40 Best Psychological Thrillers On Netflix

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woman scared in dark watching psychological thrillers on netflix

The best psychological thrillers on Netflix give you a good scare but also test your mind.

Psychological thrillers are different from horror movies because they are the type of movie that explores the psychology of characters. Oftentimes the main character is a person who is unstable and unhinged.

These types of movies dive into the complexities of our own minds and make us really think while also being scared to death for what's going to happen next. These movies are scary because they have the power to burrow into our subconscious minds.

If you like psychological thriller movies then you will love other psychological thriller shows like Netflix's "Ratched" and the hit series "You."

After watching one of these movies you might want to cuddle up with a friend or partner and watch a rom-com to forget the terror you just experienced! 

Here are the 40 best psychological thrillers on Netflix.

1. "Shutter Island" (2010)

Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" is a twisted story starring your favorite actor Leonardo Dicaprio as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels. Daniels and his new partner, played by Mark Ruffalo, investigate Ashecliffe Hospital, an insane asylum located on a remote island after a woman disappeared from a locked room.

It's definitely the best psychological thriller on Netflix and you can look forward to a major plot twist while watching. 

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2. "Clinical" (2017)

In "Clinical," Vinessa Shaw plays a psychiatrist who suffers from PTSD and sleep paralysis from an attack she faced by a patient of hers.

Her doctor recommends she stop her practice after the event, yet she continues on and meets a new patient who is horribly disfigured from a car accident. As she keeps working, strange things start to occur in her home.

3. "Case 39" (2009)

Bridget Jones's Renée Zellweger stars as a totally different character in this movie as she is Emily, a social worker, who gains custody of a young girl who she vows to protect.

However, there's a catch. The girl is followed by evil, which forces Emily to stop at nothing to protect the child no matter how bad and horrific things get. 

4. "Tau" (2018)

From going to sleep at home to waking up in a jail cell, Julia (Maika Monroe) finds a glowing implant in her neck.

She then tries to escape what she finds out is a high-tech prison and discovers that she’s a test subject for something even bigger. Will she be able to escape? And if she does will she find her way back home?

5. "Gerald's Game" (2017)

What was supposed to be a fun kinky sex game between a married couple turns into a nightmare for Jessie (Carla Gugino) in this Mike Flannigan thriller.

After her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) suddenly dies of a heart attack after handcuffing Jessie to the bed, she's left without a key in an isolated house. As time goes on her past haunts her and she starts going insane.

6. "Self/Less" (2015)

In this movie starring Ben Kingsley and Ryan Renolds, Kingsley's character Damien Hale is a powerful business tycoon who learns that he has a terminal illness who can only survive through the help of a brilliant professor, who transfers Hale's consciousness into another person’s body.

When he wakes up in this new body, he's plagued by disturbing images and knows something is not right. 

7. "The Killing of a Sacred Deer" (2017)

Nicole Kidman and Collin Farrell star in this psychological thriller by Yorgos Lanthimos about a troubled teen who makes his way into a cardiovascular surgeon's life and turns his perfect world upside down.

Little does the surgeon know, Martin has terrible plans for his family. 

8. "Cam" (2018)

"The Handmaid's Tale's" Madeline Brewer stars in this psychological thriller about a girl who makes money as a cam girl who logs into her account to find a dopplegänger stolen has stolen both her identity and fan base.

The cam girl then sets out to unmask her mysterious dopllegänger and get her identity back.

9. "The Woman in the Window" (2021)

Critically-acclaimed actress Amy Adams stars in this movie as an agoraphobic who can't go outside named Dr. Anna Fox. She witnesses something she shouldn't have while keeping tabs on the Russell family across the way.

The family seems picture perfect until she finds out some dark secrets. 

10. "Bird Box" (2018)

Sandra Bullock is the leading actress in this thriller about an attack of some sort of creature who kills you if you see it.

Survivors have to face their worst fear in order to defeat the monster and survive. 

11. "Between Worlds" (2018)

This thriller with Nicolas Cage is one you can't miss out on seeing. It's got great reviews and is steamy, scary, and surprising as it follows the story of a woman who falls into a coma after a near-fatal accident.

