Is the Goldfinch a Scary Movie?

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, you may have heard about the movie “The Goldfinch”. Based on a novel by Donna Tartt, the film follows the story of a young boy named Theo Decker who loses his mother in a tragic accident and becomes entangled in a world of art theft and deception.

But is “The Goldfinch” a scary movie? Let’s take a closer look.

Plot Summary

The movie opens with Theo as a young boy visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with his mother. They are admiring the famous painting “The Goldfinch” when an explosion rocks the museum, killing his mother and leaving him traumatized. In the aftermath, Theo steals the painting and becomes involved with a wealthy family who takes him in.

As he grows up, Theo struggles to come to terms with his loss and his guilt over stealing the painting. He also discovers that there are people who want to get their hands on it for their own nefarious purposes.

Psychological Themes

While “The Goldfinch” has elements of crime and suspense, it is primarily a character-driven story that explores themes of grief, trauma, and redemption. The movie delves deep into Theo’s psyche and shows how his experiences shape him as a person.

One particularly memorable scene involves Theo undergoing hypnosis to try and uncover repressed memories from the day of the explosion. It’s an intense sequence that is more unsettling than outright scary.


Visually speaking, “The Goldfinch” is stunning. The cinematography captures the beauty of New York City as well as the rich colors and textures of art. There are also some surreal dream sequences that add to the film’s overall sense of unease.

However, there are no jump scares or gore to speak of. The tension comes from the characters and their actions rather than any sort of supernatural or overtly scary elements.


So, is “The Goldfinch” a scary movie? Not in the traditional sense.

While there are moments of tension and unease, it’s more of a slow burn psychological thriller than a horror film. That being said, the movie is still worth watching for its strong performances, beautiful visuals, and exploration of complex themes. Just don’t expect to be jumping out of your seat with fright.