8 Psychological Thriller Movies and TV Shows With the Most Shocking Plot Twists of All Time

This article contains spoilers.

Viewers enjoy plot twist endings – the type of endings that disrupt our expectations and subvert our perception of the direction we thought the movie or television show was going to take. Psychological thrillers tend to have the most well-crafted plot twists, as they build suspense over time through the psyche of the characters and their deteriorating sense of reality.  Here are eight of the best psychological thriller movies and television shows with the biggest plot twists of all time.

Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes is a limited television series on Netflix based on a popular novel and it has a plot twist nobody could have ever predicted in their lifetime. What you thought to be a typical “husband has an affair with his co-worker” storyline is completely turned upside its head when single mother Louise, gets involved with a man named David, and establishes an intriguing friendship with his wife, Adele. The tension builds slowly as we find out Adele’s secrets are even darker than David’s, and that they may in fact (spoiler alert) be supernatural. We can safely say this is one plot twist that will keep your jaw on the floor well beyond the ending of the movie and you will never predict what is in store for you.

Tell Me Your Secrets

Tell Me Your Secrets is a suspenseful psychological thriller television series that will keep you up at night and it has one of the most shocking plot twist endings of all time. Karen Miller (Lily Rabe) is the ex-partner of notorious serial killer Kit Parker with whom she shared a fairytale romance. She is suspected by society to also be his partner in crime, but it is not clear whether that is fact, fiction, or gossip. Due to the traumas she’s experienced, Karen suffers from large gaps in her memory that prevent her from knowing how involved she was in Kit’s murders of various women, but as she begins to get gradual flashbacks of the night of one of the murders, she is also tracked down by the mother of one of Kit’s victims seeking answers. Plot twist: in the end, it is discovered that Kit may not be the biggest predator in the series, but it’s not Karen we should be worrying about – it is someone we would never suspect.

Another Girl

This movie is a sequel to Ask Me Anything, and it’s a highly underrated psychological thriller with one of the most chilling plot twists of all time. The first movie, Ask Me Anything (which is also well worth watching) follows a young woman, Katie Kampenfelt, who writes a popular blog that transparently details her love life and unconventional sex life with different older men. At the end of the otherwise “light-hearted” movie, Katie goes missing, never to be seen again, and all the men she talked about are suspects. Another Girl follows where Ask Me Anything left off, with a fan of Katie’s, Elle, being contacted by a stranger online who claims to be her. Elle develops a relationship with the mysterious online stranger, and throughout the movie we learn more about the struggles in her life and her vulnerabilities. Viewers wait with bated breath to see who this stranger really is and whether is truly Katie on the other line, but the ending holds a plot twist that is so downright terrifying you will think about it long after you’ve watched it.

The Sixth Sense

The Sixth Sense is a classic example of a movie with the biggest plot twist of all time. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is a child psychologist treating a patient who claims to see and hear dead people. Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) is haunted by his supernatural gift. Malcolm is gradually turned into a believer as he guides Cole to use his supernatural abilities to aid other “ghost” children like Kyra Collins gain justice for the traumatizing circumstances surrounding their deaths. The plot twist? Malcolm is a ghost himself, and that is why he is able to talk to Cole in the first place.

Shutter Island

Shutter Island is another classic movie with a stunning plot twist. Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a U.S. Marshall who, along with his partner Chuck Aule, go on a ferry boat to Shutter Island, so they can investigate the disappearance of a patient, Rachel Solando, at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Rachel is a mother imprisoned for drowning her three children. Teddy is also on a side mission to find the man who murdered his wife while at the hospital, a man he believes to be Andrew Laeddis. The plot twist: unfortunately for Teddy, this secret “mission” may all be in his head, and he is far more acquainted with the Ashecliffe Hospital than viewers might assume – not as a marshall, but as a patient himself, and he has a personal relationship with Rachel Solando that makes his story a tragic one. When I first watched Shutter Island in theaters, I am proud to say I figured out the plot twist near the beginning of the film. However, it’s still a very unsettling plot twist no matter when you figure it out and one that is sure to spook viewers upon first watch.

Gone Girl

In the beginning of the movie Gone Girl, we are led to believe that Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) who has disappeared may have been murdered by her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) and that we may actually be hearing her narration from beyond the grave. As we “read” the diary entries of Amy and are thrust into their love story, and follow present-day events as Nick is investigated for her disappearance, however, we are suddenly pivoted into the fact that Amy is actually still alive, and is actively framing her cheating husband for her murder. But an even darker plot twist? This is not the first man Amy has targeted and it likely won’t be her last.


In the movie Searching, David Kim (John Cho) investigates the disappearance of his daughter Margot. This cyber-thriller is filmed primarily on computers, laptops, phones, and uses Facetime, news media, and videos to build suspense and tension, making it an even more intense ride for the viewer. The movie features many red herrings until we finally find out the culprit behind Margot’s disappearance, and even before we discover the culprit, there are minor plot twists leading up to the grand finale. For example, David finds out that Margot filmed videos for a streaming site called YouCast, he begins to suspect a friend on the site, Hannah, who lives in a different state. In one of the movie’s first creepy plot twists, David sees Hannah’s photo being used on the memorial site for his still missing daughter and realizes she’s a stock model and isn’t truly Margot’s friend. In another, David discovers strange texts between Margot and his brother. But the person behind all of it is someone much closer and more shocking than we would ever suspect.

Where The Crawdads Sing

This cinematic masterpiece and drama psychological thriller follows the life of a young outcast, Kya, known as “Marsh Girl,” who has been accused of murdering Chase Andrews, a popular quarterback. Kya (Daisy Edgar-Jones), who raised herself after being abandoned by her family in the marshes of North Carolina, is misled with false promises of a relationship into sleeping with Chase, only to later discover he is engaged to another woman. However, when she tries to let the relationship go, Chase becomes violent and destructive. Throughout the film, we are led to believe Kya may be innocent due to her alibi, but the truth of what really happened the night of Chase’s murder comes to light at the end with a plot twist that is riveting and satisfying for viewers.

About the author

Shahida Arabi

Shahida is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University. She is a published researcher and author of Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse and Breaking Trauma Bonds with Narcissists and Psychopaths. Her books have been translated into 16+ languages all over the world. Her work has been featured on Salon, HuffPost, Inc., Bustle, Psychology Today, Healthline, VICE, NYDaily News and more. For more inspiration and insight on manipulation and red flags, follow her on Instagram here.