We Dare You to Watch These 20 Best Psychological Thrillers on Netflix

Not for the faint of heart.

psychological thriller movies

Graphic by Cristina Cianci

When the mood strikes for a movie night, think beyond romance films and lighthearted comedies, and instead turn to Netflix's array of psychological thrillers to add a little suspense to your evening or weekend in. Pop the popcorn, sip some wine (or tea), and find someone to share the couch with who won't mind you grabbing their arm mid-movie when an unexpected twist blows your mind (pets count, too).

Indulge in iconic films like The Talented Mr. Ripley, suspenseful flicks like The Invitation with its sinister plot, or a harrowing modern Western in The Bygone. They're eerie, unsettling, and will keep you guessing until the final credits roll. Tune into the 20 best thrillers on Netflix below for a dose of adrenaline and intrigue.

01 of 20

Before I Wake (2016)

Before I Wake (2016)

Relativity Media

This eerie film follows an eight-year-old boy named Cody after he's adopted by a couple who recently lost their own son. The couple begins seeing visions of their dead son after Cody moves in, which leads them to wonder if their grief has taken over, or if something more sinister is happening. Before I Wake stars Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, and Jacob Tremblay.

Available On: Netflix

02 of 20

The Invitation (2015)

The Invitation (2015)

Drafthouse

When a man accepts an invitation to a dinner party in his former home and hosted by his ex-wife, a sinister plot reveals itself. He hasn't seen his ex since their son tragically died years ago, but now she's back with a new husband, a new life, and a mysterious agenda. This is one dinner party we never want an invite to. The Invitation stars Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, and Michiel Huisman.

Available On: Netflix

03 of 20

Would You Rather (2013)

Would You Rather (2013)

IFC Films

As the title suggests, this psychological thriller follows a group of people forced to play a game of "Would You Rather." Only instead of playing for fun, a collection of downtrodden individuals, enticed by a reward, end up playing for their lives. Reminiscent of the Saw franchise, this film is a horrifying portrayal of the lengths people will go to survive. Brittany Snow stars as the vulnerable Iris, alongside Jeffrey Combs and Jonny Coyne.

Available On: Netflix

04 of 20

Fractured (2019)

Fractured (2019)

Netflix

In this Netflix Original movie, one man's wife and child disappear from the hospital after a roadside accident. They are examined by multiple doctors, and even go down to the basement for imaging, yet there are no records of their visit, and our protagonist is convinced the hospital is up to no good... like perhaps an illegal organ harvesting operation. Fractured stars Sam Worthington, Lily Rabe, and Stephen Tobolowsky.

Available On: Netflix

05 of 20

The Captive (2014)

The Captive (2014)

A24

In this Canadian thriller, Ryan Reynolds plays the father of a girl who's gone missing. Eight years after his daughter's disappearance, he's still the prime suspect, but new clues seem to indicate that Cassandra could still be alive. The Captive is a mysterious thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. The Captive also stars Rosario Dawson and Scott Speedman.

Available On: Netflix

06 of 20

Secret in Their Eyes (2015)

Secret in Their Eyes (2015)

STX Entertainment

A remake of an Argentinian film by the same name, Secret in Their Eyes unravels the mystery behind the murder of an FBI agent's daughter. Julia Roberts plays a mother who's spent 13 years obsessively looking for her daughter's killer, but it's her former fellow agent, Ray, who uncovers a new lead that might solve the case after so many years. This thriller will have you guessing until the end. The film also stars Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Available On: Netflix

07 of 20

Bird Box (2018)

Bird Box (2018)

 Netflix

In Bird Box, if you come face to face with a mysterious force, you die. So a woman (played by Sandra Bullock) and her kids embark on a journey to find a place that offers sanctuary in this post-apocalyptic thriller. They'll canoe through tumultuous rivers and through dangerous woods to seek safety.

Available On: Netflix

08 of 20

A Most Violent Year (2014)

A Most Violent Year (2014)

A24

Violence and corruption threaten a fuel supplier's family business in A Most Violent Year. In this crime drama, he must try to follow his moral compass amid 1980's New York City; arguably one of the most violent periods in the city's history. Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain play couple Abel and Anna Morales.

Available On: Netflix

09 of 20

The Bygone (2019)

The Bygone (2019)

 Netflix

The Bygone is part thriller, suspense, and film noir meets Western. Our protagonist, Kip, is a young rancher whose lifestyle is being corroded by the booming oil industry. Kip is pulled into human trafficking when he sets out to help Waniya, a Lakota girl from a nearby reservation. Amid the intense story plot, gorgeous cinematography seems to make this independent film even more unsettling. The Bygone stars Graham Phillips, Shawn Hatosy, Jamie McShane, and Sydney Schafer as Waniya.

