When it comes to the movies, what’s real anyways? When the cinema first arrived, it opened up the door to creating whatever mad dreamscapes, desired fantasies or dreaded nightmares our minds and resources could imagine. Over the years we’ve seen hundreds of fantastical or artificial environments realized on screen. There’s another kind of dream world in films, though, that serves a narrative function.
Some pictures aren’t always playing entirely fair with us, and they bid us to look more deeply–whether purposefully or as a result of their own deranged nature–into the context of their madness. As it turns out, not all narrators are reliable, and if ‘It was all in his mind” is just as much a cop-out as “It was all a dream”, there are times where this motif can turn our heads and get us talking about the movie itself.
The list that follows combines films that clearly have something strange going on with their possibly insane protagonists and films that may not have intended that reading, but have achieved it anyway. I’m putting the SPOILER tag up now, as essentially, none of this discussions can happen without talking extensively about the contents of each film. If some of these choices seem off-kilter or unlikely, well, they are and that’s the point. It’s not a bad thing to have a healthy suspicion regarding whether or not things are what they seem to be.
Without further ado, here are ten movies that were probably imagined by insane protagonists…
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