Churuli is twisted. It’s an infinite maze, some viewers would say. Everyone takes away a different interpretation after watching Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Churuli. The film has garnered ambiguous criticism that has become a state of contestation in Malayalam cinema. If you liked Churuli, here’s a list of other movies that fall under the otherworldly, sci-fi genre you might just like.
Mahesh Rajmane’s first solo directorial debut, Unmatta, is all about the play of the mind. Aditi suffers from PTSD and sleep paralysis after being raped as a child. Siddhartha, who is a science student in the same college Aditi studies in, does research on telepathy using mind-altering drugs. His friends and Aditi go on a weekend gateway where they test out Siddhartha’s experimental drug trial. What follows is an entry into their subconscious mind and how reality gets altered as their deepest thoughts control their actions.
Liked Churuli? Wait till you watch Enemy then. When you watch Enemy for the first time, you’re going to wonder what exactly happened. Much like Churuli. Adam Bell is a sadistic college professor who discovers his doppelganger. Their lives intertwine when they meet each other. The movie may sound simple, but it will haunt you even when the credits roll. It’s considered to be Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performance ever.
Kalai Arasi (1963)
This black and white Tamil film is weird, to say the least. It’s a science-fiction comedy film where Vani is abducted by aliens. They want her to teach them how to dance and sing. That’s the hook of this absurdly weird movie. Her lover from Earth, Mohan, happens to meet an alien and finds his way to the extraterritorial planet.
The Platform takes ‘The Survival of the Fittest’ to a whole new gruesome level. Imagine being stuck in vertical cells. The top cell gets all the food but as it goes a layer down, the food starts to dwindle. That’s what The Platform is all about. The hungry people who have to starve in the cells below turn into irrational beings as they can’t think properly. You might not be able to digest the blood bath in the movie. Consider yourself warned.
Mr X in Bombay (1964)
If you ever hear someone hum Mere Mehboob Kayamat Hogi, It’s because of this movie. This sci-fi romantic comedy (yeah too many genres in one) is one of the well-acknowledged movies in Bollywood. During one of his experiments, Mathur the scientist accidentally kills a man. Rajan helps him cover up the murder but blackmails him to get his daughter to marry him. What unfollows is a twisted, unexpected story you would have never imagined.
Henry asks pregnant Mary X to live with him so that he can take care of her. The child is believed to be his, but when the baby is born, it turns out to be a lizard-like creature. Weird, right? The overall result is an uncanny, abnormal, good time.
Appuchi Graamam (2014)
A meteorite is about to hit Tamil Nadu’s Appuchi Graamam. People contemplate what to do with their lives before it hits. It starts out fairly slow, but it soon goes into a different tangent altogether.
Donnie Darko (2001)
The premise of Donnie Darko sounds simple, but you will go whoa-what-was-that. A 19-year-old teenager befriends a human-sized bunny figure whom he can only see. He tells Donnie that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. On the face of it, it seems that the movie is about a mentally unstable teenager, but it’s actually about how his inner turmoil and demons take over his consciousness. We’re not going to lie. You’ll need more than one round of watching to understand the movie to its fullest.
Dr Bhootnath Nondy and his team go in search of a machine that was invented 150 years ago by a scientist named Aghor Sen. The machine is believed to put anyone to sleep. But the weird part is that a little boy is named as the heir to all of Aghor Sen’s property. It’s a fairly fascinating Bengali film that has a good deal of sci-fi.
Mullholand Drive (2001)
Nothing hits the spot like a good ol’ David Lynch movie. Mullholand Drive is a film that’s a mystery to viewers even today. Giving you an explanation about the movie itself is hard. The film draws a thin line between dreams and reality through the eyes of two women. Watch it to experience it.
Irandam Ulagam (2013)
Madhu, a mathematician, goes into depression after learning about the death of his girlfriend and father. He tries to commit suicide, but his lookalike turns his life around. He is taken to an exoplanet. It’s a fine piece of tragic, thrilling lunacy.
A thief who steals information from people’s dreams is given one last job. He has to plant an idea in a person’s subconscious mind. If you want to know the real meaning of mind-bending, watch Inception. Christopher Nolan and Leonardo-Di-Caprio promise a gala time throughout the movie.
The Truman Show (1998)
Would you believe that your whole life was a lie and that you were an actor playing a part in a TV show? Unbelievable scary, right? The Truman Show is one of Jim Carrey’s best works and it does deliver a decent handful of bewildering moments. You might even question your own life after watching this.
The Matrix Series
If you liked Churuli, then you can’t miss watching The Matrix Series. As Morpheus said, “Unfortunatly, no one can be told what the Matrix really is, you have to see it for yourself.” Do a rerun of the trilogy before you watch the upcoming movie, The Matrix Resurrections.
While the above are movies that you should watch if you liked Churuli, you should also check out the German sci-fi series called Dark on Netflix. It’s a bomb of a series that oscillates between the past, present, and future in a small German town. Recommended mainly to those who devour all the sci-fi movies and conspiracy theories.