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Great Psychological Thrillers On Netflix You Haven't Seen

Not every terrifying film relies on jump scares and gore to get your heart racing. A creepy score, unsettling characters, and surreal cinematography can be much more disturbing than a monster on a rampage or a villain leaving a bloody trail in his wake. Psychological thrillers are the perfect choice for horror fans who are more interested in the inner workings of the human mind than traditional genre tropes. Sometimes the threat is supernatural, sometimes there's a rational explanation, but no matter what, these thrillers always work to reveal how human behavior changes when we're pushed to the brink. That's what makes them so frightening.

With their ever-expanding selection of offerings, Netflix has plenty of psychological thrillers ready for your next movie night. But it's time to look beyond popular films like Bird Box and No Country for Old Men. There are numerous other underrated thrillers on Netflix that deserve a little more attention. Here are a few disturbing films you probably haven't seen yet — but fair warning, don't watch them alone. 

The Invisible Guest is a murder mystery that leaves you guessing

Played by Mario Casas, Adrián is a young businessman whose worst nightmare becomes his reality when he wakes up next to the body of his lover, Laura (Bárbara Lennie). Although he has no recollection of the night before, his entire future is now at stake as he becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Determined to defend his own innocence, clear his name, and find out what really happened to Laura on that fateful night, he hires the savvy lawyer Virginia Goodman (Blanca Martíne) to help him get to the bottom of the mystery.

Fans of murder mysteries will absolutely love The Invisible Guest, but don't log into Netflix expecting a straightforward "whodunit" plot. This film will keep you guessing the murderer's real identity until the final act sets the story straight. There are plenty of twists to keep viewers on their toes in this psychological thriller, and the movie does an amazing job of subverting the more obvious expectations. In The Invisible Guest, no one wants to admit their guilt ... but who can honestly say their hands are clean?

The Good Neighbor is a great psychological thriller

In so many horror films, the main characters desperately try to figure out an explanation for the events they're experiencing that doesn't involve the paranormal. Perhaps they're just having night terrors, maybe those "ghosts" are merely the quirks of a creaky old house, or perhaps they're at the mercy of a stranger playing a prank. In The Good Neighbor, the haunting of Harold Grainey (James Caan of The Godfather fame) is completely orchestrated by his tech-savvy teenage neighbors, Sean and Ethan (Keir Gilchrist and Logan Miller, respectively), but that doesn't make the situation any less terrifying. 

Sean has his reservations about the whole scheme, but Ethan is a kid on a mission. For this guy, tricking the reclusive old man into believing that there's something supernatural going on isn't just a joke. His desire to torment Grainey runs much deeper, but the consequences for giving into his resentment are way more serious than he could've ever anticipated. Grainey handles the strange events in his home surprisingly well, until Ethan escalates his efforts to push him to the brink. This interesting take on the found-footage genre serves as a warning about misplaced judgments and the pitfalls of revenge, and it's one of the most intense thrillers that Netflix has to offer.

Buster's Mal Heart will mess with your head

Working night shifts for months on end isn't good for anyone's psyche, and in Buster's Mal Heart, all those extended work hours take their toll on poor Rami Malek. In this psychological thriller, the Oscar-winning actor plays a guy named Buster (formerly known as Jonah), an ordinary family man who took a job as a night concierge at a hotel. Unfortunately, his grip on reality is beginning to unravel, and his marriage is starting to crumble. So when he encounters a wayward drifter who happens to be obsessed with conspiracy theories, his entire life turns upside down, and he lets go of his old identity in favor of a life on the run. 

Buster is thoroughly convinced that an event known as "The Inversion" will change the world as everyone knows it. As he dodges the authorities by sneaking from one hideout to another, the audience can slowly fit the disjointed puzzle pieces of his story together. It's definitely a trippy film, but it doesn't favor aesthetics over substance. The narrative is just as engaging as the visuals, and this mind-bending movie will definitely leave you excited and engaged over on Netflix.

Brick pays homage to old-timey detective movies

Brick hasn't gotten as much attention as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's other films, but it's become a cult favorite for good reason. In Brick, Gordon-Levitt plays Brendan Frye, a lonely teenager who recently went through a breakup with his ex-girlfriend, Emily (Emilie de Ravin of Lost fame). But when he finds a note directing him to a pay phone, he's pulled into a conflict that seems way over his head. It all starts when Emily turns up dead, and soon, Brendan is digging into a mystery that involves a musclebound bully, a high school kingpin, and a few random words as clues to Emily's fate.

Directed by Rian Johnson, Brick pays homage to detective films of old, but the plot and characters are still distinctly modern. Sure, Gordon-Levitt has appeared in bigger blockbusters, but don't overlook Brick. With its clever plotting, rapid-fire dialogue, and sly references to film noir classics, this psychological thriller alone is worth your Netflix subscription.

Berlin Syndrome will make you cancel your travel plans

Based on the novel by Melanie Joosten, Berlin Syndrome follows Clare (Teresa Palmer), a carefree Australian backpacker who arrives in the titular German city ready to explore and meet some new people. She hooks up with a local guy named Andi (Max Riemelt) and spends the night at his apartment. But when she wakes up, she realizes that her nomadic adventures aren't going to continue as planned, as Andi has her locked in, and he's taken her SIM card. 

