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Top 50 Most Popular Weird Movies Of All Time 
Aishwarya-Updated June 14, 2023
When we think of entertainment, fun times, or relaxation, we instantly think of movies. There are several genres of movies ranging from romance, comedy, and action to suspense, thriller, and horror.
There are multiple sub-genres like fantasy romance, rom-com, psychological thrillers, and more. And then there is the next category.
These movies are a mixture of multiple above genres or something that is unique from all. I am talking about weird movies.
If you are confused about what I am speaking of, do not worry. I will explain. Weird movies are those movies that do not prescribe to usual logic or reasoning.
They defy common sense and may even be uncomfortable to watch. However, they are the kind of movies that will jar our senses, and force us to think differently.
Now that we have described weird films, ENTOIN brings you a list of popular weird films that cover this genre.
They range from movies that are emotionally weird to those that might make one feel physically uncomfortable. It is advisable to watch these movies with a pinch of salt.
50. My Own Private Idaho (1991)
"My Own Private Idaho" is a 1991 independent film directed by Gus Van Sant. The movie follows the journey of two friends, Mike and Scott, played by River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves respectively, who are male hustlers navigating the streets of Portland and Idaho.
The film explores themes of friendship, identity, and unrequited love through a mix of drama and road movie elements.
"My Own Private Idaho" received critical acclaim for its unconventional narrative style, powerful performances, and sensitive portrayal of complex characters.
It garnered recognition for its unique blend of art-house and mainstream sensibilities, contributing to the rising popularity of independent cinema.
The film's success solidified its place as a cult classic and further established Gus Van Sant as a visionary director.
49. Meadowland (2015)
Meadowland is a drama that deals with the issue of child loss. It is a deeply painful experience to lose one’s child.
However, when one goes missing, the parents do not understand how to deal with it. The concept is the nightmare of every parent.
A happy couple goes on a road trip with their son. At a gas station, the son goes missing without a trace.
The father, who is a policeman, tries to attend support groups and tries his best to find his way out.
His wife goes on the unconventional path and puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to deal with her loss.
48. Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (2013)
Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus Is a film about the trip that a group of youngsters experiences under the influence of a psychotropic drug.
The trip starts with a young American teen who is footloose and fancy-free. He decides to go to Chile along with three Chilean brothers to locate a variety of San Pedro Cactus.
Using this cactus, the four men plan to make a psychotropic drug. But a fifth person tags along who is a new-age hippie who quickly gets on to their last nerve.
After experiencing a series of comedic events, the group coalesces and finds peace. The critics gave favourable reviews to the movie.
They felt that Michael Cera was adorable as a self-absorbed youth, and the director kept the movie together perfectly.
47. Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (2022)
"Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio" is a forthcoming stop-motion animated film directed by Guillermo del Toro, based on the classic fairy tale of Pinocchio.
The story follows the journey of a wooden puppet named Pinocchio who longs to become a real boy. Set in Italy during the rise of fascism, the film explores themes of identity, morality, and the pursuit of dreams.
Del Toro's distinct visual style and penchant for dark fantasy elements infuse the story with a captivating and visually stunning atmosphere.
The film features an impressive voice cast including Ewan McGregor as Pinocchio, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, and David Bradley.
46. The Grapes of Death (1978)
The Grapes of Death is a French horror film with a weird logic and ending. The film is set in a vineyard where an experimental new pesticide is used on the grapes.
Soon, we see groups of people with boils on their faces and bodies who turn violent and kill others.
A young woman inadvertently comes upon this situation and has a long struggle to get to the root of the problem.
After she finds the cause, inexplicably, she adds to the problem by killing the only other normal people with her. The film is a combination of surreal atmosphere, blood, gore, and weirdness.
45. Coriolanus (2011)
Coriolanus is a film directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also acted in the titular role. It is an adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy.
Coriolanus was a Roman general who was famous for his war exploits. He brought great glory to his empire but fell prey to his own arrogance and the envy and greed of power-hungry people.
Based on his exploits in war, Coriolanus ran for a seat in the senate and won it. However, he let his arrogance get the best of him, and his enemies used this chance to have him deposed as a traitor.
In a fit of rage, he joined the enemy camp and waged a war on Rome. In the end, he realized his folly and tried to rectify the wrongs. But he was misunderstood and paid a price for betraying both sides.
44. Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998)
Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County is a pseudo-documentary film. It is a home video, found-footage style film that was made famous by The Blair Witch Project that came a year later.
