Even some of the greatest sci-fi movies ever made are hallucinogenic masterpieces that distort the audience’s understanding of reality by turning existential ideas like time and space inside out. As evidenced by the abundance of traditional space operas, not all science fiction films capitalise on the peculiar storytelling tendencies of the genre.
Nonetheless, a plethora of hallucinogenic science fiction films explore the outermost limits of the genre, providing audiences with an unforgettable and peculiar cinematic encounter. Let’s look at the best of all time in trippiest sci-fi movies.
Unmissable classic Sci-fi movies:
11. Donnie Darko:
‘Donnie Darko’ (2002) turned a sullen, moody Jake Gyllenhaal into an overnight sensation. But even though Gyllenhaal played the title character, an angsty teen, in a way that many young viewers could relate to, the journey he goes through in the film is entirely unique.
10. Beyond the Black Rainbow:
‘Beyond the Black Rainbow’ has a surprisingly straightforward plot. A mute woman makes an attempt to break free from her captivity at an enigmatic facility, learning about some risky experiments along the way.
David Cronenberg is best known for his contributions to the body horror subgenre, but his underappreciated film ‘EXistenZ‘ is one of the few that strays from this recurrent obsession.
8. Altered States:
The film ‘Altered States’ chronicles the experiments of William Hurt’s psychologist in retrieving genetic memories. Despite its brief narrative, the film primarily serves as a platform for some of the most remarkable portrayals of extrasensory experiences in cinema history.
7. 12 Monkeys:
In ’12 Monkeys’, Willis plays James Cole, a prisoner sent back from a post-apocalyptic future where a killer virus has destroyed everything.
6. Under the Skin:
In Johansson’s terrifying meditation on gender, power, and sexuality, ‘Under the Skin,’ men are sent to their deaths in a glassy, dark void by an emotionless alien.
‘Paprika,’ a film by the late, great Satoshi Kon, is frequently likened to Inception because both films tell tales of futuristic heroes invading other people’s dreams.
4. Southland Tales:
‘Southland Tales’ traced the paths of several characters who at first glance appeared to be unconnected as they became involved in a convoluted, intricate plot. Among these individuals are a movie star with amnesia, a former porn star who became a reality TV creator, an Iraq invasion veteran, and two characters portrayed by Sean William Scott.
We get a strange film that is at once frightening and hilarious, following the antihero as he spirals further into anarchic madness in a science fiction picture that was years ahead of its time.
2. Naked Lunch:
‘Naked Lunch’, to put it in the most general terms possible, is an autobiographical account of the turbulent life of author William S. Burrough. Nevertheless, because Burroughs was a frequent user of hallucinogenic substances, talking typewriters, talking insects, doppelgängers, and countless other horrifying, deformed humanoid abominations can be found in Cronenberg’s vision of Burroughs’ infamous novel.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey:
Even though ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ begins with a seemingly straightforward plot, the film’s surreal conclusion is a hallucinogenic meditation on existence.