best-trippy-movies

Cinematography is an important part of any film. It can make it or break it. Usually, directors try experimenting with different styles to match the story and setting of the film. However, when the right idea clicks, the results give us some of the best trippy movies.

Sometimes to achieve a certain style, directors utilize techniques such as distorted imagery, brilliant colors, and a complicated, layered montage. Movies shot in this style are known as trippy movies. They’re actually very effective in terms of visual storytelling.

These trippy movies can provide you with a visual experience like no other. Not many directors make such movies but when they do it is always a treat to watch.

So if you’re looking for such movies then look no further. We have compiled a list of our top 18 best trippy movies of all time.

Best Trippy Movies – The List

All of the trippy movies that we’ve handpicked are from different genres. However, sci-fi is a prevalent genre in them but the movies aren’t limited to it.

So let’s jump right into our list of best trippy movies.

18. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a romantic/sci-fi movie. It revolves around a couple who get each other erased from their memories when they hit a road bump in their relationship. However, the entire process of erasing memories gets more and more complicated.

The whole sequence of Joel getting his memories erased is quite trippy and soulful. Jim Carrey delivers a marvelous performance. In addition to Carrey’s performance, all the trippy visuals and the gradual storytelling are quite amazing.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has a multi-layered storyline and very deeply written characters. Each character gets the time to shine which shows it is quite well-written. Overall, it is definitely one of the most well-known trippy movies and one that is easy to watch.


17. Naked Lunch (1991

Source:  HD Retro Trailers

Naked Lunch is the next entry on our list of trippy movies. It revolves around Bill Lee, a writer who accidentally kills his wife. He’s actually addicted to a spray that is used to exterminate bugs. He then gets involved in a conspiracy that involves gigantic bugs.

This film is partially based on incidents in author Burroughs’ life during the time he wrote the novel titled “Naked Lunch.” You should never watch this film solely for the plot because it is absolutely crazy. However, the film’s main highlight is its trippy visuals.

We have also discussed this film in our list of movies about writers.

Naked Lunch takes you on a drug-induced trip down the writer’s brain. It is directed by David Cronenberg so if you are a fan of his works then you’ll absolutely love this film. Even after all these years, Naked Lunch holds its ground in terms of trippy movies.


16. Akira (1988)

Source: RetroBiografen

Akira is an anime movie that revolves around Kaneda, a biker who is trying to help his friend Tetsuo. However, Kaneda gets challenged by various anti-social elements. Amidst all this, Tetsuo awakens his supernatural abilities. The same amount of power that destroyed Tokyo.

This film is set in a dystopian future and right off the bat, the animation team has nailed this setting. The biggest selling point of this movie is its trippy animation, especially the use of light trails which hadn’t been done before in animated movies.

If you are an anime fan then you must’ve at least heard about this film. It is a classic that paved the way for future animated movies. It influenced some live-action sci-fi films as well.

In addition to the brilliant yet trippy visual style, Akira also relies heavily on the characters. All the characters are complex and gray. These characters make the overall story more meaningful.


15. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Source: SearchlightPictures

While this entry might not be one of the most trippy movies ever. However, its unique cinematography and satisfying transitions are enough to make a visually pleasing experience.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is directed by Wes Anderson. It revolves around M. Gustave, a legendary steward at a prominent European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted companion.

This entire film is just so satisfying to watch. It features a number of good actors and the storyline is quite intriguing as well.

Furthermore, this film is absolutely stunning, with cinematography that is not just technically brilliant but also visually stunning, as well as precise, flowing editing. It is a Wes Anderson masterpiece and I highly recommend it.


14. Trainspotting (1996)

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

Trainspotting is a drama film. It revolves around a group of low-income young guys who use drugs, fight, breach the law, become crazy drunk, and otherwise ruin their lives in and around Edinburgh, Scotland.

Many of the trippy movies on this list use vibrant colors and surreal imagery. However, Danny Boyle uses the opposite of vibrant but still turns the film into a visual treat. Trainspotting looks disturbing, disgusting, and rotten because it needs to.

The film features dark yet trippy visuals and they’re one of a kind. In addition to the visuals, the film has a lot of other stuff to offer such as brilliant performances and an engaging storyline.