The film appears to document the events that occurred during the McPhearson family’s Thanksgiving Dinner. We see Tommy, a teenager making a home video of his family dinner when the power goes out.
From this point onwards, the family witnesses and experiences audio-visual hallucinations, unexplained power cuts, and panic. It appears to be complete chaos, with multiple events and activities happening without any clear logic.
The film was telecast after another real-life investigative show about vampires. This convinced people that the alien abduction was true.
43. Under The Skin (2013)
Under The Skin is a science-fiction film that presents the views of an alien who is investigating and understanding humans.
The film follows a woman who entraps men and takes them into a liquid void where they are submerged in a tar-like black liquid.
The woman is assisted in her pursuit by an unknown motorcyclist, but it is unclear what their mission or end goal is.
Some critics have opined that it is a take on immigration and the assimilation of race. The acting of Scarlet Johansson was praised but the underlying meaning was lost on the audience.
42. The Congress (2013)
The Congress is a film based on the novel The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem. The film is science-fiction about a world where the lines between the real world and the animated world are all blurred with the help of questionable technology.
The film follows the life of an ageing actress who is also a mother, struggling to keep her son safe from his illness.
Initially, in need of money, she agrees to sell her image as an animation that acts in films. As technology progresses, the boundaries between the real world and computer animation blur, and human identity gets lost.
The world becomes a dystopian society where reality is dismal and animation reigns.
41. The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)
The Man Who Haunted Himself is a psychological thriller based on the novel titled The Strange Case of Mr. Pelham, written by Anthony Armstrong.
Roger Moore starred in the lead role, and he considered the movie his favourite film ever. Critics also agreed that this film was his best film apart from the Bond movies.
The story of the film is similar to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in some ways. Mr. Pelham is a creature of habit and strictly follows his mundane life.
After an unusual car accident, the life of Mr. Pelham is turned chaotic with events that he cannot recollect that involve him.
He starts to behave uncharacteristically and identifies that he has a doppelganger who has taken over his life. How all this happened and why adds to the weirdness and suspense of the film.
40. Phase IV (1974)
Phase IV is a science-fiction horror film made by Saul Bass. It was the only feature film directed by him and was inspired by the short story Empire of the Ants, by H. G. Wells.
The film was a flop, but it gained a cult following after it was telecast during the KTMA era. The story starts with an unexplained cosmic event that affects the ants, and they start to develop a superior intellect.
Coupled with their hive mentality, they aggressively engage hums in the desert of Arizona and start to take over the place.
The film received mixed reactions, with critics calling it a monster film and a film where special effects take precedence over the story.
39. Mandy (2018)
Mandy is a drug-fueled gore fest with revenge as the main theme. A logger and his artist girlfriend are leading a simple idyllic life, far from the bustling city.
A sinister cult moves into the neighbourhood, and the cult leader takes a liking to the girlfriend. With the help of a drug-dealing MC gang, the cult leader captures and kills her.
The logger who has witnessed all this flies into a rage and exacts his revenge on the MC gang and the cult.
It is a John Wick-style movie but is much more chaotic, gory, and drug-fueled. The performance of Nicholas Cage was praised, and the story was also appreciated, but the film did not do well.
38. Figures in a Landscape (1970)
Figures in The Landscape is an action thriller that raises more questions than answers. It is based on a novel of the same name written by Barry England.
The film follows the struggle of two men who are trying to escape something or someone. They are constantly chased by a mysterious black helicopter.
Out of the two men who are escaping, one of them is a leader who is more aggressive with a fighting spirit, while the other wants to escape with minimum violence and appears to be a pacifist.
We are not given any clear indication about the identity of the escapees, their backstory, or their reason for escape. We are also not given any lead on who is the pursuer and if they are the good guys or the bad guys.
37. The Double (2013)
The Double is a black comedy and mystery movie. It is written and directed by Richard Ayoade, and it is based on the novella titled The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The film was praised by critics for its bleak and dark storyline that is also darkly funny.
The film is about doppelgangers Simon James and James Simon, whose personalities are polar opposites of each other. They constantly cross paths and snatch things that the other values.
Despite the best efforts of Simon James, everybody misunderstands him and believes the effort and words of James Simon, who is the imposter.
36. Gummo (1997)
Gummo is an experimental film that is set in a small town in midwestern America. The town has been torn by a devastating tornado and the signs of decay are everywhere.
