It is always great to watch a film or two where all you want is to be blown away by crazy, trippy, and hallucinatory visuals that expand your mind into other dimensions. These films possess something unique that will take you on an incredibly profound and ecstatic journey. They can be strange, weird, set in surrealistic worlds, or distort our own reality. But, at the same time, they can also be clean, pure, and powerful in their depths. Either way, these flicks will trip your brains out and never be forgotten. So if you’re ready for this experience, then let’s proceed.
20. Time Trap (2017)
‘Time Trap’ is a science fiction movie that stars Andrew Wilson as Professor Hopper, a man obsessed with finding out what happened to his parents after they disappeared while looking for the Fountain of Youth. When he doesn’t come back after exploring a remote cave, his students commence a search for him, only to find out that not everything is as it seems. The movie deals with the rather fascinating concept of spacetime distortion. While there were plenty of ways to ameliorate the storytelling, ‘Time Trap’ is worth a watch for its ending, which is beguilingly intriguing.
19. OtherLife (2017)
Loosely inspired by Kelley Eskridge’s novel, ‘Solitaire,’ the movie takes a look at what happens when virtual reality has the potential to become an ideal one. Ren Amari is a lead researcher and creates a version of VR using nanotechnology called OtherLife. However, her business partner, Sam, has plans to capitalize on her work, with or without her support. The rest of the film chronicles her journey as she tries to save her invention from the wrong hands. If you’re a fan of the sci-fi genre, then a plot like this would not really surprise you a whole bunch. However, it will make you ponder over the advancement of technology and the importance it holds in our society.
18. Being John Malkovich (1999)
The premise of this film is très bizarre, but that is also where its genius lies. John Cusack stars as Craig Schwartz, a puppeteer in New York City, who discovers a hidden door at his new job that acts as a portal to John Malkovich’s mind. It’s not your typical comedy, and to be honest, this only adds to the very surrealist notion painted in the film. Plus, leave it to Charlie Kauffman to produce such scripts that, at the surface, can seem very absurd, yet at the end, leave you with many things to ponder over. After all, there is a reason that ‘Being John Malkovich’ was nominated for 3 Oscars.
17. Rememory (2017)
Memories are what make humans, well, human. All our experiences culminate to shape us into the person we are today. Every moment has played a significant role at some point in our lives. But at the same time, memory can also be such a fickle thing. A person can lose everything in a moment if they no longer remember who they are.
Well, Peter Dinklage stars in ‘Rememory’ as Sam Bloom, a man who tries to find out the cause of Gordon Dunn’s mysterious death. The latter had created a device that allows people to record and revisit their memories. While investigating, Sam discovers some crucial information that changes his life forever. The film will not mess with your perception of reality, but the premise is one that you’ll be thinking of even after you’ve closed your screen.
16. Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The extremely acclaimed movie features Jodie Foster as FBI Agent Clarice Starling, who works with the former psychiatrist and killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, to stop another serial killer called Buffalo Bill. No one else can ever do justice to the role of Hannibal, the cannibal, the way that Sir Anthony Hopkins has. Now, the reason we believe this is a trippy movie is simply because of the plot. While it lies in the horror spectrum and uses many conventional elements of the genre, it is actually the battle of wits between the psychiatrist and the agent that makes the movie truly bone-chilling.
15. Self/less (2015)
Ryan Reynolds features in this movie about a billionaire afflicted with brain cancer. Consequently, he decides to “shed” his consciousness into an artificially grown body. What starts as a simple crusade to extend his life soon transforms into something completely astonishing when new information comes to light. With an enticing premise and solid action sequences thrown into the mix, ‘Self/less’ is somewhat different than its counterparts in the sci-fi genre.
We believe that this movie is a great one to watch when you want an astonishing storyline but you don’t want to deal with the more conventional aspects of the field, like aliens or monsters. It is a movie rooted simply in a quest to live on and will leave you with pondering over the meaning of death and the value of life.
14. White Chamber (2018)
If we had to sum this movie up in one line, here is what we would say— it is all about torture but in a pristinely white room. However, this juxtaposition of the victim’s pain and the immaculate room is exactly what is so trippy about the movie. After all, Dr. Elle Chrysler wakes up to see that she has been confined in one small room, where her captors make use of technology to torment her from behind closed doors. ‘White Chamber’ is a movie that screws with your head, albeit in a subtle and attenuated manner.
