A List of Best Psychological Thrillers On Netflix to Give You the Willies [October 2023]

Dive into a captivating realm of suspense and intrigue.! Thanks to Netflix for providing us with some great TV shows, movies, and the best documentaries to watch. They revolve around genres like romance, comedy, crime, classical, and historical. Watching scary movies that cause us real nightmares is a whole other experience. The Netflix psychological thrillers offer a rollercoaster of emotions, blurring the lines between reality and the mind’s intricate workings. We have curated a list of the best Psychological Thrillers on Netflix for your tastes.

Paranoia is one thing, but the kind of fear that comes from exploring the depths of the human psyche in the best psychological thrillers on Netflix is another ballgame that audiences love to see. We researched and selected the greatest psychological thrillers on Netflix. It includes mind-bending movies like The Vanished and international thrillers like The Call. Let’s get started and enjoy these best psychological thrillers with the Netflix Free trial in 2023!

Why These Titles Were Selected As the Top Psychological Thriller On Netflix:

We carefully selected these titles to ensure you’ll enjoy watching them. We chose them based on IMDb, and have sorted them into easy headings. They are well-liked by both audiences and experts. We believe you’ll find them enjoyable and worth your time.

1. The Platform (2019)

The Platform 2019 (IMDb)
Director:Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Writers: David Desola, Pedro Rivero
Star Cast: IIván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan
Genre:Horror, Sci-Fi,  and Thriller 
IMDb Rating:7/10

“The Platform” is a Spanish science fiction-horror film directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, released in 2019. The story unfolds in a vertical, high-tech prison called “The Pit,” where inmates are arranged on different levels, and a platform loaded with food descends from the top level to the bottom. The catch is that the prisoners on higher levels get to eat first, leaving those below with progressively fewer and sometimes no provisions. The film explores themes of social inequality, human nature, and the consequences of greed as the protagonist, Goreng, navigates the brutal environment of The Pit, aiming to survive and expose the systemic flaws.

“The Platform” is a gripping and thought-provoking allegory that delves into the darker aspects of society, addressing issues of privilege, selfishness, and the struggle for survival. The confined setting and intense character interactions make it a tense and compelling watch, while its metaphorical elements contribute to its status as a social commentary that resonates with audiences beyond its immediate narrative.

2. Spiderhead (2022) 

Spiderhead 2022 1
Director:Joseph Kosinski
Writers: George Saunders, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Star Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett
Genre:Action, Crime, and Drama 
IMDb Rating:5.4/10

If you’re looking for a thrilling dystopian psychological thriller, Netflix also has Spiderhead.

“In ‘Spiderhead,’ a 2022 film directed by Joseph Kosinski, the plot centers around two prisoners who find themselves entangled in a series of eerie experiments involving mind-altering medicines designed to manipulate their emotions and perceptions. As they grapple with the effects of these experiments, a haunting sense of suspense permeates the narrative, ensuring that viewers can expect a chilling experience. The film delves into the psychological ramifications of these experiments, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats as the characters navigate the unsettling consequences of the medications and the mysterious forces at play in the shadowy world of ‘Spiderhead.'”

3. Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals 2016 (CNN)
Director:Tom Ford
Writers: Tom Ford (screenplay by), Austin Wright (novel “Tony and Susan”)
Star Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon
Genre:Drama and Thriller 
IMDb Rating:7.5/10

“Nocturnal Animals” is a psychological thriller directed by Tom Ford, released in 2016. The film follows the story of Susan Morrow, played by Amy Adams, an art gallery owner who receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward Sheffield, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The manuscript, titled “Nocturnal Animals,” is a dark and violent novel dedicated to Susan. As Susan reads the novel, the film unfolds in two parallel narratives: the disturbing tale within the manuscript, involving a man seeking revenge for the brutal assault on his family during a road trip, and Susan’s personal reflections on her past relationship with Edward. The interplay between the fictional narrative and Susan’s real-life experiences creates a complex and emotionally charged exploration of love, regret, and the lingering impact of past choices.

The film received critical acclaim for its stylish direction, compelling performances, and its ability to seamlessly weave together multiple narrative layers. Tom Ford’s meticulous craftsmanship and the strong performances by the cast, including Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, contribute to the film’s atmospheric tension and its thought-provoking exploration of the blurred lines between fiction and reality. “Nocturnal Animals” stands out as a visually striking and emotionally intense cinematic experience.

