Horrifying high: Scary movie report


Collegian | Sophia Sirokman

Miles Buchan, Staff Reporter

In the spirit of spooky season, I decided to engage with my fears by adding a psychoactive element to my scary movie experience.

I set parameters regarding my method of cannabis consumption as it related to the timing of the movie and recorded my reactions throughout the two-hour film.


It is worth noting that my relationship with cannabis is extensive, but I am in no way a scary movie person. I very rarely watch them, and those I have watched have never left my conscience. That being said, I knew both the movie and weed selections would be everything when it came to the outcome of this experiment.

My rationale was this: Get as high as possible throughout the entire movie without peaking before the scariest parts. With this goal in mind, I set out an array of high-testing sativa product to consume before and during the screening. I also ate 40 milligrams’ worth of edibles about an hour before starting the movie for good measure.

Now that I’ve explained my thinking in regard to weed, I will explain my movie choice. I chose to watch the 2018 film “Hereditary” because of its accolades and also because the psychological thriller elements and subject matter seemed deeply disturbing to me as I watched the previews.

Starting out, as mentioned before, I took some edibles that began to kick in early into the movie. It felt like no time at all before I was feeling tense.

As I adjusted nervously and watched the movie’s introduction, I smoked a blunt for both the increased high and nicotine stimulation, which certainly put me further on edge. I found myself jumping at mild noises just waiting for something major to go down.

The movie’s buildup was slow, leaving a lot of room for silence and wonderment. My brain used this time to race through every possibility and outcome, trying to unpack the secrets of the story before they could catch me off guard. I clung onto every word, listening for clues and foreshadowing, but I was simply too high to be certain of anything.

There were many elements introduced early in the movie that hit way too close to home, causing my fear and anxiety to spike.

For the first 40 minutes, I could feel my heartbeat increase until the first big scare finally came — and it got me.

For the sake of not spoiling the details, I will not report what I saw, but I will say it had me wide-eyed and breathless. I was completely horrified at what I’d just witnessed. This was the moment I both feared and expected.

As the movie continued past this scene and I entered into the second half of the movie, I dropped a large dab to act as a send-off. Unsure of what was to come next, I sat with my eyes glued to the screen and closely examined the scene, its characters and details. It was at this point when the experience slowly turned into something I had not expected.

About an hour and 20 minutes in, I reported having a moment of audible laughter that progressed into full-blown comedic amusement. It is important to keep in mind that by this point, I was completely baked, so my interpretations in no way reflect those of a person who may have watched this movie sober.

As a completely stoned viewer tends to do, I began to have alternative ways of perceiving the events of the movie, which allowed my fear to dwindle. The long pauses and buildup of the movie made me most fearful during the first half, but the second half left me with too much time to calm down and speculate.

By the end of the movie, I was thoroughly amused and mildly confused, which made the “big” ending come across as completely silly to me. I found myself continuously laughing as the final events transpired, and once the movie finally did end, I was no longer in any kind of fearful state.

After watching this movie, I believe a movie with a faster pace and more visceral events would have kept me in that state of fear and anxiety. I also think if I were to watch this movie again without being high, I would possibly understand more of the overall plot.

Reach Miles Buchan at cannabis@collegian.com or on Twitter @buchanmiles.