It was the closest we came to replicating life when man first made moving images conceivable and then evolved it into an art form with which he began to communicate his sentiments and emotions as well as tell stories. No other art form could have imagined coming as close to us as cinema did at the time. However, we did not stop there; we continued to experiment with the form, allowing movies to develop their own language and establish themselves as an art form on par with music, painting, and storytelling – all of which have been around for centuries.
We then attempted to go beyond simulating life in order to paint a picture of how things might play out in the future. We even attempted to cast doubt on the world we see around us by presenting a different version of the truth. Filmmakers have been experimenting with similar notions since the beginning of cinema, with Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ (1927). In the film, Lang attempted to portray a dystopian world in which humanity has been divided into two groups: the wealthy and powerful who live in a lovely utopia, and the poor and downtrodden who live in harsh and terrible conditions underneath their metropolis. Lang is a genius, and the film demonstrates how far ahead of his time he was.
In addition, Georges Melies’ 1902 film ‘A Trip to the Moon’ shows how man began to use movies to re-imagine reality. As a result, we’ve put together a list of mind-bending flicks to fulfill your hunger for such films. Here’s a selection of some of Netflix’s best mind-fuck movies that you can watch right now.
Table Of Content
- 1 Anon (2018)
- 2 Buster’s Mal Heart (2017)
- 3 Cloud Atlas (2012)
- 4 Extinction (2018)
- 5 Fractured (2019)
- 6 Freaks (2018)
- 7 Happy As Lazzaro (2018)
- 8 Horse Girl (2020)
- 9 IO (2019)
- 10 iBoy (2017)
- 11 In The Shadow Of The Moon (2019)
- 12 Lucid Dream (2017)
- 13 Mirage (2018)
- 14 Oxygen (2021)
- 15 Run (2020)
- 16 The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
- 17 The Discovery (2017)
- 18 Time Trap (2017)
- 19 The Guilty (2021)
- 20 The Call (2020)
Crime is nearly non-existent in a future when even people’s private memories aren’t really private because all memories are recorded. The appearance of an intriguing young woman with no name, no identification, and no digital history is terrible news for the cops, as she signals a revival of criminality that they had so carefully kept under control. As our age irresponsibly archives every minute detail of our lives on the digital plane, ‘Anon’ may be more of a cautionary view into the future than merely a fabrication of someone’s mind. Could we be on the verge of having our memories recorded and accessible to others? Who is to say?
Buster’s Mal Heart (2017)
The protagonist in this 2016 film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, was Academy Award winner Rami Malek. Buster is a man who has been living in the mountains on his own for a long time, but when winter arrived, he began breaking into homes to keep warm. As a result, he is a target for the authorities. Meanwhile, Buster connects to radio shows on a regular basis to inform them of an Inversion that will occur as the millennium turns. Buster also has visions in which he sees himself on top of a mountain or stranded at sea. As the novel progresses, the underlying meaning of these visions is revealed, and we finally realize what Buster has been referring to.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
‘Cloud Atlas’ is a multigenerational epic that tells the intertwined and interconnected stories of six souls over the course of their many lives – from a slave trader’s memoirs written in 1849 to a music composer’s letters to his lover in the 1930s, a crime reporter’s story about corruption in a nuclear power plant in the 1970s, a book publisher’s escape from an old-age home in 2012, a clone’s rebellion The film aims to convey the concept that our actions have the ability to influence and change the lives of others, even if we are separated by years. Even though the film features a fantastic ensemble cast, the storyline and premise are quite deep and the execution falls slightly flat (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant).
This 2018 film, directed by Ben Young, stars Michael Pena and Lizzy Caplan in the key roles. Pena portrays Peter, a man who has vivid and horrifying hallucinations in which he sees his loved ones being attacked by aliens who have conquered the world. Worried, Peter seeks help from a therapist, where he meets another man who is experiencing similar nightmares. The city is attacked on that very day, and a chain of events ensues, leading us to doubt what we’ve been watching for so long. Peter also shares personal secrets that were completely unforeseen when the film began. ‘Extinction’ features some strong performances and a stunning conclusion, but it has been panned for its formulaic style.
‘Fractured’ follows Ray and Joanne as they return from Thanksgiving dinner with their daughter, Perri. Ray and Joanne’s marriage appears to be in peril, as the two argue frequently before deciding to buy batteries at a neighboring store. A stray dog scares Perri in the store, and she falls into an adjacent construction pit. Despite the fact that her injuries don’t appear to be significant, Joanne insists on being checked out at a hospital. While Ray waits at the hospital, Perri and Joanne go to get a scan. Ray walks over to the front desk, demanding an answer as hours pass with no news of his family. The hospital, on the other hand, claims to have never served such people, and indeed, no trace of his family can be found in the archives. Ray enlists the help of the cops and even suspects an organ trafficking ring, but to no avail. The film works its magic on the audience’s thoughts, building tension before delivering a twist that will have you thinking long after the credits have rolled.