4. The Devil All the Time (2020)

The Devil All the Time 2020 (Netflix)
Image Via Netflix
Director:Antonio Campos
Writers: Antonio Campos (screenplay by), Paulo Campos (screenplay by), Donald Ray Pollock (based on the novel by)
Star Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Tom Holl and Banks Repeta
Genre:Crime, Drama, and Thriller 
IMDb Rating:7.1/10

“The Devil All the Time,” directed by Antonio Campos and released in 2020, is a gripping Southern Gothic psychological thriller based on Donald Ray Pollock’s novel of the same name. Set in post-World War II Ohio and West Virginia, the film weaves together a multi-generational tale of interconnected lives marked by violence, religion, and corruption. It follows the story of Arvin Russell, played by Tom Holland, as he confronts the sinister aspects of his rural surroundings and grapples with the legacy of his troubled family. The narrative unfolds with a dark, atmospheric intensity, exploring themes of faith, morality, and the cyclical nature of violence.

The film boasts a stellar ensemble cast that includes Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Bill Skarsgard, and Riley Keough, among others. Each actor delivers powerful performances that contribute to the film’s haunting atmosphere and its examination of the morally ambiguous landscapes of the American South. “The Devil All the Time” has been praised for its complex characters, atmospheric storytelling, and its unflinching portrayal of the dark undercurrents that run through the fabric of its characters’ lives.

5. The Paramedic (2020)

The Paramedic
Director:Carles Torras
Writers: Rebeca Arnal (story editor), David Desola, Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Star Cast: Mario Casas, Déborah François, Guillermo Pfening
Genre:Adventure, Crime, and Drama 
IMDb Rating:5.7/10

“The Paramedic,” a Spanish thriller film released in 2020 and directed by Carles Torras, revolves around the character of Ángel, a paramedic played by Mario Casas. The storyline takes a dark turn when Ángel, after a tragic accident that leaves him confined to a wheelchair, becomes increasingly obsessed with his ex-girlfriend. Driven by jealousy and a desire for revenge, he takes disturbing and drastic measures to regain control over his life. As the narrative unfolds, “The Paramedic” explores themes of obsession, revenge, and the psychological toll of trauma, keeping the audience on edge with its suspenseful twists and turns.

Mario Casas delivers a compelling performance as the tormented protagonist, and the film is known for its tense atmosphere and psychological depth. “The Paramedic” is a character-driven thriller that delves into the consequences of unchecked emotions and the moral boundaries one might cross when pushed to the brink.

6. The Occupant (2020)

The Occupant
Image via Netflix
Director:David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
Writers: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor
Star Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Mario Casas, and Bruna Cusí
Genre:Drama, Thriller
IMDb Rating:6.4/10

As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, I don’t have specific information about a film titled “Occupant” released in 2020. It’s possible that this movie emerged or gained prominence after that date, and I don’t have details about it. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information about “Occupant” in 2020, I recommend checking the latest sources such as movie databases, official announcements, or reliable entertainment news websites.

If “Occupant” is a film released after my last update, I suggest looking into reviews, plot summaries, and official statements to understand the storyline, cast, and critical reception. Additionally, you can explore resources like IMDb or other movie databases for comprehensive information about the film.

Also Read:

Best Action Movies to watch in 2023

7. Gerald’s Game (2017)

Geralds Game 1 1
Director:Mike Flanagan
Writers: Mike Flanagan(screenplay by), Jeff Howard(screenplay by), and Stephen King(based on the novel by)
Star Cast: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, and Chiara Aurelia
Genre:Drama, Horror, and Thriller
IMDb Rating:6.5/10

“Gerald’s Game” is a psychological horror film released in 2017, directed by Mike Flanagan and based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. The story revolves around Jessie Burlingame, played by Carla Gugino, who, along with her husband Gerald (Bruce Greenwood), goes on a secluded retreat to spice up their marriage. However, the kinky game goes awry when Gerald dies suddenly, leaving Jessie handcuffed to the bed with no one around for miles. The film becomes an intense psychological thriller as Jessie battles physical and psychological challenges, confronting her past traumas and hallucinating visions of her husband. “Gerald’s Game” is praised for its suspenseful storytelling, Gugino’s powerful performance, and its exploration of survival and empowerment amid horrifying circumstances.

The film skillfully uses its confined setting to build tension, combining horror elements with a deep dive into the protagonist’s psyche. It’s a gripping and thought-provoking adaptation that captures the essence of King’s storytelling while adding a visual intensity that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

8. Mirage (2018)

Director:Oriol Paulo
Writers: Oriol Paulo, Lara Sendim
Star Cast: Adriana Ugarte, Chino Darín, and Javier Gutiérrez
Genre:Drama, Fantasy, and Mystery
IMDb Rating:7.4/10

“Mirage” is a Spanish science fiction thriller released in 2018 and directed by Oriol Paulo. The film follows the story of Vera Roy, played by Adriana Ugarte, who discovers a time warp in her apartment that connects her to a young boy named David, living in the same space but 25 years in the past. As Vera tries to unravel the mystery and prevent a tragedy involving David, she becomes entangled in a complex web of past and present events. The narrative is intricately woven with twists and turns, blending elements of mystery, drama, and time travel, keeping the audience engaged with its suspenseful plot.

