23 Psychological Thriller Movies Like Gerald’s Game: What Would You Do?
Despite the fact that there’s basically no blood and no killer hunting anyone down, Gerald’s Game is by far one of the most terrifying movies I’ve seen.
It’s the story of a woman who is handcuffed to a bed in an isolated house after her husband dies while they’re role-playing, and she’s left completely alone with no hope of escape. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I absolutely loved this movie and its exploration of the human psyche.
If you’re looking for more movies like Gerald’s Game that will make you wonder what you’d do if you were in the same situation, here are 23 to check out:
Movies like Gerald’s Game
1. The Lodge (2020)
I saw The Lodge the year it came out at the Calgary International Film Festival, and it was pretty screwed up. A family is on a holiday retreat at a remote cabin when the dad has to return to work unexpectedly, leaving his two children in the care of his girlfriend, Grace.
What follows is a descent into madness as Grace’s dark past comes back to haunt her. The Cabin in the Woods this is not. This is whole heartedly a phycological thriller, instead of a slasher horror. It’s equal parts unnerving, sad, and terrifying.
Honestly, this movie might have been one of the blips on my road to a mental health focus. Though, admittedly there were probably a few flicks that contributed.
2. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
In 10 Cloverfield Lane, Michelle survived a car crash only to wake up and find herself in an underground bunker with two strange men. Howard (John Goodman) tells her that there’s been a massive chemical attack and they’re only safe because they’re underground.
Despite having comforts like your average home, she finds Howard to be incredibly controlling and thinks there might still be life outside the bunker. So, she tries to escape.
3. When a Stranger Calls (2006)
When a Stranger Calls always freaked me out when I was younger, and it still does. It’s the story of a babysitter who gets terrorized by a psycho who keeps calling her and asking, “Have you checked the children?” I thought about that every time I babysat.
The original movie came out in 1979 (which was actually pretty good), but the 2006 remake is the one I always think of. It’s not as good as the original, but it’s still pretty darn unsettling. What makes it worse is the fact that it’s loosely based on a true story – the death of Janett Christman in 1950. Eek!
4. The Girl on the Train (2016)
Based on a book of the same name, The Girl on the Train, follows Rachel Watson as she takes the train into New York City every day. She’s an alcoholic who is still mourning the loss of her husband and child, and she becomes fixated on a couple she sees every day, Scott and Megan.
One day, Rachel sees something shocking happen at their house and gets involved in the investigation, even though she can’t trust her own memory. It’s a great psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end.
5. The Roommate (2011)
There’s a reason why I’m not interested in having a roommate, and The Roommate demonstrates that perfectly. Sara (Minka Kelly) arrives in Los Angeles for College, and meets her wealthy roommate, Rebecca (Leighton Meester) who’s more than willing to show her around.
The two grow close, but not close enough for Rebecca. As Sara starts to branch out, make more friends, meet a special someone, Rebecca gets creepy. It’s a great psychological thriller about the stalker in the next bed.
6. The Final Girls (2015)
The Final Girls is a bit more slasher then psychology, but still leaves you with a “what would you do” vibe. Max and her girlfriends are watching a B-horror movie starring her recently passed mother, when they’re unexpectedly thrust into the movie themselves.
It’s up to her to make sure the group of them ends up as the final girls and no victims of the killer. Using her knowledge of horror movies she acquired from years of watching them with her mother, she hatches a plan to get them out alive.
It’s a great send up of the slasher genre, with some decent scares. And seriously, what would you do?
7. Secret Obsession (2019)
Secret Obsession is a weird flick that’s filled with some pretty cheesy acting, but I’d still recommend checking it out. Starring Brenda Song and Mike Vogel, the movie is about a woman named Jennifer who’s attacked and left for dead.
She wakes up from a coma with amnesia, and her husband (Vogel) tells her she was in a car accident. Everything seems on the up and up until strange things start happening. It’s only then that she realizes that a car accident was never the real danger.
8. Ready or Not (2019)
Ready or Not is a pretty wild ride, and one that’s sure to leave you on the edge of your seat. Grace (Samara Weaving) marries Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), and on their wedding night, she has to play a game of hide and seek as part of a family tradition.
The catch? If she’s caught, she dies. It’s a race against the clock as Grace has to outwit, and outlast, her new in-laws who are hellbent on killing her. This is both part slasher (there’s A LOT of blood loss) and psychological thriller – what would you do if your new family was trying to kill you?
9. Hypnotic (2021)
Hypnotic also stars Kate Siegel, only this time as Jenn.
After losing her baby, and at the recommendation of her best friend, Jenn goes to see hypnotherapist Dr. Collin Meade (Jason O’Mara).
But she seemingly forgets everything that happens during her sessions, and weird things start to happen.
12. It Follows (2014)
It Follows is one of those movies that’s both highly original and completely terrifying. After Jay (Maika Monroe) has sex with her new boyfriend, she’s followed by a shape-shifting entity that takes on the appearance of different people.
The only way to get rid of it is to have sex with someone else, and pass it. If you’re interested in horror script writing in the slightest, chances are you’ve studied this movie. It’s also a slow burn with an artsy thriller, but it’s also very scary. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to.
13. The Invitation (2016)
Will (Logan Marshall-Green) accepts his ex-wife’s invitation to the dinner party she’s holding with her new husband in The Invitation (go figure).
