Werner Herzog's 2016 movie about the internet, Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, isn't a horror film, but watch it after ingesting 100 milligrams of pot butter the exact shade of a matcha latte and you might be convinced otherwise. Or at least that's what happened to me.
Some experiences are enhanced by weed. Doing chores, running errands, taking walks, going to work, and spending time with one's family all fall into this category. Going to the movies definitely falls into this category, but weed can also evoke rather... atypical responses to film. Lo and Behold was transformed from a typical Herzog production into something dark, confusing, and beyond the bounds of the typical imagination.
Actually, I suppose that is the typical Werner Herzog production, but under the influence of 100 milligrams of THC, it was genuinely terrifying. At one point, a physicist explains to Herzog (who is, unfortunately, of no relation to me) that a single solar flare could, at any moment, wipe out the internet and, with it, our entire way of life. That's when my heart started to pound and my palms started to sweat. When he went on to describe how electrical grids will fail, planes will fall from the sky, and much of our hyper-connected world will go dark, I felt an evolutionary drive to get out of that theater—and quick. Unfortunately, my feet had ceased to work.
Much to my surprise, I survived this harrowing experience, and when I watched the film sober some months later, it didn't scare me at all. I did, however, learn something valuable by nearly having a panic attack in a public theater—80 milligrams of THC before I leave the house is probably enough.
Chase Burns, The Stranger's digital editor, has also gotten too high at the movies. In his case, it was Bohemian Rhapsody at Regal Cinemas Thornton Place at Northgate. "I expected a rock movie to feel sort of like a rock concert, so I took an edible fit for Live Aid," he says.
This was a mistake. Chase and his boyfriend got there late (naturally), and the only seats available were in the dead center of the theater. Fifteen minutes into the movie, Chase says, he was "Ozzy Osbourne–level high."
"I was convinced that the left side of my body was going numb," he recalls. "Or was it the right side? Either way, I was totally certain I was having a seizure. I think I was actually acting normal, but then my seizure paranoia transformed into a very urgent worry that I was about to shit myself. That I had already shit myself."
Chase fled to go to the bathroom, "and then I stayed in that movie theater bathroom for a good 15 minutes. The movie was terrible, and I did not want to go back in the theater. But my boyfriend was in there, and I didn't want to abandon him at Northgate Mall, so I went back and suffered through the highness." The highness and Rami Malek's prosthetic teeth.
As for what Chase learned? Not much. "I should have learned to not take edibles and just smoke a joint before a movie, but I just ate a concentrate out of a syringe before a movie last weekend, so I don't think I learned anything."
The good (or bad) news is that no high lasts forever, so if you find yourself too high at the movies, take a deep breath and tell yourself: "I'm not dying. I'm not shitting myself. I'm just very, very high."