Prepare to Be Scared — These Are the Most Chilling Psychological Thrillers on HBO Max
ICYMI, HBO Max has a treasure trove of killer movies. (And by killer, we mean that literally.) The streaming service is no stranger to box office thrillers, and we're here to inform you that the selection is stacked with frightening titles. Complete with daunting, thrilling, and totally tantalizing picks, HBO Max should be your number one movie stop if you're looking for a flick that'll induce full body chills. Classic titles like Jaws and Kill Bill are ready for your watching pleasure, as well as newer hits like Ma and The Little Things, which should definitely be in the queue.
Whether you're looking to be spooked or your guilty pleasure is watching flicks that make your heart race, these psychological thrillers on HBO Max will give you just what you need. Check out the hottest titles that you can stream now. Because nothing says movie night like being too scared to turn off the lights . . .
— Additional reporting by Corinne Sullivan and Stacey Nguyen
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New Jack City
In this thrilling 1991 drama, a drug tycoon is rising to power in New York. While the drug operation is growing into a multimillion-dollar scheme, two police officers vow to take down the whole operation.
Watch New Jack City on HBO Max now.
The Little Things
Denzel Washington's crime thriller costars Rami Malek and Jared Leto. Washington plays a hard-boiled, burned-out California deputy who gets paired with Malek's bright young detective to investigate a serial killer.
Watch The Little Things on HBO Max now.
It Chapter Two
Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with It, the members of the Losers Club are forced to return to Derry and have a final showdown with the demonic entity. Only one of the seven Losers stayed in town after they grew up: Mike Hanlon, who becomes the town librarian. When he hears whispers of clown sightings in Derry and suspects a recent, savage murder is Pennywise's doing, he alerts the rest of the group to honor the pact they made as kids to kill It for good if It ever returned.
Watch It Chapter Two on HBO Max now.
The story of Us follows Adelaide and Gabe Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o and Black Panther's Winston Duke) who take their kids (Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex) to Adelaide's beachside childhood home for an idyllic summer getaway. Though they've gone to Northern California to unwind, Adelaide is haunted by an "unexplainable and unresolved" trauma from her past and feels her paranoia mount as she grows more certain something terrible is going to happen to her family. After a beachside day with their friends, the Tylers (Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon), the Wilsons discover a family of four standing in their driveway that turn out to be menacing dopplegangers of themselves. Things quickly go from ominous to terrifying as Us pits an ordinary American family against an "uncanny opponent."
Watch Us on HBO Max now.
Childhood friends are forced to confront their past after a tragic event brings them back home again. Mystic River will make you speculate all you thought you knew until the very end . . .
Watch Mystic River on HBO Max now.
This equally dramatic and erotic movie tells the story of infidelity gone very, very wrong. When Edward finds out his wife is lying about an affair, he takes matters into his own hands.
Watch Unfaithful on HBO Max now.
Don't Let Go
David Oyelowo stars in the film as Jack, a man mourning the devastating loss of his teenage niece, Ashley (Storm Reid). Jack is forced to put his grief on hold when he receives a mysterious call from Ashley days after she's presumably murdered, and once he realizes that he's actually living two weeks ahead in the future, he sees it as the perfect opportunity to work with his niece to solve her murder and stop it before it happens. However, their investigation could lead to even more fatal consequences that neither are prepared for.
Watch Don't Let Go on HBO Max now.
Kill Bill: Volume 1
Uma Thurman's role in Kill Bill: Volume 1 will forever go down as one of the greatest action roles of all time. Thurman plays the heart-stopping role of the bride who must enact revenge on a team of assassins after they attempt to kill her and her unborn child.
Watch Kill Bill: Volume 1 on HBO Max now.
Kill Bill: Volume 2
Arguably the best film in the Kill Bill franchise, Kill Bill Volume 2 sees Uma Thurman's character, The Bride, pick up where she left off in Volume 1 — on her quest to complete her hit list.
Watch Kill Bill: Volume 2 on HBO Max now.
The Devil's Advocate
Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron star as husband and wife in this totally trippy film about an up-and-coming defense lawyer whose new job may have him working for the actual devil, and whose wife may be slowly losing her grip on reality. Plus, there's a certain scandalous scene with the beautiful Connie Nielsen (who plays Queen Hippolyta in Wonder Woman) that we promise you won't soon forget.
Watch The Devil's Advocate on HBO Max now.
