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Top 10 Harrowing Depictions of Madness in Movies

Sometimes films do it right and sometimes they don't. When it comes to depicting controversial life scenarios like terrorism, tragedy or mental disorder, there is a particularly fine line between accurate and ridiculous. This list includes much-discussed films that set the tone for the depiction of mental disorders. [WARNING: This list contains spoilers]

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10 Matchstick Men – 2003

Nicolas Cage has some really great films in store. One of them is the fantastic black comedy Matchstick Men, in which Cage Roy Waller plays, a fraudster who suffers from OCD and Tourette syndrome. Roy and his partner Frank cheat people out of their hard-earned money by selling labeled water filter systems. When Roy unexpectedly suffers a severe panic attack, Frank persuades him to go to a psychiatrist.

Roy's obsessive rituals include compulsory vacuuming and opening and closing a door three times before it goes through it. He is extremely scared when people walk through doors without performing the ritual. Bright sunlight also exacerbates the symptoms of his Tourette. If you stack up on this extreme agoraphobia, you will have an unforgettable performance by a theater actor. He embodies the personality of a person with extremely contradictory emotions, for example when he stares at his hand after a phone number has been written on it or when his fourteen-year-old daughter opens a beer and cuts it.

Nicolas Cage dives himself in the role of Roy Waller, complete with facial features and loud cries that practically radiate fear and paranoia. [1


9 Betty Blue – 1986

Betty Blue begins an erotic, fervent love affair between a man in his thirties named Zorg and 19-year-old Betty. Everything is great for a while, until the two get into a heated argument and Betty smashes her love booth.

She finally burns it down, whereupon the couple moves to the outskirts of Paris. Betty's temper continues to flicker and she even stabs a pizzeria patron with a fork. In the meantime, Zorg tries to be published, but is repeatedly rejected by the editors. He hides the rejection letters from Betty, but she finds one and cuts open the publisher's face.

Betty's mental health continues to deteriorate throughout the film as she hears voices, chops off her hair and entices a boy away from his mother, and finally stabs out her own eye. Then Zorg receives a call from a publisher telling him that he loved his manuscript and would like to publish his book. In a very dark turn, Zorg Betty suffocates with a pillow. He then returns home to finish the soon-to-be-published book. [2]

8 We need to talk about Kevin – 2011

When we had to talk about Kevin in 2011, it had the desired effect of getting people to talk about the film. Based on a novel by Lionel Shriver, the film is intended to highlight the symptoms of the anti-social personality disorder and at the same time make people feel very uncomfortable.

It is clear from the start that Kevin hates his mother Eve. and it seems to be a reaction to their resentment against him. She used to be on the road for work, now she has to stay at home to be the mother of a son who doesn't like her. Kevin keeps playing, especially when he pours drain cleaner onto his sister's face, causing six-year-old Celia to lose an eye.

The film takes a dark turn when Kevin, at the age of fifteen, murders both sister and father with a crossbow. He then locks up several students in his high school gym and also murders them. Kevin is incarcerated in a juvenile prison and diagnosed with an anti-social personality disorder. Although the film never explicitly uses the term "psychopath", it is clear that Kevin's behavior is psychotic and has a violent outcome. [3]

7 Hush. , , Hush, Sweet Charlotte – 1964

Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a psychological thriller starring Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland. Davis plays Charlotte Hollis, who wants to marry her already married lover John Mayhew. John is brutally murdered shortly after a confrontation with her father and Charlotte discovers his body in the summer house. Everyone assumes that Charlotte is the killer, while she is convinced that it was her father.

Charlotte is a wealthy old maid whose mental health affects her. It shows all the qualities of a person who is slowly losing his mind. It moves between mental health and madness, including hallucinations, due to its immediate environment, and it's fascinating to watch.

After her cousin Miriam (played by Havilland) moves in with her, Charlotte hears a harpsichord that plays a song John wrote for her and is haunted by John's severed head. When Charlotte discovers that Miriam has known all along that John's wife has murdered him and has been blackmailing her for years, she kills her. At the end of the film, when Charlotte is driven to an asylum, she is given an envelope with John's wife's confession to his murder. [4]

6 Gaslight – 1944

Gaslighting is not a new term in 2020. It was coined when the film Gaslight first appeared on the screen in 1944. In the film, a husband skillfully manipulates his wife to the point that she begins to believe that she is going crazy. After getting her to marry him, he slowly isolates her from the world, creating situations where the lighting is unexpectedly dimmed and objects disappear and reappear. He finally manages to convince his wife of her own madness.

The turn to this story is that the woman Paula is not the one with the mental disorder. Her husband Gregory is and shows many of the characteristics of a psychopath. The film shows intensely and precisely the lasting effects of the gas light, when Paula is still not sure in her last moments what is real and what is not, and suspects that the knife in her hand could only be an invention of her imagination. [19659022] 10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Hit Cult Movies

5 Black Swan – 2010

Black Swan follows the life of a ballerina named Nina, played by Natalie Portman, who has to fight for a role in a Swan Lake production. Her competition comes in the form of Lily, a newcomer played by Mila Kunis.

