21 Strange Movies That Are Unsettling and Weird in a Good Way

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are weirSome movies suffer from being weird. For instance, look at 2001’s Freddy Got Fingered and 2003’s The Room; they’re strange but it doesn’t make them great.

Other films, however, are weird but still manage to be watchable. There’s a certain level of weirdness that enhances a movie instead of ruining it. Or maybe it comes down to good director-ship and knowing your audience. Either way, we all know there’s a category of “weird in a good way” movies, and we love them.

So keep reading for some really strange movie recommendations that we think you’ll love!

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

Scene from Everything Everywhere All At Once
Photo Credit: A24.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is an absurdist comedy-drama about a Chinese-American immigrant who has to connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent the universe from being destroyed by a powerful being. It’s bizarre, but we think if you watch it with an open mind, you just might get into it!

2. Being John Malkovich (1999)

Scene from Being John Malkovich
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

Being John Malkovich is a surrealist fantasy comedy that stars Malkovich as a fictional version of himself. It follows a puppeteer who discovers a portal that leads into Malkovich’s mind, where much of the movie is set. And then, the puppeteer turns the portal to his own profit by allowing others through. Can you imagine a movie stranger than that?

3. Big Fish (2003)

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures.

Big Fish is a Tim Burton movie, automatically making it somewhat weird. It’s a fantasy comedy-drama based on Daniel Wallace’s 1988 novel. It’s about an exasperated son attempting to distinguish fact from fiction in his dying father’s life, which results in some peculiar scenes. This movie is a mix of fantasy, reality, and exaggeration, and you’ve got to be ready for it going in, but overall it’s a very well-done movie. 

4. Evil Dead II (1987)

Evil Dead II is a comedy horror serving as a remake and a sequel to 1981’s The Evil Dead (let’s call it a “requel.”) It follows a young man, Ash Williams, to a remote cabin with his girlfriend. There, they unwittingly unleash demons that torment and possess them. It’s a bizarre, surreal, and satirical take on the comedy-horror genre. Comedy-horror is already a unique genre, but some of the creative jokes and scenes in this movie take it to the next level.

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5. Galaxy Quest (1999)

Scene from Galaxy Quest
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The sci-fi comedy follows the cast of a fictional cult television series, the eponymous Galaxy Quest, as they get inadvertently pulled into an interstellar war by extraterrestrial beings who believe their show is a real documentary. The premise itself breaks the fourth wall, which is amazing and hilarious, and the rest of the movie keeps up with the comedy of errors.

6. Buckaroo Banzai (1984)

Scene from Buckaroo Bonzai
Photo Credit: MGM Studios.

Buckaroo Banzai, also known as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, was very unpopular when it was first released, mainly due to its sheer weirdness. Critics saw it as strange and unintelligible. It’s a sci-fi movie with an incredible cast about the efforts of the eponymous polymath to defeat aliens intent on taking over the world.

7. Under the Skin (2013)

Scene from Under the Skin
Photo Credit: StudioCanal.

Under the Skin fits the category of weird in a rather freaky way. It’s strange and eerie just from the premise alone, which is the story of a strange, otherworldly woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, as she preys on unsuspecting men in the unlikely location of Scotland. It’s an unsettling movie with lots of weird imagery, but it’s undoubtedly excellent.

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8. They Live (1988)

Scene from They Live
Photo Credit: Alive Films.

John Carpenter’s They Live is a sci-fi action horror about an unnamed drifter who, wearing unique sunglasses, discovers that the ruling classes are extraterrestrials who conceal their appearance and manipulate the masses to consume, breed, and conform through subliminal messages in mass media. If that doesn’t fit the bill of weirdness, nothing does. The movie has inherent messages about consumer-culture, but it also rides the line of “so bad it’s good.” 

9. Fight Club (1999)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Fight Club undoubtedly fits the criteria for this discussion, and it’s included in this list because it’s a perfect example of a weird movie that is also fantastic. It’s narrated by the lead character, an unnamed man who joins a “fight club” with a soap salesman who turns out to be his alter-ego. It’s incredibly odd, but there’s a reason it’s one of the most talked about movies of the 1990s.

10. Donnie Darko (2001)

Scene from Donnie Darko
Photo Credit: Newmarket Films.

Donnie Darko is a psychological sci-fi thriller about the eponymous emotionally unstable teenager. He avoids inevitable death in a bizarre accident through sleepwalking, then has visions of a giant humanoid rabbit who tells him the world will end in less than a month. It’s original, intelligent, and peculiar.

