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Old 02-25-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
Tysyacha
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Psychological Thrillers

I like to be scared. Not with the in-your-face, booga-booga-booga, blood-and-gore type of material, but with the more insidious kind: the psychological thriller. I've already read 1984 several times and found it terrifying. I'm ready for some new thrills and chills--those that haunt, and not just scare.

I'm looking for books, movies, and PC games that are the best in this category. What's stuck in your mind and kept it continually on the edge?
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:49 PM   #2
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The only one that I can think of right now, was a movie called "The Game" starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. That was a really good thriller IMO.

A lot of psychological twists and turns for the main character, I can't remember a dull moment in that movie.


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Old 02-25-2011, 10:25 PM   #3
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Last book I read/movie I watched/[media type here] I [anything]ed that somewhat messed with my mind (in the slightest) was The Manchurian Candidate.

Quote:
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The only one that I can think of right now, was a movie called "The Game" starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. That was a really good thriller IMO.

A lot of psychological twists and turns for the main character, I can't remember a dull moment in that movie.
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The only one that I can think of right now, was a movie called "The Game" starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn.
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was a movie called "The Game"
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Originally Posted by purifier View Post
"The Game"
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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*pulls labyrinthine list of movies watched, adjusts monocle*

Alien and Aliens are both good, though what genre they fall in would be a national debate. While they're often described (and filmed) as horror, they aren't really comparable to most other horror films.

Black Swan definitely psychological, very scary and high thriller. Highly recommended.

Suicide Circle - admittedly a horror film, but in Japanese tradition, it's a scary (and very gory) mystery tale. Definitely psychological, but the gratuitous gore might be a turn-off.

Audition - another horror/thriller debatable film. Let's just say that it's a fine scary film on the most part, but the ending is... very, very painful to watch.

28 Days Later - lovely Brit film with zombies, but with its own special brand of psychological horror that puts the focus less on the zombies and more on the human mind.

Cube - Quirky Canadian film with an original plot, and pure psychological horror of the way you're looking for.

Dark Water - Japanese horror in the same vein as The Ring, but it's not really so reliant on shock-horror tactics. What I especially liked was the mother-daughter relation which took precedence and made the story standout from other horror movies (although it looks like it was spawned off a what-if off The Ring)

Primer - Highly recommended thriller that's sometimes described as horror. Pure, unadulterated science fiction that realistically explores time travel. Pretty complex and mind-bending. Very psychological.

Shutter Island - Rather darn fine film starring Leo investigating a mysterious, isolated mental asylum. Very Hitchcockian, if I might say so myself. I'm guessing all Hitchcock films are already on your list, by the way.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance - can't remember too much about the film, but it's definitely in the psychological thriller category, though it fits the "Female Revenge" genre more. The original, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is supposed to be much better, but I've yet to see that one.

Kairo - I've no idea how to place this, and I need to see this one again. It's another horror-but-not-really film from Japan. Do your research on this one first.

Martyrs - Torture porn, but the narrative transcends simple torture porn to go into psychological mode. If you hate long, extended scenes of cringeworthy torture, stay away.

Noriko's Dinner Table - Despite being a parallel-quel to Suicide Circle and being described as Horror, it isn't a scary film at all (from a horror perspective). It's a thriller, a psychological experiment, and one of my all-time favourite films.

Requiem for a Dream - Another of my all-time favourites. Scary in its own way, thanks to the frenetic style of filming/editing, but it's really a much more depressing film than it is scary.

Marebito - Okay, I don't know how to describe this or what, it may be scary, but if there's one thing it *is*, it is crazy. And it's a thriller alright, wait for the twist ending.

Noroi - Horror film fair-and-square, but without the gore (much of it anyway) or the startle-jumps, so I guess it's psychological. Terrific fun though, in a horror kind of way.


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Old 02-25-2011, 11:48 PM   #5
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I’m a big Cary Grant fan. I loved his comedies from the moment I watched Bringing Up Baby. For a few years I kept the VCR busy recording movie like Father Goose, My Favorite Wife, His Girl Friday, People Will Talk, Mr. Bandings Builds His Dream House and I Was a Male War Bride. Then I found more serious movies such as Gunga Din, Destination Tokyo, North by Northwest and Penny Serenade. In all of them he played pretty much the good guy. I figured much like other older actors that was his on screen persona. Then actually watched Suspicion 1941 and it became my favorite psychological thriller. I really don’t know if it is because it was such a departure from the normal Cary Grant movie or if it really is that good. It was nominated for an Oscar for best picture, so someone in 1941 thought it was decent and it is directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Wiki describes Suspicion as a romantic psychological thriller.
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purifier View Post
The only one that I can think of right now, was a movie called "The Game" starring Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. That was a really good thriller IMO.