In this book-to-movie adaptation, The Exorcist comes from a 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty. It tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who becomes possessed by demons and a pastor's will to help her.
Watch The Exorcist on HBO Max now.
Nicole Kidman is downright terrifying in this Civil War-set thriller about a school for girls that takes in a wounded soldier (Colin Farrell). This sexual Southern Gothic fairy tale is perfect for fans of historical dramas.
Watch The Beguiled on HBO Max now.
While working for the CIA may seem like a dream job, Matt Weston's (Ryan Reynolds) current position at a Safe House is certainly no picnic. He's a new agent, stationed alone in South Africa, waiting for the chance that he will have a "house guest" (someone who is taken prisoner by the CIA). Matt's desperately trying to get some field experience so he can be stationed in some other city where he can see a little action. After a year of boredom, his wish comes true when Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington) arrives.
Watch Safe House on HBO Max now.
With an all-star cast composed of Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, and Justin Theroux, this cinematic classic is about a car crash victim who tries to piece together her fragmented memories with the help of an aspiring Hollywood actress. The best part of this thriller: the sexual chemistry between Watts and Harring is scary good.
Watch Mulholland Drive on HBO Max now.
An instant classic, Cruel Intentions tells the twisted tale of revenge, manipulation, high stakes, and sex. Ryan Phillippe plays the irresistible Sebastian, challenged with deflowering his headmaster's daughter (Reese Witherspoon) before the summer's end — all in the name of sleeping with his stepsister Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar), of course.
Watch Cruel Intentions on HBO Max now.
Glitz, glam, and sex make up this 2002 thriller flick. When Laure, a member of a crime ring, steals jewels from a model, she decides to flee instead of splitting the fortune. Along the way, she meets a girl named Lily, who is basically identical to her. After Lily kills herself, Laure takes over her identity and tries to start a new life.
Watch Femme Fatale on HBO Max now.
A Kiss Before Dying
Sexy twins, money, and murder — what more could you need? In this 1991 movie, college student Jonathan Corliss dates a rich young woman to make good with her well-known father. When Dorothy finds out that she's pregnant, she tells Jonathan that her father won't give her her inheritance if he finds out. Outraged, Jonathan takes drastic measures.
Watch A Kiss Before Dying on HBO Max now.
In this Blumhouse horror film, Octavia Spencer plays Sue Ann, a loner who finds companionship in her small Ohio town in the form of a group of teenagers looking for a safe place to party. But because this is a thriller, this isn't a touching story about a kindhearted group of teenagers bringing a lonely older woman out of her shell. Will the kids survive the night?
Watch Ma on HBO Max now.
This thrilling Paris-set 1800s drama stars Elizabeth Olsen as Thérèse and Oscar Isaac as Laurent, two lovers who conspire to kill Thérèse's husband. Their ugly affair only gets worse when hatred and rage fill their hearts.
Watch In Secret on HBO Max now.
The Invisible Man
In this (very loose) take on H. G. Wells's sci-fi novel of the same name (and the subsequent 1933 film adaptation), Elisabeth Moss stars as a woman who narrowly escapes from the clutches of her brilliant yet abusive husband, only to be plagued by a new threat: an invisible and foreboding presence that only she can detect. Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, and Storm Reid round out the cast, with Saw creator Leigh Whannell directing.
Watch The Invisible Man on HBO Max now.
A writer's decision to spend the winter at a deserted hotel with his wife and son majorly backfires when it becomes clear that they're definitely not alone in the grand building — but they're not accompanied by the living, either.
Watch The Shining on HBO Max now.
The Book of Henry
Precocious 11-year-old Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) takes care of his single mom (Naomi Watts) and his younger brother (Jacob Tremblay) in this family drama. When Henry discovers a secret about the family next door (which includes his classmate, played by Maddie Ziegler), he takes it upon himself to come up with a solution (aka murder).
Watch The Book of Henry on HBO Max now.
In this 1995 crime thriller, Brad Pitt plays newly transferred detective David Mills, who works alongside retiring homicide detective William Somerset (played by Morgan Freeman) to track down a serial killer whom they believe to be targeting people who have committed one of the seven deadly sins (and killing them in a gruesome manner that represents that sin).
Watch Se7en on HBO Max now.
This dark thriller follows an army medic who begins experiencing violent visions after finding his brother. This '90s film picked up a major following and became the inspiration for video games such as Silent Hill.
Watch Jacob's Ladder on HBO Max now.