The townsfolk who remain are stuck in poverty and lack civic amenities like police, governance, or even medicines. The youth start to pass the time by indulging in various illegal, immoral, and unethical behaviours.
The director, Harmony Korine tried to make a stylized film that shows everything that is wrong with the youth without making excuses or romanticizing it.
The story is filled with themes like drug abuse, homophobia, racism, prostitution, sexual abuse, suicide, sadness, animal cruelty, and more.
35. Silent Running (1972)
Silent Running is an environment-themed post-apocalyptic film. Earth has been ravaged by decades of environmental neglect. To save the flora and fauna, as many plants and animals as possible have been kept in geodesic domes that are attached to large spaceships and stationed in an orbit outside Saturn.
A group of researchers, including a botanist, are left to take care of the various plants and animals. As the situation on Earth deteriorates, an executive decision is made to abandon all plants and animals and use the spaceship elsewhere.
This disturbs the botanist, who revolts and wreaks havoc on the spaceship. The film starts out as an ecological-themed film, but it meanders and loses track.
It does not reach its potential and falls short on many counts. Yet, it is a unique theme that was previously overlooked.
34. Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988)
Tales From The Gimli Hospital is a genuinely weird tale written, directed, and produced by Guy Maddin. The film starts as a story that an old grandmother narrates to her young children about the old days in the town of Gimli.
In the days forgotten, there were two neighbours who were stricken with Smallpox and admitted to the Gimli Hospital.
Initially, the two patients were happy to have a friendly face around. But soon, a rivalry breaks out regarding who gets the nurse’s attention.
The situation in the small town of Gimli is dismal, with the hospital lacking anaesthesia for surgery, and a fire accident making things worse.
The characters are all plagued by negative emotions like jealousy, greed, anger, etc., making them awkward and unhappy.
33. Mother! (2017)
Mother! is a psychological horror that was written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. The film was met with generally positive reviews from critics.
It also competed for the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival. However, Mother! Courted controversy with religious groups protesting against biblical allegories.
The film starts with a burned-down house with a beautiful garden surrounding it. In the ruin sits a man who is lamenting the ruin.
The next day, the ruin is reset back into a beautiful house, and the man runs into the bedroom to find his dead wife alive again.
The couple restarts their idyllic life and the man, once again, garners fame and recognition. With this, he starts to have visitors, and the weirdness starts. The film has scenes of extreme violence, adultery, chaos, and confusion.
32. Dead Mountaineer's Hotel (1979)
Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel is an Estonian film made during the Soviet era. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
The film was made in Estonian and was hailed as an attempt to speak out against the Soviets oppressing everything that does not conform to normalcy.
The film is set in a remote lodge that is set in an imaginary European mountain range. The lodge is a remote place and is stuck in bad weather.
During this time, they receive a group of visitors who are strange in their behaviour. It is later revealed that they are two aliens and their respective robots.
When a dead body lands at their door, a police investigation is launched, and the officer uncovers the existence of aliens. Soon the military arrives to stamp out the aliens.
31. The Perfect Host (2010)
The Perfect Host is a black comedy and crime thriller. It was written and directed by Nicholas Tomnay, based on a short film that he made earlier.
The film received mixed reviews. The story was initially engaging but lost its way towards the end. A bank robber is trying to escape the police who have issued warnings and notices on TV and radio.
While he is trying to look for a hideout, the robber stumbles into the house of a strange man, who is preparing for a dinner party.
Although he finds shelter in the house, the robber finds the host’s behaviour to be odd. Soon, it is revealed that the host is hosting a party with all imaginary people who turn out to be murder victims, and the robber has been drugged with no way to escape.
30. Bringing Out The Dead (1999)
Bringing Out The Dead is a film by Martin Scorsese based on a novel of the same name written by Joe Connelly.
The film was received well by critics who have praised the work of Scorsese and Nicholas Cage. However, the audience was not able to connect with the film.
The story is about a New York City paramedic who is bogged down by his recent spate of unsuccessful cases.
He has been dispatched with multiple partners to different emergencies that have resulted in varying degrees of failure. He starts to drink and hallucinate in unclear situations.
The reason for his depression could be his failure to save people, but what brought it on and what cures it is unclear. In fact, we are not sure if his hallucinations are cured or not.
29. Spider (2002)
Spider is a 2002 film made by David Cronenberg and based on a novel of the same name, written by Patrick McGrath.
