At dinner before our last trip, Aunty and us were discussing our favorite films for the come down period. We don’t like to watch any kind of television screen during the trip, nature is just so much better to be looking at. As you come down though your body and mind are both exhausted, but you can’t sleep yet. She prefers to watch thought provoking films during this time as a way to help her feel more deeply. We prefer to stick to more light hearted films to watch on the way down.
We decided to each create a list of our recommendations. This list will be the lighter movies and her list will be the more dramatic, thought provoking films.
What is The come down
Different psychedelic chemicals will provide you different trips. Both in the experience itself, but also the length of time and after effects. We typically prefer LSD over most others. This molecule tends to provide us with 1-2 hours of “come up” time. This is the time we play energetic music to get ourselves pumped up for the trip. We are still conscious of ourselves and our environment in this phase.
The peak is the next 2-3 hours period of time, in this phase we rarely move from wherever we ended up after the come up. Our egos are typically shattered during this phase and it is difficult to perform any complex activity. Even something as simple as playing a Tamborine to a beat becomes impossible to comprehend.
As the peak progresses you will notice yourself returning to just that, yourself. The first sign will likely be a desire to use the bathroom, or drink some refreshing coconut water. You will still be tripping hard for a while yet, but you can also start to do things again. At the 8 hour mark from dosing we usually find ourselves still tripping, but on the way back down. This is the come down phase, it will subtly last all the way into the next few days.
You won’t be able to sleep yet, Aunty always says it does not matter how early in the day you dose — you won’t be sleeping normally that night. We’ve always found that to be true. So what do you do after 8+ hours of hard tripping, your body and mind are exhausted. You could continue listening to chill music, but we find that putting on a movie can be a good distraction. They can also be a fun way to use the final visuals of the medicine, before they wear off.
Light or heavy
Heavy isn’t really the right word to use, but there isn’t a great word for the kinds of movies Aunty prefers. These are maybe best described as thought provoking films. Films created by artists who have something meaningful to teach us about the universe. Many of her films require multiple watchings to truly understand. While that can be a good way to come down, and experience some truly deep feelings, we prefer more light hearted fare.
So we decided to each create our own lists of favorite come down films. This list is the more light hearted, happy films that will help you come out of the experience with a positive glow. These lists are not meant to be the only films, just examples of what we think are best in class for each category.
You’ll notice a wide range of films, both old and newer. The universe does not like habits, or loops, and that carries for movies as well. We are always looking to update our lists and find new films.
Without further ado let us take a look at our top ten list of happy come down films.
Wall-E is a Pixar film from 2008, it was our son’s favorite film growing up. Why is it in 10th place? Well, we haven’t actually watched this film while tripping yet. During our dinner discussion it came up as an excellent candidate. We wanted to include it in the list to try and explain why.
The reason these films are “happy” is because of the feeling they leave us with, the message that they deliver. In the psychedelic state your empathy for nature and the universe in general will be amplified. The idea of cutting down a tree, or even killing an insect will feel evil to you in this state, an ultimate evil.
Wall-E is a film about saving nature, and saving mankind in the process. All the characters become redeemed in the end, even the “bad” captain learns an important lesson and reforms. This process of learning and reform will resonate deeply with you as you come down. As a result the film itself will become an important part of your integration process.
There is one exception to the redemption arc, AUTO, the autopilot for the ship. This character is not redeemed but rather deactivated.
While we haven’t yet watched this one during a come down, we fully intend to keep it on deck for a future trip.
#9: son of bigfoot/Bigfoot junior
As you know we love the music of Puggy. Son of Bigfoot is a Belgian children’s film from 2017. It has a unique, almost clay like appearance to the computer animation. Puggy provided the entire soundtrack, which was the primary reason we ever watched this in the first place.
This film is so low on the list because we don’t think the bad guy really learned a lesson by the end. This is always sad as a major theme for our trips is personal growth to become better people. Seeing the bad guy in a film reform at the end is always better than just seeing them defeated or imprisoned.
