Netflix has a movie for everyone in every category, including psychological thrillers. These types of films are always dramatic, owing to the unknown components and mystery that frequently surround them.
It’s one thing to watch horror movies that give us literal nightmares, but psychological thrillers that dive into the complexities of our own thoughts are a whole different level of terrifying—which makes it all the more entertaining. We identified the best psychological thrillers on Netflix right now, ranging from mind-bending films like The Vanished to international thrillers like The Call.
Table Of Content
- 1 Bird Box (2018)
- 2 Berlin Syndrome
- 3 Buster Mal Heart (2016)
- 4 Circle (2015)
- 5 Calibre (2018)
- 6 Clinical (2017)
- 7 Delirium (2018)
- 8 Fractured (2019)
- 9 Gothika (2003)
- 10 Gerald’s Game (2017)
- 11 House at the End of the Street (2012)
- 12 Mystic River
- 13 Nocturnal Animals
- 14 Prisoners (2013)
- 15 Rebirth (2016)
- 16 Rebecca
- 17 Secret in their Eyes (2015)
- 18 Secret Obsession (2019)
- 19 Sin City (2019)
- 20 Shutter Island
- 21 Stereo (2014)
- 22 Self/Less (2015)
- 23 Se7en
- 24 The Call
- 25 The Clovehitch Killer
- 26 The Fury Of a Patient Man (2016)
- 27 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- 28 Tau (2018)
- 29 The Paramedic (2020)
- 30 The Platform (2019)
- 31 The Invitation (2015)
- 32 The Fatal Affair (2020)
- 33 The Guest (2014)
- 34 The Son (2019)
- 35 The Occupant (2020)
- 36 The Vanishing’ (2020)
- 37 We Have Always Lived In The Castle
Bird Box (2018)
This film, based on Josh Malerman’s best-selling novel of the same name, is set in a town where people are compelled to commit suicide if they make eye contact with the manifestation of their worst fears. Malorie Hayes (Sandra Bullock) is determined to find a place of refuge for her two children and goes on a frightening journey while completely blinded. Bird Box is one of the most watched psychological thrillers on Netflix.
Berlin Syndrome, a psychological thriller starring Teresa Palmer as Clare, an Australian backpacker in Berlin who has a one-night encounter with a lovely man named Andi (Max Riemelt) that goes horribly wrong, is about the one thing that young women always have to worry about when travelling alone. Berlin Syndrome, directed by Cate Shortland, who also helmed the superhero blockbuster Black Widow, becoming the first woman to direct a Marvel film solo, tells the narrative of Clare’s nightmarish experience of being fooled and trapped in an apartment by a violent man.
Buster Mal Heart (2016)
This 2016 film depicts Jonah Cueyatl (Rami Malek), a hotel concierge who transforms into a mountain man. Jonah is haunted by flashbacks of his old life as a husband and parent while on the run from authorities. Malek’s acting, by the way, is absolutely great. If you are looking for a good psychological thriller on Netflix, this one won’t disappoint you.
The plot of the film is similar to a competitive game, except for a deadly and diabolical twist. When 50 strangers wake up in a shadowy room with no recollection of how they got there… and they are obliged to choose the one person who should survive from among them.
Vaughn (Jack Lowden) and Marcus (Martin McCann), childhood pals, go on a weekend hunting excursion in a remote region of the Scottish Highlands. What begins as a fairly routine journey quickly devolves into a sequence of nightmare events that neither of them had anticipated.
You might want to view this with the lights turned on. In Clinical, Dr. Jane Mathis (Vinessa Shaw) is a psychiatrist who suffers from PTSD and sleep paralysis as a result of a horrible attack on a patient. Despite her doctor’s advice, she continues her business and treats a new patient whose face has been severely scarred in a vehicle accident. Strange things begin to happen in her home when she accepts this new patient.
Tom Walker (Topher Grace) is freed from a psychiatric hospital after spending two decades there and returns to the home he inherited from his father. However, after a series of bizarre and mysterious happenings, he becomes persuaded that the mansion is haunted. It is one of the best psychological/suspense thrillers on Netflix in recent times.
Ray (Sam Worthington) and his daughter decide to take their wife, Joanne (Lily Rabe), to the hospital after she is injured by a stray dog. Ray falls asleep in the waiting room while Joanne goes to visit a doctor. When he awakens, he discovers that his wife and daughter are both vanished, and the hospital appears to have no record of them. Prepare to have your mind blown.
Halle Berry stars as Dr. Miranda Grey, a psychiatrist who wakes up one day to find herself imprisoned in the same mental institution where she works, accused of murdering her husband. The film also stars Penélope Cruz and Robert Downey Jr.. If you are looking for a psychological thriller on Netflix with great actors, this one should be on your list.