You might need to watch this film with the subtitles on so you can get through the thick  Scottish accent. Overall, it is a good movie to watch albeit a little disturbing at times so prepare yourself for a shocking experience.


13. Loving Vincent (2017)

Source: Madman Anime

This is probably the most unique movie on our list of trippy movies. Loving Vincent is an animated film that revolves around a young guy who travels to Vincent van Gogh’s hometown to deliver the troubled artist’s final letter. However, he ends up observing his final days there.

Loving Vincent is the world’s first painted film. It is visually just beautiful. You’ll probably end up watching some scenes multiple times to truly appreciate their beauty. Furthermore, the beautiful musical score perfectly fits the film.

This movie is a very fitting tribute to one of the most influential artists of all time. Almost everything about this film is beautiful. Overall, Loving Vincent is one of the best animated movies of recent years and it deserves more love. (No pun intended).


12. TRON (1982)

Source: Disney Plus

TRON is probably one of the most trippy movies of the 80s. The story of the film revolves around a computer hacker who is kidnapped into the digital realm and forced to compete in gladiatorial games, with only a heroic security program to help him escape.

This is an important movie in terms of visual effects and cinematography. I mean the visual effects of this film are absolutely iconic. Moreover, all the action sequences in the film are shot very well.

In short, TRON is purely an early 80s sci-fi movie. It is a relic in terms of sci-fi filmmaking. It also has a number of very likable characters and an engaging storyline. But as mentioned earlier, it’ll always be remembered for its visual effects.


11. Altered States (1980)

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

Altered States is a thriller film. The film revolves around a scientist fascinated with discovering humanity’s purpose He believes that through experimenting with various medicines, he will be able to achieve this.

The entire film is terrifying with its trippy visual effects and thrilling storyline. Moreover, Altered States is rich in ambiance, and the atmosphere overall is one of the best aspects of the movie.

All the surreal imagery is downright hallucinatory. If you watch this film while smoking grass you might get an experience like never before. It is definitely one of the best truly trippy movies.

All in all, the movie is not for everyone but if you can handle it then definitely give it a watch.


10. Fantastic Planet (1973)

Source: HD Retro Trailers

Fantastic Planet is another animated movie on our list of trippy movies. The film’s story is quite complex but it goes as follows; Oppressed humanoids on a distant planet ruled by blue giants revolt against their machine-like rulers.

This film is quite unique in terms of storytelling as well as animation. However, despite its unconventional storytelling and animation, it is quite interesting to watch. We won’t go into the deeper subtext of the film because it has many metaphorical references and social commentary.

The only under-whelming aspect of the film is that it can drag at times. If you can get past that then it is a very good movie overall. The animation is by far the most impressive quality, with breathtaking backgrounds, vibrant colors, and well-modeled figures.


9. Mind Game (2004)

Source: GKIDS Films

Mind Game is another anime movie making its way on our list. It is an anime film that revolves around a low-lifer who gets shot by a Yakuza but gets resurrected and decides to steer his life in a different direction. He is accompanied by his childhood crush and her sister.

When it comes to anime, Mind Game is probably one of the most trippy movies to date. The director uses a blend of different art styles throughout the film. Moreover, the entire final sequence is like a drug-induced fever dream. It has a burst of vibrant colors and fast-paced animation.

Mind Game is a very interesting film as it deals with the subject of “self-discovery” in a very unique way. It is full of multi-layered characters and the character development is just phenomenal. Overall, it is a very good and enjoyable film.


8. Blade Runner/ Blade Runner 2042

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

Well, these are technically two entries but both of these trippy movies deserve a spot here. Both of the Blade Runner movies are sci-fi thrillers. They take place in a dystopian futuristic world where genetically engineered humans are a normal thing.

Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2042 are spectacular movies. Both of them are visually trippy and unique. The first film is directed by Ridley Scott, while the second film is directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Both of these movies are quite similar in tone and ambiance, however, I think each has a distinct visual style. The original movie uses rough and grunge aesthetics with a touch of retro-futuristic vibe. The sequel, however, goes all out in the futuristic theme with vibrant yet controlled colors.

No matter whichever movie you prefer, they are one of the most influential sci-fi movies.


