12+1 movies about psychopathy that every moviegoer should know about
Psychopathy portrayed in the seventh art: from The Shining to American Psycho.
As we all know, the figure of the psychopath has been recurrently employed in the world of cinema. Normally, characters with psychopathic traits are represented by the typical knife-wielding killer who pursues young teenagers who are having a wild who are having a wild evening with their friends.
Movies about psychopaths: the ultimate ranking
But we go beyond that. We invite you, movie buffs and especially fans of this type of genre, to enter the world of antisocial personality disorder through the magic of cinema. To achieve this, we have compiled a list of films particularly recommended by a passionate fan of this subject.
We won't reveal any spoilers about the films so that you can fully enjoy them!
All-time classics dealing with psychopathy
We cannot open this article without mentioning, of course, the classic films that classic films that deal with psychopathy.. Surely many of them you already know, but we should not ignore these gems of the entertainment world.
1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Considered a cult film and one of the best of the horror genre, this is a true classic: The Silence of the Lambs (along with all the others in the saga), featuring Hannibal Lecter starring the great Anthony Hopkins, was a film that won five Oscars.
The FBI is looking for the so-called "Buffalo Bill", a serial killer who hunts and murders teenagers.He is a serial killer who pursues and murders teenagers, meticulously preparing each crime and tearing off their skin afterwards. Clarice Starling, an expert in psychopathic behavior is hired to help catch this ruthless killer. To do so, he visits the high-security prison where Hannibal Lecter, a former psychoanalyst and cruel murderer with an intelligence far superior to the ordinary, is incarcerated in order to obtain information about the behavior patterns of the murderer who is on the loose.
2. American Psycho (2000)
Patrick Batemanplayed by the celebrated and charming Christian Bale, is a handsome and successful yuppie Wall Street yuppie seemingly has it all: he's gentlemanly, he's handsome, he's smart, he's powerful and he gets the woman he wants. But it seems that, underneath all this apparent perfection, lies a potential sadistic killer, whom no one suspects due to his high social status.
For those of you who haven't seen this movie, what are you waiting for? Absolutely recommended, heartbreaking, with touches of acid humor that fit it like a glove, mixed with scenes of depravity that turn American Psycho in a must-see film about psychopathy.
3. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Directed by the excellent and prolix Stanley Kubrickthe story of A Clockwork Orange is about a boy (played by Malcolm McDowell), who is accustomed to a stormy life, full of violence and chaos. After multiple criminal acts committed by him and his companions, he is finally captured and imprisoned. During his incarceration as an inmate, he decides to voluntarily submit to a method based on behavioral psychology that aims to suppress violent impulses.
Probably, A Clockwork Orange is the best known film about antisocial personality disorder. A famous film that, despite having been in the minds of moviegoers around the world for more than 40 years, remains one of the best cinematic creations in history, as well as one of the most interesting to delve into criminal behavior.
4. The Shining (1980)
Following the direction of Stanley Kubrick and starring the experienced Jack Nicholson, the film is about the story of Jack Torrancea former alcoholic writer who moves with his family to a lonely high mountain hotel to work as a night watchman.
Once there, he begins to suffer a series of psychic changes that lead him into a spiral of violence against his wife and son. In this case, the protagonist's personality would fit better into the sociopathyThe psychological change that Jack undergoes as a result of the sudden change in his life.
5. Psycho (1960)
We could not make this list without mentioning the very famous movie Psychodirected by Alfred Hitchcok and starring Anthony Perkins.
This film is about the search for the murderer of secretary Marion Cranea fearless woman who was staying in a lonely roadside motel after absconding with her company's money.
6. Se7en (1995)
A must-see. Directed by David Fincher and with a cast of luxury, with Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow y Kevin Spacey. A series of murders keep two policemen from the investigation department on edge. Horrified by the cruelty of the crimes, they are surprised by the hidden message the killer is trying to leave.