Gerald’s Game (2017)
Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), Jessie’s (Carla Gugino) husband, dies of a heart attack during a kinky sex game between a married couple. As a result, Jessie is left tied to a bed in an isolated house with no key. Worse, her history starts to haunt her, and she begins to hear weird voices. Gerald’s Game was touted as the best suspense thriller of 2017.
House at the End of the Street (2012)
Moving into a new home is difficult enough for Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) and her freshly divorced mother, Sarah (Elisabeth Shue), but when they find that a heinous crime has occurred in the house next door, they become much more concerned. Elissa begins to develop feelings for the killer’s brother, and as they become closer, a horrifying revelation emerges.
Mystic River, one of the oldest films on this list, takes on the neo-noir style of crime thrillers with a storey about a murder in Boston, Massachusetts in 2000 that shatters the friendship of three men. Based on Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name, the film depicts Jimmy (Sean Penn), Dave (Tim Robbins), and Sean (Kevin Bacon), three men who used to be closest friends, but as time passed and their paths diverged in life, they became estranged. When Jimmy’s daughter Katie (Emmy Rossum) is found dead on the same night Dave returns home to find his wife covered in blood, everyone begins pointing fingers and assigning blame.
Nocturnal Animals can be somewhat dark, especially when Ray enters the picture, yet the underlying ideas and interwoven plots are superbly executed. If the plotline isn’t enough to entice you, know that Ford transfers his visual prowess to the film medium, and the performances of the performers are fantastic.
Prisoners is a film that immediately pulls its audience in on an emotional level due to the fact that it is about someone’s daughter going missing. Hugh Jackman (who is terrific throughout) plays Keller, a guy who will go to any length to find his child. Refusing to leave things to the authorities, he embarks on his own investigation, going to extreme lengths, even torturing someone he feels has the answers. In this fascinating film, he drives himself insane attempting to come up with solutions as time runs out.
In this thriller, we follow Kyle (Fran Kranz), a suburban father who is persuaded to attend a weekend-long Rebirth retreat in which he must give up his phone. Then he’s dragged down a strange rabbit hole that’s nearly impossible to escape.
Of course, no one can compete with Hitchcock, and that’s fine. Wheatley’s interpretation of the classic narrative, on the other hand, is superbly made, with fantastic performances from the major players, and is still a fun watch. Even better if you haven’t seen the 1940 picture. You can walk into the 2020 remake of Rebecca with an open mind and judge for yourself if it’s a good film or not, but do yourself a favour and watch the original as well.
Secret in their Eyes (2015)
Thirteen years after the horrible death of investigator Jess Cobb’s (Julia Roberts) daughter, retired FBI agent Ray Kasten (Chiwetel Ejiofor) declares that he has finally found the elusive culprit. However, as they continue to work with district attorney Claire (Nicole Kidman) on the case, they find truths that shake them to their core.
Secret Obsession (2019)
Jennifer Williams (Brenda Song) wakes up in a hospital with amnesia after being hit by a car. Soon later, a man approaches and presents himself as her husband, Russell Williams (Mike Vogel), before filling her up on all the information she’s forgotten. However, after Jennifer is discharged from the hospital and Russell drives her home, she feels that Russell is not who he claims to be.
Sin City (2019)
Philip (Kunle Remi) and Julia (Yvonne Nelson) appear to have it all, including excellent occupations and what appears to be a wonderful marriage. That is, until they decide to escape for some much-needed alone time and end up on a last-minute excursion to an exotic hotel. Watch as their friendship is put to the test in unexpected ways.
When the two men are stranded on the island for a few days due to a storm, Teddy and Chuck try to investigate deeper but are met with opposition from the personnel and increasingly bizarre secrets from the patients. As more of Teddy’s backstory and personal ties to the case are revealed, increasingly emotional twists and turns drive the plot to unexpected places. While several of the films on this list explore contemporary or future themes, Shutter Island is a compelling mystery in the style of Alfred Hitchcock and classic horror flicks.
Erik (Jürgen Vogel) enjoys a tranquil existence and spends much of his time at his motorbike store in this German horror film. When Henry, a mysterious stranger, appears in his life, his world is flipped upside down. To make matters worse, Erik begins to encounter a slew of malevolent figures who attempt to harm him, forcing him to seek assistance from Henry.
Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley), a business mogul, finds that he has a terminal illness, but with the help of a bright professor, he is able to survive by transferring his own consciousness into another person’s body. However, as he begins his new life, he is haunted by a series of unsettling images.
Everyone knows that with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt as the two primary performers, the quality will be good, and happily, the tale backs up the acting. The two men play investigators seeking to apprehend a serial killer who leaves clues about their acts. They are guided by the seven deadly sins, which the detectives must decipher. The film includes mind games and allows spectators to guess what is going on, while the two detectives also have their own personal lives to deal with. Se7en is by far the best suspense thriller on Netflix.
