Film Mind Games We Got Lost In

Many action and horror flicks involve a game of cat and mouse and 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded capitalizes the mind games that form with these suspense films. Here, we take a look at other twisted flicks that keep us guessing ‘til the end!

A twisted genius and a good man are going head-to-head in the ultimate game of cat and mouse! Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and WWE Studios unveil a brand new chapter in its thrilling action franchise with 12 ROUNDS 2: RELOADED. The second installment, starring WWE Superstar Randy Orton, debuts on Digital HD on May 21 and on Blu-ray and DVD on June 4 – just in time for Father’s Day.
As paramedic Nick Malloy, Orton jumps into overdrive in this pulse-pounding, thrill ride filled with gripping suspense! Malloy receives a terrifying call from a vengeful psychopath connected to his past, and the maniac (Brian Markinson) threatens to unleash a murder spree unless Nick can complete a series of 12 challenges without involving the cops or missing a single deadline. With no time to spare — and his own wife’s life on the line — Nick must piece together cryptic clues and hunt down the killer before it’s too late!

The Silence of the Lambs

Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter most famous on screen outing sees the serial killer helping FBI cadet Clarice Starling track a homicidal maniac who skins his victims. Lecter, here played to perfection by Anthony Hopkins, toys with young Clarice like a cat with a mouse, while she doggedly pursues her suspect. Jonathon Demme delivers a tense thriller and Jodie Foster’s Starling gives the film an unexpected humanity and vulnerability. An Oscar-winner and an instant classic upon its initial release in 1991, Lambs, spawned 2 sequels, a prequel and a new TV show which is currently airing.

The French Connection

Based on the true exploits of New York City detectives Eddie “Popeye” Egan and Sonny Grosso, this William Friedkin police procedural is tense and gritty. Gene Hackman plays Egan’s big screen alter ego Jimmy Doyle who spends the entire film in pursuit of an elusive French drug dealer. Friedkin invests the film with a real feel for Doyle’s environment. In one scene, the cops eat out on the street in the cold while their French suspect dines on a gourmet meal in a ritzy restaurant. Most notably the film boasts one of the best car chases ever put on film.

The Prestige

If you want to mystify an audience, you can’t go wrong by taking a page out of the magician’s book of tricks, which is exactly what director Christopher Nolan did with his 2006 film The Prestige. The story follows two turn-of-the-century magicians who get into a fierce rivalry after one of them invents an extraordinary—and totally inexplicable—new trick. It’s a film filled with twists, reversals, and red herrings, and it asks some pretty lofty questions about the nature of identity and obsession which are bound to keep you thinking. It’s like a ninety-minute magic trick transplanted to the screen—but unlike so many magic tricks, it features a payoff that’s actually worth sticking around for.


Morgan Freeman plays a long-serving New York cop on the verge of retirement and Brad Pitt his fresh-faced new partner. However, neither one is prepared for a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as his MO. The killer always seems two steps ahead of his pursuers in this bleak, disturbing thriller from David Fincher with a rather famous guest appearance towards the end, along with that twist. Remarkable filmmaking.


Pitch – You can invade the human mind through dreams and stay in there about in there for what feels like decades. The bad news? You need to be trained to do it. If only dream-tampering was as easy as it sounds. The joy of Inception lie not so much in the big reveal as in the hanging-on-tight-to-the-plot-for-sheer-life as you – along with our hero – are drawn ever deeper into a rabbit hole world of dreams within dreams. And you get to choose your own ending. Kind of. Prepare to have you head messed with. Genius.


David Fincher makes his second appearance on this list with the fact-based cop drama Zodiac about San Francisco’s Zodiac Killer. This true story was also the inspiration for the original Dirty Harry movie. However, unlike the Clint Eastwood classic. In Zodiac it’s a pair of detectives, a journalist, and a newspaper cartoonist that try to track down the notorious killer. Fincher delivers a couple of truly chilling scenes involving direct confrontations with people these men think could be the killer. But it’s the killer who taunts everyone with his cryptic letters and clues.

Total Recall

Arnie plays the lowly construction worker dreaming of affording a trip to Mars in Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 action/sci-fi outing, an ingenious adaptation and extension of Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Ultra-violent but also ultra-clever. The ideas in the movie are so dazzling as to overcome the film’s many plot holes, it gets quite complicated when trying to work out whether Schwarzenegger’s character of Hauser /Quaid was really good or bad before he had his memory erased. Regardless, still heralded as an Arnie classic.

Vanilla Sky

Tom Cruise is the publishing heir fighting old-timer rivals on the board of directors in Cameron Crowe’s enigmatic sci-fi thriller. Not only did the initial marketing of the film not make clear that it was a PKD-style mind-mess of a film, but it does in fact take well over an hour before it becomes clear that the film is even science-fiction at all, as we begin to suspect that a mysterious cryogenics corporation may have something to do with the gaps in Cruise’s perception of the chronology of his tortured life. Rewarding, but you have to stick with it.

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The Author

Kristal Bailey

Kristal Bailey

With a soft spot for movies that fall into the “So Bad They’re Good” category, Kristal Bailey regularly watches B-movies, 80s comedies, and sci-fi from the 50s and 60s. She also refuses to grow up if that means she has to hide her love for Disney and Pixar films.

In her free time, she enjoys reading graphic novels or books that are soon to be turned into movies, watching hours and hours of television, and spending way too much time on Twitter.