History of the psychological thriller movie

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History of the Psychological Thriller Movie

Psychological thriller is a sub genre of thriller and can be differentiated by the heavy focus on the unstable emotions of the characters within the movies. Psychological thrillers still incorporate the common elements of mystery and drama but emotional status is the main focus within the genre. Horror is a genre that can overlap with psychological thriller; creating psychological horrors.

The mental state of the character is more important than the physical nature of the characters in psychological thrillers and it is often the case the character is battling with their own mind. The story can be told in the form of a first person narrative of the character going over the events in the story or in essence, talking to themselves, this could also be a convention of a psychological movie and this emphasizes the mind state of the character further.

There are set themes within the psychological thriller genre that include: black comedy, identity, death, mind, perception, reality and existence. These main themes shape the characters in the psychological thriller and depending on the theme; the personality of the characters is very different.

Some of the most popular psychological thrillers include: Black Swan Fight Club Zodiac Psycho Inception The Sixth Sense Secret Window


Rear Window was a key psychological thriller from the 1950s, directed my Alfred Hitchcock. After breaking his leg photographing a racetrack accident, professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies (James Stewart) is confined in his Greenwich Villageapartment, using a wheelchair while he recuperates. His rear window looks out onto a small courtyard and several other apartments. During a summer heat wave, he passes the time by watching his neighbors, who keep their windows open to stay cool. During the film he witnesses his neighbor murdering his wife.


Psycho, directed again by Alfred Hitchcock, was a highlight of the 1960s. The film depicts the encounter between a secretary,Marion Crane(Leigh), who goes to a secluded motel after embezzlingmoney from her employer, and the motel's disturbed owner and manager,Norman Bates(Perkins), and the aftermath of their encounter. This film has included one of thrillers greasiest scenes, this would be the shower scene, where we see Marion showering to which a shadowy figure greets her, and she is then stabbed to death. Psycho is now considered Hitchcocks greatest film after mixed views on the film were reviewed and it won multiple awards.


Night Flight from Moscow is a French thriller made in 1973. It was produced and directed by Henri Verneuil. The main plot entails: In this convoluted spy thriller, a Russian ambassador places his life on the line when he steals classified documents and defects to the U.S. The papers he carries could rock the free world. Unfortunately, the C.I.A. must first prove that they are real. 1980s

Dead Ringersis a 1988psychologicaldrama filmstarringJeremy Ironsin a dual role asidentical twin gynecologists. This was a highlight film of the 1980s, directed by David Cronenberg. The Mantle brothers are both doctors - both gynecologists - and identical twins. Mentally however, one of them is more confident than the other, and always manages to seduce the women he meets. When he's tired of his current partner, she is passed on to the other brother - without her knowing. Everything runs smoothly, until an actress visits their clinic, and the shy brother is the first to fall in love.


Stir of Echoes was a supernatural horror-thriller with aspects of a psychological thriller. The movie was directed by David Koepp and the plot is: After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.


The Mist was amongst one of the best rated films of the 2000s, directed by Frank Darabont. A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.