How Psychological Thrillers Impact the Mind

Psychological thrillers are the epitome of suspense and mystery. They slowly reel us in with frightening or exciting scenes and lead us down a rabbit hole of hidden meanings. Just when you think you have seen it all, the ending introduces a major plot twist that essentially changes the whole view of the thriller.

With these constant twists and turns, psychological thrillers can send your mind into a whirlwind. Whether you appreciate this or not, thrillers ultimately impact your perception and teach important messages in incredibly unique ways.

Looks can be deceiving.

Looks can indeed be deceiving in psychological thrillers. Certain movies, like M. Night Shyamalan’s "The Sixth Sense," show that what you’re seeing may not even be real. The story follows a young boy who begins speaking to a therapist about his visions of seeing dead people (hence the iconic line). He can vividly look at terrifying scenes of people who once lived in his home and who faced untimely deaths.

This movie, of course, ends with a plot twist that leaves the viewers shocked. Thrillers like this enjoy utilizing false imagery to paint a picture that may not be entirely accurate. However, this imagery strings the reader along and has them question exactly what they saw.

You never truly know someone’s home life.

There are two well-known psychological thrillers that pertain to this theme: "The Girl on the Train" and "Behind Closed Doors." However perfect one’s family life may seem, there are probably more than a few big secrets that no one knows about. "The Girl on the Train" follows the story of Rachel, an alcoholic who rides the train every day, glancing into the home of this seemingly perfect couple. One day, the wife disappears and Rachel makes it her mission to find out what happened. Since blocks of her memory are forgotten due to the alcohol, the novel makes you reevaluate everything.

"Behind Closed Doors" also shows that not every couple has an ideal home life, although it may seem as if they do. Grace and Jack host dinner parties every week where they invite friends into their home. The parties are elegant and exciting, and the chemistry between Grace and Jack is obvious. However, once the parties end, Grace has to face the evil that is her husband Jack.

Thrillers like these get you thinking that there is much more than what you originally see. The attitudes that people have with each other could be genuine… or not. It shows that you never truly know about someone else’s life.

Dishonesty can really hurt others.

The novel "Gone Girl" depicts the idea of lies ruining someone’s life. It follows the story of Amy and Nick, who are in an incredibly happy marriage… until they aren't. When the constant arguing begins, Amy devises a plan to get Nick to fall in love with her again, but it quickly turns dangerous. She begins lying in her diary and accusing Nick of terrible things, thus causing him to get in trouble with the police.

The premise of dishonesty plays a big role in this novel and goes to show that it can cause major trouble. Although the purposes of lying may not be evident, the results can be disastrous.

Overall, psychological thrillers resonate with you and get you to think deeply about certain topics. They throw you for a loop but are still captivating and interesting. Although they all have different storylines, there is one common theme about psychological thrillers: you can’t trust your mind.

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