Mind Games: 15 Movies That Will Have You Second-Guessing Everything

Many movies use our concerns as the basis for a gripping story. Whether action, suspense, science fiction, or horror movies, they all have the underlying paranoia that the world is dangerous and everyone is lying to you. We outline fifteen of them, as suggested online.

1. The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation Gene Hackman
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The Conversation is a film that will stay with you for a long time with its gradual buildup of tension. Harry Caul suspects his profession has once again turned deadly serious after being recruited to record a chat between a couple in a busy park. As the events of the film progress, it still appears plausible that Caul is being watched and used as a manipulation tool. Caul is a man who barely allows himself to have a life because he is so cautious of his privacy, giving us the impression that someone is always listening to another line.

2. It Follows (2014)

It Follows Maika Monroe
Image Credit: RADiUS-TWC.

After receiving carnal knowledge of her boyfriend, Jay realizes she is the newest to receive a curse that brings demise on her, either in the form of a friend or a stranger. Her friends, initially dismissive of her claims, now must work together to help her flee or defend herself. The paranoia extends to the viewers, as avoiding crowded areas, avoiding rooms with only one door, and constantly moving become habits even if you intellectually understand that this creature doesn't exist.

3. The Parallax View (1974)

The Parallax View, Warren Beatty
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Warren Beatty plays Joseph Frady, a reporter looking into a string of fatalities. He learns that the mysterious Parallax Corporation specializes in political assassination. Ultimately, this movie presents a tale about how ordinary people's lives are insignificant to the vital institutions that control politics and history.

4. Contagion (2011)

Contagion Kate Winslet
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

A multi-focus narrative that shows us outbreaks is a nightmare. Everyone, from the investigators at the Center for Disease Control to the average folks suffering from the death toll surrounding them, increases their paranoia. The gut punch at the conclusion demonstrates how the virus spread in the first place and will make you want to wash your hands for the next 50 years.

5. The Net (1995)

The Net
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Angela Bennett, played by Sandra Bullock, is an early adopter of remote work and an IT specialist who primarily communicates with others online. The moment she receives a suspicious floppy disk labeled “Mozart's Ghost” that contains a backdoor to the security program Gatekeeper is when things start to go wrong. While on vacation, she is robbed and is being sought after by a man she believes to be a romantic interest. 

6. Super Dark Time (2017)

Super Dark Times Elizabeth Cappuccino
Image Credit: The Orchard.

Zach and Josh, two teenagers who had been closest friends their whole lives, become estranged from one another when a horrible tragedy and subsequent cover-up send them down a dark path of increasing paranoia and violence.

7. Klute (1971)

Klute, Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

The only person who can help John Klute find his missing companion is a prostitute. He is attempting to get her to help, but he is unaware she is also at risk of losing her life. Can he safeguard his only lead? As Klute and Bree look for a previous abusive client who appears connected to the entire situation, several murders and suicides swirl around the storyline.

8. Marathon Man (1976)

Marathon Man
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Thomas “Babe” Levy is a graduate student at Columbia University who enjoys long-distance running. He is unaware that his older brother is a government agent on the trail of a war criminal until his brother is killed. Babe finds himself entangled in a web of stolen gems and sadistic madmen. Everything Babe thinks to be true is suddenly proven false, and even his girlfriend, Elsa, is put on notice as a potential suspect.

9. Disturbia (2007)

Shia LaBeouf Disturbia
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

When a youngster is under house arrest, he gives in to hopelessness. He begins spying on his neighbors to liven up his existence. While crushing on one neighbor, he discovers the other neighbor to be a serial killer on the loose. To get through the boredom of his arrest, Kale goes serial killer hunting.

10. A Pure Formality (1994)

A Pure Formality, Gérard Depardieu
Image Credit: AFMD.

Onoff, a once-famous French author who has faded from view in recent years, is detained for questioning by the police after they see him running in the rain near the scene of a homicide. Onoff is confronted by the inspector, who questions him about his memory of what happened that night. This leads to a tirade between the two men that may or may not reveal the truth.

11. Dark City (1998)

Dark City , Rufus Sewell
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

John wakes up in a hotel without any memory and discovers he is wanted for a string of killings. He finds a group of aliens known as the Strangers, who are in charge of the city, following him as he looks for answers. He may or may not have a wife, and there are advertisements for a shady location called Shell Beach that he may or may not have previously been. When your life is unfamiliar and continuously changing, insecurity is untold.

12. Three Days of The Condor (1975)

Three Days of the Condor Robert Redford
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A CIA researcher who enjoys reading is horrified to discover that his coworkers have been suddenly killed. After realizing an assassin is on his tail, he has to determine who wants him killed. It's a classic government conspiracy theory film, a cat-and-mouse game with an unassuming everyday person seeking to learn a secret that only grows more complicated as he digs deeper.

13. Hostel (2005)

Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, and Eythor Gudjonsson in Hostel (2005)
Image Credit: Lions Gate Films.

A man persuades three backpackers visiting Europe to go to a hostel with attractive women. When they get there, though, they run into frightening circumstances. The movie follows a group of American tourists as they travel to Slovakia and are finally abducted one by one by a cult that permits its members to torture and shed people's blood.

14. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Rosemary's Baby Mia Farrow
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Guy, her husband, and Rosemary move into an apartment, and Rosemary starts having unusual dreams and hearings. When she becomes pregnant, she fears her neighbors have evil intentions for her unborn child. This movie comes with a sense of dread that we may have experienced.

15. The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

James Hoyt visits a distant home with his partner, Kristen McKay, to spend quality time together. But a knock at the door in the early morning transforms their lives. Three masked criminals infiltrate their homes. Being tortured in your own home is the most distressing thing that can happen, and this film amplified that terror to a whole new level.

Source: (Reddit).

Amaka Chukwuma is a freelance content writer with a BA in linguistics. As a result of her insatiable curiosity, she writes in various B2C and B2B niches. Her favorite subject matter, however, is in the financial, health, and technological niches. She has contributed to publications like Buttonwood Tree and FinanceBuzz in the past and currently writes for Wealth of Geeks.