Ever since film as a medium of entertainment became popular, the filmmakers have taken risks when it comes to content and portraying the absolute worst things people can do to each other.
Somewhere in between all the serial killer and all the crime dramas, there is a little genre that not only is thrilling to watch, but evokes an inner fear within the watcher.
Psychopathic characters can be rather interesting to watch, and the list below is a proof.
Table of Contents
Best Hollywood Psychopath Movies
The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight unexpectedly turned out to be a masterpiece of cinematic brilliance.
Not only that, it offered us one of the best villains ever written, The Joker. Taking on our caped crusader, Batman, Joker plays with no rules and is all hell bent on destroying the moral compass of Batman and the Gotham City.
The agent of chaos he is, he is not after money, he just wants to ‘see the world burn’. Heath Ledger personified the Joker so perfectly that he was awarded with an Academy award for his performance posthumously.
If there has been one Hollywood director who has compelled his audiences to be thrilled, scared and disgusted at the same time while sitting in the film theatres, its Alfred Hitchcock.
Known as one of the greatest Hollywood filmmakers of all times, he made Psycho which is now hailed as his biggest masterpiece. Norman Bates is the ‘psycho’ here, the manager of the dreaded Bates Hotel, where the film plays out. Anthony Perkins makes sure that this role made him stand among the most legendary American actors of all times.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
90s was a glorious decade for Hollywood and it all started in 1991 with this masterpiece film. The film followed Clarice Sterling, an FBI officer who is out on the run to catch a psychopathic serial killer known as Buffalo Bill.
Her search leads her to another imprisoned psychopath, named Hannibal Lecter, a cannibal and serial killer. As the two forces of nature meet, the audience are exposed to an intense thriller that keeps you on your toes till the last shot.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
This academy award winning film was helmed by the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel Coen who have claimed the status of legends when it comes to crime dramas.
No Country for Old Men features a hunter who has somehow found a stack of cash when a drug deal goes bad. But he is now hunted by a psychopathic killer who has no mercy at all and he is after the money. Anton Chigurh, the psychopath played by Javier Barden will give you creeps for days after you have watched the film.
The film, directed by David Fincher, follows the story of a psychopathic serial killer who is somehow inspired by The Holy Bible in more than one way. Seven is one of the Best Suspense Thriller films of all Time.
He decides to murder people according to the seven deadly sins mentioned in the Holy Book. Starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as the lawmen on hunt, Kevin Spacey exhales life into the role of a serial killer, making this film one of the greatest films of all times.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Hailed as one of the legendary American films of all times, A Clockwork Orange was helmed by none other than the master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.
Telling the story about a young psychopath, named Alex, the story doesn’t miss out on shocking people with its highly controversial subject and amazingly directed scenes. Alex undergoes some experiments in prison before he is set free and Kubrick being himself, turns the film into a social commentary of sorts.
Blue Velvet (1986)
Directed by the master of macabre, David Lynch, Blue Velvet is one of his more straightforward films. But that does not make it any easier to watch.
The film still follows some usual Lynchian tropes, such as a haunting music, surrealism and breathtaking cinematography. The psychopath in question here is the main villain, Frank Booth who catches our innocent protagonist Jeffrey and gives him a peak into his dreaded, ‘no rules’ world that is scary and macabre and well… Lynchian.
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Directed by Oliver Stone and written by Quentin Tarantino, Natural Born Killers is one of the most underrated films of all times. Starring Woody Harrelson in the role of a lifetime, the film happens to be a cruel satire on the media. The Film is also on our list of Best Prison Escape Movies.
A psychopathic man and his girlfriend are on a run from the authorities after they go on killing people on their way, just for the fun of it. The film featured some of the most innovative cinematography and music and is an absolute delight to watch.
Gone Girl (2014)
Another David Fincher masterpiece on the list, Gone Girl is somehow different from all the other entries on the list, in a way that it features a girl as a psychopath. The story features Amy Dunne who is married to Nick Dunne since 5 years.
But lately, their marriage has been facing a rocky season, which leads to her disappearance. But Amy had some visceral plans which unfold with several shocking bloodied scenes. Rosamund Pike received a universal acclaim for her role as a psychopathic wife.
Michael Mann has directed some of the most praiseworthy films of our times and Manhunter just might be among his very best. The film features a serial killer at its centre, named Tooth Fairy and he is on a run from the authorities.
Filled with blood and gore, the film portrays the cat-mouse game between the authorities and the killer as many more weird characters enter the game until the film reaches a ‘not so easy to watch’ but highly satisfying finale.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Directed by Tobe Hooper, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an indie film made in the mid 70s which became a cult classic over the years.
The story features a family on their way to visit their grandparents’ house. Their car breaks down in the middle of the way and then begins a gory and scary game of bloodbath as a serial killer and his family, wielding chainsaws, are on the hunt for the family.
The film has many sequels and remakes but none could match the absolute horror the original film portrayed.
Director Dan Gilroy makes his debut with this masterpiece of a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal in the leading role as a petty thief who only wants to make money.
He somehow finds out that shooting a crime scene in the camera pays well so he sets out to do just that. But somehow, his criminal instincts rise when the game becomes competitive.
The film is highly uncomfortable to watch and has been included into one of the ‘modern classic’ films of this century.
Also Read: Best Art-house Science Fiction Movies
Primal Fear (1996)
Primal Fear is a neo noir crime thriller film directed by Gregory Holbit and starring Richard Gere and Edward Norton in the leading roles.
The film starts with the murder of a priest and the main accuse in the case is a young innocent boy named Aaron who is being represented in court by a seasoned lawyer Martin Vail.
But things are not as easy as they look and as the story progresses, the audience forgets the distinction between what’s evil and what’s not.
American Psycho (2000)
Following the life of Patrick Bateman, played excellently by Christian Bale, who is a white collar worker by the day and a psychopathic killer by the night, the film is an absolute thrilling experience taking you on a ride of a lifetime.
Director Marry Harron does the job of keeping the audiences hooked to the screen by also incorporating the elements of satire and dark comedy. One of the most popular Christian Bale films, American Psycho is an absolute creepy delight.
We have shared the list of our Favorite Hollywood Psychopath Movies, if you think that some other best Psychopath Movies are missing in this list, then do let us know in the comments. 🙂