I love a good mindbender. Something that sticks with you and makes you go scrambling to Reddit for an in-depth discussion of time paradoxes, mental illness, paranormal phenomena, or chaos theory. You know, all those movies that make you feel both smarter and more stupid all at the same time. Shudder has a massive list of these intelligent horror films you can’t get anywhere else. Some of them include killers wielding knives and intellects that are razor-sharp, and others are so full of twists and turns you might get whiplash before it is all over. Right now, they have a glut of outstanding suspenseful thrillers. Here are The Best Psychological Thrillers On Shudder Right Now.
A boy deals with the loss of his mother by creating a dangerous relationship with a monster rumored to live in the woods. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL
Cast: August Maturo, Mike Manning, Libe Barer, Dan Hedaya, Mirabelle Lee
For a movie with such a silly-sounding name, it is surprisingly scary. Ignore some of the reviews. It is really good. It’s weird in ways best left discovered for yourself, and you spend a good amount of time wondering if everything is in the creepy kid’s mind. If you are wondering what you just watched, read our explainer here. Then, drink an Into The Woods Cocktail with ginger beer, hard cider, bourbon, and bitters.
Philosophy student Kathleen is dragged into an alleyway on her way home from class by Casanova and bitten on the neck. She quickly falls ill, but realizes this isn’t any ordinary disease when she develops an aversion to daylight and a thirst for human blood… From Abel Ferrara, an independent vampire essential.
Cast: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken
Both Tayor and Walken from Apple TV+’s incredible Severance are unbelievable, and you won’t find a more interesting take on vampirism and drug addiction. It’s a cool black and white film that deserves a watch. Maybe skip the alcohol on this one, though, and go for a nice spa water.
A man imprisons a violent, feral woman and enlists his family to help civilize her. Terrified of Chris’ domineering ways, his wife and daughters reluctantly go along with his plan. But his horny son needs no encouragement to start his own abusive treatment of the woman. Lucky McKee and Jack Ketchum’s shocking tale of American sadism is one of the most provocative horror films of the decade. Like DEADGIRL, it’s unflinching in its depiction of extreme violence inflicted on women and the horror of unchecked male privilege. But when the payoff comes, you’ll be cheering…
Cast: Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers, Angela Bettis, Lauren Ashley Carter
This one is not for weak stomachs. It is a disturbing watch that makes for uncomfortable conversations, but the end is as satisfying as the rest is horrifying. This one isn’t so great for mixed company so maybe leave this one for a girl’s night. A classic Cosmopolitan seems about right.
In this now celebrated creeper, an asbestos abatement crew wins the bid for an abandoned insane asylum. What should be a straightforward job, is complicated by the discovery of audiotapes from a former patient with multiple personalities. Slowly, the team succumbs to whatever darkness lies inside the Danvers State Mental Hospital.
Cast: David Caruso, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle
It’s a cult classic for a reason. Session 9 features one of the best set pieces ever because it is 100% authentic. It was filmed at the very real Danvers State Mental Hospital before being demolished. The film is a slow burn full of never-ending heaps of dread. The ending is still widely debated. Read our explainer here and enjoy this movie with a Jamaican Me Crazy, a cocktail with passion fruit juice, cranberry juice, coconut rum, banana liqueur, and pineapple juice if you need to know what really happened.
Will and Eden were once a loving couple. After a tragedy took their son, Eden disappeared. Two years later, out of the blue, she returns with a new husband… and as a different person, eerily changed and eager to reunite with her ex and those she left behind. Over the course of a dinner party in the house that was once his, the haunted Will is gripped by mounting evidence that Eden and her new friends have a mysterious and terrifying agenda. But can we trust Will’s hold on reality? Or will he be the unwitting catalyst of the doom he senses?
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Husiman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Lindsay Burdge
Invitation builds tension with each course in this ill-fated dinner party that ends with a real bang. If you think your family and friends gatherings are awkward, you haven’t seen anything yet. It’s a great killer cult film. This is a perfect movie for a group watch but only with very close friends. Here’s everything you need to know about the ending. Make champagne punch which is potent and often painful the next day. I’ts champagne, Cointreau, and brandy.
When the passengers of a luxury yacht find themselves in troubled waters off the coast of Bermuda, they take refuge on a derelict ocean liner. Upon boarding the ship, the group finds that the vessel has long since been abandoned, and all clocks have stopped. Feeling an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, the passengers slowly realize that something hostile is waiting for them below deck. Will they escape or succumb to terror on the high seas? This psychological horror by Christopher Smith (CREEP, SEVERANCE) was described by Empire magazine as a “satisfying mind-twister, with an unexpectedly poignant pay-off”. Contains strong language, violence, and gore.
Cast: Melissa George, Joshua McIvor, Jack Taylor
This time-traveling alternate reality thriller will keep you guessing until the very last minute. Melissa George is fantastic, and like all good movies of this ilk, there are many ways to interpret the ending. Or, should I say the beginning? Drink a Bermuda Rum Swizzle while watching. The high octane rum drink with bitters, orange juice, and pineapple juice won’t help you make more sense of things, but it will make it more fun. You can read our full explainer here when you are ready.
Disgraced children’s puppeteer Philip returns to his childhood home of Fallmarsh, Norfolk, intent on destroying Possum, a hideous puppet he keeps hidden inside a brown leather bag. When his attempts fail, Philip is forced to confront his sinister stepfather Maurice in an effort to escape the dark horrors of his past.
Cast: Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong, Andy Blithe
You will not find a more bleak movie. This black hole of a story is so dark you shouldn’t watch it if you are feeling even a little bit blue. However, there is real beauty in the pain in Possum which features the scariest puppet you will ever see. Forget spiders or clowns; humanoid spider puppets will forever haunt your dreams. Confused, click here for a full explanation. Watch while drinking the Spider’s Venom with Fireball, spiced rum, tequila, and apple juice.
Do not forget to tune into the Horror Pod Class for all things horror and science fiction; you might just learn something. Tell us what you think, and let us know if you find something in the streaming service that warrants further discussion. I hope we have given you some new movies to consider.
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.