No Joke, Don’t Toke: Ten Horror Movies You Should NOT Watch While High

Certain movies take on new qualities when watched while under the influence of your favorite recreational. Maybe you get a new perspective on an old favorite, or perhaps the breathtaking visuals are that much more beautiful. However, other films become a nightmare of a trip if watched while high. 

It’s safe to say the flicks in this list are nightmarish on their own, but pair it with just the right (or wrong) edible, and you might regret it! So heed this warning and check out this list of 10 Nightmare Films You DON’T Want to Watch While High!


10. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

jacob's ladder - strapped in

Jacob’s Ladder (1990) follows Jacob Singer, played by Tim Robbins, as he returns to the U.S. from his tour of duty in Vietnam. Like many veterans, he struggles to readjust to society, but he also begins to have hallucinations. Throughout the film, Jacob slowly loses his mind, and the hallucinations and flashbacks get pretty intense. In one nightclub scene, he watches a girl dance as she transforms into a horrific monster! You’ll want to avoid this one if you’re on any psychedelics!


9. Lost Highway (1997)

Some may consider it cheating to use David Lynch on this list, and to be fair, I had a hard time deciding which Lynch to include here! The diner scene from Mullholand Drive made it a strong contender. However, Lost Highway (1997) has a much more threatening aura, with Robert Blake playing the fantastically creepy Mystery Man. Careful with this one; you might find yourself on the weirdest phone call of your life!


8. The Cell (2000)

This movie may be a bit tame for this list, but I included it anyway for the visuals alone! Jennifer Lopez plays F.B.I. agent Catherine Deane who travels into the mind of a serial killer – like, literally goes INTO his mind – to locate his latest victim. Now, the mind of a serial killer is as screwed up as you might expect, but what Catherine finds within will change her perspective. The visuals are striking and disturbing, so if you have some violence triggers, a drug-influenced watch may not be the best idea.


7. Mandy (2018)


Mandy (2018) has received resounding praise within the horror community, and honestly, this one could go either way. Some might find this the perfect movie to bust out your best bud, but it may not be the best for fans of microdosing. The intense visuals, music, and violence could quickly become too much, and the roided-out cenobite ripoffs could make a trip go south fast! Plus, that cheddar goblin feels like a hallucination already!


6. Messiah of Evil (1973)

This is a strange one and a movie where I said to myself, “I’m so glad I was not high for this.” Messiah of Evil (1973) follows a woman who travels to a mysterious coastal town searching for her father. What follows is a mind-bending daydream in which an undead city council controls the town and has a plot to take over the country. At least as far as I gather. Aside from the coastal, synthwave-y vibes and the cool undead townies, this one is tough to follow, and I can imagine being under the influence wouldn’t help! 


5. Don’t Look Now (1973)

Don’t Look Now (1973) is a heavy one on this list. It follows a couple who lose their child and soon after travel to Venice to restore an old church. However, with a murderer on the loose, the couple still grieving, and a grievous warning from a fortune teller, the couple’s trip is far from relaxing. Strange sex scenes and tense situations abound, making this film a paranoia generator! 


4. Bug (2006)

Speaking of paranoia, William Friedkin’s 2006 Bug takes place in a dirty motel room with a recently discharged soldier (Michael Shannon) who believes he has been infected by tiny insects crawling underneath his skin. Just that by itself should be enough to tell you why watching this while high is a bad idea, but watching Michael Shannon lose his mind as he tears at his skin is enough for this movie to get under anyone’s skin!


3. Naked Lunch (1991)

From small bugs to big bugs, this adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s novel lives up to its source material, especially in the hands of David Cronenberg. But if fleshy, sexually explicit typewriter sex disturbs you, being high while watching this is only going to make things worse for you! Flesh aside, the convoluted plot involving alien conspiracy and milking rooms can make this a strange trip that leaves you feeling dirty!


2. Event Horizon (1997)

event horizon

Event Horizon (1997) is known for its nightmarish scenes depicting hell, and a drug-fueled watch is likely to add to the horror. The hellish scenes come fast and unexpected and can catch you off guard. Tied with the paranoia of a psycho crewmate who has ripped out his own eyes, it’s likely to make Event Horizon one of the worst watches you can make while on drugs!


1. mother! (2017) 

darren aronofsky's mother! review

Event Horizon is hell in space, but hell on earth for some are anxiety-inducing social situations. mother! (2017) is, for lack of a better word, insane. It received a mixed reception upon release and is heavily regarded as a confusing, frustrating, and tense experience. Pop and edible, and watch that anxiety multiply! Whether it’s the psychotic guests who won’t leave or the battlefield raging through your living room, the tension only ramps up. When you’re in the midst of a good buzz, this film is sure to ruin it!

Have fun and stay safe this 4/20! Be very careful about your movie selection! 


What are some of your favorites to watch while you partake? Did we miss any that you should avoid? Let us know by following us on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord. Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.


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