These Thriller Movies Will Hurt Your Brain This Halloween!

Not everyone is a fan of horror. Maybe you jump easily or want to try something new this Halloween. We got you covered with adaptations and original thriller films!

Adaptations Book Culture Horror Just For Fun Opinions Pop Culture Recommendations Thriller & Mystery TV & Movies
3 movie posters Chronicle, A Clockwork Orange, The Night House

Do you want a movie that has you at the edge of your seat, and also have your mind blown to bits? Thriller films has you questioning your sanity! We’re splitting three subcategories in the Thriller genre! 

Categories

Drama Thrillers (Scare Level Mild)

Psychological Thrillers (Scare Level Medium) 

Horror Thrillers (Scare Level Spicy)

Think of it as the longer you read, the scarier your options are!

Drama Thrillers

1. Searching (2018)

PICTURE STILL OF SEARCHING MOVIE WHERE THE DAD IS LOOKING AT SOME PAYMENT BILLS OF HER DAUGHTER.
IMAGE VIA SEARCHING MOVIE/SONY

A father’s (John Cho) daughter (Michelle La) goes missing, and her laptop is the only way to find her whereabouts. What he discovered on her device wasn’t what he expected from her. 

From a glance, it’s giving the Taken series but only virtual. That is not the case in the slightest! We interact solely from the laptop, making us feel like we are also a part of the investigation. Now, who took her? You’ll have to figure that out for yourself, and it’s not what you expect. 

2. Chronicle (2012)

Movie still of Andrew about to crush a car while sitting calmly looking at the camera.
IMAGE VIA CHRONICLE MOVE/FOX

I remember watching this movie all the way back in 2012. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would take so much joy watching this movie. As the story unfolded, I fell in love with this unusual way of storytelling. Found footage is rarely used, but when done right, it can do much better than any other form. 

We meet three young, very different teenagers who obtain superhuman-like abilities, but there’s one problem… Andrew (Dane DeHaan) might be slowly losing the self-control of his new powers and going a little crazy. Not to mention, it appears he has the strongest abilities out of the three.

3. Before I Fall (2017)

Main character in fragmented (sideways straight) photos looking sad
IMAGE VIA ECLECTIC POP

A YA novel, Before I Fall, was adapted in 2017. If you are unfamiliar with the book but have watched the movie, you’d understand why this title is on here. The story’s themes include different aspects of showing kindness to someone while also accepting one’s death. A young girl, Samantha (Zoey Deutch), has it all: friends, a boyfriend, and good grades. But one fatal car accident has her relived the same day repeatedly until she can fix the mistakes she’s made. 

4. A Promising Young Woman (2020)

Movie still of the main character appearing drunk at a bar/club. She's sitting with her arms wide open resting on the couch!
IMAGE VIA A PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN MOVIE/FOCUS

From a glance, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) is a drunk who goes to bars, and she gets taken advantage of, but in reality, that’s her guise, so she can humiliate men. What’s her game, you ask? She’s coping with a sickly incident that happened to her friend in college. Will she finally crack? I hope so!

You won’t guess the ending of this movie!

5. The Dark Knight (2008)

Still of joker health ledger flashing a joker card.
IMAGE VIA DEN OF GEEKS

I could not watch this movie alone at the age of eight. Heath Ledger’s performance terrified me to my core. His smile, the walk, the makeup– it’s your modern-day film noir!

6. Joker (2020)

Still of Joker Joaquin Phoenix laying down on her ground in pain. Joker thriller.
IMAGE VIA JOKER MOVIE/WARNER BROS.

Speaking of Joker, comic book lovers craved a standalone movie. We got one that was far different than any comic iteration.

Meet Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) as he lives his underwhelmed, depressing life while caring for his bedridden mother. Here’s a common theme in any Joker rendition. It takes one bad day. That’s what happens to Arthur; see his fall of descent.

7. Fight Club (1999)

Picture of a bar of soap with the fight club symbol
IMAGE VIA WAXY

Do you want to get your mind twisted in a knot? Yes? Well, step right up because Edward Norton and Brad Pitt will take you on a journey of self-reflection in this adaptation movie. If you haven’t seen this iconic movie… then what are you doing with your life?!

A depressed man begins to have insomniac tendencies and attends various support groups unrelated to his dooming conditions. He stumbles upon Tyler Durden, a fellow soap man bunking in a squalid house. The two men form a weird bond and start a Fight Club where grown men fight for pain and pleasure. It isn’t until a woman named Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) ruins the men’s fun. 

Psychological Thriller 

1. I’m Thinking of Endings Things (2020)

Still of the two main leads. The girl is feeding the man. 

Caption reads: "There's just something profoundly wrong here."
IMAGE VIA I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS MOVIE/ NETFLIX

Let’s get candid here. On my first viewing of this movie, I rated it a 6/10. Not bad, but most certainly not good. Though I remembered this movie, it scorched into my brain once I realized the meaning behind each scene. Upon my rewatch, it’s a solid 10/10; for me, that’s a rarity!

The story starts with a young woman (Jessie Buckley) meeting her boyfriend, Jake’s (Jesse Plemons) parents, for the first time. Weird situations arise when she meets her boyfriend’s parents– such as an old picture of Jake on the wall that also looks like the protagonist. All the while, she is thinking of ending things. The audience believes it to be her relationship, but as you soon venture into the story, you learn that might not be the case.

Your mind is going to hurt after this one! Take a peak at the novel before watching the film here!

2. Swallow (2019)

The main character is about to eat a marble. Swallow.
IMAGE VIA SWALLOW MOVIE/IFCU

A recently pregnant young woman (Haley Bennett) suddenly develops a disorder that makes her want to swallow inanimate objects. It’s an unusual story with a heart-wrenching bittersweet conclusion. Haley Bennett’s acting in this is absolutely spectacular, and she deserves way more recognition than she gets.

