The 10 Best Psychological Thrillers of the Decade (So Far)
If the preponderance of superhero movies, giant robot franchises, and ongoing sagas about space wizards wielding laser swords means anything, it means that people don’t always want a lot of psychological depth in their entertainment. And more power to them, but there are a lot of other people out there and we like movies too. We want serious, contemplative dramas and hard-hitting, illuminating documentaries. And when we’re in the mood to get our blood up, one of our favorite genres is the psychological thriller. So here are the best psychological thrillers of the decade.
Psychological thrillers used to be more commonplace before the contemporary blockbuster era. They are films about suspenseful, often disturbing scenarios that engage the mind in paranoid fantasy. They unsettle our hard-held morals and reveal dark, dank corners of the human subconscious. They remind us that safety is a fragile construct, and that all it takes to rob our lives of security is for one person (or worse, more than one) who decides to stop playing by society’s rules. And where will we be then?
The best psychological thrillers are the ones that get under your skin, like Karyn Kusama’s new film The Invitation, which just premiered in select theaters and on VOD. If her pulse-pounding, intelligent, and altogether disturbing movie gets you in the mood for more, there’s good news. Great new psychological thrillers are still made every single year, but many of them are distributed outside of the major studio system, and they don’t always get the attention they deserve.
So here are Crave’s picks for the best psychological thrillers of the decade (so far, at least). These are all recent films about contemporary and/or universal anxieties that are all but guaranteed to chill you to the bone… if you leave your brain on, that is. (And who wouldn’t want to do that?)