10 Mind-Bending Thrillers That Will Melt Your Brain

They'll hurt but ultimately the pain is rewarding.

Trance Poster
Fox Searchlight Pictures

There are few better feelings than coming out of the cinema and reeling from the sheer insanity of what you've just seen, like your brain has been totally fried by the madness of it all.

Many filmmakers will try to evoke this feeling with their twisty narratives and fantastical visuals, though often they simply try too hard and, in the end, we can see through their cheap parlour tricks. A real filmmaking talent, meanwhile, will blast us through the back of the cinema with a shock and awe campaign of style and ideas that we could never have even imagined.

These 10 mind-bending films are all equipped with that power; they all presented a fascinating concept, ran with the ball, and delivered an absolute belter of a climax that left us quite unsure as to what we'd just seen.

Each film has had tremendous staying power ever since its release, and with good reason.

Be warned that SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW.

10. Enter The Void

Enter The Void
Wild Bunch

After the visceral impact of Gaspar Noe's Irreversible, it was going to take a lot to live up to that mixture of visual exuberance and sheer brutality, but by God, did Noe do it or what? The film takes place largely in the seedy neon nightclubs of Tokyo, following an American drug dealer named Oscar who, in the opening reel, ends up being fatally shot by the police.

The remainder of the film takes place over just a few minutes of real time, as Oscar has an out-of-body experience while his life drains away, trawling through his memories and fantasies in a trippy, phantasmagorical odyssey. The vast majority of the film is shot from a first-person view, and Noe's masterful direction seamlessly blends imagery that appears impossible to achieve practically.

With its graphic depictions of violent murder and a very creepy incest vibe throughout, this is a film that without question keeps you on your toes, ending with a harrowing sequence in which Oscar has a false memory of his own birth, complete with an extensive visual of him travelling through his mother's birth canal in first-person view. Unforgettable.

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