Just as we love to have fun with good stories, we also undeniably enjoy fear and tension. It’s no wonder that a large part of the public is fond of horror and suspense movies and series, becoming more and more involved in a narrative whose main objective is to leave our mouths open.
Since the beginnings of entertainment, several filmmakers have merged the different genres mentioned above in one place in order to sell us something original, competent and which would take us a few hours of sleep after the final credits.
Nowadays, psychological terror seems to have returned to center stage and permeates every contemporary filmography with rare exceptions – and while some works fall short of their promises, some are rising to an honorable standard and vying for a place in it. ranking the best iterations of all time. produced in history.
For that reason, we’ve separated twelve of the best psychological horror movies of the past decade (exploring feature films released between 2011 and 2020, of course). Check out our picks below and tell us your favorite thriller.
12. mom! (2017)
‘mom!’ it is perhaps one of the most underrated movies of all time precisely because it holds no narrative conventionalism and designs an epic, biblical, and breathtaking journey in absolutely every one of its sequences.
Functioning as another beautiful allegory by Darren Aronofsky for Catholic mythology that has been present in our culture for over two thousand years, the film feels like an agonizing nightmare that focuses on the troubled relationship of the titular character (Jennifer Lawrence) and her husband ( Javier Bardem), in which she submits in the most diverse way to the madness of the patriarch of the family while helplessly watching her house crumble around her.
Natalie Portman is known for several outstanding roles in the film industry, and “Annihilation” can be considered her most ambitious project. In the sci-fi thriller, the actress brings biologist Lena to life, who searches for answers after her husband goes missing and joins a group of women to investigate “The Shimmer,” a government-sealed and classified area. as a chemical disaster zone.
Despite the negative reviews, the production regained the glories of sci-fi horror and built an intellectual and overly complicated cosmos for Netflix audiences. However, with a little more attention, it’s very easy to see why the work is a gem of contemporary entertainment – all the more thanks to the competent performance of its protagonist cast.
10. Us (2019)
Director Jordan Peele had received worldwide acclaim a few years earlier with the release of “Run!” Winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. And with “Us,” he would return to the spotlight with a competent psychological terror led by the always great Lupita Nyong’o.
Despite the clear slippages, the film ventures into territory hardly ever explored before, architecting an agonizing adventure that mixes the sour comedy of its productions with a skillful thriller in which a family is forced to confront their lookalikes (that is, ie their identical and much more dangerous copies).
Based on the eponymous novel by Lionel Shriver, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ is a production that doesn’t mind being cruel and visceral, exploiting as much as possible sequences of tension between its main characters and atrocities that touch on pathologies. sociopathic of its titular character.
The story revolves around a traumatized Eva (Tilda Swinton), who tries to regain her life after a family tragedy. With the birth of her firstborn, Kevin (Ezra Miller), the mother and writer realizes that her son has a frightening hostility towards her and turns her into someone unhappy and scarred by terror.
“ Cloverfield – Monstro ” revived the films in found footage with an interesting, but conventional monster story – but it was only in its unexpected streak that the franchise gained public and critical acclaim.
Announced in a welcome surprise by producer JJ Abrams, “ 10 Cloverfield Street ” is the second installment in the film trilogy that revolves around young Michelle (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who suffers a serious car accident and is wakes up in chains. bunker by the mysterious Howard (John Goodman). After realizing that she had been saved from an alien invasion, Michelle begins to wonder if this is all real or if this is an illusion created by a psychotic and complex man.
Over the centuries, the mystical and dangerous creatures known as witches have permeated the popular imagination and have been revisited many times by film and television. In 2015, director Robert Eggers sought to give a new perspective on what would become one of the great works of the year: “The Witch”.
The Terror of Art takes place in the 16th century, in a village driven by fear and the religious inquisition in which anything outside the norm was considered Satanism. Things get even more dangerous when a family in exile witnesses terrifying events on the edge of a forest, driving them mad and a visceral and shocking massacre.
Besides witches, viral and deadly epidemics have also been an exhaustive subject of several thrillers – which could lead us in an underrated direction of “Contagion,” directed by Steven Soderbergh. Fortunately, the positive result reclaimed the glories of this suis-generis and became one of the most tense stories of the decade.
In addition to its cutting edge cast (with names like Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Matt Damon), the film was constructed in a multi-narrative style, a tense tale that explored the loss of social significance of a uncontrollable pandemic. who ends up finding a vaccine in a breathtaking conclusion.
5. Run! (2017)
Peele’s directorial debut couldn’t come at a better time – and it’s no surprise that he was acclaimed by expert reviews and won multiple awards. In a simple but competent narrative, the filmmaker immersed himself in the purest terror and still had plenty of room to analyze the racial issues still necessary today to understand the contemporary social configuration.
The film revolves around Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young boy who goes to his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to meet his in-laws and discovers that the family has a terrible secret and an extremely dangerous sense of white superiority. The work was seen as a much more tense version of the satirical thriller “Mulheres Perfeitas” (2004).
Martin Scorsese doesn’t usually disappoint us in his cinematic breakthroughs – and it wouldn’t be any different with the neo-noir psychological terror “ Isle of Fear, ” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Michelle Williams.
Based on the eponymous novel by Dennie Lehane, the film revolves around Edward “Teddy” Daniels (DiCaprio), an American Secret Service agent who is investigating a psychiatric clinic on a remote island after one of the patients goes missing; however, the secrets of this place are darker than you might imagine, leading Teddy into a fight against madness and for his life.
Aronofsky is a filmmaker without any kind of cinematic filter, which is why he is one of the best of his generation. From “Requiem for a Dream” to underrated “Noah”, the director explores themes of the human psyche like no one else – and doesn’t hesitate to say twice that everyone’s fate is tragic.
In “Black Swan”, Aronofsky explores the cruel behind the scenes of classical ballet by telling the story of “Swan Lake”. Here, young and introverted dancer Nina (Portman) faces off against her mother (Barbara Hershey) and her inner demons to step into the lead role of the play, being willing to do the unthinkable to get what she wants.
Tom Ford has come back to the forefront in recent years by putting aside his fashion empire and creating one of the best (and least recognized) feature films of the decade: “Night Animals”.
Ford shows her appreciation for neo-noir narratives by devising an intimate tour de force that kicks off one of Amy Adams’ best performances as curator Susan Morrow, who receives the novel’s first draft signed by her ex-husband ( Jake Gyllenhaal) and begins to notice similarities between him and his troubled relationship, coming to believe that he actually wanted her dead for breaking his heart.
Set in Missouri, “Exemplary Girl” tells the story of Nick (Ben Affleck), who becomes the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). The thriller spearheads one of the best mystery traits and unites various genres in one place – typical of director David Fincher’s unmistakable cinematic ability.
The film is based on the eponymous novel by Gillian Flynn and has received universal recognition from specialist critics and audiences. The conduct of the story and the applauded performance of its cast became some of the most notable aspects of the film’s assault, which explains the exponential number of accolades it has won.
Pike was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress, while Fincher was nominated for Best Director at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards. As if that weren’t enough, the soundtrack composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross was also present at the Grammy Awards for Best Soundtrack.
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