“Your mother's in here, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I'll see that she gets it.”
― Pazuzu, 'The Exorcist' (1973)
After combing through movie lists from IMDB to Reddit, I think I've created the most complete collection of horror movies that climb inside your skull and mess with your brains.
Some people claim that the benchmark of true psychological horror is that the truly petrifying aspect is what isn't shown, not necessarily what is. But I've also included horror films that rely on the wholesale disintegration of the human psyche, and films where characters begin to lose faith in what is strictly real.
Beginner's Guide: Psychological Horror, via Film Inquiry:
What Exactly Is a "Psychological" Horror Film?, via PopMatters:
Why 'The Shining' is the Best Psychological Horror Film Ever, via The Tangential:
Why We Crave Horror Movies (PDF), via Stephen King:
Common Themes in Psychological Thrillers, via The Artifice:
Death, Grief & Why Horror Films Matter, via Talkhouse:
The Psychology of 'Annihilation', via Storytellers:
Psychological Thriller ‘Oculus’ Challenges Perceptions Of Horror Genre, via The Heights:
Psychological Horror in the Films of David Lynch, via film-o-holic:
“Now you're looking for the secret. But you won't find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.”
― John Cutter, 'The Prestige' (2006)
Great films with poignant, memorable, Shyamalanesque, or downright traumatic endings.
When Movie Twists Fail, via Georg Rockall-Schmidt:
What a Twist: Double Consciousness and M. Night Shyamalan, via Back Row:
6 Huge Movie Plot Twists That Caused Even Bigger Plot Holes, via Cracked:
'mother!’s Ending: What Does It All Mean?, via Vanity Fair:
Why 'The Sixth Sense' Ending Has Never Been Matched, via Esquire:
And the Award for the Grossest Twist Ending of the Year Goes To…, via The Mary Sue: