They might as well call Gone Girl as “gone bonkers” since this is what us viewers would feel after watching the movie. Imagine a story starting nicely, presenting a seemingly happy man and woman as a couple. But later on, as their story unravels, we get different twists and turns that’s not so good after all.
Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck as the husband whose wife suddenly disappears. It becomes such a national sensation that people soon suspect him of foul play. But later, the wife resurfaces and tells the nation what really happen. However, as the once suspected husband, he gets suspicious of the wife’s intentions and procedures. Eventually, the story leads us towards very suspenseful twists in characters and storylines, enough to make us go “Whoa!”
So if you enjoy those kinds of storytelling techniques, let us show you some movies like Gone Girl. These films also have similar elements: a disenfranchised couple, mysterious goings-on between the characters and situations, and mind-blowing story twists at the end. Ready for an emotional cinematic challenge? Then read on!
1. The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train stars a very dramatic Emily Blunt as Rachel, an alcoholic who lost her job and her husband. Justin Theroux plays Tom, the husband who wanted to have a child. However, Rachel can’t bear him one, and this became one of their conflicts in their marriage.
It was due to this conflict in their marriage that Rachel started drinking, to the point of being an alcoholic. During some moments of intoxication, however, she finds herself blacking out, fainting without any memory of what happened prior to the incident. During such incidents, her husband Tom tells her of her bad and destructive behavior. This escalated and led to their separation.
Now jobless and divorced, Rachel whiles away time riding trains. She passes her old neighborhood in the process, being able to see her old house and their neighbor’s as well. In her old house, her ex-husband Tom now lives with a new wife and their baby. Their neighbor is also a happy couple whom Rachel admires secretly from a distance.
However, the problem begins when Rachel sees different things in these houses as she passes by from the train. She suspects something’s wrong with the ideal neighbor couple, and she alights from the train to find out. But in the process of doing these acts, she encounters her husband one time, and it is revealed that the husband is cheating on his new wife.
Soon, other matters unfold. And it is also revealed how psychologically damaged Rachel has become. But she soon discovers, little by little, just how much she has actually been played by her ex-husband. The term for this is gaslighting, as she has been manipulated in this manner by Tom.
This tale is as intriguing as the book where it was adapted from. Go see it, if only to see Emily Blunt in a really moving role.
Movies like Gone Girl are considered as psychological thrillers, because it develops a suspenseful story that plays around with psychological warfare between persons. Another such film is Diabolique.
Released in 1996, Diabolique is actually a remake of a 1955 French film called Les Diaboliques. The ‘90s remake starred French actress Isabelle Adjani who played Mia, a frail woman with a heart condition. She is a Catholic school teacher in a private school run by her husband Guy, played by Chazz Palminteri. Guy is somewhat abusive to Mia, but she suffers in silence.
In the school, there’s another teacher named Nicole, played by Sharon Stone. Nicole is actually Guy’s mistress. And in this set-up everybody kinda knows what’s going on. The quiet Mia just lets them be, but Guy also becomes abusive towards Nicole. Soon, the two women find themselves both disenfranchised by Guy.
Because of their life situations, both Mia and Nicole become friends. Soon however, they also planned on killing Guy, to get rid of their main tormentor. They planned the perfect murder – and executed it well. They drugged Guy, knocking him out, and dumped his body in a pool.
However, another kind of trouble soon starts when Guy’s body disappears from the pool. The women were expecting for it to float, to readily declare it as an accidental drowning. But of course, that never happens. Later on, they hear about a dead body floating off a river. They tried to see if it was Guy, but to no avail.
Due to this river incident, a female detective meets the women, and becomes a bit suspicious of them. The suspicions later escalate because snippets of Guy’s presence are felt by the two women. In addition, they seem to have a blackmailer at their heels, because someone sent them photos while they were doing their crime.
Intriguing and thrilling, isn’t it? Diabolique is indeed a must-see if you loved Gone Girl. We promise that the twist here will undoubtedly catch you by surprise – and it might be even better than the sick twists in Gone Girl! So go watch!
3. Sleeping With The Enemy
Even the Academy Award winner Julia Roberts has her own portfolio of psychological thriller films. One such film is 1991’s Sleeping with the Enemy.
Roberts plays Laura, a disenfranchised woman who is married to an abusive husband named Martin. The abuse she suffered at the hands of Martin mostly centered on the psychological kind. However, there were some instances when the abuse was very physical, and violent.
Since she can’t stand the abuse anymore, Laura prepares an elaborate scheme to get away from him. Since they’re living near a beach on Cape Cod, they go out boating one night. During this instance, Laura takes advantage of a storm to fake her own death. She pretends to have drowned, but swims to shore instead.
After having gotten away from her husband, Laura prepares everything in her life to move away for good. She even transferred her mother to a nursing home in another state, before faking her own death. Once she got away, she went to another state where she put her mother – in Iowa.
In a small and quiet town in Iowa, Laura tries to begin a new life. She even changes her identity and her looks, just in case. But in the process, she meets a kind neighbor, Ben. Laura was aloof about these kinds of encounters. But being neighbors – and with Ben being kind, they soon befriend each other.
