Six Horror Movies That Use Drugs As A Plot Point

toad road 2

Despite what most of Hollywood wants you to believe, drugs are (mostly) bad. The worst ones are both addictive and can kill you. On top of that, they cost money, and we all know nobody has any extra of that. They also have the potential to cost you jobs or relationships, or make people look at you differently. But outside of Requiem for a Dream, most movies make drugs look like great fun. Hell, even Trainspotting has some awful bits, but most of that is them running around, having a f*cking blast. But there are horror movies that show us what drugs really do. Show us the dark doorways they can open and never allow us to shut again. There are some rabbit holes that, once you fall down them, Wonderland is the last thing you will find. Here are six horror movies that use drugs as a plot point (and also show us just how life ruining or horrifying they can be).

Toad Road


Most will hate the film, yet I found it utterly haunting. The above link will take you to it on Netflix. Watch it now.

I will say it right now, right off the bat. I consider Toad Road to be one of the more effective and unsettling “drug” movies ever. Though most people would see it and think little of it (to the naked eye, it seems almost like nothing happens in the movie) but Toad Road has huge legend and superstition behind it, and a few Cinéma vérité moments that will blow your mind and leave you greatly unsettled. The knock out scene for one. You will know it when you see it.

Toad Road is a movie based on the place in York, Pennsylvania that is said to be the seven gates of Hell on Earth. We meet James and Sara who are slackers who like to do drugs and little else. The deeper Sara gets addicted to drugs, the more and more intrigued she becomes about finding Toad Road and walking it. What blew my mind even before watching this movie is, we have one of these in Massachusetts, too. It is called Spider’s Gate, and is a cemetery. I, too, tried to do what the girl in this movie did. Thing is, by the time I got deep enough into the woods to find it, there were cops there who stopped us. 99% sure it was no gate to Hell, but who knows. Judging by the movie, I got off lucky.

Anyway, the film manages to capture the weird, dirty, flypaper feeling of drugs better than most movies do. I would even dare to say that the people who are on drugs in the film are really on drugs in the film. No Hollywood bullshit here, which makes it even more unsettling. The craziest part is the girl who played Sara (well, not really played, but was), Sara Anne Jones, really did die of a drug overdose right before the premier of the movie. That only makes her character’s descent even more unsettling and foretelling.

Lovely Molly


That ending, ah, f*cked so many people up.

Another opportunity for me to talk about Lovely Molly. A movie about a young woman with some past issues who moves back in to her childhood home with her new husband, only to face a slew of old demons that used to haunt her when she was home. One of these demons is addiction. The more and more Molly goes back into her old lifestyle, the darker and more brutal things become. We are left to wonder if what is happening to Molly is the result of her drug fueled descent into madness, or if this is all really happening.

What is even more amazing is the slightly ambiguous ending leaves some people walking away from this movie still asking that question, even though the ending clearly answers it.

The Tripper


Mindless fun with a subtext of political and social satire.

This movie is a trip, and it makes me mad not enough of you have seen it. What turned a lot of people off was the fact that David Arquette directed the movie (and many people find him grating and insane). But the end result is a funny movie about some kids who take mushrooms out in the forest, and an axe wielding maniac who looks just like Ronald Reagan ends up trying to kill them all.

It is definitely and clearly an homage to eighties slasher films, while at the same time, bringing some new school charm to the table. Plus, the whole 80’s Reagan angle was “Say No To Drugs”, so the subtext works brilliantly, too. With a pretty good cast to round it out, you might want to give this flick a shot. It merits a viewing for fans of horror and fans of drugs. I mean, say no to drugs.



Nothing is worse than when your drugs kick in right as someone is trying to brutally murder you and your friends.

I am an Anglophile when it comes to movies, so I was very excited about Comedown. Made by the creators of the amazing Kidulthood, Comedown is often called “Kidulthood meets Saw”. It is a horror film from the U.K about a group of young friends who break into their old building to set up and a pirate radio station and just get mad high. Come to find out, there is some else in the building who is not too happy about their presence, and lets that be known as violently as possible.

What I thought was cool about Comedown (even the title itself implies drug use) was that everyone ingested their (if I recall, hallucinogens) BEFORE any threat had presented itself. So imagine the feeling of standing there, feeling your drugs kick in and screw you all up, and suddenly, you need to escape a killer. Though I expected a little more from the creators of Kidulthood, Comedown was still a pretty good flick and used drugs in a way most movies don’t. I wont say more than that and ruin anything.

Blue Sunshine


Such a long, strange trip it’s been…..

Ah, the movie that inspired one of my favorite “drugesque” movies of all time, Beyond the Black Rainbow, Blue Sunshine is a late seventies flick about a man who is falsely accused of murder. In the process of trying to clear his name, he discovers that a group of people who took a type of LSD called Blue Sunshine in their teens and had grown into adults who lose all their hair and then turn psychotic. Not even kidding.

He then has to try and put an end to the conspiracy and let people know what is going on. But not before a lot of mindf*ckery goes on. Blue Sunshine is a cult film for a reason. It is beyond batshit insane, but is there is also something entirely intriguing and atmospheric about it. You should find the movie if you can. Just don’t eat the Blue Sunshine LSD if you find any of that, too.

Honorable Mention:

Shrooms: Too much like The Tripper to include on regular list, but I think the name gives it away. People take shrooms in woods. Psycho starts killing them. This one doesn’t look like Reagan, though. Also, the poster art for Shrooms is awesome. Better than the movie, even.


If you dig this stuff (wink wink), head on over here to read about my own horrifying drug adventures, and then head on over here where we can talk about how psilocybin  helps you find yourself.

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  1. Intriguing… On the same themes, you should check out a thai movie called “Countdown”. Any description on the movie wouldn’t do it justice so i’ll just leave the recommendation.

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