10 Most Disorientating Horror Films

These disorientating, dysphoric and trippy horror films guarantee you a wild ride.

Pauline Excision bloody bed
Anchor Bay Films

Understanding films is overrated. Knowing every detail of what you just watched and what it means? Totally unnecessary.

Some of the best horror films out there have ambiguous endings or mysterious extended metaphors. There's a lot of beauty in the enigmatic, leading us to fawn over films that, at times, do their very best to confound us. In fairness to these films, if the vibes are enough to sell us on the flick without any deeper understanding being necessary, that is pretty damn impressive.

There's a specific kind of fear associated with being disoriented and feeling disembodied, meaning that films managing to project these sensations onto audiences are on to a good thing. From bad drug trips to demonic hallucinations and dreams, filmmakers have a range of terrifying experiences to draw on for this.

Being non-linear does not necessarily mean 'hard to follow', and directors who pull of a movie with any disorientating, confusing element know where to draw the line.

Anyone can put out something that is frustrating because it makes no sense, but very few can produce a film that excels for that exact same reason. And we should really celebrate those instances.

10. Mother!

Pauline Excision bloody bed
Paramount Pictures

There is some debate as to whether this film should be classed as a horror, but given its psychological elements and its (at times) very horrific subject matter I think it’s a valid take to say it fits nicely into the horror genre.

Jennifer Lawrence stars in this film as the guiding light through two hours of sheer confusion. And even then she, at points, shines quite dimly. After opening with some very beautiful but completely nonsensical scenery, one hopes that the film will make more sense as it continues. One is inevitably disappointed.

Mother and her partner live in a glorious house that is gradually invaded and destroyed. The house morphs shape and size, changes in appearance and location and purpose, all in response to what is going on around it.

As Mother’s house turns into a living hell, we’re constantly kept on our toes trying to keep up. And even then we struggle.

The overall meanings and metaphors work very well and are represented with some stunning filmmaking here, but that certainly doesn’t mean this film is at times any less than utterly confounding.

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