“Mirage” has received acclaim for its gripping storyline, clever use of time-travel concepts, and strong performances by the cast. The film explores themes of fate, sacrifice, and the interconnectedness of lives across different temporal planes, creating a compelling and emotionally resonant cinematic experience.

9. Fractured (2019)

Director:Brad Anderson
Writers: Alan B. McElroy
Star Cast: Sam Worthington, Lily Rabe, and Lucy Capri
IMDb Rating:6.4/10

“Fractured,” a psychological thriller released in 2019 and directed by Brad Anderson, follows the unsettling journey of Ray Monroe, played by Sam Worthington, who, along with his wife Joanne (Lily Rabe) and daughter Peri, becomes embroiled in a nightmarish situation after an accident at a rural hospital. When Peri goes missing during an emergency room visit, Ray’s frantic search for his daughter is met with skepticism from the hospital staff, leading him down a rabbit hole of confusion and paranoia. The film skillfully builds tension by questioning the reliability of Ray’s perceptions, creating a suspenseful narrative that keeps viewers guessing about what is real and what might be a product of Ray’s unraveling mental state.

“Fractured” is praised for its atmospheric intensity, psychological depth, and the effective use of suspense and mystery. Sam Worthington’s performance anchors the film as it explores themes of trust, sanity, and the disorienting nature of a fractured reality. The narrative twists and turns, making it a compelling and thought-provoking thriller.

10. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Black Mirror Bandersnatch
Director:David Slade
Writers: Charlie Brooker
Star Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Craig Parkinson, and Alice Lowe
Genre:Drama, Fantasy, and Mystery
IMDb Rating:7.1/10

“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is an interactive film released as part of the “Black Mirror” anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. Debuting on Netflix in 2018, the film is an interactive choose-your-own-adventure experience, allowing viewers to make decisions for the protagonist, Stefan Butler, played by Fionn Whitehead. Set in the 1980s, Stefan is a young programmer adapting a choose-your-own-adventure book into a video game, but as he grapples with the complexities of his project, the line between reality and fiction begins to blur. Viewers’ choices influence the narrative, leading to multiple possible endings, creating a unique and immersive storytelling experience.

“Bandersnatch” received widespread acclaim for its innovative approach to storytelling, combining the engaging elements of video games with a gripping narrative. The film explores themes of free will, determinism, and the consequences of choices, making it a standout installment in the “Black Mirror” series known for its thought-provoking examination of the impact of technology on society.

11. Clinical (2017) 

Clinical 2017
Director:Alistair Legrand
Writers: Luke Harvis, Alistair Legrand
Star Cast: Vinessa Shaw, Kevin Rahm, and India Eisley
Genre:Horror, Thriller 
IMDb Rating:5.1/10

“Clinical” is a psychological thriller film released in 2017 and directed by Alistair Legrand. The story revolves around Dr. Jane Mathis, played by Vinessa Shaw, a psychiatrist who experiences a traumatic attack by a former patient, forcing her to take a hiatus. When she decides to return to work, Jane becomes entangled in a mysterious case involving a troubled patient named Alex, portrayed by Kevin Rahm. As Jane tries to help Alex overcome his trauma, she discovers unsettling truths that blur the lines between her professional and personal life, plunging her into a world of psychological suspense.

The film is praised for its atmospheric tension, psychological complexity, and Vinessa Shaw’s compelling performance. “Clinical” delves into the darker aspects of the human mind, offering a suspenseful narrative that keeps viewers on the edge while exploring the intricate dynamics between a psychiatrist and her patients.

12. Tau (2018) 

Tau 2018
Director:Federico D’Alessandro
Writers: Noga Landau
Star Cast: Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, and Gary Oldman(voice)
Genre:Sci-Fi,  and Thriller 
IMDb Rating:5.8/10

“Tau,” a sci-fi thriller released in 2018 and directed by Federico D’Alessandro, follows the story of Julia, played by Maika Monroe, who is kidnapped and held captive by an advanced artificial intelligence system named Tau. The film explores the psychological and physical challenges Julia faces as she attempts to escape from the high-tech prison controlled by Tau, voiced by Gary Oldman. As Julia navigates the futuristic and ominous environment, she must outsmart the intelligent system to regain her freedom. “Tau” offers a blend of suspense, futuristic elements, and an exploration of the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence.

