Thursday Movie Picks: Psychological Thrillers

a weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves

Despite my refusal to watch Mank — I could change my mind though —, David Fincher is one of my favourite directors and he is stuck in my head as I've been (re)watching some of his films. Hence, I really, really had to pick three of his films for this week's psychological thriller-themed Thursday Movie Picks

Se7en (1995)

The first Fincher I ever watched, it follows a couple of detectives (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) as they investigate a series of murders connected to deadly sins. It is one hell of a thriller, as it messes with you as it messes with its characters.

The Game (1997) - Review

Watched for the first time earlier this month on my birthday, it follows a wealthy but lonely investment banker who soon after his 48th birthday starts descending into a rabbit hole of chaos and paranoia as a mysterious gaming company pulls pranks on him. It is easily the most nerve-racking of my three picks today, and Michael Douglas does a terrific job in the role, conveys the desperation of his character.

Gone Girl (2014)

Of course, this post couldn't exist without my favourite Fincher, which follows an unfaithful husband (Ben Affleck) as he is investigated for the disappearance and presumed murder of his wife (Rosamund Pike). It's incredible how tense and thrilling this film manages to be despite having seen it many times, and Rosamund Pike is mind-blowing as Amy.

18 comments :

  1. Rosamund Pike should have won the Oscar because she played that batshit crazy bitch so well. Se7en is a disturbing film but wrought with tension. I haven’t seen your other pick but would like to. Why do you not want to see Mank?

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    1. There are mixed reviews about it but I've heard from so many people how boring the film is, and I'm not sure I want to waste time like that. Although I feel bad about not watching it because it's Fincher's.

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  2. I still don't know why I haven't watch Se7en yet. That film is constantly being praised and I just didn't have the time to watch it! I need to make some effort to watch that movie soon! Great list!

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  3. I tried really hard to watch Mank because of Fincher but I just couldn't do it. It's just not my kind of movie at all! Gone Girl is possibly my favourite cinema experience ever, I hadn't read the book and had no idea what I was about to witness.

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    1. It was the same for me the first time I watched it and was blown away. I read the novel afterwards and watched the film multiple times and it still blows me away every single time. Simply a masterpiece.

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  4. I love a theme within the theme and this is a terrific one!

    Se7en is one I admired when I saw it in the theatre (I was even able to abide Paltrow) but found to gruesome to even make a return trip to it.

    Love Rosamund Pike and thought Gone Girl was interesting and tense but it never enthralled me as it seems to have done for so many others.

    Out of these three The Game is my favorite and the only one I've watched more than once. I agree that Michael Douglas carried the film expertly but the excellent work by the surrounding cast, Sean Penn, Carroll Baker et al, really strengthened his effectiveness.

    Unlike last week's very limited theme this one is wide open so I focused on picks where the psychology lead down the path of madness.

    The Baby (1973)-Recently widowed social worker Ann Gentry (Anjanette Comer) is given the case of the Wadsworth family: raspy-voiced Mrs. Wadsworth (Ruth Roman in a wonderfully complex performance), her two very strange adult daughters Alba and Germaine (Suzanne Zenor & Mariana Hill), and her 21-year-old son Baby (David Mooney) whom they have kept infantilized to the point that he still lives in a crib and diapers. Discovering that Baby’s condition isn’t physiological but rather a result of abuse and neglect Ann tries to intercede, but Mrs. Wadsworth is having none of it. Thus begins a battle that escalates to extremes as Mrs. Wadsworth fights to keep control and Ann insists that she’s only interested in Baby’s best interests…. but is she?

    Shock Corridor (1963)-In pursuit of a Pulitzer Prize ambitious reporter Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) feigns madness and has himself committed to an insane asylum to investigate and solve a recent murder sure it will win him the award. But once inside the rigors and horrors of confinement lead him to slowly lose his grip on reality. Lurid by necessity but director Sam Fuller keeps a firm hand preventing the film from slipping into exploitation.

    Shutter Island (2010)-In the 50’s two Federal Marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), enter the peculiar dream like world of Ashecliffe Hospital, an insane asylum located on the remote, windswept Shutter Island, to investigate an apparent escape from the seemingly impenetrable skerry. As a hurricane engulfs the madhouse the men and in particular Teddy begin to question all they know as both their safety and sanity are imperiled. Top-flight Scorsese uses a very effective fractured version of the great Dinah Washington song “This Bitter Earth” to maintain the film’s edgy vibe all the way through the credits.

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    1. I couldn't agree more about The Game's cast. They all do such a wonderful job.

      Shutter Island is the only of your picks I've seen and I really, really enjoyed it. I'm glad it worked for you too.

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  5. I see you're going w/ a Fincher theme and naturally, the guy is a master for this sub-genre. We match on one of them as well as I tried to go w/ films w/ mostly female protagonists.

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  6. Gone Girl is still my favorite film by David Fincher.

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  7. Ah, we match with Gone Girl, Sonia! And excellent choice with Se7en. The Game sounds interesting, especially as I'm enjoying Michael Douglas' films at the moment, having seen Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile and Fatal Attraction recently.
    PS. Happy belated birthday!

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    1. I'm having a bit of a Douglas moment myself and I'm planning on watching those you just mentioned soon.

      And thank you!

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  8. Nice picks! I went the more tame route this week, but these are great picks. I can't believe I missed them especially Gone Girl and Se7en. I'll have to check out The Game though.

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    1. Thanks! And yes, you have to watch The Game. It is so good!

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