Psychological thriller films

My favorite sub-genre of thrillers is psychological thrillers, so I decided to look at 3 different psychological films and what makes them in that sub-genre.


Psychological thrillers put elements that are related to the mind or processes of the mind but they are mental rather than physical in nature. The thriller genre generally focuses on the plot over the characters which make them really intense. The suspense created by psychological thrillers often comes from two or more characters preying upon one another’s minds, either by playing deceptive games such as in Inception. In the film a team of criminals are gathered together for a final mission that will make their fortunes and take them away from a life of crime.inception

  • When Arthur is fighting there are cutaways of where the van is turning in time to the fight in the dream within a dream. This music makes the audience feel really on the edge of their seat because of the intense music.
  • Using a lot of mirrors to confuse give audience a different perspective to character.
  • The film has a lot of flashbacks of certain events and the entire film itself is also a flashback so it also relates to the sub-genre.

Black Swan:

  • Female protagonist 5360988410_81fb0f25a2often wearing a white ballet dress which is typically a colour which represents pureness.
  • Contrasting sides of the rooms, one is very well lit and bright which allows the audience to see everything whereas the other side of the room is very dark and shadowed which doesn’t give the audience a clear view.
  • Using a lot of mirrors through the film is typical of physiological thrillers as the audience is seeing things different to how the character is at their viewpoint.

Gone Girl:

  • Throughout the film as the mysgone girl 3tery unwinds it makes the audience confused and questioning what is going on. The plot twist reveals all the enigma and we start questioning even more. This is typical of physiological thrillers as it keeps the audience skeptical about the characters and gets the audience more involved and full of emotions.




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