She soon realizes she's been possessed by another woman whose mission is to finish unfinished business on earth. 

12. "Fractured" (2019)

A psychological thriller about a mother and daughter who go missing in a hospital.

This story follows a worried and scared father who has to fight to get his family back after they disappear and uncovers secrets in the hospital. 

13. "1922" (2017)

Stephen King is very talented at writing horror stories that will scare the heck out of you and this one isn't any different.

This movie adaption of King's novel "1922" is about a farmer who admits that he murdered and killed his wife for monetary gain after she threatened to leave him.

He then convinces his teen son to participate and then the two become delusional as they start to see things after her death and they continue on with their lives.

14. "In The Tall Grass" (2019)

If you're into Stephen King, then this is another thriller that you'll find interesting. This movie adaptation of the novel "In The Tall Grass" is about a brother and sister who enter a field will tall grass after they hear a boy screaming for help.

Little did they know they would eventually be doing the same and looking to get out. 

15. "Berlin Syndrome" (2017)

What was supposed to be a fun holiday trip turned into a nightmare she didn't see coming.

After a young photographer meets an attractive teacher on a night out she decides to go back to his Berlin apartment. However, things take an unexpected turn after she realizes she's trapped. 

16. "The Ritual" (2017)

A group of college friends reunites after the death of one of their close friends which leads the others to bond over a fun hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness.

The group ends up taking a wrong turn and travels into a mysterious forest where they are faced with the ancient Norse legend about an ancient evil out to get them.

17. "Good Time" (2017)

Robbert Pattinson is unlike anything you've ever seen him before in this movie where he plays a bank robber trying to break his brother out of jail.

This thriller crime movie keeps you on your toes and in anticipation as you watch Pattinson's character race against time. 

18. "Secret Obsession" 2019

Brenda Song stars in this psychological thriller about a woman with amnesia.

After an attack, she woke up in the hospital and wakes up to a caring husband who she doesn't remember and soon finds out he's not who she thinks he is. 

19. "Mirage" (2018)

This movie explores a mother who goes through a space-time continuum glitch where she's able to save the life of a boy 25 years in the past.

When she goes back to the present her daughter doesn't exist and her husband doesn't remember her. She then has to fight to get her daughter back. 

20. "Nocturnal Animals" (2016)

Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this thriller about a woman with a troubled past and second husband.

She receives a manuscript written by her first husband, who she hasn't seen in years, which tells the story of a teacher whose trip with his family turns into a nightmare.

As Adam's character reads the book, it forces her to dive into her past and confront her dark truths.

21. "Hush" (2016)

Not only does Mike Flanagan make awesome horror T.V. series but thrilling horror movies as well.

Hush is the scariest psychological thriller on Netflix that follows a deaf writer who lives in an isolated secret cabin in the woods. She spends solitary lonely life until she's faced with a masked killer who forces her to fight for her life in silence.

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22. "The Vanished" (2020)

A parent's worst nightmare happens in this thriller crime drama as a family vacation turns into a missing person case.

Parents Wendy and Paul are driven mad after the loss of their daughter and will stop at nothing to get her back. 

23. "Buster's Mal Heart" (2017)

Emmy-award-winning actor Rami Malek stars in this thriller about a mountain man on the run from the authorities who survives by breaking into empty vacation homes in the winter and likes to call into radio talk shows, with the name "Buster" to rant about something coming called the Inversion at the turn of the millennium.

During his journey, he is haunted by visions of being lost at sea and glimpses of his former life.

24. "Calibre" (2018)

In this spooky thriller, childhood friends embark on a weekend hunting trip in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands.

The trip starts off pretty normal but quickly turns into a series of horrific scenarios that the two have to face together.

25. "The Call" (2020)

This South Korean psychological thriller follows two women that live in different time periods 20 years apart but in the same home. One in the present and another in the past.

Through a single phone call, the two end up being connected and twisting their fates.