The adaptation of Stephen King's Doctor Sleep, the author's long-awaited sequel to The Shining, is surprisingly good. You don't need to rewatch Stanley Kubrick's movie to understand the events, but you may want to brush up just to appreciate all the references. Get ready to be chilled to your core.
Watch Doctor Sleep on HBO Max now.
A Perfect Murder
Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortensen star in this steamy thriller about a husband's plot to kill his wife for her money after he finds out she's cheating on him.
Watch A Perfect Murder on HBO Max now.
Denzel Washington takes Ethan Hawke on the ride-along of his life in this critically acclaimed thriller from director Antoine Fuqua.
Watch Training Day on HBO Max now.
The Astronaut’s Wife
The sci-fi thriller The Astronaut's Wife stars Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron as a happily married couple. They're happily married, that is, until Depp's character, an astronaut, begins to act strangely after returning from a mission. Before the thriller fully unfolds, there's a rather otherworldly and intense love scene between Depp and Theron.
The Book of Eli
In this postapocalyptic drama, Denzel Washington plays a blind man who has to protect the last Bible on earth while spouting biblical phrases and wasting his enemies with a samurai sword. It's thrilling, exciting, and totally outlandish.
Watch The Book of Eli on HBO Max now.
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Looking for a thrilling Christmas-themed movie? We've got you. In this flick, Geena Davis plays a spy with amnesia, so you already know The Long Kiss Goodnight is not your average Christmas film. It's more a spy thriller that's Christmas-adjacent, which means you don't have to give up the action.
Watch The Long Kiss Goodnight on HBO Max now.
No Country For Old Men
No Country For Old Men boasts a stellar cast in Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin. Llewelyn Moss accidentally stumbles on a drug deal gone awry, and he ends up with $2 million in stolen money. Unfortunately, a hitman won't let him get away with it.
Watch No Country For Old Men on HBO Max now.
Dreamcatcher is one of Stephen King's strangest books, and it became one of his most bizarre movie adaptations in 2003. Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Timothy Olyphant, and Damian Lewis star in this movie about a group of friends who go camping but end up in the middle of an alien invasion.
Watch Dreamcatcher on HBO Max now.
Dog Day Afternoon
Amateur criminals are lead by Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) to rob a bank, and before they know it, everything has gone wrong. A hostage situation develops and everything that could go awry does.
Watch Dog Day Afternoon on HBO Max now.
A Thin Line Between Love and Hate
A thrilling romance movie that explores how fast love can turn into hate (and vice versa), A Thin Line Between Love and Hate depicts betrayal and sweet revenge. Darnell (Martin Lawrence) is engaged to his childhood sweetheart Mia (Regina King), but is notorious for his playboy ways. When he meets Brandi (Lynn Whitfield) and sleeps with her, he tries to get away scot-free and go back to Mia – but Brandi isn't about to allow that to happen.
Watch A Thin Line Between Love and Hate on HBO Max now.
The Last Exorcism
If you never want to sleep again, The Last Exorcism might be for you. Evangelical minister Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) has made a living off of staging fake exorcisms. After feeling a tidal wave of guilt, he agrees to let a film crew make a documentary about his final exorcism, exposing him for the fraud he truly is. It all goes to sh*t, of course, when the girl Cotton intends to exorcise ends up being truly possessed, and he comes face to face with the mother of all demons.
Watch The Last Exorcism on HBO Max now.
Final Destination 5
Final Destination 5 isn't the most poetic, nuanced horror film out there — it's not even the best Final Destination iteration — but it'll do in a pinch. It's thrilling, chilling, and will leave you spooked for sure.
Watch Final Destination 5 on HBO Max now.
As the film's original poster boasts, Jaws is based on "the terrifying No. 1 bestseller" by Peter Benchley. Benchley wrote the novel after being inspired by stories about Frank Mundus, a shark fisherman known as "Monster Man." This thriller is a classic, so be sure to add it to your queue.
Watch Jaws on HBO Max now.
This second installment of Jaws doesn't have the excellence of Richard Dreyfuss or Robert Shaw, but Roy Scheider returns as Brody, and the story isn't half bad. A second equally monstrous shark begins terrorizing swimmers in Amity and eventually goes after a group of teenagers (including Brody's son) who are out for a sail. On top of the truly traumatizing jump scares and bloody deaths, the way they get rid of the shark at the end is pretty amazing.
Watch Jaws 2 on HBO Max now.