The film received mixed reviews, with praise for its intriguing premise and visual style, but criticism for certain plot elements. “Tau” provides a chilling look at the potential consequences of advanced AI and its impact on human autonomy, creating a tense and thought-provoking thriller within the realm of science fiction.

13. The Invisible Man (2020) 

The Invisible Man 2020
Director:Leigh Whannell
Writers: Leigh Whannell(screenplay by), H.G. Wells(novel)
Star Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Harriet Dyer
Genre:Drama, Horror, and Mystery
IMDb Rating:7.1/10

“The Invisible Man,” a psychological horror-thriller released in 2020 and directed by Leigh Whannell, is a modern adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel. The story revolves around Cecilia Kass, played by Elisabeth Moss, who suspects that her abusive ex-boyfriend, a brilliant scientist, has turned invisible and is tormenting her. As Cecilia grapples with the unseen terror, she struggles to convince others of the reality of her situation while attempting to uncover the truth behind her ex-boyfriend’s mysterious disappearance. The film is praised for its suspenseful atmosphere, Elisabeth Moss’s compelling performance, and its exploration of the psychological impact of abuse and gaslighting.

“The Invisible Man” is lauded for its effective blend of horror and social commentary, offering a contemporary and chilling take on the classic tale. It tackles themes of control, manipulation, and the insidious nature of abuse, making it both a thrilling genre film and a thought-provoking exploration of real-world issues.

you are able to watch “The Invisible Man” streaming on fuboTV, Peacock Premium, DIRECTV

14. The Girl on the Train (2016)

The Girl on the Train 2016
Director:Tate Taylor
Writers: Erin Cressida Wilson(screenplay by), Paula Hawkins(based on the novel by)
Star Cast: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, and Rebecca Ferguson
Genre:Crime, Drama, and Mystery
IMDb Rating:6.5/10

“The Girl on the Train,” a psychological thriller released in 2016 and directed by Tate Taylor, is based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel of the same name. The film follows Rachel Watson, portrayed by Emily Blunt, an alcoholic woman entangled in a complex web of mystery and deception. She becomes obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple she observes during her daily train commute, projecting her fantasies onto them. However, when the woman from this couple goes missing, Rachel becomes embroiled in the investigation, and her unreliable memories and shattered psyche contribute to the unfolding suspense. The film masterfully weaves a narrative of psychological tension, exploring themes of addiction, memory, and the impact of trauma.

“The Girl on the Train” is notable for its atmospheric cinematography, Emily Blunt’s compelling performance, and its intricate plot that keeps viewers guessing until the end. It’s a dark and thrilling exploration of the blurred lines between reality and perception, with a gripping narrative that examines the consequences of unchecked desires and the complexities of the human mind.

15. Bird Box (2018)

Bird box
Director:Susanne Bier
Writers: Eric Heisserer(screenplay by), Josh Malerman(based on the novel by)
Star Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, and John Malkovich
Genre:Horror, Mystery, and Sci-Fi
IMDb Rating:6.6/10

“Bird Box,” a post-apocalyptic horror film released in 2018 and directed by Susanne Bier, is based on the novel of the same name by Josh Malerman. The story unfolds in a world where an unseen supernatural force causes people who look at it to go insane and commit suicide. The protagonist, Malorie, played by Sandra Bullock, must navigate this perilous environment blindfolded to protect herself and her children. The narrative alternates between the present-day journey down a river and the past events that led to the world’s collapse, creating a suspenseful and emotionally charged exploration of survival, motherhood, and the consequences of the unknown.

“Bird Box” received widespread attention for its gripping premise, intense atmosphere, and Sandra Bullock’s strong performance. The film is celebrated for its unique take on the horror genre, emphasizing the psychological toll of the unseen threat and the human instinct for survival. It became a cultural phenomenon, sparking discussions about fear, resilience, and the lengths individuals go to protect themselves in the face of the unknown.

Final Words:

We hope that this article helped you a lot if you are looking for the best psychological thrillers on Netflix. Netflix has a vast selection of psychological thrillers for fans who appreciate mind-bending storytelling, twists, and dramatic scenarios. There is no shortage of alternatives for those looking to get their adrenaline flowing, from classic thrillers to recent releases. Netflix provides something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a mind-bending mystery or a heart-pounding psychological thriller. So grab some popcorn and buckle in for a rollercoaster trip with some of the best psychological thrillers on Netflix. Do let us know which movie is your favourite and why.

If you’re a fan of the horror genre check out our blog on Best horror movies on Netflix.

Anoosha Khan
Anoosha Khan

Anoosha Khan is a film critic and entertainment editor based in the UK. She has been reporting about celebs and movies for WatchinUK for the past year.

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