Have you ever had the feeling that you're being followed? You know, that inescapable nagging sensation that someone is sharing your shadow? The tingle on your neck as invisible eyes peer at you?
Stalking isn't just creepy—it's serious and it's dangerous. It strips you of your personal privacy and makes you feel unsafe all the time, robbing you of the security and dignity that all humans deserve to have. And when stalking becomes harassment? It's unspeakable.
These movies perfectly encapsulate the dangers and terrors of stalking and harassment, sending shivers down our spines as strangers become obsessed with their targets and cross all sorts of lines.
13. The Good Doctor (2011)
Directed by Lance Daly
Starring Orlando Bloom, Riley Keough, Taraji P. Henson
Drama, Thriller (1h 33m)
You've probably seen Orlando Bloom as the slick, blonde-haired elf in The Lord of the Rings or the tanned, swashbuckling pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean, but how about as an ordinary but creepy man?
Back in 2011, Orlando Bloom took a step back from fantasy blockbusters and into the indie circuit for The Good Doctor (not to be confused with the 2017 medical drama TV series).
In Lance Daly's psychosexual thriller, Bloom plays a narcissist named Dr. Martin Blake who falls "in love" with an 18-year-old patient and does everything he can to keep her in his services.
12. Fear (1996)
Directed by James Foley
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon, William Petersen
Drama, Thriller (1h 37m)
Rich girl falling for the mysterious rebel boy isn't exactly a new story, but the trope is given a new dimension in James Foley's 1996 psychological thriller Fear.
In this case, we have the added element of a teenage stalker, where David (played by Mark Wahlberg) follows his 16-year-old girlfriend (played by Reese Witherspoon) around even after she breaks up with him.
Despite his looks and charm, David is an abusive rapist with a violent streak that Nicole never saw coming.
11. Sleeping With the Enemy (1991)
Directed by Joseph Ruben
Starring Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin, Kevin Anderson
Drama, Thriller (1h 39m)
Divorcing your husband is one thing, but faking your own death to move across state lines is another. Then again, even that isn't enough for Laura (played by Julia Roberts), whose unstable husband Martin (played by Patrick Bergin) manages to track her down across America.
Based on Nancy Price's 1987 novel, Laura thinks she's finally settled into a peaceful Iowa life when Martin turns up, posing as a detective and breaking into her home. Probably time for a restraining order...
10. Watcher (2022)
Directed by Chloe Okuno
Starring Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman
Drama, Horror, Thriller (1h 36m)
If you're searching for a chilling watch, this one's for you. Watcher is about exactly what it says on the tin: a man who watches. Specifically, a man who watches from a window. At first, anyway.
New to Budapest, Julia (played by Maika Monroe to critical acclaim) notices a figure staring at her from across the street in the opposite apartment building. This shadow is perpetually watching and presumably waiting. But for what? Unsurprisingly, the police are little help.
9. One Hour Photo (2002)
Directed by Mark Romanek
Starring Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan
Drama, Thriller (1h 36m)
We're used to seeing Robin Williams in heartwarming roles, but in One Hour Photo, he showed the world his acting range.
Although it isn't Williams's best movie, it is perhaps his most interesting role for breaking out of typecast, this time to play a loner technician at SavMart who isn't entirely appropriate.
At first, Seymour seems like an innocent photo developer, but he soon grows obsessed with one particular family. Safe to say, we much prefer him as Mrs. Doubtfire or Professor John Keating...
8. It Follows (2014)
Directed by David Robert Mitchell
Starring Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi
Horror, Mystery, Thriller (1h 40m)
If there's one genre that's clearly worn out, it's the horror genre. By design, horror films have a strict set of conventions to follow, which often renders them predictable and—ironically—not scary at all.
That's why whenever a truly creepy film makes it out, it's so refreshing for horror audiences. That's what happened with It Follows.
Normal stalkers are sinister enough, but it's even worse when the stalker comes in the form of a supernatural entity.
For Jay Height (played by Maika Monroe), this means trying to outpace an invisible figure that always knows where she is and always moves toward her at a walking pace. The only way to escape? By passing the curse on to someone else—by having sex with them.
