What makes for the most stressful movies ever? Imagine that a total psychopath has wired a Los Angeles city bus to explode if the speedometer drops below 50 MPH. Now imagine that the bus driver is not a bus driver at all, but just an inexperienced passenger pressed into duty. Speed may be just a popcorn flick, but the taut thriller is so well-paced and exhilarating, that it’s one of the most stressful films to watch unfold. Don’t think Speed is all that agita-inducing, there’s more where that came from. Here are the most stressful movies ever.
Suspenseful movies are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. Most filmmakers want to do everything possible to hook an audience and keep them on the edge of their seats. But is there anything quite like a film that is so stressful that it causes your heart to beat fast enough that it actually causes panic and sweat?
Some of the suspenseful films on this list are from the horror genre - a category of movies that is specifically designed to make a spectator jump from their seat and become so petrified of the monster, that they have to cover their eyes.
Of course, several of these movies are actual suspense films. A genre of film rooted entirely upon the premise of making a spectator feel anxious and uncertain, because they don’t know what is about to happen, and there’s nothing that they can do to help. What’s in the box that John Doe has sent to Detective Mills (Seven)? What do the scary ghosts want with Cole (The Sixth Sense)? Will the undercover cop be discovered and killed by the brutal Irish Gang (The Departed)?
But suspense comes in all genres (you've seen The Polar Express, right?). It’s often the root of drama and provides white-knuckle conflict within the story. Who knows for sure why, but there’s a piece in all of us that feels pleasure when we watch unpredictable, nerve-wracking movies.Be sure to vote up the movies that stressed you out the most, and not in a good way.
Directed by: Rob ReinerMisery 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
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Directed by: Richard DonnerThe Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Spencer Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick... more
Directed by: James WanSaw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large dilapidated... more
Directed by: Darren AronofskyRequiem 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 the... more
Directed by: David FincherSeven 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 Spacey in... more
Directed by: Jonathan DemmeThe 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 Glenn,... more
Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel CoenNo 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) stumbles... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergSchindler's List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas... more
Directed by: Stanley KubrickThe 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, Danny... more
Directed by: Alfred HitchcockPsycho 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 her... more
Directed by: Martin ScorseseThe Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack Nicholson) plants... more
Directed by: Ben AffleckArgo is a 2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film is adapted from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez's book The Master of Disguise and Joshuah... more
Directed by: Alfonso CuarónGravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, and sees them stranded in space after... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergSaving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film directed by Steven Spielberg. Set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, the film is notable for its graphic and realistic... more
Directed by: Christopher NolanMemento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story "Memento... more
Directed by: Todd SolondzWatch for Free with Amazon Prime Free TrialHappiness is a 1998 American comedy-drama film directed by Todd Solondz. The lives of three siblings, their families and those around them intersect in strange and inspiring ways.... more
Directed by: Stanley KubrickA Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent images... more
Directed by: Jan de BontSpeed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A... more
Directed by: Martin ScorseseCape Fear is a 1991 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name. It stars Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange and Juliette... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergJaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The prototypical summer blockbuster, its release is regarded as a watershed... more
Directed by: James CameronAliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael... more
Directed by: Quentin TarantinoWatch for Free with Amazon Prime Free TrialReservoir 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
Directed by: Michael CiminoThe Deer Hunter is a 1978 American epic drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steelworkers and their service in Vietnam. The film stars Robert De Niro,... more
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Directed by: Mary LambertPet Sematary is a 1989 American horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert and written by King. Andrew Hubatsek was cast for Zelda's role. Author King... more
Directed by: Steven SpielbergJurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the same... more