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

Ranker Film
Originally by
41.2k votes 6k voters 634.8k views 136 items

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

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, Ranker may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

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!
list ordered by

1
1,698 423
The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

2
1,250 373
Seven is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

3
1,415 437
The Shining is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers The Shining is a 1980 British-American psychological horror film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, co-written with novelist Diane Johnson, and starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, ...more

4
841 291
Psycho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
oldrocker added Alfred Hitchcock, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins Psycho is a 1960 American horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film centers on an encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane, who ends up at a secluded motel after taking money from ...more

5
751 264
Misery is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
gigantricks added Lauren Bacall, Kathy Bates, James Caan Misery is a 1990 American psychological thriller film based on Stephen King's 1987 novel of the same name and starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Lauren Bacall, Richard Farnsworth, and Frances ...more

6
587 178
The Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Max von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair The Exorcist is a 1973 American supernatural horror film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by William Peter Blatty from his 1971 novel of the same name. The book, inspired by the 1949 ...more

7
631 202
The Sixth Sense is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Bruce Willis, Mischa Barton, Haley Joel Osment The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural thriller film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who ...more

8
782 384
The Others is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
MarialVadskaer added Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Michelle Fairley The Others is a 2001 horror-thriller film written, directed and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan. It won eight Goya Awards, including awards for ...more

9
791 375
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
MarialVadskaer added Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fred Thompson Sinister is a 2012 supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Ethan Hawke as fictional true writer Ellison Oswalt who ...more

10
390 160
Rosemary's Baby is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia ...more

11
333 130
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more

12
720 348
The Ring is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Naomi Watts, Pauley Perrette, Brian Cox The Ring is a 2002 American psychological horror film directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts. It is a remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film Ring, which was based on the novel Ring ...more

13
475 242
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
gigantricks added John Travolta, Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie arrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film based on Stephen King's first major 1974 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Brian De Palma and written by Lawrence D. Cohen. The ...more

14
431 215
Donnie Darko is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Drew Barrymore, Ashley Tisdale, Jake Gyllenhaal Donnie Darko is a 2001 American supernatural drama film written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Noah Wyle, Jena ...more

15
429 217
Jacob's Ladder is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Macaulay Culkin, Tim Robbins, Jason Alexander Jacob's Ladder is a 1990 American psychological horror film directed by Adrian Lyne, written and produced by Bruce Joel Rubin and starring Tim Robbins, Elizabeth Peña and Danny Aiello. ...more

16
270 120
Zodiac is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
but chickens double d added Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo Zodiac is a 2007 American mystery-thriller film directed by David Fincher and based on Robert Graysmith's non-fiction book of the same name. Zodiac tells the story of the manhunt for a person ...more

17
458 234
1408 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
KaseyStieber added Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Kate Walsh 1408 is a 2007 American psychological horror film based on the Stephen King 1999 short story of the same name directed by Swedish director Mikael Håfström. The movie stars John ...more

18
300 142
Frailty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
MarialVadskaer added Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. It marks Paxton's directorial debut. The plot focuses on the strange ...more

19
416 210
Red Dragon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton Red Dragon is a 2002 American psychological thriller film based on Thomas Harris' novel of the same name. It is a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. The novel was originally ...more

20
477 258
Requiem for a Dream is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Jennifer Connelly, Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn Requiem for a Dream is a 2000 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. The film is based on ...more

21
366 195
What Lies Beneath is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
MarialVadskaer added Michelle Pfeiffer, Harrison Ford, Amber Valletta What Lies Beneath is a 2000 American psychological thriller film directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is the first film by ImageMovers. It stars Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer as a well-to-do ...more

22
518 308
Black Swan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller-horror film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The plot revolves around a production ...more

23
230 96
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

24
434 211
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Ironside The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John ...more

25
391 186
The Strangers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best and Scariest Psychological Thrillers of All Time
Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Scott Speedman The Strangers is a 2008 American horror film written and directed by Bryan Bertino and starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as a young couple who are terrorized by three masked assailants, who ...more