7. Doctor Strange (2016)

Source: Marvel Entertainment

Doctor Strange is definitely one of the most visually impressive superhero movies. The film is part of the MCU. It revolves around a talented neurosurgeon who gets pulled into the mystic arts after encountering a fatal accident.

This film has a lot to offer. It has many trippy and mind-bending sequences. Moreover, it provides an excellent origin story. In addition to all that, Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch give remarkable performances.

Doctor Strange is not your average superhero movie. All the sequences shot in the “mirror dimensions” are quite trippy and unique. Overall, it is quite a fun ride from start to the finish.


6. Brazil (1985)

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

When it comes to making trippy movies Terry Gilliam is the way to go. He has made some of the most visually unique and appealing movies to date. Brazil is also such a film.

The film is set in a dystopian future. A bureaucrat accidentally becomes the most wanted enemy of the government while pursuing the woman of his dreams.

Brazil masterfully mixes black humor, science fiction, and satire with ridiculous fantasy aspects. Furthermore, the film’s visuals are a pure treat to watch. They’ll make you feel like you’re high without even taking anything. I would highly recommend you to watch this film.


5. Inception (2010)

Source: Movieclips Classic Trailers

Inception is a sci-fi thriller film that revolves around a group of people who try to plant an idea into an individual’s mind. However, they must do this by going into their dreams and the task requires caution.

This is probably one of the most well-known movies on this list. Even though its premise can be quite confusing to understand, it is still very entertaining to watch. The reason behind the entertainment value is most likely its trippy visual and practical effects.

Inception has become an iconic film now and almost every movie fan loves to talk about it. The film is complete with its cast of talented actors, good writing, and beautiful cinematography.


4. Waking Life (2001)

Source:  KesherAdam

Walking Life revolves around a guy who shuffles through a dream, encountering numerous individuals and questioning the universe’s meanings and purposes.

When you watch this film you might fall in love with it. It deals with a very philosophical premise that’ll make you question things around yourself. You need to be in a certain mood to truly enjoy the film because it might come off as pretentious at times.

This film uses a very innovative animation process which makes it quite trippy to watch. However, this style suits the film a lot due to its equally mind-baffling storyline.


3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a sci-fi film. It features the Discovery One and its groundbreaking supercomputer which set out to uncover the mystery of a monolith discovered on the lunar surface.

This film, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is still the gold standard for a startling sci-fi film. Everything in this film is designed to make you feel disoriented and make you wonder about your role in the cosmos.

2001: A Space Odyssey is famous for its iconic Stargate scene. This entire sequence is so trippy that it earned the film an award for the Best Visual Effects. In addition to that scene, there are also a lot of other visually pleasing scenes throughout the film.


2. Enter The Void (2009)

Source: Nello Guida

Enter The Void is a drama fantasy film. In a narcotics deal, an American drug dealer living in Tokyo is betrayed by his best friend and slain. Observing the effects of his death, his soul wishes to be resurrected.

This film is quite similar to an earlier film on this list titled Mind Game, in terms of the premise. However, Enter The Void is more trippy and is quite dark. It is a three-hour visual examination of what it’s like to take different types of drugs.

If you want to watch this film then prepare yourself for a lot of flashing imagery and psychedelic visuals. It also has a few shocking moments so be prepared for that. Overall, it is a very strong film that should only be watched by people with strong hearts.


1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Source: Movieclips

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the final entry on our list of trippy movies. The film tells the tale of a strange journalist and his psychotic lawyer visiting Las Vegas for a series of hallucinogenic adventures.

This film not only has trippy visuals but also a very trippy storyline. By the time it’s over you might doubt your own soberness. It is basically the most perfect visual translation of Hunter S. Thompson’s literary classic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

The film gets more and more ludicrous as time passes. It starts out as a normal road trip movie, however, by the time it ends you’ll actually be questioning your own sanity. However, it will stay in your mind for a long time.


Conclusion

So this was our list of some of the most trippy movies you can watch. We hope you watch these movies and get invested in the beautiful trippy visuals.

Abdur Razaq
I'm a big movie geek. Watching movies and writing are two of my favorite things to do and here I am merging the two together.

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