7-year-old Chloe has a deep interest and an equally paralyzing terror of the outside world, having spent her whole life on the planet confined within a house and supervised by her obsessive father. But once she’s gotten away from her eccentric father, a mysterious and perhaps deadly stranger offers to tour her around the world. ‘Freaks’ is essentially ‘Room’ meets ‘X-Men,’ with Chloe possessing mutant-like superpowers that she use to navigate a new and frightening situation. It’s a terrifying thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Happy As Lazzaro (2018)
‘Happy As Lazzaro’ is an Italian mind-bending drama film that depicts Lazzaro, a good-natured and simple-minded young farmer who assists his nobleman friend Tancredi in faking his own kidnapping in order to deceive his mother. As they run through the woods, the two boys form a bond that makes them question if they are half-brothers. The lads are separated when the authorities arrive to evacuate the illegally run tobacco estate, and Lazarro slips off the edge of a cliff. He somehow survives and resurfaces several years later, having barely aged at all. As Lazarro sets out to find his old friend Tancredi, the plot becomes deliciously strange. ‘Happy As Lazzaro’ highlights the wealth disparity between the rich and the poor, as well as how one exploits the other.
Horse Girl (2020)
Sarah is a charming, socially awkward woman who enjoys crafts and horses. Sarah is the protagonist of the film ‘Horse Girl,’ which follows her as she becomes increasingly paranoid and has a severe, debilitating mental collapse to the point where she is unable to tell what is real and what is not. The strange psychological thriller attempts to immerse viewers in Sarah’s psychologically damaged mind, allowing them to experience as she descends farther and deeper down the spiral. Allison Brie, who plays Sarah, does some fantastic acting; her eyes have an unique fragility to them that threatens to shatter as the film progresses.
This film merely depicts what the earth’s near-future might look like in a few decades. More than anything, it serves as a warning flag. It depicts a dystopian future in which the Earth has grown so polluted that humanity has colonized Io, Jupiter’s moon. Sam is one of the last individuals left on Earth, and she meets another such human, Micah, who tries to persuade her to leave for Io as soon as possible. Meanwhile, her boyfriend has joined an expedition to find a suitable planet for life. The question that this film raises is crucial: when will the Earth become uninhabitable in this age of excessive industrialization? So, what are we going to do now?
This cyberpunk thriller starring Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) is available on Netflix. She plays Lucy, a character whose buddy, Tom Harvey, is wounded by shrapnel from his phone and discovers that he can now visualize digital signals after being hit by shrapnel from his phone. Lucy is brutally raped in her own house, prompting Tom to use his supernatural abilities to bring the perpetrators to justice. This is a one-of-a-kind story about a superhero. Because the world now runs on digital data, Tom can perceive digital signals and thus has an advantage over everyone. Although it is a thriller, the film could be interpreted as a metaphor for the idea that whoever owns digital data is currently our master.
In The Shadow Of The Moon (2019)
In 1988, a cop is on the lookout for a serial killer and locates her, only to witness in horror as she is trampled by a subway train. When the murderer is found dead, the case is closed. Only she isn’t dead, and when she reappears 9 years later, the killings resume. Only one cop is close to figuring out the truth, especially as she starts dropping hints, with the authorities unable to comprehend the logic-defying murders. ‘In The Shadow Of The Moon’ is a crime thriller that will leave your mind spinning after you’ve finished viewing it, which isn’t always a bad thing.
Lucid Dream (2017)
In the three years since his kid was abducted, a father has exhausted practically every avenue in his quest for his missing son. He eventually discovers a way of lucid dreaming that allows him to see the precise time his son was taken and track him from there while sleeping. ‘Lucid Dream’ is a gripping South Korean sci-fi mystery thriller that isn’t without flaws. It mainly maintains the fast-paced zeal, but occasionally falters when it becomes far too emotional for the genre.
‘Mirage’ begins in 1989, during a 72-hour electrical storm, when a young child, Nivo, sees the murder of his neighbor by her husband. Terrified, he runs onto the street, where he is hit and killed instantly by a car. Vera Roy and David Ortiz move into the same house twenty-five years later and discover an antique TV, as well as cassettes and video recorders. Vera comes upon the video taken by Nico while browsing through some cassettes and begins watching it as a similar electrical storm hits the city. Vera realizes that she can communicate with Nico through the recording after knowing how he died, and therefore saves his life. This, however, causes a space-time continuum glitch, which drastically changes her experience. Vera anxiously searches for methods to put things right as the film builds to a mind-bending finale, with her husband now married to a different woman and her child never born.