Still we would highly recommend giving this movie a chance under the influence. It’s has beautiful artwork, excellent music and a great central message about returning to nature. As a bonus the lady raccoon has a rather seductive walk, if you see the film you will know what we mean.
#8: once upon a deadpool
Before you close your browser in disgust please hear us out on this one. Deadpool may seem like the worst possible thing to watch while tripping but you would be wrong, very, very wrong.
Once Upon a Deadpool is a PG-13 retelling of Deadpool 2. The movie includes a secondary storyline where Deadpool kidnaps Fred Savage, now a full grown adult. He forces Fred to relive his movie childhood from The Princess Bride. This secondary storyline is also infused with a light cover of winter holiday cheer.
The movie itself is largely unchanged, other than the removal of some of the most graphics scenes. Not all though, Deadpool still gets ripped in half by Juggernaut, so if that sort of thing is a major turn off for you — avoid this film. If you can stomach a little graphic violence though you will never laugh harder than you will watching this film while coming down from a psychedelic trip.
To be completely transparent, we’ve always had a crush on Ryan Reynolds and that is a big reason this film remains on our list.
#7: Silent Running
This was a surprise film Aunty showed us on our birthday trip last year. We had never seen this film, or even heard of it. Silent Running is a post apocalyptic sci-fi movie that takes place entirely in outer space. We follow the crew of the Valley Forge, one of 8 ships sent by a dying earth to try and save the remaining eco systems.
Our protagonist is a biologist, Freeman Lowell, one of 4 crew members on the Valley Forge. He cares deeply for the forest domes that the ship is carrying, and knows that they are the last hope for saving these trees and animals. Earth has become a wasteland, similar to that in Wall-E.
Mid-way through the film, Freeman learns that the company sponsoring the ships no longer wishes to complete the mission. They have orders to destroy the forest domes using nuclear charges. Of the crew, only Freeman disagrees with this order, the others are all happy to return to earth.
We won’t spoil the ending, trust us that this film is well worth watching. The message aligns perfectly with our trip intentions and helps to reinforce our own love for nature. Oh and they teach a robot to play poker.
#6: Howl’s moving castle
Hayao Miyazaki is the mastermind behind Studio Ghibli, makers of many beloved animated films. His movies usually have a somber bend to them, for example My Neighbor Totoro has a sad theme around Yasuko’s illness. Despite the colorful characters and seemingly psychedelic visuals, that theme dominates the film and makes it inappropriate for this list.
Howl’s Moving Castle on the other hand also includes some sad themes, for example Howl’s transformation and Sophie’s curse. However there is a powerful redemption arc throughout the film, along with a theme of pacifism that will resonate with the psychedelic mind. These themes allow us to look past the sadder elements and instead enjoy the fantastical visuals and story.
Another Studio Ghibli film we used to love watching during come downs is Spirited Away. However this film includes a few scenes with disembodied heads, an image that in uncomfortable for Aunty. In our own last watching during a come up we became quite scared of the film as well and no longer feel it is worthy of this list. Howl’s Moving Castle is a far more endearing entry to choose.
You may not know but the movie is based on a novel by Diana Wynne Jones, a British author who wrote an entire series in that universe. The books include a larger cast of characters, and a more complicated storyline than the film. Well worth a read for fans.
#5: The Big Lebowski
You may have guessed already but we live in a major city in Southern California, The Big Lebowski is set in that city. This has always made it feel like our movie, and we love to watch it both sober and during the come down of a psychedelic trip.
This movie will surprise you, no matter how many times you’ve seen it you will forget about the flying artist scene or the bowling dream sequence. You may think you know what’s coming but these scenes hit very differently under the psychedelic influence.
The comedy is second to none. Many of the jokes will be too complex for the tripping mind to grasp, but the physical humor and absurd sequences more than make up with that. Even Donny’s eventual death is treated with so much absurdity that it takes away any sense of sadness the scene may have.
We simply cannot recommend this one enough, please watch it.
#4: The Lego Movie
This is the most wholesome movie ever made, we feel it is impossible to hate this movie. That holds true in the psychedelic state as well. The incredible catchy theme song, Everything is Awesome, is enough to sell the entire film by itself.
