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Films

From Peter Sullivan to Dan Gilroy: The 10 best psychological thrillers on Netflix right now

We had previously curated a list of the ten best psychological thrillers on Netflix, which you can read here. This list comprised the names of popular films on the streamer due to their gripping narrative, sublime cinematography, and stellar performances. 

Some of them included the likes of Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island and more. However, some of the more unusual titles are more than worth your time too. 

The list below comprises psychological thrillers that do not come from such heavyweight directors yet have a good enough premise to keep us all captivated. A good thriller is something that few of us can resist for long, and we’d bet these ten productions will become a part of your favourites list soon enough. 

If you are tired of watching the same films over and over again and need some mindless yet enticing psychological thrillers to help your gore-loving self unwind, fret not! These psychological thrillers that are streaming on Netflix right now will probably quench your thirst. 

Here is a list of the ten best psychological thrillers streaming on Netflix right now that deserve your attention: 

The 10 best psychological thrillers on Netflix right now

10. Clinical (Alistair Legrand, 2017)

A psychiatrist is left shaken after a violent patient attacks her and is suffering from PTSD. Although she is troubled, she tries to get her life back on track and meets a patient, discovered by a horrifying accident, who has a terrible history.

Vinessa Shaw, as the troubled psychiatrist, delivers a top-notch performance that makes the film appear interesting and emotionally intensive. The film blends in a psychological thriller and horror elements with a strong lead protagonist, haunted by her own demons with great cinematography.

9. Secret Obsession (Peter Sullivan, 2019)

Recently married Jennifer recuperates from injuries post-assault when her sweet, caring husband looks after her in their isolated mountain home. Soon, Jennifer discovers that her loving caretaker is not her husband but the captor who harbours sinister motives.

Although the film did not receive stellar reviews from critics due to its predictable plotline, the overall idea of being trapped within a secluded estate with none but your captor to tend to your needs and grievances is pretty terrifying. Watch it for the picturesque locations and scenic beauty that nurtures within itself a thrilling narrative.

8. Fatal Affair (Peter Sullivan, 2020)

After a passionate romantic encounter with her old friend David, Ellie tries to fix her rocky marriage with Marcus. However, she soon realises David’s sinister and unstable nature, who turns into a stalker and begins obsessing over Elie, hurting the ones close to her.

With a brilliant ensemble including Nia Long, Omar Epps, Stephen Bishop and more, who deliver gripping performances, the film milks the psychological thriller-talker genre well. Although the film abounds in cliches, it is a good effort from Sullivan and is worth the watch for viewers who enjoy witnessing stalkers go crazy!

7. Sightless (Cooper Karl, 2020)

Following a gruesome assault, Ellen Ashland is rendered blind and becomes a recluse while healing. Plagued by paranoia, she is haunted by the return of her assailant, who continues brutally terrorising her as she desperately tries to escape such visions of her traumatic attack.

With Madelaine Petsch the lead, the film has many original sequences that will keep viewers hooked. The overall suspenseful atmosphere with the premise of Petsch’s characters blindness and crippling fear makes the film appear quite spine-chilling. It challenges the perception of reality and heightens audience anticipation.

6. Greta (Neil Jordan, 2018)

Sweet and innocent, Frances finds a bag on the New York subway and tries to return it to an eccentric pianist Greta with whom she strikes up an unusual friendship. However, soon Frances realises that Greta is not as sweet and lovely as she seems and can be quite difficult and overbearing.

Chloe Grace Moretz is great as Frances, while Isabella Huppert, the erratic and obsessive Greta, adds an ominous feel to the film. Huppert delivers a chilling performance as the titular character. Although the plot might feel predictable at certain points, it is worth watching, given the stellar performances.

5. The Call (Chung Hyun-Lee, 2020)

A phone call connects two people living in two entirely different times set two decades apart and alters their life completely. The serial killer provides the path for redemption while putting one of the woman’s past trauma and her life on the line until she changes the course of her fate and the caller’s.

Starring Park Shin-Hye and Jeon Jong-Seo, the film was appreciated by viewers for being a wonderful South Korean thriller. With a riveting plot narrative, despite its slight let-down ending, the film is worth the watch with an unmatchable growing atmosphere.

4. The Girl on the Train (Tate Taylor, 2016)

Post-divorce, Rachel Watson’s life is in shambles. She takes the train to work every day as it passes by her previous home, where her ex-husband resides with his current family. She witnesses something wicked allegedly happening in a stranger’s backyard, reports it to the authorities and soon begins questioning her memory and sanity.

Adapted from Paula Hawkins’ eponymous novel transposed from London to New York City, the film stars Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson and more. It is chilling and suspenseful, with Blunt delivering a wonderful performance as the depressed alcoholic protagonist.

3. Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy, 2019)

Set in the contemporary Los Angeles art scene, where art coincides with commerce, and soon mercenary art collector Mord Vanderwalt as well as art gallery owner Rhonda Haze are pursued by the spirit of the angry paintings. It is a satirical take on how monetary value destroys the purpose of art and an artist’s creative freedom. 

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, who Gilroy collaborated with on NightcrawlerVelvet Buzzsaw does not pack a huge punch but involves classic horror tropes enmeshed in suspense that keep us hooked. The driving force behind the film is absolutely fantastic that explores the effect of greed and obnoxious professionalism with a horror thriller twist. 

2. Run (Aneesh Chaganty, 2020)

Confined to a wheelchair, homeschooled teen Chloe is aware of her mother’s bizarre mannerisms. As she tries to uncover her mother’s secret, she stumbles upon sinister secrets that prompt her to take off from her mother. However, on a wheelchair, how far can Chloe run?

The film earns its flavour from the delightful performances, starring Sarah Paulson as the sinister mother and Kiera Allen as her suspicious daughter. A brilliant background score and superb direction help heighten the overall dramatic tension making the film quite engaging and riveting.

1. Along Came A Spider (Lee Tamahori, 2001)

Adapted from James Patterson’s highly acclaimed novel, Patterson’s detective hero Alex Cross is assigned to investigate the mysterious abduction of the senator’s daughter from a prestigious and guarded private school. He engages in playing mind games with the daring kidnapper and must race against time to find the abducted before it is too late.

Morgan Freeman is a man of few words, but his enigmatic presence adds an epic charm to the film. It is a solid thriller and highly underrated with a plot twist that we never saw coming. Michael Wincott is formidable as the kidnapper, while Freeman as Alex Cross weaves in the right amount of sincerity, intelligence, sympathy and suspense.