If you’re looking for a mind-bending thriller that will make your head hurt, The Call, a 2020 South Korean film, is a great choice. The storey begins in 2019 with a woman named Seo-yeon (Park Shin-hye) discovering an old cordless phone while visiting her sick mother at her childhood home and answering a random call. On the other end of the line is a woman named Young-sook (Jun Jong-seo) who is living a torturous existence with her shaman adoptive mother in 1999.
The Clovehitch Killer
The psychological thriller is loosely inspired on the true storey of Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK Killer. After a killing spree, Rader took a ten-year hiatus before writing police taunting letters that led to his arrest. While The Clovehitch Killer has some predictability, its appeal lies in the cast’s outstanding performances and the ominous tone that keeps the audience on edge throughout.
The Fury Of a Patient Man (2016)
The Spanish drama follows José (Antonio de la Torre), a seemingly peaceful man who begins a new relationship with café owner Ana (Ruth Daz). José, unbeknownst to Maria, has some sinister plans.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
While it’s better to go into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with no prior knowledge, the film is a terrific and pretty faithful translation of the gripping novel, which is also worth seeing if you have the time. You should anticipate something dark, gripping, and aesthetically spectacular from a picture directed by cinematic genius David Fincher, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo delivers on all fronts.
Julia (Maika Monroe), a young woman, falls asleep at home and wakes up in a detention cell with a bright implant in her neck. While attempting to flee her high-tech jail, she realises that she is being utilised as a test subject for a far larger research. Will she ever find a way out?
The Paramedic (2020)
An accident paralyses paramedic ngel Hernández (Mario Casas) from the waist down, and things only get worse from there. Because of his paranoia, ngel suspects his partner, Vanesa (Déborah François), of cheating on him. When his strange conduct forces her to leave him for good, his obsession with her grows tenfold.
The Platform (2019)
You’re in for a treat if you like dystopian thrillers. Prisoners are kept in a Vertical Self-Management Center, often known as “The Pit,” in this gripping thriller. And, in the tower-style building, a plenty of food generally drops every floor, leaving lower-level inmates to go hungry while those on top feast to their hearts’ content.
The Invitation (2015)
This one will make you think twice about attending your ex’s dinner party. Will (Logan Marshall-Green) attends what appears to be a cheerful gathering at his former home, which is hosted by his ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard) and her new spouse. However, as the evening progresses, he becomes suspicious that they have sinister agendas.
The Fatal Affair (2020)
Ellie Warren, a successful lawyer, decides to meet up with an old college acquaintance, David Hammond (Omar Epps), for a few beers. Despite the fact that Ellie is married, sparks appear to fly, but before things get too out of hand, Ellie takes off and returns to her husband. Unfortunately, this causes David to phone and stalk her compulsively, and the situation worsens to the point where Ellie fears for her safety.
The Guest (2014)
The Guest depicts the storey of David Collins (Dan Stevens), a US soldier who unexpectedly pays a visit to the Peterson family. He begins to reside in their home after identifying himself as a friend of their late son, who died while serving in Afghanistan. A sequence of strange deaths occur in their town not long after his arrival.
The Son (2019)
This critically acclaimed Argentine film depicts Lorenzo Roy (Joaqun Furriel), a father and artist whose pregnant wife, Julieta (Martina Gusman), exhibits dangerously erratic behaviour during her pregnancy. When the child is born, her conduct worsens, placing a hardship on the entire family. We won’t spoil anything else, but the twist conclusion will leave you stunned.
The Occupant (2020)
Javier Muoz (Javier Gutiérrez), a former advertising executive, is forced to sell his residence to a new family due to unemployment. But he can’t seem to move on so he starts stalking the family—and his intentions aren’t entirely pure.
The Vanishing’ (2020)
This compelling thriller suddenly climbed to the second rank on Netflix’s list of popular movies, and we can see why based on this trailer. The plot revolves around Paul (Thomas Jane) and Wendy Michaelson (Anne Heche), who are compelled to conduct their own investigation after their daughter mysteriously vanishes during a family trip. As they uncover sinister secrets about the lakeside campground, tensions mount.
We Have Always Lived In The Castle
We Have Always Lived in the Castle is another example of how classic mystery books can be turned into incredibly good psychological thrillers on the big screen. The 2018 film, directed by Stacie Passon, is based on Shirley Jackson’s 1962 novel of the same name. It was the author’s final work before her death, and it relates the storey of a family of two sisters and their uncle who are shunned by their town when the girls’ parents are poisoned with arsenic. Constance (Alexandra Daddario), the older sister, is originally convicted for the crime and later acquitted, but the public still believes she is guilty.
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