If you have been living under a rock, you might have missed the free gloriousness that is Tubi’s extensive and eclectic library of horror movies. Not only do they have arguably the most extensive collection of films, but they have all of the weirdest and underrated flicks around. With the glut of paid streaming services out there right now it’s nice to know there is still one place that is 100% free. Usually when streamers are free they lack depth but that isn’t the case with Tubi. Everyone loves a good slasher but psychological scares stick with you sometimes for weeks or even years. Dread can’t be avoided. Fall is right around the corner and it is the perfect time to scare yourself silly with the best psychological horror films.
The Belko Experiment
In a twisted social experiment, eighty Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
What a sick ride this is. Just when you think you have it all figured out, the film’s final moments put everything you thought you knew in question. The ending begs for a sequel that so far hasn’t happened yet, but a girl can dream. It is the best workplace horror movie out there.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes
In an abandoned house in Poughkeepsie, New York, murder investigators uncover hundreds of tapes showing decades of a serial killer’s work.
This disturbing found footage film is a bizarre montage of gruesome kills perpetrated by a serial killer in Poughkeepsie, New York. There is very little narrative, but what this film lacks in plot, it makes up in psychological torture. Mental warfare is the best word to describe this difficult-to-watch movie. There is one particular scene you can’t unsee.
A single mother and her child fall into a deep well of paranoia when an eerie children’s book titled “Mister Babadook” manifests in their home.
This slow burn requires some patience, but it is worth the extra effort. It is a gorgeously conceived and shot film that is the very definition of haunting. It has been compared to a ton of movies like The Shining and We Need To Talk About Kevin unfairly. The Babadook isn’t a rip-off of those movies and stands alone as a chilling portrait of the monstrous power of grief.
Two crew members of a spaceship wake up from hypersleep to discover that all their colleagues are missing. Despite this, it appears that they are not alone.
In terms of psychological horrors in space, Pandorum is the gold standard. This spectacularly twisted film contains unexpected reveals, quality performances, and stark visuals. Next to Event Horizon and Aliens, this film is on my best sci-fi horror list of all time.
1940: the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire, walked up a winding mountain trail, leaving everything behind. 2008: the first official expedition into the wilderness attempts to solve the mystery of the lost citizens of Friar.
One of my favorite films of all time is a trippy mix of Lynchian weirdness, folklore, and nasty violence. It is an underseen and underappreciated gem that sticks with you and requires several watches to catch even a fraction of the weirdness in the ninety-minute runtime. It is the kind of movie that requires a Reddit profile for discussions after watching.
After 16-year-old Alice Palmer drowns at the local dam, her family experiences a series of strange events leading them to discover that Alice led a secret, double life.
This movie really sneaks up on you. It subverts the expected and is haunting until the very last moment. This is the kind of movie that relies on atmosphere and psychology to scare and is enjoyed best by knowing as little as possible. It’s a paranormal movie about so much more than ghosts. Click here for all the information you need after watching.
After returning to his childhood home, a disgraced children’s puppeteer is forced to confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets that have tortured his entire life.
There is not a more grim movie than this one. This is a dark, dark hole that is hard to climb out of, so watch your emotional bandwidth before diving headlong into this black hole. You will never look at puppets in the same way again—pure nightmare fuel. You can read our full explainer here.
The Sixth Sense
A frightened, withdrawn Philadelphia boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.
Long before The Village, Old, or the dissasterous The Happening there was The Sixth Sense. The clever movie introduced the world to M. Night Shyamalan and his twisted reality. Not all of his big reveals are perfect but this movie is as close as you can get to perfection. The dread is palpable and there are a few scenes that still give me nightmares.
Aunt Mei’s famous homemade dumplings provide amazing age-defying qualities popular with middle-aged women. But her latest customer – a fading actress – is determined to find out what the secret ingredient is.
Be warned, this movie should come with a huge trigger warning. Obsession with beauty and youth is deadly in this depraved foreign film. While the basic theme and concept has been done before you have never seen anything quite like this. It will definitely ruin dumplings for you forever so make sure you eat plenty before watching.
A man accepts an invitation to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife, an unsettling affair that reopens old wounds and creates new tensions.
This 2015 film by Karun Kusama shoudln’t be confused with the new movie coming out August 26th, 2020. They are very different movies. Kusama’s film is a perfect example of psychological horror and it is unsettling in a way that few movies are. It weaves elements of the best cult movies and another dinner party from hell Coherence.
Secluded in a desolate forest, a broken family is observed by Sator, a supernatural entity who is attempting to claim them.
This rural horror family drama is steeped in tension and destroyed people. It is an underseen film that deserves more love than it gets. Jordan Graham’s nearly one man show is an impressive feat and proof that you don’t need a big budget or lots of support to produce something profoundly affecting.
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane
A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.
I consider this the best psychological horror film of all time. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis are amazing and there is no better example of psychological torture out there now. It depicts it all without use of gore or violence and manages to still scare audiences sixty years later. What does happen to Baby Jane? Click here to find out.
They Look Like People
Suspecting that people around him are turning into evil creatures, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war or from himself.
I am a fan of writer/director Perry Blackshear’s work. His latest, When I Consume You, just premiered and is a perfect example of the kinds of films he makes. Horror as a metaphor for mental illness is popular, but when done right, it is chilling. Blackshear firmly has a handle on this subgenre.
After a car accident, a young woman caught between life and death meets a funeral director who claims to have the gift of transitioning the dead into the afterlife.
The big draw here is Christina Ricci of Yellowjackets and Liam Neeson, who has a specific set of skills you don’t necessarily want in a mortician. Their performances are so good you can’t help but be sucked in. It’s a cautionary tale to appreciate what you have or end up on a slab. This thriller is a fun twister that is good to the very end. You can find our explainer here.
Twin boys move to a new house with their mother after she has face-changing cosmetic surgery, but under the bandages is someone the boys don’t recognize.
This creepy psychological thriller takes family drama to a whole new level. Everyone loves potentially evil kids, and the twins in question here are definitely strange. But so is their fully bandaged mother. It’s a gorgeously shot foreign film that holds your attention, and the kid actors are excellent.
Await Further Instructions
A family’s Christmas takes a strange turn when they awake to find themselves trapped inside and begin receiving mysterious instructions through the television.
The film is compelling and claustrophobic until the end, which admittedly makes a pretty serious blunder. However, the premise and intense tension this movie creates are enough to make it worth a watch. It’s especially a fun watch right before heading home for the holidays.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.