It is always great to watch a film or two in a state where all you want is to be blown away by crazy, trippy and hallucinatory visuals that will expand your mind into dimensions you thought would never be possible to reach. These films possess something unique that will take you on an incredibly profound, ecstatic journey. They can be strange and weird, set in surrealistic worlds or in distortions of our own reality, but 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. Here’s the list of really good trippy movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
12. Cloud Atlas (2012)
This epic science fiction film 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 and depicts how actions influence each other in the passing of time and in the changing of the world. The story is divided into 6 different plots set in 6 different time eras, from the past to the future, 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, where some are completely unrecognizable and will leave you mind-blown when trying to identify them throughout the scenes. Additionally, the various individuals each actor plays have a character arc throughout the stories that make total sense, once understood. Get ready for a trippy depth-exploring experience where you’ll find meanings and connections in every detail presented to your eyes and brain.
11. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)
First of all, let’s point out the amazing performance of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka that makes him completely unrecognizable, which is already a trippy aspect of this film. However, there’s much more than that in this weird, hallucinatory and psychedelic-like adventure. It is a very fun and entertaining film, yes, but the visuals, the colors, the crazy effects and the strange world of the chocolate factory is a really outgoing and unforgettable experience that will blow your head into a million pieces. From the weird and creepy faces of the Oompa Loompas to the crazy psychedelic boat ride on the chocolate river, this film is an experience you will not want to miss out on. Who could have thought that a simple chocolate bar with a golden ticket hidden in it could take Charlie on to such an extended adventure in a world where everything seems possible and limitless?
10. Snowpiercer (2013)
We have all watched or read about dystopian worlds in books, films, and TV shows over the years. ‘Snowpiercer’ is also a dystopian tale, but here the location is just a large moving train where the entirety of the film takes place. Here, the world is going through an ice age after a climate engineering experiment goes wrong. All the human survivors are traveling in the eponymous train for decades now. Over the years, the train has seen a class division taking place where the poorer section, 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 the poor people 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.
9. 9 (2009)
An animated film like no other, ‘9’ first began as a short film the director Shane Acker conceived while he was studying at UCLA. When Acker managed to make the short into a feature-length film in 2009, he was finally able to tell the entire story he had in mind all along. This dystopic animated film 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 scientist uses alchemy to create nine dolls which can save the planet’s future. Among the nine dolls, the one with the number ‘9’ written on its back is the one which holds the key for the earth’s survival. How these dolls made of rags compete against ultra-sophisticated machines to bring normalcy back to the land becomes the central narrative of the film. The animation used here conjures up a world unlike any other. There is a cyberpunk aspect to the world which Acker creates with painstaking detail.
8. Sin City (2005)
Sex, violence, and a magical interplay between black-white are the hallmarks of this anthology crime film directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller. When Rodriguez announced that he would be working with Miller on the ‘Sin City’ series of comics, it became a matter of great interest to the public as to why there are a total of five stories and an epilogue in this film, all of which are set in this dream-like ultraviolent town called Sin City. The characters we witness in this film all belong to the world of crime in some way or another. While the character Bruce Willis plays, John Hartigan, is a hard-boiled police officer, Elijah Wood’s character Kevin is a bespectacled cannibalistic serial killer. Miller and Rodriguez stay true to the source material and create a world enchantingly beautiful and repulsively violent at the same time. This film is nothing short of an immersive psychedelic rollercoaster ride.
7. Hypersomnia (2016)
A fantasy thriller, ‘Hypersomnia’ is the story of a young actress who starts hallucinating that she is being trafficked for sex after she rehearses for a play with a similar concept. The actress and we as the audience do not understand why this is happening to her until a few details of her past life are made clear as the narrative progresses. The film is a mind-boggling experience through a woman’s psyche as we slowly unravel the different layers of repressed memories within her. If you want to check out an Argentine film and don’t know where to start, this is a film you might want to check out.
6. Groundhog Day (1993)
One of the finest comedy films of the 1990s, ‘Groundhog Day’ is the story of a weatherman, Phil, who has been sent to the town of Punxsutawney to cover their Groundhog Day celebration. But after the very first night that he spends in the town, Phil begins realizing he is reliving a day over and over again. This keeps happening almost without an interval and we slowly realize that he is gaining control over his life that he never had. Phil can now manage to perform his daily jobs to perfection having gotten used to a similar thing over and over again. He uses this time to learn French, sculpting and also masters the piano. But the question remains- will this loop never end, and will Phil be trapped here for eternity? The movie is like a never-ending trip that keeps going up and down, making us question our own sanity in the process. Just imagine what it would be like to be trapped in a day without having any respite from it forever!
