Psychologically Scary Movies

Posted on 6 Mar 00:00


 Psychologically scary movies don’t necessarily feature monsters or creatures that are out of place. However, they unravel the very dark side of human nature that leaves fans doubtful, suspicious, and even question human motives. It’s common to see deranged characters engaging in inhumane and obscene acts like gruesome murders, manipulations, sex bondage, and mutilations. In this article, we share with you the best of seven (7) psychologically scary movies that will mess with your mind while keeping you entertained.


  1. A Quiet Place (2018

‘A Quiet Place’ is an American horror movie whose plot centers on a father Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) and a mother Evelyn Abbot (Emily Blunt). The couple struggle to survive with their children in a post-apocalyptic world full of blind extraterrestrial beings with a heightened sense of hearing. The family survives by scavenging for food and other supplies in a deserted town. They walk barefoot and communicate in the sign language so not to alert the creatures.

Beau Abbot (Cade Woodward), their four-year-old son tries to grab a battery-powered space shuttle toy, but his father takes it away because it would make noise. Regan Abbot (Millicent Simmonds) their daughter return the toy to the boy. She also replaces the battery Lee had removed. Beau turns on the toy on their way home while crossing a bridge. This noise alerts nearby creatures that kill the boy before his father can save him.

Regan feels guilty and responsible for the death of their brother. Evelyn who was expecting goes into labor and Lee tries to contact the outside worldvia radio but doesn’t succeed. The movie was nominated and received several awards that include an Academy Award for the Best Sound Editing, the American Film Institute Awards for Top 10 Films of the Year, and the British Academy Film Awards for the Best Sound among others.

  1. Signs (2002)

‘Signs’ is a science fiction horror movie. The plot is about a former Episcopal priest named Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). He lives on a remote corn plantation with his daughter Bo (Abigail Breslin) and son Morgan (Rory Culkin). Merrill, Graham’s younger brother move in to help the family after the priest loses his wife in a traffic accident six months earlier. The pain and sorrow of losing his wife causes Graham to stop attending church.

Large crop cycles appear in cornfields and this is initially attributed to vandals in the area. However, after investigations, the crop cycles are identified as navigation guides. The crop cycles spread globally while lights from invisible objects in the sky are spotted in Mexico and other cities around the world. Later, Graham and Merrill see a tall dark figure, and they chase it as it disappears into the cornfields. Graham later sees a second tall figure hiding behind cornstalks as Bo’s (Abigail Breslin) old baby monitor makes strange noises. Soon, film is televised showing a family in Brazil filming a birthday party for their child that captures an alien on a camera.

The science-fiction horror movies are written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. It is a co-production between Kathleen Kennedy, Sam Mercer, Shyamalan, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy. The film received a positive review from the critique because movie buffs liked the way Shyamalan built suspense, which gave the audience a chill.

  1. The Legend of Hell House (1973)

‘The Legend of Hell House’ is a British supernatural horror movie based on the novel by Richard Matheson titled “Hell House.” Matheson also wrote the screenplay. The main stars in the film include Roddy McDowall (Benjamin Franklin Fischer), Pamela Franklin (Florence Tanner), Gayle Hunnicutt (Ann Barret), and Clive Revill (Dr. Barrett).

The plot is centered on the life of a physicist called Lionel Barret who is hired by an eccentric millionaire, Mr. Deutsch.  He commissions the cast to investigate a survival after death incident that has never been challenged. The incident took place in a mansion called the Belasco House, which was known as the “Mount Everest of haunted houses.” The house was originally owned by a notorious millionaire who was a perverted murderer. 

The millionaire disappeared after a couple of gruesome murders in his house. The house is now believed to be haunted by many dead spirits who were victims of the millionaires’ sadistic desires. John Hough directed the movie. The film did not win any nominations or awards but received a positive review from the critics.

  1. Carnival of Souls (1973)

Carnival of Souls is an independent horror movie.   The plot revolves around the life of Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss). Mary was riding in a car in the company of two other young women when two men challenge them to a drag race. They accept the challenge and during the race, their car plunges into a river. Mary mysteriously resurfaces on land three hours after the police began looking for them. However, she has no memory of how she was saved.

She moves on to Salt Lake City where she takes a job as a church organist. Her car radio starts to play strange organic sounds while Mary is driving through a desert. She sees the vision of a pale-faced figure with a ghoulish look introducing himself as “The Man” during their conversation. Mary also sees an abandoned tower in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. A gas station attendant she comes across tells her that the tower was a bathhouse, then became a dance hall, before being converted into a closed carnival.

After staying in the new town for a while, Mary is again confronted by “The Man”, the ghostly pale figure. She runs away and boards a bus to leave town, but she soon notices that the bus is full of ghost-faced people. This turns out to be a nightmare as she wakes up in a car. Herk Harvey directed the movie, but it did not receive any awards or notice by the critics upon release. It is now considered to be a favorite cult classic.

  1. Salem’s Lot (1979)

‘Salem’s Lot’ was a television miniseries based on a Stephen King novel by the same name. The plot of the movie is based on the life of a writer who goes back to his home and finds that citizens are turning into vampires. Tobe Hooper directed the movie with James Mason (Richard Straker) and David Soul (Ben Mears) playing the leading roles. The film combines the elements of vampire movies and haunted house subgenres.

In the film, people begin to disappear or die under mysterious circumstances. Mears and Strake are the new strangers in town and people suspect them of the murders. Later it is established that an ancient vampire that had returned to Salem’s Lot town had infected people with vampirism, which was responsible for the murders.

Critics rated the film positively praising the cinematography, atmosphere, scares, and Hooper’s direction. The movies received awards and nominations that included Edgar Award for the Best Television Feature or Miniseries 1980. Years after the movie was broadcasted on television it has gained a cult-like following, which made the movie a truly scary classic.

  1. The Shining (1980)

'The Shining' is a psychological horror movie that is based on the life of the main character, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson). He is an upcoming writer and recovering alcoholic, working as an off-season caretaker at the Overlook Hotel located in a remote part of the Colorado Rockies. Jack is spending the winter caring for the hotel with his family which includes his wife, Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) and their young son Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd). Danny is a psychic, which enables him to see visions of what happened in the hotel many years ago. Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) also has psychic abilities and is connected with Danny telepathically during his flashbacks .

Stanley Kubrick produced and directed the movie and co-wrote the script with novelist Diane Johnson. The movie is based on a novel by Stephen King by the same name. The film received awards and nominations that included the nomination of Shelley Duvall for the Razzie Award for the Worst Actress. The movies won the Saturn Award for the Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Music, and the Best Horror Film Award.

  1. The Invitation (2015)

The Invitation is a horror movie about a man who is invited for a dinner by his ex-wife and attends with his current girlfriend. The man relieves the trauma caused by the death of their child and suspects that his wife has hidden motives for inviting him. The movie received positive reviews from the critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an 88% approval rate from 103 reviews. Karyn Kusama directed the movie, written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi.


The psychologically scary movies take us on a thrilling journey exposing the dark side of human nature. Movie buffs like to watch psychologically scary films because of the goose-bump inducing escape they provide. These type of movies are full of drama, suspense, action, and may even induce paranoia. Psychologically scary movies tend to feature characters that are unstable and/or mentally disturbed. 

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