‘Oxygen’ follows Elizabeth Hansen, who awakens in an airtight cryogenic unit with progressively dwindling oxygen levels. She learns her name from the AI before phoning her husband, Léo Ferguson, out of desperation. When you call Leo, a woman answers the phone. When Elizabeth reveals that she is Leo’s wife, the perplexed woman hangs off the phone. Elizabeth dials the phone again, worried, and the woman tells her that the earth has been overrun by a deadly virus that has murdered her husband. Elizabeth also obtains the master code for the pod, but this does not offer her liberation from the gravity-free empty void. As Elizabeth’s fate is gradually exposed, the film does an excellent job of establishing suspense through confusion, and each twist, curiously, makes viewers wonder if everything is as it seems.
‘Run’ begins in a hospital, where we observe Diane Sherman giving birth to her daughter, who appears to be afflicted with a variety of illnesses. After seventeen years, Diane’s daughter is still dealing with the effects of her early birth and relies on a wheelchair to get around. Chloe, the daughter, discovers a bottle full of green tablets with the label scraped off while exploring the house. Chloe asks to be taken to the movies, but she slips away and hurries to the pharmacist, where she learns that the medicines were intended for dogs and can numb a human’s legs if swallowed. However, Chloe’s mother arrives soon after, and we see how she keeps Chloe drugged and chained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chloe understands she is a prisoner as well, and she makes every effort to flee the odd jail. The film does an excellent job of generating suspense and tension while also having the audience doubt the reality they are watching.
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)
After ‘Cloverfield’ (2008) and ’10, Cloverfield Lane’ (2016), ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ is the newest installment in the series, and this time the problem is a catastrophic energy crisis on Earth, rather than invading aliens. The scientists have decided that they can capture endless amounts of energy using a particle reactor, but there is a risk of opening portals to another dimension, exposing mankind to a potentially hazardous parallel universe. Though the film has gotten mixed reviews, its connection to the Cloverfield world makes it a must-see for fans of mind-bending cinema.
The Discovery (2017)
Is there a life after death? Well, Thomas, the character played by Robert Redford in this 2017 film, thinks so and has even managed to prove it scientifically. When people realize they have a chance to have a better life after they die, the number of people who commit suicide rises. Meanwhile, on a ferry, his son Will meets a girl named Isla, and the two go to Will’s father’s laboratory to discuss the hazards his discovery poses. There, they discover yet another of their father’s inventions. Will has been seeing images of a boy on a beach, which he has been telling Isla about. His father’s equipment aides him in realizing that he is stuck in a loop and must get free. Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, and Jason Segel all give outstanding performances in the film.
Time Trap (2017)
A search for a missing archaeology professor in a small Texas town leads his students to a mystery cave where time moves at a different pace. ‘Time Trap’ is an independent sci-fi picture that incorporates all of the standard cliches – time travel, aliens, and antagonistic cavemen – into a conceptually sophisticated, whip-smart plot that only feels forced near the end. Mark Dennis and Ben Foster collaborate on the direction and production of this picture, which features a fairly skilled ensemble cast. The narrative and cinematography aren’t spectacular, but they’re also not bad. Both critics and spectators gave the film mixed reviews overall.
The Guilty (2021)
‘The Guilty’ follows LAPD officer Joe Baylor, who is suspected of shooting a youngster while on duty. He is working the night shift at a 911 call center and is looking forward to the conclusion of his job and his next court appearance, where he intends to file a not guilty plea. While taking multiple 911 calls, Joe is connected to Emily, a terrified lady who thinks her ex-husband, Henry, has kidnapped her. He first tries to locate the vehicle with highway patrol, but he is unsuccessful. After obtaining her address, Joe dispatches officers to the residence, where they discover her daughter as well as the disfigured remains of her younger child. Furthermore, officials discover that the woman is a patient at a mental health facility after breaking into her ex-residence. husband’s As the roles are suddenly reversed and the truth emerges, the film delivers one mind-bending twist after another, making it a must-see.
The Call (2020)
‘The Call’ is about Kim Seo-Yeon, a city dweller who loses her smartphone while visiting her mother in the village in 2019. Kim, on the other hand, discovers a cordless phone in their old village cottage, which links her to a woman from 1999. Oh Young-sook, a woman who lives in the same house as her mother, believes that her mother is torturing her. Kim sees an opportunity to save her father, who perished in a fire in 1999, and she uses Oh to try to warn him of the risk. The scheme works, as Kim discovers that both of her parents are alive and that the house has been cleaned up. Still connected via the phone, Kim discovers how Oh dies and warns her, causing Oh to murder her mother and become a serial murderer. Interestingly, no matter how hard the girls attempt to put things right in the past, it has a negative impact on the future. What makes the film so amazing is how it lets the audience think about the couple’s next step before delivering a twist that will leave you speechless.
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