“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 a true psychological horror is that the truly petrifying element is what isn't shown, not necessarily what is. But I've also included horror films that rely on the 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:
Psychological Thriller ‘Oculus’ Challenges Perceptions Of Horror Genre, via The Heights:
Psychological Horror in the Films of David Lynch, via film-o-holic:
"Time Out proudly presents the 100 best horror movies, as chosen by those who write in, direct, star in and celebrate the genre. We polled well over 100 horror enthusiasts – including big names like Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro, Simon Pegg, Clive Barker and Alice Cooper, and horror legends like Coffin Joe, Kim Newman and Tom Six – and came up with a definitive top 100 list."
UPDATE (2017): The source list has actually been updated last year - 9 movies were replaced by other picks. I'm including the new entries at the bottom of the list (rank 101+), while leaving the ousted entries intact. This preserves the list as it originally was in 2014, but lets you see the new entries too. The new picks are certainly deserving, but they're mostly more mainstream movies that a horror fan will likely have already seen - personally, I think the removed movies were more fun to discover.
Movies removed in 2016:
-The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
-Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
-The Black Cat (1934)
-Daughters of Darkness (1971)
-I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
-Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)
Movies added in 2016 (highest ranked to lowest):
-Lake Mungo (2008)
-The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
-Ginger Snaps (2000)
-Session 9 (2001)
-The Unknown (1927)
-It Follows (2014)
Original Edition (2003) + additions (2004-2018) in that order.
Based on http://1001films.wikia.com/wiki/The_List
2018 Edition Additions:
- The Handmaiden (2016)
- Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016)
- Lady Macbeth (2016)
- Lady Bird (2017)
- The Shape of Water (2017)
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
- Call Me by Your Name (2017)
- Mother! (2017)
- Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
- Get Out (2017)
- Black Panther (2018)
/u/StopReadinMyUsername on reddit combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results with general film data from iCheckMovies and IMDb to reveal the 1001 Greatest Movies of All Time.
“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: