I think that there should definitely be an extra genre in the film industry for “Mindfuck Films”. Not only this, “mindfuck” should become an official term in the OED, and all other prestigious dictionaries worldwide. It’s an important word. It’s a real word. It covers a very real concept.
“Mindfuck Films”, specifically, are films which are so weird and mad that you feel truly messed up by the end of it. They are the films that really go the whole hog in surprising you, or are just that damn twisted – that you have to watch them over and over, via some weird compulsion gained from this brain-trickery.
If you really want to freak someone out or you enjoy being the pioneer of your own psychological dissemination (something I enjoy to do almost daily) then I would recommend the following films, compiled for your pleasure… sort of. A really weird pleasure. Like a fetish for your intelligence levels.
Oldboy is the ultimate mindfuck film, in my opinion. In fact, Oldboy should have a genre all its own, perhaps suitably entitled “What The Fuck”.
It begins with the main guy, Dae-su Oh, being kidnapped in the middle of the street and locked up in a hotel for fifteen years. You know, casually. His captor then releases him and tells him that he has five days to find out WHY this came to be.
Dae-su Oh’s insatiable curiosity means that he just can’t leave the whole thing alone (fair enough, I guess) and he embarks upon unravelling the mystery of his imprisonment. I won’t tell you any more, but what happens thereafter is TOTALLY MAD. Literally, the biggest mindfuck scenario ever. There are so many twists and turns you can’t even begin to guess what might happen by the end.
Not to mention that there are also some pretty epic fight scenes in this film – they sort of play out like a video game, which is pretty cool for those of you who are into that (secretly, I think 100% of the population).
There’s also a scene in which the principle actor (Min-sik Choi) eats an octopus whole. He actually did that. In real life. It was wriggling around and everything.
I heard that they made an American remake of this but please, please watch the original Korean version before the Western, if you decide to watch both (I have made the decision to avoid the Western adaptation. I think, frankly, that it will be shit in comparison).
- Gone Girl
I am sure that you have already heard of Gone Girl – if you haven’t, or if you haven’t gotten around to watching the movie yet, please read the book first. Both are brilliant, but if you read the book I think it resonates more strongly with your psyched-out-weirdness than if you watched the film first.
Who is the real weirdo?
If you have read the book (or if you are stubbornly against reading, in which case fine, do whatever you want) then watch the film. It is SO GOOD. It truly disturbed me, which means of course that I watched it about 36063 times. Like any true horror scholar. It is a classic plot of what you see is most certainly not what you get. And really freaks you out in concerns to relationships. Yay.
- Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas is not what you would call a “mindfuck” film in the scary sense… but it is a mindfuck nonetheless. This is because there are about twenty hundred different principle characters which you have to follow. They are all incredible. And weird. It’s an amazing film.
I think the basic premise of it is that everything is interconnected, and the more you watch it, the more you’ll be able to connect the dots. You’ve got a futuristic Korea in turmoil, an old man running around Britain (at least, I think it’s Britain, but I’m too lazy to check) tortured lovers from Cambridge and a detective in NYC (again, too lazy to check).
The soundtrack is also incredible and you may shed a tear.
It’s lovely and a little corny and contains the unbeatable Tom Hanks, whom I grow to love more and more with age – particularly due to his acting in this movie. And the sci-fi. THE SCI-FI. It’s good.
4. Battle Royale
If you haven’t heard of Battle Royale, you’ve definitely heard of The Hunger Games. Battle Royale was the original, Japanese and much better Hunger Games. It’s awesome.
Basically, kids from this school get trapped on an island and have to all kill each other off to survive. The setting is eerie, the island is horrible and the whole thing has a very Lord of the Flies feel to it. It’s a bit wacky and surreal, too – when the instructor is telling them how to play, she’s very twee and chilled about it, like a children’s TV presenter. It’s a bit horrible. And amazing.
Though the plot of the film is simple, therefore not your generic “mindfucker”, the gross premise makes it perfect for this genre. The Genre of Kings.
5. Shutter Island
Shutter Island really plays with the mechanics of your head – it’s an excellently conveyed film, and as per usual, Leonardo Di Caprio is a babe. I way preferred it to Inception, though that was well known for its multi-layered plot and strange, dream dimensions – however, I found Shutter Island to have more of a swift punch when you discover the twist. It throws you, whereas with Inception it was more of a slow burner. Shutter Island freaks you out, all the way.
It follows a detective going into an asylum, wherein he… I LITERALLY CAN’T TELL YOU ANYMORE. Sssh. Watch it.
There’s nothing better than watching this film for the first time so if you are, good for you. You’re in for a bizarre ride. It can’t ever have that “first-time” effect on me ever again, as I’ll never forget what happens. It’s too amazing.
6. Mulholland Drive
David Lynch is the king of weird, edgy films and probably would be the co-creator of the Mindfuck genre, if I were to ask him and if it were to actually go ahead, and if he decided it was a great idea (which it definitely is). Mulholland Drive is a strange, psychological insight into the lives of many strange characters and their strange antics and it is all very strange. There is also incredibly unsettling music throughout which is always a plus for unhinging yourself.
I cannot begin to explain to you what is happening
THIS FILM IS REALLY SCARY AND HORRIBLE I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M SUGGESTING IT TO YOU BECAUSE I HATE IT MYSELF BUT IT TRULY IS THE WORST OF THE MINDFUCKS. The worst.
I don’t even want to talk about it.