The film received a limited release after it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. 'Spider' was a hit with Cronenberg enthusiasts and critics, in general.
It also garnered praise for the acting talent of Ralph Fiennes and Miranda Richardson. The film follows a schizophrenic patient who is released from a mental institution and sent to a halfway home.
Initially, he appears to have recovered a semblance of normalcy in life. However, he starts to recollect his childhood memories.
Oftentimes, they are fractured images that further confuse him and lead him down a spiral toward relapse.
28. Enemy (2013)
Enemy is a psychological drama directed by Denis Villeneuve. It is based on the novel titled, The Double by José Saramago.
The film received favourable reviews from critics and the audience alike. The style, picturization, ambience, etc., were all compared to the work of David Lynch.
The film starts with a history professor who leads a mundane life that lacks change or novelty. One day, he discovers a movie that stars a person who looks like him, and this intrigues him.
He obsessively follows that guy and tries to meet him. When he does meet the look-alike, the professor realizes that nothing is the same anymore.
It starts to dawn on him that he might have a look-alike after all, and both characters are different personalities of the same person.
27. Naked Lunch (1991)
Naked Lunch is another David Cronenberg film that he directed and wrote based on a novel of the same name by William S. Burroughs.
The film became a cult classic, despite its dismal performance at the box office. The film received good reviews from critics and also won honours for direction.
The film chronicles the effects of overexposure to insecticide on an exterminator. He starts to get addicted to the use of the insecticide and has hallucinations.
He sees that most of the people in his life are undercover bugs who are working for a secret organization. They offer him secret missions that involve killing people and recording extensive mission logs.
26. Inland Empire (2006)
Inland Empire is a David Lynch film that he wrote, directed, and co-produced. The film was hailed by a few critics as a surrealist film that is typical of Lynch films.
Inland Empire was praised as a nuanced, incisive film that devolves into a parody of itself. The film follows a female movie star who gets a script and auditions for it.
Her neighbour assures her that she will succeed in getting the role and tells her that this is a cursed project.
The actress doesn't believe her and begins work on the film. It slowly dawned on the actress that the lines between the film and real life were getting blurred.
Eventually, the actress loses all grip on reality and completely gets immersed in the film script till the director calls for a cut and declares that the filming was done.
25. The American Astronaut (2001)
The American Astronaut is a science-fiction film that was written and directed by Cory McAbee. The film has a plot that is built on the premise that space travel is a job or hard labour that was created for manual labourers and not an intellectual pursuit.
An astronaut, Samuel Curtis, does the job of delivering and undertaking missions from different planets in the solar system.
While on a mission to locate a boy who saw a woman, Samuel Curtis realizes that all women are confined to the planet Venus. At the same time, another person is hunting him down on a mission to kill him.
24. THX 1138 (1971)
THX 1138 is the directorial debut of George Lucas. The film is based on a story that he wrote during his college days for a short film.
The movie was declared a flop in its initial days. Later, after Lucas made the Star Wars films, his fans revisited this movie, and THX 1138 became a cult classic.
The film is set in a dystopian world where society is strictly regulated and governed by draconian laws that prohibit most human emotions.
Strict uniformity is implemented among workers and they are enforced by android police. To ensure the complete loyalty and obedience of the masses, mandatory drug administration is carried out that suppresses all emotions.
23. Swiss Army Man (2016)
Swiss Army Man is described as an absurd black comedy. The film was made by debutant directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who also wrote the story.
The film received positive reviews, with many critics calling the movie odd and well-acted with a deeply dark sense of humour.
A man is marooned on a deserted island and stumbles upon a corpse that washes ashore. The body is weirdly flatulent.
The man uses this to jet ski onto a bigger island. Feeling grateful for the corpse, he pulls it along with him. As the film progresses, the man realizes that the corpse has many more weird powers that are useful, entertaining, and awkward.
The corpse slowly starts to learn how to speak and learns to be civilized. However, he is not up to the task of being integrated into society.
22. eXistenZ (1999)
eXistenZ is a science-fiction film that is written, directed, and co-produced by David Cronenberg. The film is about a struggle between virtual reality game designers and realists who oppose the game.
eXistenZ is about assassins, secret agents, double agents, and more. Allegra Geller is a game designer presenting her newly developed game called eXistenZ. Multiple parties set out to sabotage the game.
They even send out assassins to kill her. With the help of a security officer, Ted Pikul, she must set out on a dangerous mission to rescue her game and identify all the enemy parties.