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5. 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 content and stories, which, while keeping the philosophy of the show in mind, have been about so many different people and phenomena over the seasons. The showrunners truly outdid themselves when they went on to create the first feature film based on the series, ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch‘.
The story of this film is based on the life of a video game developer who wants to build an interactive video game where the player will get to decide where he wants to proceed next within the game. Now the best aspect is that this movie is an interactive film as well. So it becomes a two-way experience for both the film watcher 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 aesthetics to film production in all of its sectors. This is a film which will leave you thinking about what you just witnessed. As the main character’s and your tragedies collide and the line between fiction and reality blur, you shall realize this is a zone you have never reached before.
4. Enemy (2013)
Denis Villeneuve is one of the most exciting new voices working in movies today. His films have always had a mind-bending approach to them in most cases. Movies like ‘Enemy‘, ‘Arrival‘, or ‘Blade Runner 2049‘ can all be classified as psychedelic experiences themselves that take the viewer on a ride throughout their running time.
‘Enemy’ is a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal in the leading role as a college professor called Adam who comes across an actor called Anthony Claire who looks exactly like him. Adam, tired of his own monotonous existence, decides to get involved in Anthony’s life. As they look exactly the same, it does not become much of a problem to blend in. But soon both their lives start getting intertwined and falling apart at the same time. Villeneuve creates a moody atmosphere in all of his films, which can easily be said to be his trademark. ‘Enemy’ follows the same path, and coupled with a strong performance by Gyllenhaal in the leading role, it becomes one of the most interesting films in both their careers.
3. Mirage (2018)
Alternate universes are pretty dangerous to travel to. If you manage to create a reality or make your way to a reality where you don’t belong, you can be stuck in a limbo from where there is no getting out. This is the theme of the 2018 Oriol Paulo film ‘Mirage’.
The story begins with that of a young boy called Nico who witnesses a murder in a neighbor’s house and goes there to see what has really gone down. When the murderer notices his presence, Nico runs outside, but gets hit but a car and dies. Now, this was 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 comes to know about the horrible fate suffered by the boy. She discovers that there is an old television in the house where a space-time glitch can be created. This is what she uses to go 25 years behind to warn Nico of his tragic fate. But what repercussions will this time travel have on Vera? This is the question that this film tries to answer. The film is wonderfully made, and though the plot is not anything quite new, ‘Mirage’ is interesting enough to keep one hooked throughout its running time.
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2. Under The Skin (2013)
Scarlett Johansson is an actor who shines in whichever role that she is given, no matter the budget or the director. Just like her phenomenal performance in the MCU films as Black Widow a.ka. Natasha Romanoff, she has equally shone in roles which require more nuanced performances like ‘Under The Skin’, ‘Lost In Translation‘, or ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’.
In the film, Johansson plays the role of an alien which has come from outer space to the earth with a sinister plan. She entraps men which her sexual appeal, and while they try to have sex with her, they get submerged into a dark abyss. With very little dialog for her character, Johansson puts up a commendable and nuanced performance. Her screen presence is so powerful that you will have a hard time taking your eyes off her throughout the length of the film. ‘Under The Skin‘ is visually rich, and at the same time hauntingly disturbing. It will be remembered as one of the greatest films of this decade.
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1. April And The Extraordinary World (2015)
One of the most unique animated films of recent years, ‘April And The Extraordinary World’ is a French-Belgian-Canadian co-production based on the work of the French cartoonist Jacques Tardi. The story of the film is set during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, but the history depicted in the film is an alternate history and has no connection with reality. In the film, eminent scientists like Fermi and Einstein start disappearing after the war thus technology is mainly based on coal and steam. Things like electricity, aviation, radio, and others have remained unknown to this world.
In such a situation where the world is radically different from what we know about it, the film follows the story of a little girl who has lost her parents in Paris in 1941. Along with her pet talking cat, she goes on a mission to rescue her parents. This trip across Paris gives us a look at the city we have never seen before. This Paris is right out of a steampunk dreamscape, where reality has collided with fiction and created something so enchantingly beautiful that you will remember it long after the film is over.
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