26. "The Girl On The Train" (2021)

This psychological thriller is based on the 2015 novel of the same name and is the second Bollywood remake of the 2016 film.

In the movie, Mira Kapoor looks forward to observing what seems like the perfect couple on her daily commute. However, one day she witnesses a disturbing event that ends up getting her tangled up in a murder case.  

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27. "The Perfection" (2019)

Allison Williams stars in this psychological thriller about a troubled musical prodigy who returns to her prestigious music school to find that she's been replaced.

The new rising star took her place and the two experience a freaky reunion and embark on a sinister path.

28. "Lavender" (2016)

A woman who experienced amnesia when she was younger is eager to find answers in her childhood home.

This thriller explores Jane's journey 25 years after her whole family was murdered and discovering her dark past. 

29. "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" (2018)

From the psychological science fiction show, comes a thriller movie about a young programmer living in 1984 who starts to adapt a mad writer's dark fantasy into a video game.

As the programmer develops the game he starts to question his own reality and faces a mind-mangling challenge. 

30. "The Invitation" (2015)

This psychological thriller explores what could go wrong after attending a party that your ex is hosting.

What seems like a friendly gathering at his old house with his ex-wife and her new husband turns into a dark and sinister night filled with strangers and unexpected twists and turns. 

31. "The Platform" (2019)

This Spanish thriller is all about how there are people at the top and people at the bottom and in a sort of prison, there are separate platforms where prisoners live.

They eat the leftovers of what's on this table going down each platform so, therefore, the upper prisoners are fed and the lower ones starve. 

32. "Jacob's Ladder" (2019)

This psychological thriller deals with a veteran returning home after losing his brother in combat in Afghanistan.

Jacob then ends up experiencing a severe state of paranoia his dreams and hallucinations start to haunt him. He soon realizes more about his brother's story than he thought. 

33. "The Son" (2019)

This Spanish thriller is about a pregnant woman who becomes increasingly unstable as her baby is soon to be due.

She ends up isolating herself from her husband and develops an obsessive overprotective behavior that worsens after the child is born, which forces her husband to make an ultimate decision.

34. "The Guest" (2014)

A U.S. soldier finds the family he never had after he pays an unexpected visit to the Peterson family.

He introduces himself as a friend of their deceased son who died while serving in Afghanistan, and the family lets him stay with them. Soon after his arrival, multiple deaths start occurring in their town.

35. "Malevolent" (2018)

A brother-sister duo who fabricate paranormal encounters for cash end up taking a gig with some suspicious activity.

Little do they know this new job entails an old estate with real paranormal activity which haunts the two on their job. 

36. "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" (2019)

This psychological thriller is also a crime drama chronicle about the crimes of Ted Bundy from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend Liz. 

She refused to believe he was guilty of the accused kidnappings and heinous crimes against women for years and even blamed herself until she didn't. 

37. "I'm Thinking Of Ending Things" (2020)

In this whirlwind psychological thriller which is directed by Academy Award winner Charlie Kaufman, a young woman decides to take a road trip with her new boyfriend to his family farm despite having second thoughts about the relationship.

The two end up being trapped during a snowstorm and have to spend the night at the farm.

As the young woman spends the night at the house she begins to question the nature of everything including her boyfriend, herself, and the world.

38. "Dark Skies" 2013

In this sci-fi alien thriller, a family is used to their normal peaceful life until they aren't when they experience a series of disturbing events, leading them to believe the family is being targeted by a dangerous alien. 

39. "Secret Window" (2004)

Johnny Depp stars in this psychological thriller and mystery movie about writer Mort Rainey who is in the process of a divorce moves to his remote cabin in upstate New York to be alone.

While attempting to recover his mental health, he meets farmer John Shooter who claims Rainey plagiarized his work. Rainey ignores him but the farmer isn't going anywhere as he becomes increasingly violent, seeking revenge. 

40. "The Devil All The Time" (2020)

This psychological thriller with Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, and Sebastian Stan follows a young man who is devoted to protecting his loved ones, having to face corrupt and sinister people in his postwar backwoods town. 

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers news & entertainment, love & relationships, and internet culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.