Nina has a disturbed relationship with her narcissistic mother and psychological problems that hurt herself. However, portraying Nina's psychotic breakdown in the film makes it difficult to determine which of her injuries are real and which are imaginary.

Nina is constantly afraid and since she suffers from hallucinations that threaten the boundary between reality and deception, it becomes clear that she also suffers from compulsive behavior and an eating disorder. Natalie Portman fantastically draws the viewer into her world and keeps her on the edge of her seat as she struggles to maintain her sanity. Portman won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in this gripping film. [6]

4 A Beautiful Mind – 2001

A beautiful spirit is based on the life of John Nash, mathematician and Nobel laureate in Princeton, and was inspired by the bestselling novel by Sylvia Nasar.

Nash showed symptoms of thirty schizophrenia suffering from delusions and paranoia. He has been inside and outside the hospital over the years and has not always stayed with his antipsychotics.

Nash is brought to life by Russell Crowe, who does a great job of portraying a character who isn't always in control of his own mind and who suffers from paranoid schizophrenic hallucinations. He stops taking his medication because of the serious side effects and suffers a relapse, which causes him to leave his little son in the bath with running water. His wife Alicia arrives for the baby in time, but realizes that Nash has relapsed when he tells her that his friend "Charles" has been watching her child. Nash realizes at this point that the three people he keeps seeing don't actually exist. Nevertheless, he refuses to restart his medication regime and simply ignores the hallucinations. This seems to work and after he is allowed to teach again, he finally wins a Nobel Prize in 1994. When he receives his award in a Stockholm auditorium, his hallucinations reappear and he sees three figures watching him. He refuses to let his illness be won and only looks at it briefly before leaving the auditorium. [7]

3 Psycho – 1960

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was one of the most influential directors in film history. He gave the world unforgettable films like The Birds, Dial M For Murder, Mr & Mrs Smith and of course Psycho.

While Psycho will always be remembered for the infamous shower scene, it's also considered one of the earliest slasher films and one of Hitchcock's best efforts. Most critics agree that the Norman Bates character played by Anthony Perkins accurately and frighteningly depicts the symptoms of a person diagnosed with dissociative personality disorder (DID).

Bates cannot cope with his childhood trauma in which he lost his father and kill his own mother Norma. He develops DID so that he doesn't have to deal with his extreme feeling of guilt.

He has conversations between his mother's body and himself. His Norma personality is extremely jealous of any woman for whom Norman is attracted and who becomes violent enough to kill her. When Norma completely takes over Norman's thoughts, he disguises herself as her and satisfies her lust for blood. [8]

2 Joker – 2019

Joker plays in 1981 and takes the life of Arthur Fleck and turns it into a spiral of darkness and madness. Joaquin Phoenix took on the role of Fleck, portraying a character who failed to be a stand-up comedian and eventually becomes a criminal who struggles with mental illness.

Fleck lives with his mother in Gotham City and suffers from Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA). which makes him laugh at inappropriate times. He is attacked by three rich men who work for Wayne Enterprises and shoot them all. When the murders of mayor candidate Thomas Wayne are condemned, there are protests in the city that lead to cuts in social funding. This means that Fleck has to do without his much needed medication.

After learning that his mother lied about his adoption, he murders her and then murders his colleague Randall. He also kills a talk show host for making fun of his laughing disorder and comedy routine. Towards the end of the film, rioters fleck Fleck out of the police car he drives in after being arrested, and Fleck dances for the crowd as they cheer him on.

Joker received 11 Oscar nominations and Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor Award at the 2020 ceremony. [9]

1 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – 1962

The late Kirk Douglas transformed Ken Kesey's novel "A Flight Over the Cuckoo's Nest" into a Broadway play. Kirk played the main character RP McMurphy. His son Michael Douglas later produced the film together with Saul Zaentz. The film was shot in a real mental hospital in Oregon and Douglas hired some excellent actors, including Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson.

The place is a melting pot of mental disorders, but the viewer will soon realize that RP McMurphy is faking his madness and causing chaos in the hospital to avoid imprisonment. However, if he attacks an employee, he is given electro-seizure therapy as punishment. McMurphy's arch enemy, Nurse Ratched, is eventually exposed as forgiving and manipulative.

Other "inmates" include "Chief" Bromden, who appears to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and believes that Ratched is a machine, and Billy Bibbet, who has psychological problems arising from his relationship with his mother and can't stop stuttering. George Sorenson has an extreme filth phobia while Martini constantly sees hallucinations.

One flew over the cuckoo's nest won five Oscar awards, including "Best Film", "Best Actor" and "Best Actress". [10]

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