Who is a psychopath? The good old Wikipedia definition of psychopathy states it to be a personality disorder, exhibited by persistent antisocial behaviour with less or no empathy or remorse with bold and disinhibited characteristics. It’s usually believed that the psychopaths or psychos in short are lunatics and crazy people. But in reality, they understand human behaviour better than most people and that’s what makes them so dangerous. Filmmakers have had some what dangerous affinity towards these psychopaths and have churned out numerous movies about them. The following list picks up some of the most memorable psychopath portrayals in movies, where the characters have given us the creeps, the shrieks and the jitters. Most importantly, they made us believe that they are real.
I currently feel that the term ‘psychopath’ is incorrectly thrown around a lot these days, without understanding the correct pathology of it. The human mind is a hive of complex thoughts and mechanisms, and psychopathy, psychosis, dementia, dissociative identity disorder, among others, are only a few of the disorders it faces, that are often used under the umbrella ‘psychopath’ term. Similarly, serial killer movies are often termed psychopath movies, while it may not be true always. A psychopath can be extremely calm and blended with the environment for all you know, even proving to be harmless in some situations unless triggered otherwise. To sum it up, a psychopath’s primary differentiator is a plain lack of empathy for his actions, however gruesome they may be, mental or physical.
All of it falls under inherently grey areas with a lot of overlaps, but we have tried to (mostly) steer clear of psychological and medical connotations to bring you a list of top movies about psychopaths. On this list, you will find psychopath killer movies, psychopath horror and thriller films. You can watch several of these best psychopath movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
25. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
‘Seven Psychopaths’ was indeed a welcome break in this list of increasingly violent and disturbing psychopath films. I agree that the septet of oddballs might not be textbook psychopaths, and might even be toned down versions of a lot of psychopaths compared to other films on this list. However, that doesn’t for one second deter ‘Seven Psychopaths’ from being a damn good film based on them, and that it even brought a smile to my face along with an occasional chuckle or two at its sadistic, firebrand kind of dark humour, is completely to its merit.
The film boasts of bringing together a stellar ensemble cast including Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken, all of whom, especially Rockwell, appear to be having a blast, and that adds a lot of levity to the plot and the outlandish violence that is often characteristic and accompanying of a dark comedy of this nature. The ludicrous plot of the film should be reason enough to invest your time in this, but if you have seen the rather excellent ‘In Bruges’ (2008) by the same director, Martin McDonagh, you will get it, and love it for what it is.