Available On: Netflix

10 of 20

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Paramount Pictures

Tom Ripley is smart, charismatic, and a sociopath who poses as the young man he's been sent to retrieve from Italy. How long can he keep up this shady activity? Matt Damon plays Ripley, alongside Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Available On: Netflix

11 of 20

Chloe (2009)

Chloe (2009)

 Sony Pictures Classics

One woman suspects her husband of infidelity, so she hires a young woman to test her hunch. What unravels instead is a tangled web that involves all three, as desires and motivations shift throughout the film. Julianne Moore plays a gynecologist and the suspicious wife, Amanda Seyfried the clever temptation-for-hire, and Liam Neeson as the supposed adulterer.

Available On: Netflix

12 of 20

Everybody Knows (2019)

Everybody Knows (2019)

 Unifrance

When Laura returns to Spain from Buenos Aires to attend her sister's wedding with her two daughters, the celebration turns tragic when her eldest child is kidnapped. Secrets are revealed, outing family and community tensions. Penélope Cruz stars as Laura, Javier Bardem and Ricardo Darín.

Available On: Netflix

13 of 20

Thambi (2019)

Thambi

 Netflix

A long lost family remember returns after 15 years and gradually re-integrates into the family. Now, the newly returned brother, son, and lover is the target of an assassination. But who is this young man, really? And why is he wanted dead? This film includes English subtitles.

Available On: Netflix

14 of 20

The Red Sea Diving Resort (2019)

The Red Sea Diving Resort

Netflix

Based on true events, a hotel opens on Sudanese shores as a front to smuggle Ethiopian Jews fleeing Sudanese refugee camps to Israel. Led by Israeli undercover agents in close partnership with Ethiopian activists, the mission takes place over a number of years. Chris Evans stars as a passionate yet at-times reckless Israeli Mossad agent.

Available On: Netflix

15 of 20

The Last Thing He Wanted (2020)

The Last Thing He Wanted (2020)

 Netflix

In 1980's Central America, an investigative reporter becomes embroiled in the story she's reporting on when she attempts to help her father with a drug deal. Anne Hathaway stars as journalist Elena McMahon, with Ben Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Rosie Perez, and Edi Gathegi.

Available On: Netflix

16 of 20

The Occupant (2020)

The Occupant (2020)

 Netflix

Javier Gutiérrez stars as a newly unemployed advertising executive in Barcelona who becomes obsessed with the family occupying his home after he is forced to vacate. When Gutiérrez's character realizes he still has a key to his old place, what evolves is the sinister story of a man who refuses to give up the life he once had. The Spanish-language film includes English subtitles.

Available On: Netflix

17 of 20

Mirage (2018)

Mirage (2018)

 Netflix

Parallel realities allow Vera to save a boy's life in one world, while also struggling to return to the reality she prefers. In her chosen world, she has a husband and daughter, and must now attempt to recreate conditions to return to it. Determining which reality is the past, and which one the future, might be part of Mirage's intrigue, or confusion. Mirage stars Adriana Ugarte, Chino Darin, and Javier Gutiérrez.

Available On: Netflix

18 of 20

The Perfection (2019)

The Perfection (2019)

Netflix 

Charlotte, a former star music student, befriends Lizzie, who is the music academy's latest protégé. Their new relationship leads them through a suspenseful journey through rural China. The movie blends grindhouse gore with disturbingly thrilling scenes amplified by stars Allison Williams (as Charlotte) and Logan Browning's (as Lizzie) performance.

Available On: Netflix

19 of 20

Tau (2018)

Tau (2018)

Netflix 

Julia attempts to outwit the supercomputer that keeps her trapped. A rich inventor, Alex, is the mastermind behind a series of imprisonments, and Julia strives to gain Alex's trust in order to escape. Tau is the supercomputer with hopes of escaping its role, too. Tau stars Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, and Gary Oldman.

Available On: Netflix

20 of 20

Road to Perdition (2002)

Road to Perdition (2002)

 Paramount

In the Depression-area Midwest, hit man Michael Sullivan (played by Tom Hanks) straddles two lives; both cold killer, and devoted husband and father. When these two lives collide, leaving his wife and one of his sons dead, Sullivan and his surviving son set off for revenge. Road to Perdition also stars the late Paul Newman, Jude Law, Daniel Craig, and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Annie Sullivan.

Available On: Netflix

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