Things get murkier as the film progresses until they are stuck in a diseased game.
21. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)
Tetsuo: The Iron Man is a Japanese body horror that was written, directed, produced, and edited by Shinya Tsukamoto.
He is known for making low-budget, underground productions that have a massive following in Japan and around the world.
The film revolves around a metal fetishist who can mysteriously survive and function with plates of metal inserted into his body.
On one occasion, he is overrun by a car and appears to be dead. The man driving the car panics and goes away from there.
However, the driver realizes that slowly his body is transforming into a metallic body. His body parts are either encased in metal or turned into a metal object, and he is unable to escape or do anything about it.
20. Cul-de-Sac (1966)
Cul-de-Sac is a British film written and directed by Roman Polanski. The film is a typical Polanski film that explores themes like jealousy, alienation, paranoia, etc.
It is comparable to other Polanski films like Rosemary’s Baby, The Tenant, etc. in this regard. A British couple is living in a lonely castle on a tidal island.
An American gangster and his accomplice drive up the causeway to the island before the high tide sets in.
They are escaping after a crime, and one of them has been fatally wounded. The gangster holds the couple hostage while he waits for his boss to come to his rescue.
He does not expect the series of events that follow and the fact that his boss refuses to come to his aid.
19. The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane (1976)
The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane is an American suspense film. It is based on a novel of the same name written by Laird Koenig.
When the film was released, it raised quite a controversy over the apparent nude scenes in the film. However, the film was praised for Jodie Foster's acting.
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane has been viewed by critics as a film about children’s rights.
A young girl of 13 years is living in a small house down the lane. Her father is constantly absent and this gives an opportunity for the landlady and her son to harass the child for seemingly minor things.
As the film progresses, we are shown that the girl’s father has died and left her with a bottle of cyanide to protect her from the unscrupulous mother.
18. The Grandmother (1970)
The Grandmother is a wildly imaginative film written and directed by David Lynch. It is a combination of live-action and animation with no dialogue.
We can only find intermittent rants of gibberish to convey the mood or emotion of the scene. It is a short film, but it became pivotal in helping David Lynch earn a scholarship to join the AFI's Center for Advanced Film Studies/ A young boy lives with his abusive and neglectful parents.
Even though his situation is not ideal, he has a very strong imagination. The young boy finds a bag of seeds in his house and plants them in the middle of a single bed.
As the plant grows, it fruits to a grandmother who is always smiling and approving of him. It only remains to see if his grandmother is helpful to the kid in overcoming all the abuse of his parents.
17. Dead Ringer (1988)
Dead Ringer is a David Cronenberg film about Marcus twins, Samuel and Cyril. The film is a highly fictionalized account of their life and mysterious death.
It is also loosely based on the book The Twins by Baru Wood. We meet two successful gynaecologist twins, Beverly and Elliot Mantle.
While Beverly is shy and passive, Elliot is an outgoing and promiscuous twin. They both work as head gynaecologists in a private clinic.
Elliot flirts and sleeps around with the patients and passes them on to Beverly after he is bored with them. One such patient is Claire. However, the difference with her is that Beverly starts to get attached to her.
He even starts to abuse prescription drugs and barbiturates. He passes this drug dependence to Elliot when he tries to rescue Beverly. Eventually, both brothers succumb to their addiction.
16. Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Jacob’s Ladder is a psychological horror written by Bruce Joel Rubin. The film is a story of the ordeals of a Vietnam war veteran that slowly descends into a chaos of hallucinations, reality, and dreams.
By the end of the movie, we see light at the end of the tunnel, but the experience is nerve-wracking.
Jacob is a Vietnam War veteran trying to overcome the after-effects of his brutal war experiences. He keeps hallucinating about his days with his unit and trying to piece together the reasons for his condition.
To add to his ordeal, Jacob also starts seeing his dead son and family. As the hallucinations get more insane and his grip on reality becomes tenuous, Jacob receives help from his friend, who shows him the way out of this hell.
15. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
A Scanner Darkly is a Richard Linklater movie that is adapted from the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name.
The film is an adult animated film that was shot in live-action and later converted into animation using an interpolated rotoscope.
The film received positive reviews for Linklater's direction and the performance of the cast, especially Robert Downey Jr. A New York police detective is sent undercover to investigate the widespread use of drugs, particularly the new drug called Substance D.
