In preparation for Halloween, I have compiled a list of five of the best psychological horror movies from across the decades. Psychological horror movies aim to make the audience feel a sense of discomfort by exposing common or universal psychological and emotional fears, by revealing the darker parts of the human psyche that most people may repress or deny. Another technique that is unique to psychological horror is the focus upon mental conflict, through binary opposites like science vs the supernatural. This often means that the protagonist is not seen during the movie, in an attempt to scare the audience further.
This technique is often portrayed through the use of amateur or first-hand filming, like in the Blair Witch Project – where the constant movement of the camera makes the events that unfold seem all the more realistic and therefore scary. This has however led to a serious lack of convincing and quite honestly scary psychological horror movies, as directors repeatedly try to emulate the model used in the Blair Witch Project.