The adventures that Emmet and Wyldstyle go on in The Lego Movie will take you to psychedelic landscapes you’ve never imagined. You’ll meet characters from so many different dimensions of lego history it will blow your mind. When you first get to Unikitty’s home world you might need sun glasses, it is that brightly colored.
Yes, there is a conflict in the background of the film between a son and his father. That conflict drives the story forward, and supplies with some rather emotional moments near the end. Fear not however, all is redeemed in the most fantastical way possible. The father learns an important lesson about play that we could all take to heart.
Stop after the first movie though, the sequel is also fun but nowhere near the psychedelic perfection of the original.
#3: the Sea Beast
This is a newer film, released on Netflix in July, 2022. Never the less, this movie has rocketed to the top of our favorites list. The artwork is incredible, we paused the movie multiple times just to stare at the intricate patterns in the various books that appear throughout the film. The voice work is also amazing, Karl Urban, Jared Harris and Zaris-Angel Hator all provide perfect voices that are recognizable and yet different enough to bring us into their world.
Dan Stevens is ostensibly in this film, however he has a total of maybe 6 lines throughout so don’t get too excited. This was disappointing to us as he is one of our favorite actors, behind Ryan Reynolds of course. We even saw him in person at the premiere of I’m Your Man a remarkable romantic comedy/drama from Germany. If you are needing your Dan Stevens fix we recommend his scrumptious performance as Alexander Lemtov in Eurovision instead.
Back to The Sea Beast, the story of this film starts out kind of dark, we were even considering turning it off after about 15 minutes. Please hold out if you can, as at about that 20 minute mark the film takes a 180 degree turn into something else entirely. Instead of hunting beasts, now we are saving them. We don’t want to spoil things but it includes a solid redemption arc for most of the main characters.
The references to older films throughout is another great bonus that you will certainly pick up on. The baby beasts are simply adorable, they will melt your heart. Don’t pass this one up. Maisie’s speech at the end will give chills, in a good way.
#2: Fantasia 1 & 2
Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 will always have a special place on this list. We spent so many afternoons laying on Aunty’s dorm room bed with her and watching these films as we both winded down from a heavy night of raving. These films are beautiful to look at and listen to.
The classical music may not be to everyone’s taste, but combined with Disney’s detailed animation the music comes to life in a way that will appeal to any viewer. The wide variety of scenes throughout both films ensures you never get too bored. The Pastoral Symphony sequence is a particular favorite of ours.
These are two of the rare films that we may play during the peak of a trip. Usually on a projector against the ceiling or a blank wall so we can also enjoy nature at the same time. They are both easy films to disappear into for a while and that is perfect for the come down phase of a trip.
And to round out the list, here is number 1:
Another Disney film, that isn’t our fault, they make movies that appeal to our empathy for nature, and our love of beautiful artwork. Moana excels at both of these aspects. The artwork is top notch, the treasure crab specifically will fill your entire room with disco ball visuals as he dances around. The ocean spirit is another exceptionally well designed character.
The movie is also funny, The Rock’s portrayal of Maui is over the top in the best ways possible. The tattoos move and swirl in magical ways. The rendition of Your Welcome will become an enduring catch phrase in your everyday life. We still quote this part weekly to Aunty.
Moana also includes a moving story about a people who have lost their way. They no longer remember how to explore the world, instead they barricade themselves on a single island, afraid to leave its view. Moana shows them that exploration is the only way to really progress as a people. Watching this movie the first time shook us out of our own desire to stay home all the time. We credit this movie with teaching us the value of exploration too.
So that’s our list. This isn’t every movie we’ve watched of course, we’ve seen hundreds under the influence over the years. These films are representative of our favorites, and maybe reading through them will inspire you to find some favorites of your own.
Remember to use the peak of your trip to really learn from the universe, you can only do that out in nature, not in front of a television. At the end though, when you’ve been tripping all day and aren’t quite ready to sleep yet — treat yourself to of these, you can thank us later.