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11. The Princess Bride (1987)

Photo Credit: MGM.

The Princess Bride is iconic, and also strange, all the way from the six-fingered man to Wesley being “only mostly dead.” There’s nothing typically princess-like about this movie, nor is it specifically fantasy or action. There’s a comical and unlikely blend of all three elements that play off each other with humor from start to finish.

12. The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

This is one of those films that makes you wonder what is actually happening here? But once you get into the groove of the strangeness, this movie is just a laugh from beginning to end. Dexter Riley is a student at a local college, and one day while he’s installing a new part on the single, old computer on campus during a thunderstorm, he gets electrocuted and turns into a human computer. It’s one of those completely impossible movies that just captivates us from the beginning!

13. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (2023)

Photo Credit: American Empirical Pictures.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a Wes Anderson movie, so it’s naturally strange already. But the premise is anchored enough in real life that the film walks the line between what’s possible and what’s not, and might just make you question what you know to be true. Henry Sugar learns that he’s a prodigy of meditation; so much so that he can read what’s on the back of a card without seeing it. He uses this skill to win money at poker, which he uses too … but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out the rest!

14. Poor Things (2023)

Photo Credit: Element Pictures.

Set in a fantastical world where everything seems just slightly off and unsettling. Poor Things is a study in movies that are weird. The premise is that Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) was brought back to life by a brilliant scientist who is eager to explore the world, unaware of the things it has to offer.

14. Minions (2015)

Photo Credit: Illumination Entertainment.

As spin-off films go, Minions is one of the funniest. The movie follows the evolution of the minions from Despicable Me on their evolutionary journey to land, and their search for the most bad, most evil villain. Because they’re minions, they’re meant to be the underlings of an evil overlord, right? And so the journey of evil begins.

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15. Magpie Murders (2022)

Photo Credit: Eleventh Hour Films.

Based on the novel by Anthony Horowitz, the miniseries Magpie Murders blends the story with a story-within-the-story. In the series, an author has completed his last book and submitted it to his agent, and then he mysteriously dies. Literary agent Susan Ryeland uses the clues in the book (and imaginary visits from the detective within the book) to uncover why and how the author died. But the fictional world from the book and the also-fictional world from the story keep merging in the most unexpected ways, and you’ll find yourself trying to separate one fiction from another.

16. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Robin Williams plays a character who is going through a divorce, and doesn’t want to lose out on seeing his children as they grow up. While he waits for visitational rights, he disguises himself as a nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire, and answers his wife’s ad so that he can spend more time with his children. There’s nothing better than seeing Robin Williams playing a role within a role, and trying to be a nanny to boot!

17. Beyond the Light Barrier (2023)

Photo Credit: Towerkop Creations.

Beyond the Light Barrier is a sci-fi movie that’s filmed as an autobiography. Elizabeth Klarer is a meteorologist who travels to an alien planet, marries, and has a child there. Later, she returns and spends the rest of her life explaining to scientists how she got to his planet, and that it is all indeed real. Will anyone believe her, or will she spend her whole life trying to convince others that she’s not a lunatic?

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18. Finders Keepers (2015)

Photo Credit: Firefly Theater & Films.

This movie revolves around … an amputated leg. John Wood and his father are involved in a plane crash in their private Cessna, and his father dies. Wood’s leg is amputated, but he survives, and to create a memorial to his father, he decides to mummify his leg. But the leg falls into the hands of someone else in town, and the rest of the movie revolves around the two men who each think they have a claim to John’s leg, and the maneuvers they’ll take to keep it.

19. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

This film is also by Wes Anderson, and it lives up to his reputation of strangeness with room to spare. The movie follows Gustave, the concierge of the Grant Budapest Hotel, and Zero, his lobby boy. When the owner of the hotel dies, Gustave is framed for her murder, and the movie follows his imprisonment, escape, and the adventures that follow in his dedication to the Grand Budapest.

20. Dream Scenario (2023)

Photo Credit: A24.

In this strange film, a professor named Paul begins to appear in people’s dreams. One of these people writes an article about the experience, and then suddenly Paul becomes famous as more and more people recognize him from their dreams. This movie asks questions about our perceptions with others, and whether they reflect who we really are or can become. And with the premise of a shared consciousness as a foundation, it’s a weird one for the books!

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Image Credit: Rosebud Releasing Corporation

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Home Alone (1990)
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

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