While undercover, the identities of fellow agents and their handlers have been kept a secret using scrambler suits. As the film progresses, the goalpost keeps moving away as the detective himself becomes addicted to the drug.
There also appear to be many more deep-cover operations that run parallel to his role, making things confusing.
14. The Lobster (2015)
The Lobster is a black comedy dystopian film that was directed, co-written, and co-produced by Yorgos Lanthimos. The film was presented at many film festivals and won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
It was also nominated for the best original screenplay at the Academy Awards. In a dystopian future, the government has mandated that every single person should be sent to a hotel for a 45-day stay to find a compatible partner to marry.
Failure to do so results in the person being converted into an animal. This is unusual enough, but there is another rebel group of Loners who stay in the forest, and their rules dictate that falling in love is prohibited at all costs.
The lead pair are caught between these two opposing factions.
13. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a bizarre comedy horror film based on the musical stage production of the same name.
The film is a parody of all old horror movies with grotesque masks and weird costumes. The film was a major success around the world and has amassed a cult following.
The film starts with a newly engaged couple on a road trip. Their car breaks down in a remote location amidst heavy rain.
Typical of horror movie stories, they find an old castle nearby and go there to make a phone call or ask for help.
The castle’s owner is a mad scientist who had created a Frankenstein-like monster called Rocky. The story continues along the lines of B-grade horror movies and parodies them to the full extent.
12. Pi (1998)
Pi is the debut film of Darren Aronofsky that he wrote and directed. This film earned him awards at the Sundance Film Festival, Independent Spirit Award, and Gotham Open Palm Award for his direction and screenplay.
The film was a neo-noir psychological thriller. A genius mathematician suffers from cluster headaches, schizoid personality disorder, and hallucinations.
He believes that everything in nature and human nature can be explained or predicted using mathematics. He attempts to program the computer Euclid, but it appears to malfunction and spew out a series of numbers.
Disappointed and suffering from increased headaches, the mathematician takes extreme measures to control the situation.
11. Eraserhead (1977)
Eraserhead is the debut feature film of David Lynch. Up until that point, all of Lynch’s work was short films, and he was studying a course in advanced filmmaking at AFI.
The film was written, directed, edited, and produced by David Lynch. He also worked on the musical score and sound along with Alan Splet.
Eraserhead is a film where a factory worker and his girlfriend have a child together. However, the child is born with a deformity, and he cries all night long.
The couple is forced to marry to care for the child, and the social pressure and child suffocate them both.
The mother abandons the child to the factory worker. He is unable to care for the child on his own, nor can he carry on working, and the stress of the situation shows no signs of abating.
10. Dead Man (1995)
Dead Man is a postmodern Western written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Many critics gave the film a negative review, but some have also considered it one of Jarmusch’s finest works.
The film was praised for its accurate portrayal of Native American culture and traditions. William Blake is a shy and timid accountant who moves to the West to work at a metal works factory.
However, after reaching the town, his job is offered to someone else, and Blake is chased out. He also kills the factory owner’s son in self-defence.
Although he escapes, Blake has a bullet embedded close to his heart. He becomes a wanted fugitive with bounty hunters chasing him.
Help comes from an outcast Native American, Nobody, who offers to give him a proper tribal burial.
9. Onibaba (1964)
Onibaba is a Japanese period film that is set in 14th-century Japan. It was written and directed by Kaneto Shindo, and he used his usual cast of stage play performers for the movie too.
The film opens with a country that is at war, resulting in a shortage of food and money. Most men have been drafted into the army, but they are deserting the war and stealing food from farmers.
In these tough times, a mother and daughter-in-law pair resort to killing soldiers and stealing their belongings. One day the neighbour returns from war and shows a liking for the daughter-in-law.
This makes the old woman angry and jealous. She encounters a lone samurai, wearing an oni mask of jealousy, and she kills him.
Using this mask, the old woman scares the younger woman, but the mask refuses to come off.
8. The Holy Mountain (1973)
The Holy Mountain is a surreal fantasy written, directed, produced, edited, and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky. The Beatles were very impressed with Jodorowsky’s earlier film El Topo, so John Lennon, George Harrison, Beatles manager Allen Klein, and Yoko Ono decided to produce the film.
The critics praised the film, which was full of religious symbolism. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival and was shown at other festivals around Europe.
It received limited screening in New York and San Francisco. The story follows a group of people who take up a journey in search of the Holy Mountain.
They face distractions and experience different negative emotions along the way.
