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5 Movies like Jacob’s Ladder: Psychological Thrillers

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JoshMovies like ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ will leave you scratching your head and wondering what’s going on, as they blend reality with mind-bending trips.

‘Jacob’s Ladder’ features one war veteran’s struggles to maintain his sanity after returning home.

Here are some movies that may leave you confused at first, but that are multi-layered films that need unearthing to discover their compelling stories. ~ Josh Sammons

Movies Similar to ‘Jacob’s Ladder’

We hope you enjoy this article and its different recommendation options. Be enchanted by hidden gems you may have never heard of before and (re)discover unmissable classics.



‘Hour of the Wolf’ (Ingmar Bergman, 1968)

Ingmar Bergman is a director known for his influential and mind-bening films. One such film that deserves more recognition is ‘Hour of the Wolf’.

Max von Sydow stars in yet another compelling story from the director. He plays Johan Borg, a troubled artist whose life descends into madness after seeing troubling visions of a dark cult.

To get to the root of his issues, he and his wife look to the cult leader for answers.

‘Hour of the Wolf’ is one of the darker films from the director’s filmography, which remains one of my personal favourites.


Similarity Match

Bergman at his haunting best.



‘Persona’ (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)

Speaking of Bergman, ‘Persona’ marks one of the finest entries of his careers.

In this twisted tale, a stage actress appears to be suffering from a nervous breakdown, which sees her fall into total silence.

As a young nurse spends time with her at an isolated beach house, she finds she can open up to the star about her issues.

Though she remains silent, it soon becomes apparent that the nurse’s personality is merging with the troubled actress’.


Similarity Match

Exploring the human condition through mind-bending visuals.



‘Pi’ (Darren Aronofsky, 1998)

In his feature debut, Darren Aronofsky, the director behind ‘Requiem for a Dream’, lays out an enjoyably dark thriller.

Max Cohen is a math genius who suffers from paranoia and debilitating headaches. His life is submerged by numbers all day everyday.

One day, he stumbles upon a mysterious number that proves to hold powerful consequences.

Aronofsky delivers a smart script that is both gripping and troubling.


Similarity Match

A dark tale of paranoia.



‘Mulholland Drive’ (David Lynch, 2001)

David Lynch is a director who has flourished within the realms of the mind-bending thrillers.

In one of his best films, he left audiences scratching their heads as they try to uncover the true meaning behind the story.

Two young women – one left with amnesia after a car crash, the other a shy wannabe actress – look to uncover the truth about the crash in the pits of Hollywood.

As they delve closer to the truth, their lives take a dark turn as they explore the underbelly to fame and success.


Similarity Match

Lynch's masterpiece.


If You Like ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, You Will Like

‘The Machinist’ (Brad Anderson, 2004)

‘The Machinist’ is the dark psychological movie like ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ that is most remembered for star Christian Bale’s dramatic weightloss for the role.

He plays factory worker Trevor Reznik who suffers from disturbing visions and insomnia. After an accident at work, he finds his life diving further into paranoia, pushing everyone close to him away.

Bale, who lost 62lbs for the role, delivers a harrowing performance that often proves difficult to watch.


Similarity Match

A disturbing thriller elevated by a haunting performance.


Let Us Know Your Thoughts

These are my recommendations for films like ‘Jacob’s Ladder’.

What are your favourite psychological thrillers?

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