a while back you recommended the movie Autopsy of Jane Doe and it was fantastic! Do you have any more horror movie recs that are psychological like that (with minimal jump scares preferably?)
omg yesssssssss, i sure as heck do. i looooooove recommending horror movies. kay, here we go, pychological, disturbing, and minimal jump scares:
1. Get Out (2017) - this is a newer movie, and I’m sure you’ve heard about it (and maybe even seen it already). I finally got to see it in theaters and it was marvelous. Very tense horror, minimal jump scares. Definitely recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet.
2. The Thing (1982) - this is probably my favorite horror movie, and one I will always, always recommend to people. It’s more sci-fi/horror, but horror none the less. This is a movie that feeds on uncertainty and tension, fueled by distrust and paranoia between the characters. (There was also a prequel to this movie made in 2011, and I certainly enjoyed that one as well, but it still couldn’t quite deliver the same chills and fear the 1982 version did.)
3. They Look Like People (2015) - this is another one that I just watched recently. Probably one of the best that fits the category of psychological horror. It’s a bit slow to start, but develops into a story that will leave you tense, unsure, and unsettled. Plus, it’s probably the only horror movie I have ever seen that manages to highlight mental illness without demonizing it.
4. As Above So Below (2014) - this is a movie that honestly, I was very skeptical about seeing. It’s a found footage movie (which I typically hate), and it got very poor reviews, but I wound up watching it on a whim one day and found myself enjoying it a lot more than I expected. It honestly is more of a adventure/horror film rather than a strict horror film - and the reviews might have been better, I think, if its marketing hadn’t painted it as a strict horror film. There are a few jump scares in there, but not a whole lot. Much the movie relies on claustrophobia, confusion, and mystery. It’s really an interesting look at a journey into hell. I greatly enjoy it, though your mileage may vary.
5. Event Horizon (1997) - another sci-fi/horror film. A nightmarish movie about salvage/rescue crew that goes out to salvage a ship that vanished on its maiden voyage and reappeared 7 years later missing its entire crew. This movie deals well in suspense, fear, and our ultimate terror of what evils could lie beyond the unknown.
6. The Descent (2005) - yet another movie I recommend to everyone. Set underground in an unknown cave system, and led by an all female cast, this movie is just full of anxiety, paranoia, claustrophobia, and unease. It’ll certainly make you never want to go caving.
7. The Strangers (2008) - a great take on the classic home invasion/slasher film. It boasts a really creepy atmosphere, an isolated setting, and has moments of genuine, realistic anxiety and terror (even the small things, like trying to find somewhere to hide and realizing you can’t fit, etc…) I saw this movie with my best friend back when it first came out, and it’s still one of my favorites.
8. The Others (2001) - this is not your typical ghost story. Honestly this one is hard to describe because I don’t want to give too much away about the plot. In the last few days of World War II, a woman and her two children wait in isolation, after the mysterious disappearance of their servants, for her husband/their father to return from the war. It’s only in the isolation of the house that they begin to realize the house might not be as empty as they thought it was. Very, very unique take on a ghost story. The case is wonderful, and the pacing and setting of this movie creates wonderfully creepy, unsettling fear.
9. The Witch (2016) - slow-burn horror and very setting specific, this one’s focus is on religious fear and the sexual stigmatization of girls and women. It’s slow-paced, but really great at building up a sense of unease and dread, and even the small things in it, like small rabbits in the wild, can make you feel unsettled.
10. Black Swan (2010) - not strictly a horror movie, this one is heavily psychological, and I almost want to cast it as a thriller more than anything, but some of it truly does fall into the realm of psychological horror. Paranoia, obsession, and tension, this movie is chock-full of it.
11. Funny Games (2007) - this one is actually a remake of a 1997 movie of the same name. I feel kind of bad, but I actually haven’t seen the original, but from what I hear, the two movies don’t differ much. This one is particularly unsettling because of its constant underlying feeling of authenticity. Much like The Strangers, this feels real, like it could happen to anyone, like its psychopaths could be anybody, any well-to-do strangers. It’s a long, sometimes unbearably frustrating game of physical and psychological torture; and the few moments of well-timed 4th wall breaking really up the frustration and distress.
12. 1408 (2007) - based on a Stephen King story, this film heavily relies on psychological and anxiety-building elements to create its tension. Every thing that happens in this room makes you question what it will do next, what trick will it pull, what hopes will it dash. There’s not much else to say about this one exept that… “It’s an evil fucking room.”
13. El Orfanato/The Orphanage (2007) - man this one is definitely a favorite of mine. Very unnerving and deeply emotional at the same time, this one is a very well-crafted and clever take on the haunted house/orphanage trope. It’s spooky, chilling, has some moments that will genuinely crawl under your skin (the 1-2-3 toca la pared scene always does it for me…), and features a wildly emotional ending.
14. The Babadook (2014) - this one doesn’t rely on cheap scares at all, but still features some truly creepy and unnerving moments that left me on edge. But in addition to that, this movie is about so much more than a boogeyman lurking in the shadows. Heavily psychological, this movie delves deeply into how we process loss and deal with all-consuming grief.
15. 28 Days Later (2002) - I probably don’t need to say much about this one. It’s a movie that most people have either seen or have at least heard of. But there’s a reason it’s consistently named one of the best zombie movies around. It deals with not only the horror of the zombies (and they certainly make that aspect scary on its own), but also the darkest aspects of the fall of society. We’re given a frighteningly grim look at the degradation of humanity and the darkest aspects of human nature as society falls apart.
15 seems like enough! And hopefully you’ll like some of those!! :D
(also, for those reading this, please watch Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) cause it’s amazing)