7. Dark City (1998)
Dark City is a science fiction suspense thriller co-written and directed by Alex Proyas. The film was well-received by critics who liked the dark ambience, art direction, set design, etc.
The story was also imaginative and suspenseful. A man is suffering from amnesia, and he is accused of murder.
Unable to recall his past or identity, the man struggles to prove his innocence. At the same time, he is chased by a mysterious group of people called The Strangers.
As the film progresses, we realize that The Strangers are aliens who intend to replicate earth-like living conditions.
6. The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)
The Hourglass Sanatorium is a surrealist film by the Polish director Wojciech Jerzy Has. The film is the adaptation of Bruno Schulz's story collection Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass.
It is well-known in Western countries with the name The Sandglass. The film takes us on a bizarre, fantastical journey with Joseph, who comes to visit his dying father in the sanatorium.
The condition of the dilapidated sanatorium shocks him, but the fact that time passes differently in this place is the main surprise.
He starts to behave like a child and relives his childhood memories. The film was not appreciated by the Polish people as alluded to their difficult past with Jews.
The film's Jewish characters and the holocaust imagery were not to the taste of the Polish government.
5. Fantastic Planet (1973)
Fantastic Planet is an animated experimental movie made in a collaboration between France and Czechoslovakia. The film is based on the novel Oms en série by French writer Stefan Wul.
The film is set in an animated world that is like Earth but it is inhabited by giant humanoid creatures.
These giant humanoid creatures called Traag live in societies similar to Earth but keep humans as their pets. Some humans live along with the Traag as their house pets, while other humans live in the wilderness like timid and scared animals.
The Traag is violent and ruthless to humans whom they see as animals. Humans plot to revolt against the Traag for their right to co-exist peacefully.
They steal Traag technology and set up their own colony, far from the Traags.
4. The Seventh Seal (1957)
The Seventh Seal is a Swedish film by director Ingmar Bergman. He also wrote the script for the film based on the Bergman play, titled Wood Painting.
He was inspired to make a historical fantasy film after watching his idol, Akira Kurosawa. The film is set during the period of the Black Death across Europe.
A crusader, Antonius Block, and his squire return from their crusades and see their homeland ravished by death and decay.
The Knight is also disillusioned about God and what he fought for. Along the way, the Knight meets the death incarnate and challenges him to a game of chess.
Through the game and the scenes he encounters, the Knight gradually learns the truth of the situation.
3. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fantasy written, directed, and co-produced by Guillermo del Toro. The film was set in the Francoist era, in the year 1944.
The story combines elements of reality and fantasy to create a framework for this dark fairy tale. A young girl Ofelia and her mother are travelling to a new place to join the man that her mother has recently married.
As the mother is pregnant, her health is not very strong, and this is a cause for concern for Ofelia. We find that her stepfather is the Falangist Captain Vidal, and he is a cruel and strict authority figure.
In his new mansion, Ofelia finds a maze-like place that is overgrown and uncared for. She enters the labyrinth and discovers mysterious faun and fairy-like creatures.
They put forth three challenges to Ofelia, and when she accomplishes them, she receives a big surprise.
2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A Clockwork Orange is a Stanley Kubrick movie that he adapted, directed, and produced. The film is adapted from a novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess.
The story is a dystopian tale of a world where juvenile crime has increased to such a level that the government employs the most heavy-handed means to control it.
One of these heavy-handed techniques is an experimental new psychological tool by which they brainwash a juvenile criminal to give up his deviant ways.
After the brainwashing is complete, they simply send him back into society. However, the youth faces severe backlash with his current attitude and past history.
A Clockwork Orange was a controversial movie that contained scenes of graphic violence that incited similar crimes in the countries they were screened in. It was subsequently pulled back from theatres.
1. Being John Malkovich (1999)
Being John Malkovich is a fantasy comedy that was written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. The film explores the fantastical concept of the consciousness of the actor John Malkovich existing as a physical place that is discovered by an unscrupulous person.
Craig Schwartz is an out-of-work puppeteer who finds a hidden floor in an office building that houses John Malkovich’s mind.
It gives a portal into Malkovich’s mind and allows Schwartz to control the actions of the actor. Initially, Schwartz takes a peek out of curiosity and fiddles around with Malkovich for fun.
However, he slowly devises a scheme to control the actor and use him for his promiscuous needs. Later, he discloses this secret to others, which leads to chaos in the actor’s life.
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