Intriguing movies, more specifically, those framed within the psychological thriller, are based on the feeling of unease generated by the situations. The protagonists, often marked by dark pasts, have to face their fears in order to resolve the conflict. The psychological thriller is a genre that is characterised by mixing horror with elements of the procedural thriller (a sub-genre of suspense and crime fiction in which the main characters are related to the law). We review and recommend 10 films of intrigue within the psychological thriller genre.
Recommended intriguing movies
No one can deny that Anthony Hopkins embroidered the role of Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs turning this psychopath into one of the most ruthless villains in history. Four years later, the critically acclaimed Seven to show us another psychopath who had nothing to envy to the previous one. In the film, directed by David Fincher, Kevin Spacey gives life to John Doe, a terrible serial killer who will have to be caught by veteran Lieutenant Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and his future replacement, David Mills (Brad Pitt). Seven is a true masterpiece of the thriller genre that will make you cringe. A film structured as a procedural thriller that ultimately plunges the viewer into a nightmare. Harrowing from beginning to end.
The Sixth Sense (1999): one of the most original and intriguing movies of all time
Little and much can still be said about this film. For those lucky enough not to have seen it yet, a word of warning: don’t let them tell you the ending The Sixth Sense the horror film that made its director, M. Night Shyamalan, world famous, tells the story of Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), a child therapist scarred by a patient he couldn’t help, and Cole Sean (Haley Joel Osment), an introverted, terrified boy with a dark secret. The Indian-born director could not have expected his modest film to become one of the most acclaimed horror films in the history of cinema. Perhaps the magic of The Sixth Sense lies in its simplicity, in its everydayness. And, at the end of the day, in the terror that can generate in us that which we do not know: whether or not there is something beyond death.
Alejandro Amenábar burst onto the film scene with Thesis, his debut film. On 12 April 1996, Tesis, the thriller that revolutionised Spanish cinema, was released in Spain. Ángela (Ana Torrent) is a young student of Audiovisual Communication who is preparing a thesis on audiovisual violence. To do so, she needs to search for extremely violent films in the faculty’s video library. When the professor who is helping her turns up dead in the projection room, Ángela decides to investigate the film he was watching. Together with Chema (Fele Martínez) and Bosco (Eduardo Noriega), two of her university classmates, Ángela enters an increasingly dangerous terrain. The world of “snuff movies”, films in which a murder or the real death of a person is filmed.
The Game (1997)
Two years after the release of the acclaimed Seven, David Fincher returned to the world of suspense with The Game, a vibrant gem with a solid script and full of ingenious twists, starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. Nicholas Van Orton (Douglas) is a billionaire who has everything. His brother (Penn) manages to find the perfect gift for his birthday: a simple game, a ticket to join a leisure club that designs exclusive tailor-made adventures. Intrigue guaranteed. Keeps the viewer gripped from beginning to end.
Psycho (1960): an intriguing movie classic
Psycho, hitchcock’s masterpiece remains one of the most terrifying films ever made. The film, based on the novel by Robert Bloch, was one of the first to provoke extreme reactions among the spectators who attended its screening. So much so that some hid under their seats or screamed. Its eerie and strident soundtrack created by Bernard Herrmann and the performances of Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins contributed to the film’s success. Hitchcock knew like no one else how to recreate a dark, twisted and magical atmosphere that almost managed to completely enter the viewer’s mind.
The Others (2001)
Alejandro Amenábar directs Nicole Kidman in The Others, a film set in an isolated Victorian mansion on the island of Jersey at the end of World War II. Grace (Nicole Kidman) waits alone with her two children for her husband to arrive. The children, afflicted with a strange illness that prevents them from being exposed to the light, live under their mother’s rigid religious rules. Soon, they are visited by a family who come to help with the housework.
Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
Secret in Their Eyes begins with the brutal murder of a young woman. Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darín), one of the people in charge of the investigation, works as an officer in an examining magistrate’s court in Buenos Aires. When he retires, years later, he is still marked by this brutal event. Willing to write a novel about the case, Benjamín will have to face the past once again, which will inevitably stir in him feelings also about the woman who accompanied him in solving the case, Irene Morales (Soledad Villamil), the head of the department, whose love he could not face at the time.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991), of the top-rated intriguing movies
This is perhaps the work in capital letters that perfectly defines the psychological thriller genre. In this film, the script, rather than focusing on the action (which is not lacking), tends to focus on the characters, their motivations, their ghosts. And that is, perhaps, what terrifies us most about the film, its ability to make our hair stand on end. The Silence of the Lambs marked a before and after in the horror and suspense genre. The film gave birth to one of the worst villains in the history of cinema: the disturbed doctor Hannibal Lecter. An essential treasure for thriller lovers.
Cape Fear (1991)
Remake of J. Lee Thompson’s 1962 film Cape Fear. Martin Scorsese directs Robert de Niro in this hair-raising thriller about a lawyer’s relationship with a former client he couldn’t help avoid prison. Max Cady (de Niro) is released from prison after fourteen years behind bars with a single goal: to get revenge on his lawyer (Nick Nolte). To do so, he will use all his weapons to intimidate and threaten his family. Bernard Herrmann returns to the baton to conduct the thrilling soundtrack. A suffocating film that will be hard to forget.
Primal Fear (1996)
A procedural thriller, adapted from the novel by William Dielh, which tells the story of Martin Vail (Richard Gere), an unscrupulous lawyer who is commissioned to defend Aaron Stampler(Edward Norton), an introverted young altar boy who is suspected of the brutal murder of the Archbishop of Chicago. Directed by Gregory Hoblit, the film is considered by many to be the debut of a young Edward Norton. Norton is superb and stands head and shoulders above the rest of the performances. For that alone, it is well worth seeing.
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