10 Best Psychological Horror Movies Like The Neon Demon (& Where To Stream Them)
Though not for everyone, 2016’s The Neon Demon was a disturbing, psychologically provocative masterpiece, as are these 10 similar cinematic endeavors.
Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon has received mixed reviews both from critics and from regular viewers, but most fans of the director still love it—and, indeed, it is an outstanding movie, especially when it comes to visuals and atmosphere.
The biggest criticism The Neon Demon has received is that it’s mostly style over substance, and rightfully so. Nevertheless, for fans of psychological thrillers, there are many other amazing movies to check out that are similar to Refn’s work, whether in terms of themes or in terms of cinematography.
10 Mandy (2018) – Available On AMC+, DirecTV, Shudder, And Hoopla
Starring Nicolas Cage, Mandy is a psychedelic visual spectacle with elements of horror and action that has earned Cage quite a lot of praise for his performance, which helped him be redeemed in the eyes of critics after his roles in a slew of poorly-recieved flicks.
Set in 1983, it follows a lumberjack whose girlfriend is kidnapped by a group of demons on motorcycles. The lumberjack, however, is not as simple as he seems and goes on a bloody rampage to get his girlfriend back.
9 Mother! (2017) – Available To Buy From Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, DirecTV, And Vudu
One of Jennifer Lawrence’s most powerful performances, Mother! is director Darren Aronofsky’s most recent work which got its controversial status due to its biblical allegories and abundance of violence. Nevertheless, many critics and viewers still loved this psychological horror movie precisely for its story and Lawrence’s superb acting, which was highlighted thanks to the camera constantly following her around the house.
Taking place in a secluded country home, it follows a recently married couple living there. The young wife looks after her husband who is experiencing writer’s block when strange people start arriving at their home.
8 It Follows (2014) – Available On Shudder, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, And The Roku Channel
The supernatural horror movie It Follows has the kind of atmosphere that is often seen in psychological horror movies, which is why it is often to be considered one of such kind. Moreover, it is often considered to be underrated because it didn’t earn a lot at the box office despite getting positive reviews from critics.
The story follows a nineteen-year-old college student who gets cursed after having intercourse with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend explains to her that she will be pursued by a supernatural monster that nobody else can see, but the curse can be passed on to another through sexual contact.
7 Midsommar (2019) – Available On Prime Video And Kanopy
Featuring Florence Pugh’s breakout role, Midsommar was a very controversial movie upon release, with some viewers and critics praising it, while others labeled it as pretentious, especially compared to director Ari Aster’s previous debut work Hereditary. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth watching for its visuals and Pugh’s acting.
Pugh’s character Dani experiences a tragedy that claimed the lives of her entire family. In an attempt to recover from her loss, Dani joins her boyfriend and his friends as they travel to Sweden to participate in a neopagan festival but end up being trapped by the cult.
6 Climax (2018) – Available On Prime Video
Like Mandy, Gaspar Noe’s Climax is a visual feast filled with psychedelic and bizarre imagery, and it is as good as psychological horror movies get. Interestingly, the majority of the movie wasn’t rehearsed and was instead improvised, creating a completely unique experience.
Set in the winter of 1996, the entire movie takes place in a single building where a French dance troupe throws a party after a rehearsal. But, as the party goes on, the dancers slowly go insane due to the LSD that was in the sangria they drank.
5 Hereditary (2018) – Available On DirecTV, Showtime, Kanopy, And FuboTV
One of Toni Collette’s most notable performances, Hereditary is Ari Aster’s feature directorial debut, and, as mentioned earlier, led audiences and critics to have high expectations about Aster’s further movies. Indeed, this supernatural psychological horror drama was a massive critical and commercial success a few years ago.
The story follows a family of four: father, mother, sixteen-year-old son, and younger daughter. After their maternal grandmother passes away, the family begins experiencing strange events and uncovering dark secrets from the older woman’s past.
4 Suspiria (1977) – Available On Kanopy And Tubi TV
Another classic from the realm of supernatural psychological horror movies, Suspiria is a classic that has particularly been praised for its use of color through unique stylistic elements, as well as its score, which created the perfect atmosphere for the film’s bizarre story.
In the movie, an American ballet student transfers to a German dance academy known for its prestige, but, as she begins her studies, she realizes that the academy is actually hiding something more sinister—a supernatural conspiracy.
3 The Lighthouse (2019) – Available On Prime Video And Kanopy
Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse is not stunning due to its use of color, but due to its impressive use of a black-and-white medium to create a psychological horror-thriller that seems to be engulfing viewers in its madness, just like it does with its characters.
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s fragment “The Light-House,” it follows two lighthouse keepers, one old and one young, struggling to maintain their sanity while being stuck together on a remote island because of the raging storm.
2 Rosemary’s Baby (1968) – Available On Prime Video, Kanopy, Pluto TV, And Hoopla
Arguably one of the most well-known psychological horror movies of all time, Rosemary’s Baby may not have the most respectable director behind it, but it is still a beloved classic that many critics and viewers love to this day.
The story follows a young pregnant woman living in Manhattan with her husband. As the baby grows and the birth date nears, she starts suspecting her neighbors of being the members of a Satanic cult and trying to steal her baby from her.
1 Black Swan (2010) – Available To Buy From Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes, DirecTV, YouTube, And Vudu
Another one Aronofsky’s brilliant works, Black Swan is the kind of psychological horror movie that stays with viewers for a long time afterward. It explores the theme of artists and their work, something to which all creative types can relate.
Inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Double, it follows a young ballerina who is tasked with playing two inherently different characters in Swan Lake and struggles to find a way to be both the innocent White Swan and the dark Black Swan.