No matter the era of film, directors and writers have tried to shock and twist filmgoers’ minds, subverting expectations of what is normal. From Journey To The Moon to Nosferatu all the way up until films like Doctor Strange. No matter the genre of film, someone always comes along to twist the genre on its ear, creating a new sub-genre in the process.
Watching any of these films and more is a mind-bending journey that will leave you asking all kinds of questions. Who are we? Where are we going? What are we doing? How are going to get to be who we are and where are going while doing things to figure out what exactly is going on. Ready to have your mind-frigged? Here are 10 trippy movies that will have you questioning reality.
10 The Matrix
There are few movies more mind-bending than the twisty-topsy-turvy world of The Matrix. Human life has been enslaved by the very machines they created and everyone is jacked into one giant computer simulation.
It’s not even 1999, it’s more like 2199. Once your mind is free, you can hack back into the program and learn whatever is needed to avert and defeat Agents and free more minds. But the true nightmare moment came when Neo actually saw the fields and Morpheus presented him with all that humanity has been reduced to - a giant battery.
In the world of Inception, espionage is boiled down to extracting information from people’s dreams. Dom and his team have become very adept at pulling ideas out of target’s minds, now they’re contracted to attempt to plant one in a mark - “inception.”
They have to go deeper than they ever have and make sure they maintain their own sense of reality while Dom’s own nightmares are trying to stop them from completing the mission. Creating a dream within a dream in someone else’s head and deciding if you want to stay or wake up is an essential part to Dom’s own mission.
8 The Cell
Trying to get inside Vincent D’Onofrio’s head is bad enough, but when he’s playing a completely demented and depraved serial killer in The Cell it is horrifying.
J.Lo plays a child psychologist who works with unique and experimental technology that allows her to go inside of a mind and bring that person into her own for therapy. D’Onofrio plays a killer who suffers from the same kind of schizophrenia that her young patient suffers from and she’s tasked with going in to find the location of his last victim.
7 Vanilla Sky
Young magazine magnate David Aames has everything you could ever want. Money, women, power, jealous and sycophantic friends, more women. But when a jilted lover takes him for a wild ride, his entire life gets twisted upside down in Vanilla Sky.
Someone supposedly was murdered and Aames is trying to defend himself and figure out what exactly is going on. It’s a science fiction movie that doesn’t even know that it’s a sci-fi movie and some of those are the best ones.
6 Gone Girl
Not all head-trip movies are science fiction or horror. Some just showcase how twisted the real world could be sometimes. Combine that level of demented with the master of twisted characters, David Fincher and your get the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
When Amy Dunne, a former child star goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary all signs point to her husband Nick as the culprit but nothing is as it seems the further Nick digs into Amy’s sordid life, while the media eats up any and all information it can get its hands on.
5 2001: A Space Odyssey
In many ways, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is still the blueprint on how to make a jarring sci-fi movie. Everything about this movie is meant to disorient you and question your place in the universe.
An ominous black monolith is introduced several times over the course of the film and each time chaos and madness happen shortly thereafter. Whether it’s introducing violence into the community of early man or influencing a homicidal AI, Kubrick’s vision remains one of the most influential movies of all time.
4 Natural Born Killers
Murder, mischief, and media are abounding in Oliver Stone’s wild ride known as Natural Born Killers. Written by Quentin Tarantino, with some heavy liberties taken by Stone, Killers is a modern take on Bonnie And Clyde if they were drug addicted products of abuse and raised on television.
Mickey and Mallory Knox fall in love and set out on a murderous rampage throughout the American Southwest. Stone fills every frame with all kinds of trippy, demonic imagery to make sure your eyes are all over every single frame of film.
3 Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson has long been renowned for his “Gonzo Journalism.” Terry Gilliam has been revered for his unique style, and Johnny Depp is one of the quirkiest actors that we’ve ever seen. All three came together along with Benicio Del Toro for Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas.
You’ll probably never find a more divergent drug-fueled movie. Depp stars as Raoul Duke, Del Toro is his lawyer Dr. Gonzo. The two head into the desert for an article but come out the other side taken by all that Sin City has to offer.
2 Being John Malkovich
Craig Schwartz’s new job provides a seemingly mundane office life until he discovers a portal into the mind of character actor John Malkovich. Although it lasts only for a few minutes before he gets dumped onto the side of the New Jersey Turnpike.
His coworker Maxine decides to monetize this and let people know the feeling of Being John Malkovich for $200 a pop. Being inside someone else’s head allows Craig’s wife to seduce Maxine and even allows for Malkovich to dive into his own brain.
1 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
What would you do after being heartbroken and left complete down? Perhaps you’d try to do everything you can to erase that person from your memory - both good and bad memories.
As the technicians perform the procedure, you first realize that she got the same procedure done. Then you realize you’d rather not do the procedure and you race through your own head to find a hiding spot for your memories.
Joel has to deal with the Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind when he realizes that he needs his memories of a life with Clementine.