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Trippy Movies That'll Make You Feel Like You're In An Altered State

Updated September 9, 2020 5.2k votes 1.8k voters 203.8k views22 items

List RulesIf you've seen these films, vote up the ones that are the most reminiscent of a wild trip (regardless of how much you liked the movie overall).

Movies have the magical ability to take audiences to the moon, any country in the world, or any time in history. They can also make you feel like you're high. Directors use techniques like distorted images, trippy music, bright colors, and complex, layered montage to achieve a stoned effect.

Some films that feel like a trip are straight-up stoner movies. No one is going to wax poetic after viewing Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke, but you may get contact high. Others, like Richard Linklater’s Waking Life, pose existential (AKA stoner talk) questions about the mysteries of life. There are movies like Enter the Void, which was inspired by mind-altering substances and uses specific imagery to make audiences feel like they're on DMT. Finally, there are a few befuddling films on this list that don’t involve substance use at all.

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    No one uses in Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), but they do endure some supreme confusion. Joel (Jim Carrey) chooses to undergo a procedure to erase the painful memory of his ex-girlfriend, Clementine (Kate Winslet). The procedure is a form of brain damage.

    Charlie Kaufman's script is inventive and odd in the best ways imaginable. Because Joel's memories are being erased, his mind plays tricks on him with juxtaposing imagery. For example, we see Joel and Clementine's bed in the middle of a beach, and somehow the couple is able to take a bubble bath in a kitchen sink.

    Through surreal imagery, a trippy structure, and heartbreaking narrative, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind asks probing questions about the nature of memory and identity. 

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    If you ever had the desire to know what it's like to take something, but were afraid to take the plunge, check out Darren Aronofsky's sophomore effort Requiem for a Dream. But first, you must know, it's one of the most disturbing movies to hit the silver screen. Aronofsky tells the tale of three young adults hooked on smack and one aging mother who gets addicted to uppers in an effort to lose weight for a TV appearance that will never happen.

    Through the rapid editing style of hip hop montage and multiple CGI shots, Aronofsky shows audiences the bodily effects of use and the hellish nightmare of dependency.

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    David Lynch's 1977 directorial debut Eraserhead is weird. Very, very weird. It's also totally illogical and opts to forego traditional storytelling. The tone is dark, the imagery meant to disturb, but also awaken, the audience. The lead character, Henry (Jack Nance), is a total loner who gets forced into marrying Mary X (Charlotte Stewart), who gives birth to a severely deformed baby. Then the incessant screaming begins.

    Eraserhead is basically one big fever dream. However, it's also endlessly compelling.

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    The groovy animated musical Yellow Submarine was inspired by The Beatles, and features several of their songs, including "Eleanor Rigby" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."  The illogical narrative takes spectators on a colorful and surreal journey, and is humorous, in a dry, British sort of way. When the Blue Meanies threaten Pepperland, The Beatles are enlisted to save the day.

    Yellow Submarine is filled with odd, delightful characters and, of course, oodles of references to using.

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