6 Psychological Horror Movies That Will Keep You Awake.

6 Psychological Horror Movies That Will Keep You Awake.

Come along. If you are a fan of psychological horror movies, If you love the thrill and adrenaline rush. Come along. If there is no such thing as too many horror movies for you. Read on.

These psychological horror movies are more than jump scares and spooky spirits lurking in your house. Based on true incidents, books and straight from the creator’s mind this list sums it all up.

In addition to this, at the end of every suggestion there are questions that should haunt you if you didn’t consider them already. 

The Conjuring, a psychological horror movie

1.The Conjuring:

When the credits of the film display “based on true events” things escalate from ‘just a movie’ to ‘I need a companion to go to the bathroom’. Inspired by true events experienced by The Perron family and the world-renowned ghost hunters The Warrens.

The Perron family is ready to start fresh in their new home, but the house has planned something else for Mr and Mrs Perron and their five daughters. Their very first night in the house and the spooky activities are set in motion. Broken clocks, dead animals, banging doors, strange noises, and bruises on the body are the beginning.

When things get out of hand mama Perron decides to get help from The Warrens, who upon investigation inform that the house was home to a woman named Bathsheba. Bathsheba was involved in occult and satanic practices. She killed her newborn baby and hung herself to declare her undying love for Satan. The movie also talks about the Salem witch trials where women were accused of practicing witchcraft and hence burnt alive.

This psychological thriller forces us to check every two seconds that there isn’t anyone breathing on top of us or staring right back at us.

Director James Wan managed to add the jump scare without making it too obvious. He didn’t put a ghost on every corner of the house which leaves the audience relying on their imagination. The psychological thriller managed to convince the audience that there is a ghost lurking in the corner of their house.

Questions that will haunt you:

Does the house that I am currently living in have a dark history behind it? Where are its previous owners? Did they leave or are they still here with me as I read this blog?

Iconic Horror film, The Exorcism of Emily Rose

2. The Exorcism of Emily Rose:

Another pick from our psychological horror movies series, that will leave you with many sleepless nights and a fear of waking up at 3 AM. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a thriller movie based on true incidents.  Anneliese Michel who is the inspiration behind this movie is consequently referred to as a saint by many believers. 

Emily Rose was a young girl with dreams of becoming a teacher who fell sick. She seeks medical help, but unfortunately they could not help her.

Emily’s family asks Father Moore, their priest, to take a look. He discovers that Emily has become a vessel for six demonic entities. Father Moore performs an exorcism on Emily, but it goes wrong. Consequently, the six demonic entities who have infested Emily do not want to surrender and death is the only cure for her problems. 

As a result, Father Moore faces trial for negligence and homicide.

During his trial, Father Moore shares his side of the story in front of the jury. He explains all the events which led to Emily’s death.He explained how demonic entities barred all religious rituals.

The medical reports stated that Emily was suffering from epilepsy and schizophrenia. 

The makers of this horror movie did an excellent job narrating this story. They made us walk through the trail. Audience has to choose between two scenarios. A man firm on his religious beliefs, meanwhile a medical report filled with loopholes.

Questions that will haunt you:

 Does witching hour make the human body prey to the demonic forces? What if medical reports are not 100% accurate?

Popular psychological horror film, Insidious

3. Insidious:

If you are not scared by the horror movies based on true events and want something more to quench your appetite, then you should give Insidious a try. It has terms from the psychological horror genre that were never used before. Terms such as astral projection and astral travel.

A couple moves to a new house with their two young sons and an infant girl. And as it happens things don’t go well. The wife hears things from the baby girl’s room. The Piano and TV start playing on their own. Things turn sour when one of their sons falls into a coma and doctors cannot justify his condition. This creates  tension and disbelief between the couple, and if you didn’t know already this is one of the greatest achievements for the demonic entities. 

Their son, as it turned out, is not in a coma but in a deep slumber. He has the ability to astral project himself where he can leave his body and have an out-of-body experience. This time he has moved too far into the other world. Meanwhile, the evil spirits are preparing themselves to take over his now empty body. If they succeed in taking over his body they can come in contact with the world of the living and the boy will always be in deep sleep.

Astral projection was not a new occurrence, as the movie progresses we find out that the son’s father too has this ability.

Rest assured because some scary demonic faces will accompany you as you struggle to sleep.

Questions that will haunt you:

 What happens when we sleep? Can we do astral projection ourselves? Are we dreaming or have we landed in another realm? Are there evil spirits around us ready to take over our body as we fall asleep?