Clare's escape attempts prove ineffective, and as she spends more time with Andi, she discovers that she's not the first woman he's held hostage. However, if she manages to get out of his clutches, she might be the first to survive. Suspense builds throughout the film as the audience becomes increasingly invested in Clare's fate. She's not going to get out of this prison in a day or two — if she wants to make it out alive, she has to play the long game. One of the most tense and terrifying films on Netflix, Berlin Syndrome is the kind of thriller that reminds us why our parents warned us not to talk to strangers.

Creep is a found-footage thriller that will definitely creep you out

No matter how often we've seen it done, there's something so disturbing about the found-footage genre. It brings you into the story, and allows you to feel like you're right there with the characters, heightening the sense of fear. The found-footage film Creep is no exception, and it certainly lives up to the promise of its title. As we're watching the events unfold through the eyes of videographer Aaron, things get undeniably creepy in this psychological thriller. 

For Aaron (Patrick Kack-Brice), the story begins innocently enough. He's heading out to meet a new client, Josef (Mark Duplass), who wants to create a series of videos for his unborn son. Josef tells Aaron that he's dying of cancer, but he wants his son to have a way of getting to know his father. But as Josef's behavior becomes stranger and more concerning, Aaron gets the urge to leave. After all, Josef's stories aren't adding up, and Aaron is worried about his own safety. But Josef is determined to keep tabs on Aaron, and when the videographer runs, he quickly discovers that he can't really hide from this psycho. In 2017, the sequel Creep 2 was released, making these two films the perfect Netflix double feature for a dark, stormy night. 

Hush is quietly one of the best thrillers on Netflix

It's hard to imagine anything scarier than believing you're home alone, and then suddenly realizing there's an uninvited guest in the house. And while we've all seen this plot play out in horror films before, we've never seen a movie approach this premise quite like Hush

Played by Katie Siegel, Maddie is a deaf-mute woman who lost her ability to hear and speak after contracting bacterial meningitis as a teenager, and these days, she lives alone in an isolated cabin in the woods. However, her quiet life takes an explosive turn when a masked intruder realizes that Maddie can't hear. The slasher decides to use this newfound knowledge to torment his new victim, and what follows is a cat-and-mouse chase that just won't let up. In a film like this, sound would typically be an important tool for a character to orient themselves and plan their escape, but Maddie has to rely on her intuition to survive. Directed by Mike Flanagan, the same guy behind Gerald's Game and The Haunting of Hill House, Hush is a nail-biter that makes uncomfortable silence the scariest thing imaginable.

Burning is a beautiful, bloody movie

Based on the short story "Barn Burning" from The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami, Burning is a psychological thriller that deserves all the praise because this movie is a masterclass in building suspense. The plot follows an aspiring writer named Lee Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in), a young guy who pays the bills by doing odd jobs around town. Eventually, he runs into an old childhood friend, Shin Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo), who asks him to feed her cat while she goes away on a trip to Africa. Jong-su is absolutely smitten with Hae-mi, but things take a turn when she returns with a new friend, the handsome and debonair Ben (Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead fame). The two met while traveling, but there's something off about Ben that Jong-su can't quite put his finger on. But when Hae-mi suddenly disappears, Jong-su knows that Ben must've something to do with it, but proving his theory may be harder than he anticipated. A psychological thriller that dissects class divisions and toxic masculinity, Burning is an ambiguous film with fantastic performances, and this South Korean gem is right there on Netflix, waiting to draw viewers into its twisting, turning mystery.

Backtrack is a psychological thriller about supernatural forces

In Backtrack, Peter Brower (Adrien Brody) is a psychotherapist who's failing to see that there's something really odd about all of his patients. His own nightmares and depressive episodes over the loss of his daughter, which he blames himself for, are difficult enough for him to process. But eventually, he starts noticing all sorts of odd occurrences during his sessions, and when he finally connects the dots, he comes to a Sixth Sense conclusion: All his patients are dead.

Unsure of what to do, Peter begins by investigating who they were in life, and manages to find out that they all lived near a train line that passed through his hometown. The only thing for Peter to do now is retrace his own steps by going back home, seeking out some familiar faces, and trying to understand why he's at the center of a haunting. Backtrack is a journey through Peter's murky memory as he struggles to figure out how to make things right between his past and his present, and this psychological thriller is a good reminder that Adrien Brody is one of our finest living actors.

A Dark Song is a story about ghosts and grief

Grief can drag people to the depths of desperation. That's where the beginning of A Dark Song finds Sophia (Catherine Walker), a woman who lost her son, and is willing to do almost anything to communicate with him again. She rents a house in rural Wales for the explicit purpose of working with temperamental occultist Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram), hoping that if she completes the months-long ritual he prescribes, she'll be able to talk with her son once more. In fact, she's willing to undergo almost anything, even if it involves dark spiritual forces ... but she wants no part of a forgiveness ceremony.

As Sophia becomes more and more impatient, she and Joseph begin to butt heads, putting their safety in jeopardy. Is Sophia's trust in Joseph just a gamble that won't pay off? Or could this harrowing ritual actually help her reach through to the other side? A Dark Song is one of those psychological thrillers that will have you questioning whether or not the events unfolding are real or a product of Sophia's troubled imagination. Either way, this spiritual chiller is definitely worth a watch on Netflix.