Woods, David Cronenberg Videodrome is a 1983 Canadian postmodernist science fiction body horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg, starring James Woods, Sonja Smits, and Deborah Harry. Set in Toronto in the ...more

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Invasion of the Body Snatchers Dana Wynter, Sam Peckinpah, Carolyn Jones Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American black-and-white science fiction film produced by Walter Wanger, directed by Don Siegel, and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. The film ...more

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Manhunter is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Manhunter Brian Cox, Garcelle Beauvais, Joan Allen Manhunter is a 1986 American crime thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon. Written and directed by Michael Mann, it stars William Petersen as Will Graham and features Brian Cox ...more

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Taking Lives is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
MarialVadskaer added Taking Lives Angelina Jolie, Kiefer Sutherland, Ethan Hawke Taking Lives is a 2004 American psychological thriller film starring Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke. The film was marketed with the tagline "He would kill to be you." The original ...more

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Frozen is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Frozen Kevin Zegers, Shawn Ashmore, Kane Hodder Frozen is a 2010 American thriller written and directed by Adam Green and starring Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore and Kevin Zegers.

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The Night of the Hunter is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added The Night of the Hunter Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish The Night of the Hunter is an American thriller film directed by Charles Laughton and starring Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters and Lillian Gish. Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Davis ...more

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Chinatown is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Chinatown Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the ...more

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North by Northwest is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
North by Northwest Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Eva Marie Saint North by Northwest is a 1959 American spy thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason. The screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, who ...more

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Mulholland Drive is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Daniele Bonvicini added Mulholland Drive Naomi Watts, Billy Ray Cyrus, Melissa George Mulholland Drive is a 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch and starring Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux. It tells the story of an aspiring ...more

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Something Wicked This Way Come... is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Something Wicked This Way Comes Pam Grier, Jason Robards Jr., Diane Ladd Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1983 American horror fantasy film directed by Jack Clayton and produced by Walt Disney Productions from a screenplay written by Ray Bradbury based on his ...more

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Angel Heart is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
punksnotdead added Angel Heart Robert De Niro, Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet Angel Heart is a 1987 American horror mystery film written and directed by Alan Parker, and starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, and Lisa Bonet. The film, adapted from the novel Falling Angel ...more

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Play Misty for Me is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Play Misty for Me Clint Eastwood, Donna Mills, Jessica Walter Play Misty for Me is a 1971 American psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, in his directorial debut. Jessica Walter and Donna Mills co-star. The original music ...more

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The Innocents is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
duron.mauricio added The Innocents Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave, Pamela Franklin The Innocents is a 1961 British supernatural gothic horror film directed and produced by Jack Clayton, and starring Deborah Kerr, Michael Redgrave and Megs Jenkins. Based on the novella The Turn ...more

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Don't Look Now is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Don't Look Now Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie, Leopoldo Trieste Don't Look Now is a 1973 independent British-Italian film directed by Nicolas Roeg. It is a thriller adapted from the short story by Daphne du Maurier. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland star ...more

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The Stepford Wives is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
The Stepford Wives Tina Louise, Mary Stuart Masterson, Katharine Ross The Stepford Wives is a 1975 science fiction–thriller film based on the 1972 Ira Levin novel of the same name. It was directed by Bryan Forbes with a screenplay by William Goldman, and stars ...more

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The Changeling is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
The Changeling George C. Scott, Melvyn Douglas, Barry Morse The Changeling is a 1980 Canadian/American horror film directed by Peter Medak and starring George C. Scott and Trish Van Devere. The story is based upon events that writer Russell Hunter said ...more

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Pi is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Pi Mark Margolis, Ajay Naidu, Clint Mansell Pi, also titled π, is a 1998 American surrealist psychological thriller film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky in his directorial debut. The film earned Aronofsky the Directing Award at ...more

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Notorious is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Notorious Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock Notorious is a 1946 American spy thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately ...more

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Peeping Tom is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Peeping Tom Anna Massey, Michael Powell, Pamela Green Peeping Tom is a 1960 British thriller/horror film directed by Michael Powell and written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression ...more

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Wait Until Dark is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Wait Until Dark Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Robby Benson Wait Until Dark is a suspense-thriller film directed by Terence Young and produced by Mel Ferrer. It stars Audrey Hepburn as a young blind woman, Alan Arkin as a violent criminal searching for ...more

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Suspicion is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Suspicion Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Joan Fontaine Suspicion is a romantic psychological thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine as a married couple. It also stars Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame ...more

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M is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
M Peter Lorre, Theo Lingen, Georg John M is a 1931 German drama-thriller film directed by Fritz Lang and starring Peter Lorre. It was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou and was the director's first sound film. Now ...more

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Shallow Grave is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Shallow Grave Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, 피터 뮬란 Shallow Grave is a 1994 British dark comedy crime film that marked the cinematic directorial debut of Danny Boyle with an original screenplay by John Hodge. The film also provided starring roles ...more

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Blood Simple is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Blood Simple Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh Blood Simple is a 1984 neo-noir crime film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It was the directorial debut of the Coens and the first major film of cinematographer Barry ...more

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The Stepfather is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
The Stepfather Terry O'Quinn, Shelley Hack, Jill Schoelen The Stepfather is a 1987 American thriller slasher starring Terry O'Quinn in the title role. It is loosely based on the life of mass murderer John List, although the plot is more commonly ...more

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Lost Highway is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Daniele Bonvicini added Lost Highway Richard Pryor, Gary Busey, Patricia Arquette Lost Highway is a 1997 French-American psychological thriller film written and directed by David Lynch. Blending elements of horror and neo-noir, the plot features Bill Pullman as a man ...more

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Duel is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Duel Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Lou Frizzell Duel is a 1971 television thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Richard Matheson, based on Matheson's short story of the same name. It stars Dennis Weaver as a terrified ...more

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Lucy is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
MeikeDeHooge added Lucy Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Analeigh Tipton Lucy is a 2014 English-language French science fiction action film written and directed by Luc Besson and produced by his wife Virginie Silla for his company Europacorp. The film was shot in ...more

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Howling is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Whitney Overstreet added Howling Song Kang-Ho, Lee Na-young, In-gi Jeong Howling is a 2012 South Korean film written and directed by Yoo Ha based on the 1996 novel The Hunter by Japanese writer Asa Nonami. The plot follows two detectives, a veteran male cop and ...more