Horror movies are known to be often tied to physical sensations and mental explorations. In fact, many times they become a vehicle to experience flashes. They are also synthesized as a lysergic capsule that makes what explodes on the screen vibrate in the body.
For this reason, sometimes, due to its introspective side, it is advisable not to smoke a joint and watch certain films of the horror genre.
So, with this list designed especially for El Planteo, various experts in the field rummaged through the depths of their video libraries to warn us about these dark films. In short, films to avoid if you’ve smoked marijuana.
Trances should be skipped if one was sensitively predisposed and does not want to cross the threshold of the shadows toward that striking, but not always nice “other side” of the mind.
From now on, everything is at your own risk.
Axel Kuschevatzky, Oscar-winning Screenwriter, Journalist, And Producer: The Trip & Blue Sunshine
Moreover, experts would not recommend to anyone who has taken any illegal substance to watch The Trip, by Roger Corman. People who consume any substance could have a ‘bad trip’.
In a second instance, Blue Sunshine is about the delayed effects of a hallucinogenic substance in the 60s. Which, years later, people start to get bald and start killing other people. That’s also a bit of an awkward movie to watch for anyone who has experienced or tried to evade our reality through banned substances.
Canela Rodríguez Fontao And Mariana Zárate, From La Monstrua Cinéfaga: Subconscious Cruelty, Guinea Pig & Lamb
Subconscious Cruelty (1999) from Karim Hussain is a film/essay about pleasure and enjoyment in the suffering of a human being. The human and his two cerebral hemispheres are in eternal conflict: on the one hand, logic; and, on the other hand, momentum. The images are disjointed, deeply eschatological, and strong. Everything we describe may seem ideal, but NO!
Chances are, Hussain’s film will leave you shivering in a fetal position, understanding absolutely nothing of what you saw and, at the same time, understanding it so well that you scare yourself.
Additionally, all the installments of the Guinea Pig saga. Do you think you like gore and that you tolerate it perfectly? Guinea Pig is not a movie to watch while out of your mind; you need to be very connected to the idea that “it’s just a movie”.
Charlie Sheen saw it and called the police because he mistook it for a snuff movie (literally) because he didn’t know that it wasn’t convenient for him to see high (and we have no proof or doubt that he was).
Moreover, the most current of the anti-recommendations is Lamb, a 2021 Polish film directed by Valdimar Jóhannsson, in which a couple raises a humanoid sheep named Ada and puts all kinds of clothes on it: from kid dresses to jumpsuits.
El Planteo believes that “If you watch the film high, it’s very likely that this crossover between a farm animal and a human infant will start to seem sinister and disturbing very quickly.”
Or, even, you may put a dress on your dog and expect him to sit up on his hind legs and when your expectation is not met, you get frustrated.
The truth is that it is difficult to think about what horror movie NOT to watch while high because, for someone who loves horror as much as I do, it seems to me that most of the flashy and psychedelic ones improve when you are high.
But there is one that I can tell you not to watch because you could have a bad trip, and that is Tusk, Kevin Smith’s body horror comedy. It’s a bizarre one that I hate and love at the same time, with Johnny Depp and a bunch of well-known actors, in which a kid is turned into a walrus.
The process is a cringe, a joke, and total disgust, but the problem with being high is the underlying subtext. If you are one of those who smoke and get caught persecuting yourself, you can take the pessimistic and existentialist vision that you have in the background too seriously and become depressed, very depressed, or very angry. This movie, itself seeks that, imagine if you get stoned.
If you smoke a joint, never see Where the Dead Go to Die, the closest thing to a cursed video coming out of a creepypasta in the cinema.
A strange collage of hellish visions, violence, and surreal nightmares with rough 3D animation, typical of a video game so rudimentary that it makes it more disturbing, a semi-anthology with an insane general plot full of torture, parricide, incest, bestiality, pedophilia and diabolical pacts that it works better the less sense it makes. An exercise in extreme provocation with its own intuitive mythology.
The equivalent of an amateur comic fanzine from the ’90s in a home animation style, whose chaotic style has coherence and adds a pertinent texture of dirt and ugliness. It is crazy, not suitable for any palate that, under psychotropic effects, can lead to very, very bad vibes.
Superstar Magnus Mephisto: Mother!
According to El Planteo, “the movie not to watch if you smoked a joint is Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! Rare movie, with Jennifer Lawrence and Benicio del Toro.” A very symbolic film, which has sequences that, for people with anxiety or for those who start to flash it badly, can be very complicated. They may become violent watching this movie. I don’t think I should tell it, it’s more to enjoy it.
Keep in mind that it is very symbolic, very strange. It does not have a very armed plot. The plot is used as an excuse to tell something, what the director wants to symbolize with the characters and events. It happens inside a house, throughout the year. And it has sequences that look like a bad trip, really.
Matías Orta, from “A Sala Llena”: The Thing & Hellraiser
Another movie that we recommend avoiding if you consumed a “strange substance” is John Carpenter’s The Thing. That it is an experience, in itself, paranoid, grotesque and that, in a “special mood”, it can maximize that experience and take you to really unpleasant places.
With all that paranoia and that catalog of monstrosities, “I wouldn’t dare to watch it like this.” The Thing is a movie you might want to avoid in that mood.
Another movie you should avoid if you have smoked or consumed “something very special” is Hellraiser. It is a Clive Barker film with those creatures, the Cenobites, who come from the underworld to apply the idea of pleasure that has to do with torment. Having consumed “something weird” you can flash it in an unexpected way.
Rodrigo Gil Buetto, Santiago Hardie And Fermín Gonçalves, From Scream Queens: Climax
The mystique that constantly surrounds this film by Gaspar Noé has almost become an urban legend. Its mixture of psychedelia, unconventional camera movements, hypnotizing music, and highly aesthetic photography with very nice colors and neon lights made Climax stand out as a “psychedelic movie”.
The truth is that this 2018 film seems to have all the necessary elements to want to see it stoned and fall into the clutches of the dream that Noah wants to induce us to. But more than a dream, Climax can become a nightmare.
In 2020 we did an episode of our podcast talking about “drugs and terror” and featured Climax. Not only does the drug play an important role in the development of the plot, but many people included it in their lists of movies to watch while stoned.
However, “we believe that this is not a movie to watch stoned, or at least to watch stoned and have a good time.”
Why? Because the concept of this movie is basically going through a bad trip. We see how several characters find themselves in a situation of confinement, very claustrophobic, and they fall into a limitless spiral that brings them closer to collective madness.
“Climax” is actually a very big anxiety trigger. This movie is uncomfortable and, seeing it in an altered state, can make you fall into the same spiral as the characters. Seeing it smoked can make you go through a bad trip and get you into the depths of that nightmare.
This article originally appeared on El Planteo (translated for Benzinga) and has been reposted with permission.