Reaper Madness Month is still going strong here at Nightmare on Film Street, and today we will be celebrating by taking a look at the horror movies that pair best with the two primary types of cannabis, Sativa & Indica, for those of us who will be (responsibly!!!) imbibing. Cannabis Sativa is considered an upper, and produces a high that leaves you feeling energized and ready to take on the world whereas cannabis Indica is a downer that mellows you out. Much like these mind-altering substances, there are all kinds of horror movies I’ve found that leave you feeling similar or the same effects. Whichever way you choose to partake, I’ve got a list for you here of 10 movies guaranteed to amp you up, and another 10 to bring you down nice and easy.
It’s time to enter the chill zone with 10 of the best Indica-Inspired Horror Flicks that will leave you feeling floaty, relaxed, and tenderly mind blown. Of course, if you’re looking for a more fist-pumping, blood-pounding, and scream-inducing good time, be sure to check this article’s companion piece of Sativa-Inspired Horror Movies HERE.
10.We are Still Here (2015)
In a contemplative and haunting exploration of grief, Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here follows Anne (Barbara Crampton) and Paul (Andrew Sensenig) grappling with the death of their son as they move into a new home. We quickly find out that they aren’t alone in this house and that it is in fact full of vengeful spirits. I’ll admit that the final act of this movie may be a little too hard core for this to be an entirely mellowed-out experience, the rest of the movie is too stylish and hypnotically paced for it to not get a shout out here.
9. Lake Mungo (2008)
While I don’t think there are many found-footage horror movies that I would refer to as “relaxing,” that is just one of the special things about Joel Anderson’s Lake Mungo. After their daughter, Alice Palmer, dies by drowning, a family begins to experience some potentially supernatural events and launches an investigation to uncover what is going on. Fans of the show Twin Peaks will find a handful of similarities in the grieving Palmer family, a seemingly perfect daughter having double life of sorts, but most notable is the meditative quality both projects have. Although devastating and emotionally very heavy, Lake Mungo is like plunging headfirst into a dream only to come up for air when it’s all over.
8. Starry Eyes (2014)
The idea of Hollywood as a kind of underworld certainly isn’t anything new to horror fans, however, I think Starry Eyes has something special to its approach. We follow our protagonist, Sarah (Alexandra Essoe) as she attempts to make it big as an actress, proving she is willing to do just about anything to achieve her dreams. As the audience, we get to see the fallout of this blind commitment, and they way it is presented through a muted color scheme and a gradual descent into overall decay weaves the viewer gently into the story rather than pushing them directly into the deep end.
7. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Dubbed as the first “Iranian vampire Western,” A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is a film with minimal dialogue and maximum vibes. The story centers on a young woman (Sheila Vand) who happens to be a skateboard riding vampire with the intent to kill any misbehaving man she can find. With a synopsis like that, you could easily expect a high energy, balls to the walls thrill ride, but the way the movie is shown in black and white and with very little actual speaking, the end result feels more like an out of body experience than anything else.
6. The House of the Devil (2009)
Some may say slow paced, but I say, perfect sativa horror. Following the relatively simple plot of a babysitter staying in what appears to be a very haunted house, Ti West’s The House of the Devil has an almost voyeuristic sense to it that allows you feel like a fly on the wall as the movie happens in front of you. Although filmed in the 2000s, the movie is lovingly referential to horror movies of the 70’s and 80’s which just adds an additional glowy sheen of nostalgia over the entire thing that allows you to melt into the world of it.
5. Are We Not Cats (2016)
Another pick that is not for the feint of heart, but is well worth the ride for those who stick it out, Are We Not Cats tells the story of a young man, Eli (Michael Patrick Nicholson) recovers from a broken heart with the help of Anya (Chelsea Lopez) as the two of them bond over skin picking and eating hair. It is almost sneaky the way things spiral out of control in this film after it ropes you in with its naturalistic performances and stylized design elements. Like some other entries on this list, it also takes place in the dead of winter and the grey skies and blankets of snow really add to the muted and laid back overall feel of this one.
4. Let the Right One In (2008)
There must really be something to be said for vampire movies having a hypnotic and relaxing quality to them because, you guessed it, Let the Right One In is another vampire story. This time centering around children, Let the Right One In follows a young boy names Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) as he develops a relationship with Eli (Lina Leandersson), his strange and mysterious next door neighbor. Set in a suburb of Stockholm in the middle of winter, the sleepy and snowy atmosphere of this movie offsets the more high energy aspects, such as vampires murdering people. It is also an incredibly tender and reflective look at the two children’s blossoming relationship and it’s very comforting in that sense once you look past the murder and mayhem of it all.
3. It Follows (2014)
Nothing says mellowed out drug trip quite like an STD monster eternally tracking you down and following you until it kills you or until you are able to pass it on to somebody else through intercourse. A stressful premise, I will admit, but the way it is presented with such a floaty and dreamlike quality ends up lulling the viewer into a relaxed state despite the subject matter. This makes sense when you learn that the idea actually came from a recurring dream of director David Robert Mitchell’s. With various innocuous details that make it impossible to determine the time period the movie takes place in, it’s easy for It Follows to feel like one big swirling nightmare for audiences as well.
2. Gretel & Hansel (2020)
Even if the intense dark fantasy elements of this movie weren’t present at all, the familiarity of the story alone makes Gretel & Hansel a fairly laid back watch. However, it also contains just the right amount of nightmarish imagery to make the experience feel like one hell of a trip. After realizing they are no longer safe living with their mother, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and Hansel (Samuel Leakey) set out into the woods on their own in the hopes of finding safety, and spoiler alert, it gets worse. Gretel & Hansel is a movie that allows you to sit back and soak in all the rich performances and visual delights. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it’s all about the vibes here.
1. Ganja & Hess (1973)
A contemplative and philosophical vampire romance is just about as chill as it gets for horror fans, and Ganja & Hess absolutely delivers the vibes. Starring Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) as Dr. Hess Green, an anthropologist turned vampire as he falls in love with his dead assistant’s wife and also grapples with the demands of his new lifestyle. It’s a movie that feels like it happens to you while still being incredibly moving, and it’s meandering, dreamlike qualities make it the perfect addition to any laid back movie night.
That’s a wrap on our Indica-Inspired Horror list but if something a little more fast-paced is more your speed, we’ve got you covered there too! Check out Riley’s companion piece of 10 Sativa-Inspired Horror Movies HERE and be sure to let us know what you’re watching tonight over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and Discord, and subscribe to the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter for spooky goodness sent right to your inbox!