While it’s clear there’s some tension between the couple and ex-lover, he starts to get the feeling that the hosts have something more sinister in mind for the guests. This thrilling flick has a pretty high rating on Rotten Tomatoes (89%) and is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
This psychological thriller really got me because it’s one of those “what would you do” flicks to a more more intense scale. What would you do if the killer you’re running from was all in your mind?
10. 1922 (2017)
More of an artful thriller, 1922 finds Wilfred James (Thomas Jane) confessing to the murder of his wife Arlette (Molly Parker). But it’s not that simple, as he draws you into his story, and the events that led up to her death.
Based on a Stephen King novella, the movie is beautifully shot, and features some great performances. It’s a slow burn, but one that’s well worth the watch. The big downside is you don’t get the high intense thrilling vibes that you get from a regular old horror-thriller, but it’s also kind of its charm.
14. Antebellum (2020)
Antebellum is a film with a truly horrific concept, but it wasn’t the best done film. Even still, I find it’s worth the watch. Janelle Monáe stars as successful author Veronica Henley.
Veronica has just finished her book tour, but is kidnapped and transported back to Civil War area. She must then try to escape and return to her own time and family.
Although the film was not executed as perfectly as it could have been, I think the story is important and worth watching.
15. You Should Have Left (2020)
Starring Amanda Seyfried and Kevin Bacon, You Should Have Left is a 2020 thriller that will have you thinking twice about staying in a rental home. The couple, along with their daughter, are renting a home in the Welsh countryside.
However, it quickly becomes apparent that something is not right with the house. The family starts to experience strange things happening, and they soon realize that they’re not alone. It’s a classic case of a family being terrorized by a supernatural force, but it’s still a good watch if you’re looking for a scare.
8. Hush (2016)
Hush is a pretty typical psychological horror where a masked killer is stalking a woman who’s alone in the woods. Maddie is a deaf and mute author who’s living in seclusion following a horrific event that left her without her hearing.
When a masked killer shows up at her house, she has to use all of her cunning and strength to survive. It’s not the most original movie on the list, but it is well done and pretty suspenseful. It also features some great performances by both Kate Siegel (who also wrote the movie) and John Gallagher Jr.
16. Jacob’s Ladder (2019)
Jacob’s Ladder is a remake of the 1990 horror film of the same name. The film follows Jacob Singer (Michael Ealy), who is struggling to cope with the death of his brother.
When he starts seeing strange things happening around him, he begins to believe that there is more to his brother’s story than he first thought. The film is a little slow-paced, but it’s still a good watch if you’re looking for a psychological thriller.
17. The Visit (2015)
The Visit is a found footage horror film from director M. Night Shyamalan. The film follows two siblings who are sent to stay with their grandparents for the first time. However, they soon realize that something is not right with their Nana and Pop Pop, and they uncover a particularly shocking secret.
The film a bit of a slow burn, that’s ultimately a well-done thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. If you’re looking for a scare, I’d recommend adding it to your must-watch list.
18. The Strangers (2008)
The Strangers is a 2008 home invasion horror film that follows a young couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) who are terrorized by a trio of masked assailants. The film is notable for its use of tension and suspense, rather than gore, to create a sense of unease.
I live in a pretty remote area that’s pitch black at night, and I occasionally think of what I would do in that scenario. If you’re looking for a scare, this is definitely a film you should check out.
19. Parasite (2019)
Parasite is a Korean thriller that follows the story of two families – one wealthy, and one poor. The film takes a look at classism and the lengths to which people will go to survive. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that this film will keep you on the edge of your seat.
This film won an Academy Award, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to watch it. It’s a freaky, thought-provoking thriller that’s hella unsettling.
20. The Purge (2013)
The Purge is a dystopian horror film that’s set in a future America where, once a year, all crime is legal for 12 hours. The film follows a family who are home-invaded by a group of strangers, and they must fight for their lives.
The concept of the film is truly horrific, and it’s executed well. If you’re looking for a good scare, this is definitely a film you should check out.
21. The Intruder (2019)
The Intruder is an unsettling film about a couple that buys a new home but it seems like the former owner (Dennis Quaid) isn’t willing to let it go.
This film is creepy, and it will make you think twice about buying a new home, especially if there seems like there’s an overbearing former owner. The Intruder is a good stalker-focused watch if you’re looking for a scare.
22. 47 Meters Down (2017)
I LOVE 47 Meters Down, it’s one of my favorite survivor thriller flicks. Sisters Lisa (Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt) are on vacation in Mexico when they decide to go shark cage diving. However, the cage breaks free from the boat and plunges to the bottom of the ocean.
The sisters must find a way to escape the sharks and make it to safety before their oxygen runs out. This film is intense, and it will have you on the edge of your seat. If you’re pretty scared of sharks, I might recommend skipping it.
23. Only Mine (2019)
Only Mine is the psychological thriller of most of our nightmares. Julie (Amber Midthunder) meets the charming David (Brett Zimmerman) only to find out that he’s most definitely not the man of her dreams.
It’s a stalker focused, “who did I fall in love with and how do I get rid of him” horror thriller that you might not want to watch if you find domestic violence to be a particular trigger.
What is Gerald’s Game?
Gerald’s Game is a psychological horror novel by Stephen King, originally published in 1992. The novel is about a woman who is left handcuffed to a bed after her husband dies during a kinky sex game gone wrong.
She must then grapple with both physical and psychological challenges in order to escape. The book adapted into a film in 2017, and is hella unsettling. Whether you watch the film, read the novel or do both, it’s well worth it. It’s a suspenseful, thought-provoking thriller that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.