13. I Am Mother (2019)
The mother-daughter relationship is definitely an important one. But ‘I Am Mother’ takes it to a completely different level. Clara Rugaard stars as a girl named Daughter, who lives with a robot that aids in the repopulation of Earth after an extinction event. It is referred to as Mother. When Daughter gets curious one day and leaves the bunker, she comes across Woman (played by Hilary Swank), who is not fond of androids, to say the least. What unfolds is a certain tension between Mother and Daughter, and the film will hold your attention for its taut psychological thrills.
12. Circle (2015)
What would you do if, along with 50 people, you woke up in a dark room and saw people dying every few minutes? In fact, what would you do when you realize that the whole group actually calls the shots and has to decide who lives and who doesn’t? Scary, right? Well, this is exactly what happens in ‘Circle.’ The reason this premise makes for one mind-boggling movie is that it brings the human psyche to the forefront in a very raw and impactful manner. Plus, you will be more invested because you could see yourself as a part of this ill-fated group.
11. The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
The third installment in the ‘Cloverfield’ franchise takes on an energy crisis on Earth in 2028. A group of scientists is abroad the Cloverfield space station, preparing to test a particle accelerator that could power the planet with infinite energy. However, when Earth seemingly vanishes, they must work together to escape this situation. This film looks at the concepts of a parallel universe and multiverse and also correlates the story to its predecessors in the franchise. Although it is seen as the weakest film in the trilogy (as the third productions usually are), we believe that it packs a punch and is worth your time.
10. Io (2019)
Jonathan Helpert has directed ‘Io,’ another science fiction film that looks at life after an apocalyptic event, which (let’s be honest) has started feeling like a possibility in recent times. Essentially, the air on Earth has become toxic, and most humans have fled to Io, Jupiter’s moon. But Sam Walden, played by Margaret Qualley, has not given up hope yet. When she sends out a radio transmission to find other people around her, a man named Micah arrives.
We then see the characters as they make their decisions to either stay on Earth or not. At its core, ‘Io’ is a movie that looks at how people choose to define what home means to them. But it is also a thought-invoking piece. It may not make you reevaluate your priorities or change your life completely, but it is a worthy contender on this list.
9. 9 (2009)
An animated film like no other, ‘9’ first began as a short film that the director, Shane Acker, conceived while he was studying at UCLA. When he managed to make it into a feature film in 2009, he was finally able to tell the whole story he had in mind. This dystopic animation tells the story of a time when a robot, created by a scientist, begins destroying every living being on the planet. Seeing no other way, the latter uses alchemy to create nine dolls which can save the future. Among these, the one with the number ‘9’ written on its back holds the key to Earth’s survival. How these dolls then compete against ultra-sophisticated machines to bring normalcy back becomes the central narrative of the film. The animation used here conjures up a world unlike any other. Plus, there is a cyberpunk aspect that Acker creates with painstaking detail.
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8. Cloud Atlas (2012)
This epic science fiction movie is awesome and crazy and totally different from what you might have seen so far. It was directed by The Wachowskis (who made ‘The Matrix’) and Tom Tykwer. It depicts how actions influence each other in the passing of time and also the changing of the world. The story is divided into 6 different subplots set in 6 different time eras, where various characters are introduced and divergent happenings unfold.
However, these are all connected to each other and you’ll soon find out why. The trippiest aspect of the storyline is that the directors have chosen to use an ensemble cast who play completely different characters throughout the various epochs. Some of them are completely unrecognizable and will have you guessing throughout the scenes. Additionally, each actor plays a role that has a character arc that makes total sense once understood. Get ready for a depth-exploring experience where you’ll find meanings and connections in every detail presented before you.
7. Snowpiercer (2013)
We have all watched or read about dystopian worlds in books, films, and TV shows over the years. ‘Snowpiercer‘ is also one such tale, but here, the location is just a large moving train. Here, the world is going through an ice age after a climate engineering experiment goes wrong. All the human survivors have been traveling in the eponymous train for decades now. Over the years, the train has seen a class division taking place. The poorer section, or the “scum”, are forced to live in extremely abject conditions and are fed a gelatinous protein bar. It is only when they decide to organize a revolution that they come to know of the luxuries the higher classes are offered. The concept of ‘Snowpiercer’ is mind-boggling, to say the least. A society with all its nuances has been built on this train, and the insane details of the production are trippy enough to make it a worthy entry in this list.
