Come explore the best—and worst—of the human psyche. 
Advertisement

Whether it's a serial killer, your coworker, or the girl next door, nobody really knows what goes on inside a person's head. These mind-twisting movies on Netflix reflect just that—while everything may look normal on the outside, nothing is what it seems in a good psychological thriller. From bizarre cult groups and contorted revenge schemes to split personality disorders, brace yourself for disorienting worlds unknown and plunge (or spiral) into our top Netflix picks below.

Related Items

1 Circle

In this futuristic sci-fi-thriller fusion, fifty strangers wake up in a dark room to find out that they are being executed one at a time based on a set of rules that have been set by an unknown force. As they realize they have to pick one person amongst them to live, the movie gets at the root of one of the biggest philosophical conundrums: What determines the value of a human life?

2 The Invitation

Packed with stomach-churning tension, this psychological whirlwind revolves around a man who is invited to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife and her new husband. That would be bad enough, but upon arrival, he senses that something is off. His ex-wife is in a mood, her new lover is giving off major creep vibes, and some of the other guests are also acting downright weird. Is it a suburban death cult or just social anxiety? Either way, it’s definitely not an invitation we’d want to accept.

3 Tau

According to every sci-fi thriller ever made, having a bunch of megacorp-serving microphones and robots in the house does not bode well for anyone. But this isn’t your customary in-the-cloud AI; Tau is an intelligent robot who has been raised in a subterranean laboratory and seems to have a mind of its own. Julia (Maika Monroe) plays a clever victim who decides to outsmart her captor once she realizes his AI has a weak spot—being a bit too human.

4 Fractured

If you thought your healthcare was bad, get a load of this: Ray (Sam Worthington) goes to a hospital (accompanied by his wife) to get their daughter a scan, but hours later, they’re both nowhere to be found. Oh, and just to make things worse, the hospital claims that they were never there in the first place. As can be expected, a lot of disassociated reality and paranoia ensue. Is the hospital part of a sinister conspiracy or is the guy just a total nutjob?

5 Cam

A tense thriller about identity in the digital age, the movie follows rising cam girl Alice (Madeline Brewer) who logs online one day to find her identity stolen by a cheerful doppelganger who looks exactly like her. She tries to discover who’s behind her new web clone, but the world of adult entertainment is a brutal one. It’s every girl (clone?) for herself, and reclaiming her spot on the throne isn't going to be easy.

6 Perfection

Disclaimer: if you’re squeamish, this movie may not be for you. However, it has all the ingredients for a good psychological thriller, including a whole lot of hysteria, desperation, and spasms of violence. It’s hard to give a succinct summary, but here’s a one-sentence premise: a cello prodigy returns to a premier private music facility after years of leave to find that another girl has taken her place. While you might peg it to be one kind of movie in the first half, don’t be fooled. In a blink, it is something else entirely.

7 Cube

A cult-classic for good reason, Cube is a must-watch for anyone who likes escape rooms because, well, the cube is the OG escape room. When a group of strangers wake up inside of it (not knowing how or why they got there), they have to navigate a maze full of other cube-shaped rooms to escape (with many fatal booby traps along the way). The Kafka-esque situation is a perfect example of the slow spiral into insanity the human mind can take.

8 Would You Rather

The classic game gets a sadistic twist, to say the least, when it’s announced that the winner will be awarded obscene amounts of money. Sounds swell, but as the game progresses, it becomes clear why there is only one winner—mainly because there is only one winner left standing.

9 The Gift

Not all gifts are good, especially when they come with creepy stalker neighbors. As soon as the movie starts, you’re creeped out by socially awkward Gordon (Joel Edgerton), a high-school classmate of Simon’s (Jason Bateman) who seems to be nursing a grudge over some mysterious past wrongdoing. However, as the real history between the two men becomes clearer, the true threat starts becoming blurry.

10 Velvet Buzzsaw

Psychological thriller turned artsy, this film is definitely the most colorful (literally) of them all. Morf (Jake Gyllenhaal) realizes that his newly discovered art is a bit too life-like, and the plot escalates very quickly as supernatural forces start to bring paintings and sculptures to life. The Netflix film does a great job at breathing life into a group of flawed characters while playfully poking fun at the pretentious art world.