Happy 420: Worst Movies to Watch While You’re High

Credit: Artisan Entertainment

It goes without saying that neither you nor any of the people you associate with have ever even considered trying drugs. They lead to failed marriages, tooth decay and an excessive wind chime budget. But as a sociological experiment, let’s just pretend we’re a bunch of lowlifes who might have, just once or twice, experienced the phenomenon of what that ice cream man who was only around for a little while referred to as “getting high.”

Now, there are plenty of stereotypical activities associated with this state of consciousness, like skiing and laundry. But what might deter your typical intoxicatee from accomplishing any and all other tasks is the strange all-encompassing desire to watch a movie. Cinephilia skyrockets with the intake of certain narcotics, but this isn’t a situation to be handled lightly. Sure, there are plenty of good movies to kick back and watch whilst narcoticized, but there are also those you should absolutely avoid.

(And again, just in case my mother is reading this, I have never seen a drug before, and I think I’m going to volunteer at the synagogue’s singles mixer tonight.)

Requiem for a Dream

This should seem like an obvious film to exclude from your late night (or mid-morning, depending on whether or not you have class) roster, but a high-minded individual doesn’t always think logically. Requiem is among the worst of choices to watch under the influence. It’s a movie that is actually about just how bad drugs are for you — not something you want to think about while you’re actually on them — sold through one of the grittiest examples of storytelling in modern cinema. As far as drug-centric films go, you’re better off with A Scanner Darkly (and the really sensitive shouldn’t venture further than Smiley Face). 


Seems like a pretty good bet for your drug-addled needs, right? The Who’s classic rock opera is chockfull of psychedelic imagery and timeless music. But then, things take a turn, and Ann-Margaret invests her passions into her bathroom floor, just in time for her television to explode into a monsoon of baked beans. All of a sudden, you feel very alone, and moderately nauseous. If you want something musical, The Blues Brothers isn’t a bad idea.


My Dinner with Andre

Overall, this is a must-see. A spirited testament to intellect, human relationships, and creative filmmaking. But when you’re high, My Dinner with Andre is a God forsaken nightmare. It’d be difficult enough to sit through an actual own two-hour dinner date — minutes seem a bit longer when you’re not sure if the wallpaper just moved. But watching two other guys talk so damn slowly about beehives or Sanskrit or whatever the hell they’re rambling on about in this horrifyingly plotless craft of Satan (again, it’s really good if you’re sober) will make you want to tear your brain out. Use The Goonies as your intellectual cap, and you’ll be fine.


Horror movies are generally a no-go. Zombies and ghosts don’t seem funnier when you’re high; they seem more probable. And the last thing you want is a demonic image that’ll stay tattooed in your brain. The Japanese horror flick Hausu has one of the most un-Eternal Sunshine-able images of the genre. Pleasantry will go a long way in times like these, but if you absolutely must watch a horror film, wait until The Cabin in the Woods finds its way into your possession. You’ll feel surprisingly validated.


127 Hours

This might be the topper. It’s got everything: enclosed spaces, human dehydration, ad-hoc limb removal. Interestingly enough, it stars James Franco, who, under general circumstances, is a welcoming friend to the high community. But do not be fooled! Franco in Freaks and Geeks, Pineapple Express, Nights in Rodanthe, that’s the Franco you’re safe with. Armless Franco trapped in a pit with nothing to drink but his own bodily fluids? Bring in Lindsay Weir!

The Final Destination Series

Mindless violence, idiotic thrills, your token sex scene tossed in someplace — the Final Destination movies seem like some harmless, macabre humor… until the movie ends, and your high mind realizes that half of the things that killed those poor kids are scattered around your bedroom. If you get up off your bed, you might trip on a loose floorboard and hit your head on the doorknob. If you just try and fall asleep, you might suffocate on a piece of debris that is blown in through your open window. So why not get up to shut the window? Damnit, the floorboard! Steer clear of thoughts centered around household accidents and architectural follies… except in the case of Home Alone. As a matter of fact, you should definitely watch Home Alone.


Hotel Rwanda

“What the hell are you doing with your life? Sitting around, getting stoned and watching a Don Cheadle movie because you really like House of Lies and that Captain America parody on FunnyorDie? Do you realize what Paul Rusesabagina sacrificed for these people? Do you realize what kind of suffering is going on in this world? You said you were going to be a film major so you could make documentaries about poverty, not skits about how funny it would be if the Hulk was in group therapy. You disgust me.” That’s tantamount to what’ll be going through your head. Stick with Hotel for Dogs. Actually, that might make you feel even worse…

There are plenty of good options for a drug-induced film screening. Comedy, science fiction and animation are all good bets. But make no mistake: the movies listed above will haunt you to your grave… or at least until you wake up the next morning and realize you now need to overnight your grandmother’s birthday card and that you’re out of Nutella. Avoid at all costs. There are always Stella reruns on Hulu.

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