Popular horror film, Annabelle

4. Annabelle:

There are many movies from the Conjuring universe that are sure to capture a horror movie fanatic’s attention. Annabelle is yet another best pick for psychological horror movies. The story behind the doll ‘Annabelle’ never ceases to terrify its readers.

Annabelle is a doll that has a very horrifying past. Associated with satanic cult and demonic infestation, Annabelle is not the doll you keep in your home. It has been through many hands. Wherever it went, it made sure the owners didn’t have a good time playing with it. 

One such owner was Mia who was preparing to welcome her first child.  At first glance the doll looked normal but soon enough it made herself known. She tries to play with the minds of its new owners, forcing them to kill themselves. Subsequently, there is a fire in the house where pregnant Mia is stuck. A little girl dressed in white gown is always tagging Mia and an unexplained, deformed figure is always lurking around Mia’s family.

The most heartwarming moment of this story was when the female characters in this story shared a strong bond. The evil spirits failed to break this bond.

Currently, the original doll is at an occult museum of the Warrens. 

There are various other characters in the film who inform us about the satanic practices and the demonic presence in the world. This horror movie made sure that we do not look at our dolls the same way. 

Questions that will haunt you:

Do satanic practices invite the unwanted spirits or is it a strong case for psychological disorder? What convinces people to join these cult groups? What will happen if Annabelle gets out of the occult museum? 

The lesser known psychological horror film, the Messengers

5. The Messengers:  

The Messengers deserve to be on the list of psychological horror movies. Jess, played by Kristen Stewart, is a young teenage girl who is often perceived as irresponsible by her parents. She blames herself for her younger brother’s loss of speech.

Jess’s family moves to the country to have a better life. Her father, a farmer, befriends a man who happens to pass by the fields, and later agrees to work for them. This land that Jess’s father purchased always has a flock of crows hovering, sometimes making it impossible to work in the field. Jess finds this unusual and soon enough she discovers her younger brother staring at space. She tries to convince her parents to leave the house, but they disregard it and accuse her of lying and making their already difficult life worse. 

She does some research about her new house. The farmhand who is working for her family has a blood stained past.

The farmhand gets too attached to Jess’s family and tries to replace her father. He attacks Jess and her family when they decide to leave the house. 

The makers of this horror movie used suspense to its best. There were no indications that the real trouble could be their farmhand whom everyone thought to be a part of the family. From the beginning we assumed that ghosts would be the root of all their worries but as it turns out they were only looking after Jess and her family. 

Questions that will haunt me:

Can birds and animals sense danger? Is there a reason why ghosts communicate with infants?  Should I believe the next stranger I hire? 

The epitome of a psychological film, The Shining

6. The Shining:

The Shining is one of the best horror movies. Partially based on Stephen King’s book with the same name, this disturbing movie is not for the faint-hearted. There are a lot of incidents to unpack.

Jack takes up the job of a caretaker in an empty hotel and moves in with his wife and son. He wants to be a writer therefore this hotel is a perfect place for him to focus. He learns about an unfortunate event that took place in  the hotel. The former caretaker killed his twin girls along with his wife before killing himself too. We learn that he was suffering from cabin fever where an individual loses his mental faculty when they spend too much time alone. At first, we see that it does not affect Jack, but later he finds interest in the history of the hotel and prefers to stay alone. Meanwhile, Jack’s son Dany possesses telepathic powers. He even tells everyone that his imaginary friend Tony resides in his mouth and warns him about the hotel.

The ghosts of the hotel appear before all the family members one by one. We find that Jack is talking to ghosts, drinking with them and one of them even conveniences him to murder his family.

It was never proven whether it was the haunted hotel or was it Jack’s disturbed psychological state? The makers of the movie suggest that it is a story about a family who subsequently go insane as a result of living in isolation for too long. This was not enough to convince the audience about the supernatural activities that were taking place in the movie, there were questions on the possibility of reincarnation and circle of life.

Questions that will haunt you:

 Is reincarnation possible? Was Jack talking to ghosts or did cabin fever along with his disturbed psychology consumed him? Is telepathy a suppressed human power? 

The psychological horror movies mentioned in this list force us to rethink. We often drift into the thoughts where we imagine ourselves in these situations. Would our relationships suffer if we were in their shoes? How will I make people believe in my circumstances? Or will I ever get out of this situation? These are some of the best psychological horror movies which make us second guess everything.

Check out some more movies based on true stories.

If you are still not tired, add these supernatural dramas to your list.

Supernatural K-dramas to binge-watch

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Jahnavi. K

    I literally felt asking myself those questions mentioned. This is an impressive piece of writing.

  2. Anweasha Saha

    Loved this list!!


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