A lot of psychological twists and turns for the main character, I can't remember a dull moment in that movie.
Though I (and Consumer Recreation Services) appreciate that movie, you might also want to check out The Parallax View starring Warren Beatty. Without going into too much detail, I think the idea of the "disturbing film" in The Game was lifted from The Parallax View though the "film" served two different purposes in each movie.

And yes, I know "The Ring" has a disturbing movie in the movie too.




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Old 02-26-2011, 04:52 AM   #7
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Memento and The Machinist. I don't know if you could really call them "scary", but they're a couple of my favorite psychological thrillers. You can't really go wrong with Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale.

And then, of course, there's always the big one - Silence of the Lambs.


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Old 02-26-2011, 05:33 AM   #8
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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Silence of the Lambs. Very scary. Though not sure if it is a psychological thriller.




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Old 02-26-2011, 10:53 AM   #10
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Sympathy for Lady Vengeance - can't remember too much about the film, but it's definitely in the psychological thriller category, though it fits the "Female Revenge" genre more. The original, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is supposed to be much better, but I've yet to see that one.
Oldboy is also a fantastic film, and it's by the same writer/director, Chan-wook Park.



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Old 02-26-2011, 03:34 PM   #11
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^ True, I loved that movie. Though if we're going to call it a thriller then maybe the French Irrevérsible is an option too. Hopefully that's not a huge stretch. It's disturbingly violent, has a (in)famous rape scene with Monica Bellucci and 40 minutes down the road is enough to give you migraines. I kid you not. But it tells the simple tale of vengeance (with a great twist) in an unusual and effective way. If you can stomach it, it's highly rewarding.

Also, if you can, go watch Black Swan, as Sabrez suggested. I did it thrusday and I wasn't disappointed. Though I realize it won't, it should get the Best Movie Academy Award.


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Old 02-26-2011, 10:13 PM   #12
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I could see what Irrevérsible was doing, but that horrible camera was trying to kill me or something. Thankfully, Gaspar Noé managed to use the same screwy camera techniques to better effect in his next film, Enter the Void, which is thankfully devoid of any excessively long rape scenes. Well, there's a lot of explicit sex, but still.

Agreed with BS getting an Oscar. The King's Speech was a lovely film too, so I can't decide who should win.


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Old 02-28-2011, 03:39 PM   #13
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It seems King's Speech really won. No surprises, just a happy movie winning over a depressing one.


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Old 03-01-2011, 10:42 PM   #14
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John Carpenter's The Thing.

It's psychological thriller meets monster movie.


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Old 03-09-2011, 10:31 AM   #15
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Let's see--Silence of the Lambs--both book and movie, is terrific. All the novels by this author are terrific, btw.

Jaws is great, even if it's not technically a psych thriller.

Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct are good thrillers (Fatal Attraction being the better of the 2), though Basic Instinct is more about sex than anything else.

For psych thriller novels, I like anything by Patricia Cornwell and many of the Jeffrey Deaver novels--they're psychopath murder mystery novels. I also love Agatha Christie mysteries (particularly the Miss Marple books) just because Christie clearly takes pride in just messing completely with your mind when you try to figure out whodunit.


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Old 03-09-2011, 11:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin View Post
I’m a big Cary Grant fan. I loved his comedies from the moment I watched Bringing Up Baby. For a few years I kept the VCR busy recording movie like Father Goose, My Favorite Wife, His Girl Friday, People Will Talk, Mr. Bandings Builds His Dream House and I Was a Male War Bride. Then I found more serious movies such as Gunga Din, Destination Tokyo, North by Northwest and Penny Serenade. In all of them he played pretty much the good guy. I figured much like other older actors that was his on screen persona. Then actually watched Suspicion 1941 and it became my favorite psychological thriller. I really don’t know if it is because it was such a departure from the normal Cary Grant movie or if it really is that good. It was nominated for an Oscar for best picture, so someone in 1941 thought it was decent and it is directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Wiki describes Suspicion as a romantic psychological thriller.
Did Suspicion's ending seem out of place or sort of "scabbed-on" to you? It did to me. I found out later that the ending that Hitchcock had intended was ruined by Hollywood's infamous production code of the period, when everything had to be rainbows and puppies. In the real ending:
Show spoiler
Wouldn't that have been better?


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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