Most of us enjoy a surprising twist or clever turn in a movie, but some films just go completely off the rails and fall into absurdity. This can be fun, but it can also be jarring and offputting. Check out 24 flicks that seem to go haywire. Whether it’s five minutes in, halfway through, or just before the credits roll.
1. The Lobster (2015)
The Lobster is easily one of the most unhinged movies I’ve ever seen. The story takes place in an alternate world where the most important thing in society is finding a life partner. This seems weird enough, but the punishment for not finding a soulmate will have you shocked and disturbed.
2. Swiss Army Man (2016)
Swiss Army Man goes off the rails in the best way. A man stranded on a deserted island finds solace in his friendship with a bloated corpse. Yes, he’s buddies with a dead body. It’s an absurd and ridiculous movie, but also heartfelt and existential in a way that will leave you thinking earnestly about life and relationships.
3. The Human Centipede (2009)
Frankly, The Human Centipede never should have even been made. It’s a heinous film that will leave you nauseous and with lots of gross nightmares. The film takes no time at all to become completely awful and horrifying, so it abandons the rails pretty soon.
4. Teeth (2007)
Teeth is a strange and disturbing horror comedy about a girl who has teeth in an unlikely place and uses them to mutilate men who have wronged her. This dark film will haunt you and it becomes wildly insane soon after you start it. I recommend not watching it.
5. Rubber (2010
Rubber is another horror comedy that goes off the rails quickly. It’s about a sentient rubber tire that wreaks havoc by murdering people and turning a little desert town upside down. It’s one of the most ridiculous movies ever made and keeps you in disbelief the whole time.
6. Tusk (2014)
This movie is… weird. Tusk is yet another horror comedy. It stars Justin Long as a podcaster who goes to interview a recluse. When he ventures to the reclusive man’s home for the interview, he finds out the man has a dark secret and is actually part walrus, hence the title.
7. Sharknado: Feeding Frenzy (2015)
Sharknado is an odd horror comedy that takes ridiculousness to the next level. It combines the horrors of natural disasters with sharks, as a tornado picks up a killer shark and delivers it on a gruesome feeding frenzy. This absurd movie is fun to watch but is definitely unhinged.
8. The Meg 2 (2023)
The Meg was an okay movie about a massive prehistoric shark. Unfortunately, The Meg 2 is not as entertaining or logical. It starts to go off the rails about halfway through as Jason Statham defies the laws of physics to beat this shark. The plot really falls apart.
9. The Lighthouse (2019)
This odd movie about two lighthouse keepers will have you perplexed and captivated the whole time. It stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, following their characters as they disintegrate into insanity and lose all grip on reality. Their conversations and the cinematography are wildly offbeat and unorthodox.
10. My Father the Hero (1994)
In this supremely strange romance movie, a teen girl passes her father off as her ex-lover, and the reasons for this are unclear. The movie is somewhat gross in concept, and the execution is very strange. It will leave you with some uncomfortable feelings and have you wondering why anyone greenlighted this project.
11. Beau Is Afraid (2023)
Beau Is Afraid is a movie that looks at intense anxiety as a reclusive man travels into the world to attend a funeral. The journey he takes quickly goes off the rails, becoming a gruesome, violent, and horrifying odyssey that will leave you in shock.
12. Eraserhead (1977)
Honestly, I would be surprised if I watched a David Lynch film that didn’t go off the rails. Eraserhead is a surrealist body horror film about a man and his new family in a strange apartment. His new baby ends up being a lizard mutant, and the film only gets weirder from there.
13. Mommie Dearest (1981)
Mommie Dearest is a chilling but fantastic portrayal of the abuse Joan Crawford perpetrated against her daughter Christina. Even if you know what the film is about going in, it can’t prepare you for the outrageous and horrific ways she abuses her daughter, especially concerning her disdain for and aversion to wire hangers.
14. The Beach (2000)
The Beach goes off the rails in a decent way, as you do not see the second half of the movie coming, but it’s still compelling. The film starts off as a typical vacation where young people want to find themselves, but it eventually turns into an interesting story about a hidden society.
15. Videodrome (1983)
This David Cronenberg movie will leave you disturbed and sick. It’s about a TV executive who decides to add torture shows to his channel. The film is weird and unpleasant from the beginning, but it only seems to descend further and further into strangeness.
16. Vampire's Kiss (1988)
Nicolas Cage has many weird films that take strange turns, but Vampire’s Kiss is one of his oddest and least well-known. After the main character is bit on the neck by a strange woman, he convinces himself he’s a vampire and does some unsettling things to satisfy his delusions.
17. Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
While Weekend at Bernie’s is a cult classic film that many people love, it’s also one of the more unhinged films to come out of Hollywood. You probably know the story is about hooligans who make someone seem alive so they can party at his house, but it’s more disturbing and weird than most people realize.
18. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007)
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is supposed to be endearing, I think, but it’s a strange movie. Kevin James and Adam Sandler are as hilarious as always, but the actual plot of the movie is unbelievable and ridiculous, making it less enjoyable.
19. Splice (2009)
This movie seemed really interesting to me at first, but it descends into weirdness by the end. It’s about a scientist who splices DNA together to make this mutant monster, which is all well and good. However, the movie becomes goes off the rails when the scientist and his creation have relations.
20. I'm Thinking of Ending Things (2020)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a very unusual movie about a man who takes his girlfriend to meet his parents. The movie is a trippy journey where you never fully know what’s happening, but the last 20 to 30 minutes become really warped and peculiar.
21. It's a Disaster (2012)
This film starts off like a normal ensemble comedy where a bunch of couples are having brunch, but it devolves into a chaotic apocalyptic comedy. It’s funny and raunchy and constantly takes you into unexpected situations, and the final scene will shock you.
22. Bottoms (2023)
Bottoms is a movie that goes off the rails in the best kind of way. It’s about two high schoolers who start a female fight club because they want to meet girls, but it quickly becomes aggressively violent. Toward the end of the movie, it gets even more intense, but I don’t want to spoil anything!
23. Adore (2013)
Unlike Bottoms, Adore goes off the beaten path in a weird and icky way that I don’t appreciate. Naomi Watts and Robin Wright star in this movie as two best friends. Things get weird when they each start sleeping with the other one’s son, creating a strange scenario.
24. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
This crazy science fiction movie follows two teens who see strange clown-looking aliens land on Earth. They try to warn people, but no one will listen, and soon, the Killer Klowns start harvesting and eating people. The beginning of the movie feels innocuous, so the downward spiral is insane.
Veronica is a food, fashion, and entertainment writer from Boston, MA, with a passion for all things lifestyle and culture. She graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a bachelor's in English literature. From Anna Wintour to Angelina Jolie to Alton Brown, she has her finger on the pulse of all things Hollywood and celebrity.
If she's not in the kitchen crafting new recipes, then she's binging the latest HBO series and catching up on the hottest trends in Vogue.
She has written for and been syndicated by publications like The Weather Channel, The Daily Meal, The Borgen Project, The Good Men Project, The Express, MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Not Deer Magazine. Her writing experience ranges from global news articles to celebrity gossip pieces to movie reviews to homemade recipes and more.