By Jennie Orton
There are many types of inebriated filmgoer. Some like to be taken for a ride, some like to be traumatized, some like to watch things glow (how else can we explain $2B theatrical draw for Avatar?). There are some films that should go without saying when discussing what to avoid when stoned: Trainspotting, Requiem For a Dream, Single White Female (that was a weird weird day), Legends of the Fall, etc. But sometimes it’s the movies you thought you knew, you thought you loved, that can be pulled apart by the crooked fingers of THC and splayed in front of you like a beloved pet’s autopsy. Here is a short list compiled after years of field research. Some of them may surprise you but trust that they do not survive an afternoon with sativa.
You have not experienced sorrow like what you will feel if you watch this movie in a compromised state. Not for nothing is the brutal scene where Dumbo’s mom gets locked away for aggressively protecting him from teasing, only to stick her trunk out from the bars of her cell to rock him to sleep that night, I was crying so hard I could only breathe through my shuddering choking windpipe. But ultimately it’s the knowledge that while this movie appears to be teaching kids to celebrate their differences, the final takeaway is you’re going to need to grip like hell to whatever talisman (or magic feather) you can find to make that happen. And the only thing close by on this day was a joint. Welp.
this is a fever dream of a kids movie on a good day, but when compromised by smoke, it can take on a life that will ruin whatever part of your childhood this movie inexplicably owned. It takes about as long as it takes the Truffle Shuffle to appear for you to realize that these kids are assholes and they never stop yelling. How did you not notice that before? Who knows, but it will start to make you pray for something to Elvis your television to death with. Then the tragic awfulness of Sloth’s actual existence will sink in deep and you’ll hate him for it. You won’t know why, but you will hate him. And then: guilt.
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
This is especially true if you haven’t taken this movie in since you were young. What a thrilling adventure it was back then, and what an entertaining villain Professor Snape was, and archery! Well brace yourself: this movie is terrible and you won’t be able to stop laughing. Ultimately that is a fun thing so this movie doesn’t cause the same existential dread as the others on this list but…you won’t ever be able to watch it again.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Normally the grand trilogy is a goldmine for those who enjoy the halfling’s leaf. The triumph over evil, and the relentless references to it in the extended edition, make you feel like you are right there with them. There is no better feeling that being IN the fellowship (ask anyone but Boromir) but there is a moment at the beginning of the third installment where, if you are in the wrong headspace, you can have a bad bad time. When (spoiler alert) Sméagol tackles and ultimately strangles his friend over The One Ring, thus beginning his descent into becoming Golum, you can suddenly be uncomfortably empathetic. You won’t know why but part of you will be like “would I do that if I wanted something bad enough?” And then….crickets.