With one of the most unexpected endings in the history of cinema, Se7en takes the viewer to the limit, transporting them to the world of a macabre psychopath who aims to leave a dark message to humanity.
Recent movies about psychopathy
Finally! Having reviewed the undisputed classics that combine high quality cinema with psychopathic characters, the time has come to review some titles that are less than a decade old and which also tell us about and that also tell us about characters with antisocial personality disorder.
7. Funny games (2007)
A couple and their son go to spend a few days and rest at their vacation home. Just arrived, they meet two young men (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet), apparently very cordial and polite, who ask them for eggs. From that moment on, the family will be involved in a hell they wish they had never been a part of even in their worst nightmares.
Even though there is an earlier version, I am going to recommend you the remake remake. With scenes of extreme cruelty, it is disturbing, not suitable for sensitive people! In order not to spoil the sensations experienced when watching this film, I won't explain anything else. However, I recommend you not to watch the trailer, enjoy it! It is simply not to be missed.
8. Joshua, the son of evil (2007)
A couple like any other celebrates the birth of their second child, Lily. Joshua, their first child, is no ordinary child. He possesses a frightening intelligence and precocity. He displays a macabre serenity for his young age, and seems increasingly unhappy with the arrival of his sister in the family.
Subsequently, the family will be involved in a serious situation of domestic terror that they would never have expected. The reason?
9. Hard candy (2005)
Jeff, a 32-year-old photographer, arranges to meet Hayley (played by a very young Ellen Page), a 14-year-old teenager with whom he has been chatting online for some time. After meeting for coffee, Jeff invites Hayley to his house for a photo shoot.
A creepy, twisted film that plays with the viewer's mind and leaves no one indifferent. Totally recommended!
10. Perfume (2006)
Jean Baptiste was born among the remains of fish and rottenness, abandoned by his mother. He was sent to a hospice where he was raised in a totally hostile environment, repudiated by everyone because of his strange peculiarity: he had no body odor. However, he possessed an exceptional sense of smell, which led him to become obsessed with catching all kinds of scents: the smell of crystal, copper... and beautiful young women.
An excellent film that won multiple awards and recognitions. In the line of The Silence of the Lambsfollowing a serial killer who commits his crimes in a very peculiar way and whose victims are only women.
11. Stoker (Kinky Ties, 2013)
The film is about India Stokera teenager who loses her father. Since then her life is broken, as her father was the only person with whom she felt a deep bond. Her impassive behavior hides deep dark feelings, which will be understood and shared by those of her uncle CharlieCharlie, a character who will appear by surprise to take care of her and her unstable mother (Nicole Kidman).
A special and surprising film to say the least, for its delicate and poetic way of dealing with violence and disturbance, mixing it exquisitely with eroticism.
12. We need to talk about Kevin (2011)
Last but not least, my greatest discovery and my most recommended recent film about antisocial personality disorder.
Starring the incomparable Ezra Miller (in his teenage years) and nominated for several awards, this film is mainly about Kevin and his mother Eva. From birth, Kevin is a difficult child: he shows no sign of appreciation for his mother, cries incessantly, is not potty trained just to be annoying and shows no interest in anything. As the boy grows up, his behavior becomes more and more sinister and his relationship with his mother more and more conflictive.
A film that combines parts of the past and present, keeping the viewer in constant uncertainty. Exquisitely disturbing, with little dialogue and playing with textures, colors... to let the viewer's mind flow in all kinds of sensations. Only recommended for true followers of the genre!
Shutter island (2010)
This film doesn't quite fit the criteria for antisocial personality disorder. In fact, it may be more closely related to another psychopathology: post-traumatic stress disorder. But I wanted to include it in this ranking of films that deal with psychopathy, not only because of its indirect relation to the disorder but also because of its enormous psychological relevance. Well, and let's say it all: because I consider it to be an absolutely wonderful movie.
I won't say information about it, for the same reason as Funny Games. Just... enjoy every second of this work of art!
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)