Psychological movies offer something different to cinema lovers that will keep them clenched to the edges of their seats. They are very popular across the globe because they usually feature an unexpected storyline progression that will ensure that nobody falls asleep. They are very interesting to watch and will often keep you wondering even after leaving the cinema theatre. Psychological films mainly revolve around and emphasize the psychological instability of its characters. Some of the pictures would feature other subgenres like a psychological drama, horror or comedy movie that would use the emotional and psychological imbalance as the main theme behind the creation and evolution of the film’s storyline. Many of these projects would focus on the internal or external struggle the characters will go through and the indefinite line that they will cross between imagination and reality, often surprising viewers with events and outcomes and this could be one of the main reasons many people love to find psychological movies to watch, since they keep the mind occupied and asking interesting questions even after the film is over.
How did the genre start?
The interest in psychology represented a good chance to work on projects that mainly talk and discuss this genre as people realized the importance of using the cinema industry to represent different aspects of life. One of the earliest motion pictures that feature this genre is “Blackmail”, a British picture that was produced in 1929 and tells the story of a woman who falls subject to blackmail after killing a man who tried to rape her. Although the movie started out as a silent feature, the production house decided to turn it into a sound film during the filming process, only to become one of the most successful talkies of the era. Both versions were released in cinemas and they are still preserved at the British Film Institute. The movie remarks one of the earliest projects directed by the world acclaimed director Alfred Hitchcock. Cinema lovers who want to find the most amazing psychological thrillers to watch can go online to find masterpieces like “The Lady Vanishes” another thriller directed by Hitchcock in 1938, based on the 1936 novel The Wheel Spins. It was the last movie made by Hitchcock in Britain before moving to the USA until the 1970. It tells the story of a young woman who goes on a train, only to find that her elderly travelling companion has vanished. With all the other passengers denying that they have ever seen the old woman, she goes on a quest with a musicologist she meets on board, who helps her find clues to explain the lady’s disappearance. In the 1940s and 50s, there was more emphasis in the cinema industry on characters’ feelings and their development. In the 1952 production, “Don’t bother to knock”; Marilyn Monroe plays the role of a disturbed baby sitter who watches over a baby at the same hotel a pilot is staying. After keeping an eye on her he becomes sure that this is not the person the parents should leave their baby with. Monroe plays the character beautifully as she constructs a web of lies and threatens a child to harm her toy if she reveals her secrets. It was an attempt to show critics that she is a real talented actress after gaining fame from starring in several comedies.
How did the genre evolve over the years?
The 1960s and 70s mark a breakthrough for psychological films because of the events that happened during this era. After World War 2 and the Vietnam War, there was a bigger emphasis on the humane side of characters that starred in different motion pictures and their dark sides. Many pictures featured troubles and struggles that the characters had to go through that were directly or indirectly related to the hardships and events that changed the face of the globe in the second half of the 20th century. Pictures like “Psycho” produced in 1960, contained iconic scenes that are famous and have been recreated in many films worldwide. The movie focuses on the encounter of a disturbed motel owner and one of his clients who chooses to spend the night in one of his rooms. It goes in depth analysing his personality to reveal that he assumes the role of his jealous mother who actually kills the girls he likes. The shower scene in this picture remains to be one of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema and will probably be one of the earliest images that would pop to your head if you want to watch psychological thrillers. With more emphasis on the dark side of characters, films like “The Sixth Sense” which was produced in 1999 was a game changer for psychological motion pictures and is considered to be one of the best movies that focused mainly on the internal struggles of the main characters, by telling the story of a boy who visits a doctor because he imagines things and sees dead people, and through the flow of the events it is revealed that the doctor himself has been murdered for more than a year and that this is the only reason why the boy could see him and communicate with him. Motion pictures like this one, kept the audience asking questions after the film was over and even watching it several times to take note of the signals and hints dropped that only reveal themselves at the end.
How did the genre evolve in other countries?
In other countries, the psychological films genre gained a wide audience with motion pictures that were made to cast a light on the complexity of events and relationships that affect the main characters. “Das Experiment” is a 2001 German psychological motion picture that was loosely based on real events known as the case of Stanford Prison Experiment, where volunteers were admitted into a prison so that scientists can watch the effect of being a prisoner or a guard has on the human behavior with the guards becoming brutal and merciless and the prisoners becomes trapped in the experiment they can’t escape. “Irreversible” is a French psychological drama that follows a nonlinear narrative of two men who want to revenge the rape of a girlfriend. There were also rumors of including a low frequency in the first part of the movie that is known to cause discomfort and nausea in humans and this is why it is one of the must watch psychological thriller movies of all times.
There are a lot of other genres that would make for an interesting and different movie night. You can easily watch documentaries free online like” O.J: Made in America”, that tells the details involving the murder trial of O.J Simpson. If you are into something epic then you can find war movies free online like “Braveheart” that talks about the war that Scotland fought against England for independence. There are also a lot of free sports movies online that you can choose from, like “Any Given Sunday” that stars 2 of the most popular actors in the American cinema Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx and tells the story of a struggling American football team. The options are unlimited and you can easily choose whatever interests you.
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