There are a lot of ways movies can be “trippy,” a word we apply liberally to any experience that replicates the effects of a mind-expanding substance. A dream within a dream within a dream?
There are a lot of ways movies can be “trippy,” a word we apply liberally to any experience that replicates the effects of a mind-expanding substance. A dream within a dream within a dream? That’s trippy. The story of one man’s life interrupted by the complete history of the universe? Trippy. Minions? Trippy.
The word has lost some of its meaning. So with that in mind, we say that two of the trippiest mainstream movies of the past decade just arrived hand-in-hand. Doctor Strange is weird, as you might expect from anything that deals with magic and multiple dimensions. Trolls, on the other hand, is a children’s movie, but every bit as out-there.
In fact, we couldn’t tell which movie was more surprising, disturbing, and (of course) trippy. So we ranked what stood out to us. Here, this may help.
BEST HALLUCINATORY SEQUENCE
Kwame: I’m taking this superlative to mean the moments that make you wonder, “What the hell did I just see?” while offering up no concrete answers. They seem to exist independent of narrative, sense, and even taste
With that in mind, Doctor Strange doesn’t have a whole lot in it that I would describe as “hallucinatory.” There’s plenty of weird, wild stuff going on, especially in the latter half of the film. But everything is grounded in what’s already been established. Sorcerers can bend reality because of this clear-cut, if extremely esoteric reason. I suppose there is one hallucinatory moment, when Strange is given mystical sight. He’s sent flying through a random and infinite multiverse where he flies through his own face, gets deconstructed, and then reconstructed all over again. That’s trippy out of context, but it’s one moment in a movie that does its best to make sense of the crazy things it presents. So trippy, in Strange’s world, is normal.
Trolls, on the other hand, is so completely all over the place, with characters doing things just because, that I was more often than not left wondering, “Wait. Did that just happen?” I mean, there’s a character who poops cupcakes. Why? No idea! And then said cupcakes are offered up as a tasty treat! Poo-cakes aren’t tasty!