3. Super Dark Times (2017)

LONG SHOT OF FOUR TEENAGE BOYS RIDING BIKES ON A BRIDGE. SUPER DARK TIMES.
IMAGE VIA SUPER DARK TIMES MOVIE/ROTTEN TOMATOES INDIE

I think about this film a lot because of the setting, tone, and, ultimately, the story’s conclusion. A group of boys are hanging out, and a freak accident ensues. Without giving too much away, I just need to give props to the director Kevin Phillips for this atmospheric feel of the 90s.

4. Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko movie still of Frank the evil bunny.
IMAGE VIA DONNIE DARKO MOVIE/ ROTTEN TOMATOES TRAILERS

Alright, I’ve already said more than a few times, but I’m serious this time! Donnie Darko is the craziest movie to exist because, after the movie, you want to watch it again immediately! 

We have Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal), who sleepwalks out of his bedroom and meets a scary-looking man dressed in a rabbit costume, claiming the world will end in 28 days. Because of his midnight stroll, Donnie dodges a lethal jet engine that falls in his room. He continues to have these vivid visions of Frank. His world begins to fall apart on the 28th day.

5. The Nightcrawler (2014)

NIGHTCRAWLER MOVIE POSTER WITH THE MAIN CHARACTER CLOSEUP FACE WHILE HE WEARS SUNGLASSES.
IMAGE VIA METACRITIC

Here we are with another Jake Gyllenhaal thriller! Louis Bloom makes money by filming crime scenes, but what if he takes it a little too far and starts planting these crimes? Why does Bloom do these crazy acts?! Explore the mind of the neurotic character. 

6. A Clockwork Orange (1972)

Movie still of the main character in center. Three other men are there too. They wear all white with a back top hat.
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE MOVIE/WARNER BROS

We have one more out-of-this-world, mind-blowing movie to discuss in this section. Adapted from Anthony Burgess’s novel by the same title, it is set in this dystopian future where the normalcy for teenagers is ultraviolence. It’s not a scary movie by any means, but it’s a crazy film where it will question your morality. 

Although the novel and the movie were banned at certain times for it’s violent depictions, the themes should be recognized more. If one is unable to sympathize or be repulsed by heinous crimes, should we rehabilitate them against their will?

Horror Thriller

1. The Night House (2021)

Movie poster of 'the night house' with the character woman with a red tint and an invisible spirit-like person touching her cheek while she reaches for him as well.
IMAGE VIA HBO.COM

A recent widow (Rebecca Hall), while trying to cope with her husband’s (Evan Jonigkeit) death, looks into his phone and sees photos of women that look like her. Confused by these pictures, she goes looking for answers. Meanwhile, a mysterious shadow lurks inside her house.

Terrifying, scary, and heartbreaking. Grab some tissues for the tears and a blanket to cover the terror.

2. American Psycho (2000)

picture of Patrick Bateman mouth wide open, smiling. Blood splatter. American Psycho written in text on the side.
IMAGE VIA HULU.COM

Did you know that Christian Bale had to fight his way into the role of Patrick Bateman? Everyone prayed for him and the director Mary Harron’s downfall. The book was banned throughout the ’90s because people believed it caused adolescents to be more violent.

Watch this movie sparingly. This isn’t just about a serial killer on the descent of madness: much more about identity and capitalism in humanity. 

3. The Invisible Man (2020)

MOVIE POSTER OF THE INVISIBLE MAN. BLACK BACKGROUND WITH HALF OF THE MAIN CHARACTER FACE WAS HALF SHOWIN
IMAGE VIA IMDB.COM

Grief, despair, and ghosts chase after Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss). The film is loosely based on the title of H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man. Cecilia believes her ex-boyfriend still lives. Has she gone mad? Or is there a ghost lurking around the corners of her room? Or perhaps, technological advances?

4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Hannibal Lecter standing still in the middle of his cell. Silence of the Lambs.
IMAGE VIA SILENCE OF THE LAMBS MOVIE/MOVIECLIPS

The infamous Anthony Lectar dons the role of Hannibal Lecter in this classic Thriller. 

In the novel and movie, a new serial killer is on the loose, and it takes Clarice (Jodie Foster) to interview Hannibal the Cannibal to solve the case! Iconic scenes are all over the place with this one!

5. It Follows (2014)

It Follows movie poster of a couple kissing a car (backseat) at night. It's a little spotlight in the car.
IMAGE VIA IMDB.COM

After a sexual encounter, a young woman (Maika Monroe) is chased by random people. If they reach her in time, she succumbs to death. The only way to stop is to have sex and transmit this deadly STD. What’s crazy about this film is there are no physical monsters in place of the story. The people she runs from are everyday people that can hide in plain sight. 

6. Brightburn (2019) 

PICTURE OF BRIGHTBURN IN HIS EVIL COSTUME (DARK RED MASK) WITH A SHOELACE FRONT.
IMAGE VIA HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Want a Superman retelling? Our son of Krypton is nowhere to be seen in this rendition! Sit back and relax as you, this young boy (Jackson A. Dunn), tear up the screens!

7. Cloverfield (2008)

Picture of Cloverfield movie poster with the Statue of Liberty's face is ruined. Greenish undertone.
IMAGE VIA IMDB.COM

Let’s end this list with a classic yet modern take on a monster taking over the world! A modern interpretation of a monster tale with found footage as the camera. Journey into this crazed world! 

You have many options to choose from, so pick wisely! Want more movie recommendations? Click here!

IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR/SIERRA JACKSON