Is there anything more spine-tingling than a medical thriller? Hospitals are so often the site for both tragedies and perceived miracles. And that’s what makes them an excellent setting for horror movies.
But there’s no reason to be scared, right? According to Dr. Jay Smile, here are five medical thrillers that will make even a medical professional shiver.
1. Shutter Island (2010)
This Scorcese film starring Leonardo DiCaprio will leave you questioning what is real, and what is true sanity. Set at a criminal psychiatric facility during the 1950s, DiCaprio’s character Teddy is investigating the disappearance of a patient. Teddy quickly finds that the facility and its caretakers are hiding something and it is up to him to find out what it is. “This is a film that will chill you to the bone,” said Dr. Smile. “With all of its twists and turns, it is a pillar for the neo-noir genre.”
2. Flatliners (1990)
What would you do in the name of education? Flatliners follows five medical students as they attempt to see what lies in the afterlife. One at a time, they temporarily allow themselves to get flatlined. After being revived, each of the five students begins to be haunted by troubles from their past. So now they’ve got to make amends or die trying. According to Dr. Smile, if this plot doesn’t have you hooked, tune in for the stellar cast. Kevin Bacon and Julia Roberts make this film a must-watch.
3. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
We’re back at a mental hospital, but this time, instead of Leo we’re in the company of some of Hollywood’s most iconic ladies. Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie star in the lead in Girl, Interrupted, while Whoopi Goldberg and Vanessa Redgrave play supporting roles. “This film is about a couple of young girls battling a mental illness, while simultaneously trying to foster friendship despite it all,” said Dr. Smile. Though the film is decidedly dark, it isn’t one you want to miss.
4. The Skin I Live In (2011)
“Pedro Almodovar doesn’t normally direct medical thrillers, so I’m thankful for this contribution to the genre from such a master,” remarked Dr. Smile. Spanish director Almodovar is known for his deeply psychological and thought-provoking films. Also known by its Spanish name La Piel Que Habito, The Skin I Live In is about a plastic surgeon conducting illegal experiments on humans. Played by Antonio Banderas, the doctor’s work isn’t just about creating a new future, but also about expunging the horrors of his past.
5. Swallow (2019)
This psychological thriller follows Hunter, a young woman who marries a wealthy but distant husband. She becomes pregnant with his child, but all the while feels dissociated from her life and her family. To cope, she begins eating objects from around the house. Her doctors diagnose her with a mental illness, but she is unable to heal until she gets closure for the things that have always haunted her. According to Dr. Smile, this film will keep you on the edge of your seat.