However, all is not yet quiet back in Cape Cod. Laura’s husband, Martin, runs into some clues that Laura might have run away. And what happens next is a very intriguing and thrilling turn of events that you should not miss. So go watch this now!
4. Double Jeopardy
Double Jeopardy is one of those ‘90s movies like Gone Girl that feature conniving life partners who disappear, leaving the other partner disenfranchised and framed.
Released in 1999, Double Jeopardy stars Ashley Judd as Libby, the wife of Nick (played by Bruce Greenwood). They have a small son named Matty, whom they leave with Libby’s best friend, Angela, as they went out to sail one time.
But during that sailing time, Libby wakes up in their yacht alone. She finds traces of blood on her, the floor, and a knife lying there. But there’s no sign of her husband Nick anywhere. Soon, the police pick her up, they investigate, and Libby becomes the prime suspect for supposedly murdering her husband.
The innocent Libby is sentenced and sent to prison, but Nick’s body was never recovered. Her best friend Angela sometimes brings Libby’s son Matty to visit her in jail. But the personal visits soon turned into phone calls. In one such phone call, though, Libby overheard Matty say “Daddy!” as if greeting her supposedly dead husband.
Libby then became suspicious of her husband. She theorizes that Nick may have staged his own death for some insurance claim. Enraged at this possibility, someone advises her that she can actually kill her husband and go scot free. This is because of a certain legal clause called “double jeopardy” wherein a person will not get tried twice for the same crime.
So after six years, Libby earns her parole, and manages to get out. But she always has her parole officer, played by Tommy Lee Jones, tailing her. She breaks her parole a few times while trying to investigate on her own, trying to find her former husband Nick and their son Matty.
This psychological thriller is indeed an adventure ride as well. We’re sure that you’re curious to find out what happens to Libby, and what she uncovers. That’s the exciting part – so go watch this!
5. A Kiss Before Dying
The 1991 film A Kiss Before Dying is as intriguing and twist-filled as the other exciting films on our list. That’s why it earns its rightful place in our countdown of equally intriguing movies like Gone Girl.
A Kiss Before Dying stars Matt Dillon, an eager college student named Jonathan who literally grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in life. He is introduced as dating a rich heiress named Dorothy, played by Sean Young, who hails from the wealthy copper refinery Carlsson clan. At first, they are seen as a happy couple – until Jonathan lures Dorothy to her death.
It turns out that Dorothy was pregnant at the time of her death. And she was planning to wed Jonathan, even though she knows that her father would disinherit her. The ambitious Jonathan wants the wealth more than the wedding, so he orchestrates her murder as a suicide. He eventually takes on another person’s identity as he flees from the scene.
Dorothy turns out to be a twin, and her twin Ellen visits her sister’s college campus to hopefully investigate amongst her sister’s friends there. She eventually pieces a few snippets from her own investigation, thinking that her sister was murdered. However, the police dismiss her investigations and they don’t believe her theories.
Life goes on for Ellen and her family, while Jonathan takes over the identity of a hitchhiker named Jay. He soon finds his way into the life of Ellen, posing as Jay, and he eventually makes her fall for him. However, Ellen doesn’t let go of investigating her twin sister’s death, and newer clues pop up every now and then – to Jonathan-turned-Jay’s disgust.
It’s interesting to see just how a con man like Jonathan could twist stories and gaslight his own fiancée in the process. Whether it’s the old twin or the new one, it’s sure that manipulations like these will not go unhinged later on. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and watch this very, very intriguing film!
Perhaps the most appropriate film about a partner gaslighting his or her partner is, well, the 1944 film called Gaslight. Originally a 1938 stage play, this second film adaptation of Gaslight stars no less than Ingrid Bergman, one of Hollywood’s true royalty.
Bergman plays Paula, the niece of a famous opera singer who got murdered when Paula was just a child. They never caught the perpetrator, whose original intention was to steal the opera singer’s precious jewels. But the theft never happened, only the murder.
When Paula eventually grows up, she marries a man named Gregory. Even though Gregory is a bit older than her, they engage in a very romantic set-up, and they eventually marry. Unknown to her, Gregory is the one who murdered her aunt. And he married Paula to hopefully finish the theft of the jewels that he originally wanted to happen.
The term gaslighting happens when Gregory slowly tries to manipulate his young wife. This is what the terms means, as gaslighting literally happened to Paula when the lights of the house seem to dim and flicker. When she shares this information to Gregory, he denies the gaslighting, making Paula doubt her own sanity.
The worst type of gaslighting eventually happens to Paula later on. Things happen around the house which she knows really happened. But whenever she confronts Gregory about them or tells him about them, he denies them ever happening. Just how does this kind of interaction going to last, or even end?
Because of this film, we now have the term gaslighting as a legitimate part of our language. I’m sure you’re very intrigued as to how this ends, so go try to get a copy of the film and watch it! It’s indeed the mother of all gaslighting films in cinematic history!