6. The One I Love (2014)
When Sophie (Elizabeth Moss) and Ethan (Mark Duplass) go on a weekend getaway to a house recommended by their therapist, they notice some strange behavior from each other. Initially, this actually works in their favor. But soon, they realize that their partner is not someone that they know. This movie is definitely a trippy one, from the beginning to the end. It is not a typical production in the thriller genre, and that is what lends it an air of authenticity as well. But it is one that will stay with you. Hang tight, because the plot of ‘The One I Love’ is not what you’d expect it to be from the title.
5. Mute (2018)
The movie focuses on the escapades of Leo, a mute bartender who is looking for his girlfriend that has mysteriously disappeared. His search takes him deeper and deeper into the seedy underbelly of a dystopian Berlin in the future. The cinematography and the noir undertones of the film really make it stand out. Moreover, the plot delves deep into the themes of parenthood, loneliness, isolation, and love. ‘Mute’ also features an ensemble cast of Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Robert Sheehan, Noel Clarke, Florence Kasumba, and lastly, Dominic Monaghan. If you have like Duncan Jones’ ‘Moon,’ then you’d be happy to learn that ‘Mute’ is its sequel.
4. The Discovery (2017)
If you’re looking for romance in the science fiction genre, then ‘The Discovery’ will not disappoint. When Dr. Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) declares that the afterlife does exist, the suicide rates shoot up, as people want a reset. His son, Will (played by Jason Segel), holds him accountable for this. Rooney Mara plays Isla, a woman that Will has recently met on a ferry. The two go to Dr. Harbor’s compound, where they find out more about his experiments while falling for each other. This movie is one that deals with the themes of death, second chances, and love, and will be on your mind even after it ends.
3. Mirage (2018)
It seems to be the case that alternate universes are pretty dangerous to travel to. If you manage to create a new reality or make your way to one where you don’t belong, you can be stuck in limbo, from where there is no getting out. This is the theme of Oriol Paulo’s ‘Mirage’. The story begins with a young boy called Nico. He witnesses a murder in a neighbor’s house and goes there to see what has really gone down. When the perpetrator notices his presence, Nico runs outside. However, he gets hit by a car and dies. This was also the time when an electrical storm was raging for 72 hours straight.
Exactly 25 years after this incident, a woman called Vera moves into Nico’s house and learns about the horrible fate suffered by the boy. She discovers that there is an old television where a space-time glitch can be created. So, she uses it to go 25 years behind to warn Nico about his tragic fate. But what repercussions will time travel have on Vera? This is the question that the film tries to answer. While it is wonderfully made, the plot is not anything quite new. Yet somehow, ‘Mirage’ is interesting enough to keep one hooked till the very end.
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2. The Platform (2019)
If there is a movie that will trip you out solely based on its relevance in society today, it is ‘The Platform.’ Goreng is a man stuck in a vertical prison structure which is called “the pit.” The residents are fed through a system where ample food is placed on a platform that gradually descends to everyone. As expected, the people on the higher floors feast, and by the time it reaches the lower levels, the residents are surviving on scraps.
Such an arrangement is bound to give birth to injustices, and with it, dissatisfaction. This film is a compelling case against unabashed capitalism and consumerism, and what makes it so mind-boggling is that it can potentially be extrapolated to our society for many more decades if things don’t change.
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1. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)
Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror‘, which is actually a Channel 4 original series, is one of the best and most innovative television shows of all time. Charlie Brooker and his team have always surprised us with new and thought-provoking content which, while keeping the philosophy of the show in mind, has covered an array of topics. The showrunners truly outdid themselves when they went on to create the first feature film based on the series called ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’.
The story is based on the life of a video game developer who wants to build an interactive video game where the player can decide how to proceed. Now, the best part is that this movie has an interactive feature as well. So it becomes a two-way experience for both the audience and the main character himself. ‘Bandersnatch‘ is not only a milestone in terms of new-age filmmaking, but it also has the potential to counter piracy and bring in a new aesthetic into the industry. As the tragedies of the main character collide with yours, and the line between fiction and reality blur, you shall realize this is a zone you have never reached before.
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