7. The Girl on the Train (2016)
Directed by Tate Taylor
Starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson
Crime, Drama, Mystery (1h 52m)
Most stalkers follow their targets for unsavory, predatorial reasons we'd rather not think about. But for Rachel Watson (played by Emily Blunt) in The Girl on the Train, it's completely well-intentioned.
Rachel is a closet alcoholic who's still aimlessly riding the train to a job she lost months ago. En route, she passes the house of her ex-husband—and on one ride, she notices his neighbor having an affair.
When that neighbor goes missing, Rachel is consumed with finding out answers, most of them lost to her during drunken blackouts.
6. Ingrid Goes West (2017)
Directed by Matt Spicer
Starring Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O'Shea Jackson Jr.
Comedy, Drama (1h 38m)
This whole list has been pretty depressing, so how about mixing it up with a solid yet poignant black comedy?
Ingrid Goes West warns us about the dangers of social media, which allows Ingrid Thorburn (played by Aubrey Plaza) to infiltrate the private life of an Instagram influencer named Taylor Sloane.
Using Taylor's (played by Elizabeth Olsen) Instagram feed, Ingrid is able to fake an LA life where she "bumps into" Taylor and becomes her bestie. It's funny, relevant, and quietly disturbing.
5. The Gift (2015)
Directed by Joel Edgerton
Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton
Drama, Mystery, Thriller (1h 48m)
Joel Edgerton starred in and co-produced his directorial debut The Gift, which brags a small but talented cast in a tight set of locations.
This restricted scale adds to the claustrophobic feeling of Edgerton's thriller, where one neighbor simply won't leave a couple alone.
Although Gordo (played by Joel Edgerton) was an old schoolmate of Simon (played by Jason Bateman), his persistent visits start to cross over from annoying to uncomfortable. Simon asks him not to visit anymore, but that's when everything goes from worse to worst...
4. Fatal Attraction (1987)
Directed by Adrian Lyne
Starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer
Drama, Thriller (1h 59m)
James Dearden wrote the script for Fatal Attraction as an extension of his 1980 short film Diversion, which Adrian Lyne went on to direct.
In Fatal Attraction, Michael Douglas plays Dan Gallagher, a married man who gets karma delivered to him for having an affair with editor Alex Forrest (played by Glenn Close).
Alex turns out to not be the woman for a one night stand, who then terrorizes Simon (and his marriage), declaring "I will not be ignored."
3. Us (2019)
Directed by Jordan Peele
Starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss
Horror, Mystery, Thriller (1h 56m)
Jordan Peele proved that he's fit for more than just comedy with his 2017 directorial debut Get Out. Two years later, he carried on his winning streak with another psychological horror in Us, except this time with more immediate threats than existential scares.
Instead of a nosy neighbor or an infatuated love interest, it's a doppelganger that's stalking Adelaide Thomas (played by Lupita Nyong'o) and her family. The whole thing was triggered by a visit to a funhouse as a child—the least fun place on Earth.
2. Misery (1990)
Directed by Rob Reiner
Starring James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth
Drama, Thriller (1h 47m)
There's fans, there's stans, there's superfans, and then you have Annie Wilkes (frighteningly portrayed by Kathy Bates) who's crazier than all three put together.
One of the eeriest Stephen King film adaptations, Misery is based on his 1987 novel in which a famous author ends up being trapped in the home of his number one fan.
A blizzard and two broken legs leaves Paul (played by James Caan) reliant on Annie's care until he rewrites his latest manuscript to her liking.
1. Cape Fear (1962)
Directed by J. Lee Thompson
Starring Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen
Drama, Thriller (1h 46m)
When Cape Fear is brought up, most people immediately think to the 1991 remake starring Robert De Niro. In fact, some people don't even realize it's a remake!
Of course, we don't blame them. It was, after all, a collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, which automatically makes the 1991 remake amazing. But the original is even better!
Martin Scorsese's great revamp falls just short of J. Lee Thompson's noir flick, which centers on an unhinged convict Max Cady (played by Robert Mitchum) who gets revenge on the public defender (played by Gregory Peck) who landed him in prison for eight years.