Scary Astral Projection Horror Movies You Need To See

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Continuing my descent into niche horror movies, it’s time to visit another plane of existence—the Astral plane!

Astral projection movies are not very common in the horror genre, even though there are ample opportunities to use the idea of traveling the astral plane and fending off the horrors that lurk on the edges of life and death.

Although it may not be common, a few movies and shows utilize the astral realm to convey feelings of horror, fear, and intensity. 

Now, without further ado, let’s look at some of the best astral projection horror movies and be prepared to have your physical form leave this physical world and enter the wonders that are the astral realm.

Astral (2018)

First up on the list is the horror movie Astral, released in 2018 and one of the few horror movies focused on astral projecting.

The main character, Alex Harmann (Frank Dillane), is a college-aged boy who recently witnessed his mother’s death, and as a way of grieving his dead mother, he tries to contact her across the veil of death. 

However, entering the world that lies between death and life is rarely a good idea, and Alex learns that quickly.

Shadow spirits within the astral realm do not take too kindly to someone entering the astral plane and begin to hunt him.

Dragging his best friends into the mess, it becomes only a matter of time before the group will face the consequences. 

While it isn’t a great movie, it still portrays astral travel in a cool way, and if you can’t get enough of the concept, then this movie is for you. 

If you want something less ethereal, check out the best slasher movies ever.

Insidious (2010)

Insidious is another well-known horror movie that heavily utilizes the premise of astral projection. Unlike the rest of the Insidious series, the first is an amazing movie.

Directed by James Wan with a strong plot and good characters, the astral projection takes place in a creepy void. 

Everything is foggy, and it is almost impossible to see anything around you. Without someone to guide you back, there is little hope of salvation. The movie shows this multiple times as the main characters become lost and must chase each other to guide them back home. 

And if they spend too long in the void, they may be lost to it, never returning to their previous life.

It is a terrifying idea, and the thought of slowly losing oneself in the never-ending void between death and life is such a real possibility in some religions that followers would do anything to avoid it. But don’t worry. An evil spirit will try to kill you long before you lose yourself to the void.

You might also enjoy this article on the best puzzle horror movies.

Enter the Void (2009)

Enter the Void takes a different approach to astral projection, introducing psychedelic drugs. Gaspar Noé directs it, so be ready for some explicit, uncensored sex scenes.

The main character, Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), enters a psychedelic afterlife, which serves as a tour of life after death. Oscar is a drug dealer killed by police during a shoot-out when they try to bust him. 

After dying, he is taken back in time to see various moments in his and his parent’s life. He watches his autopsy on an operating table, and it finishes with him traveling into the future.

While in terms of astral projection, it isn’t a typical film, astral projection enthusiasts will still enjoy this movie where drugs, the afterlife, and life are meshed together into a wild wide. 

Altered States (1980)

Altered States is a sci-fi horror film from 1980 and one of the best films on this list. Instead of using the typical astral projection style from modern horror movies, this film uses it differently.

Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) is a Harvard professor studying consciousness and how sensory deprivation tanks and hallucinogenic drugs interact. 

He undergoes more and more extreme experiments, seeing just how far he can push things, but as he experiments more, it takes a toll on his body and mental state.

He begins to lose sense of the real world, and he finds himself spending more and more time in the hazy world of the astral plane. 

Overall, it is an interesting movie that offers a unique look at astral projection and will make you question our ideas about life, death, and the higher levels of consciousness that may or may not exist above our own. 

Out of the Body (1989)

An Australian horror film, Out of the Body, occurs in Sydney, where a string of strange murders occurs.

A strange gravity-defying being has started to target young women in Syndey, and after killing them, it sucks out their eyes to take as its trophies from his kill. 

After foreseeing the death of a young woman, the main character, David Gaze (Mark Hembrow), who plays a composer who can enter the astral world and see when someone is going to be killed by the strange creature, tries to warn people ahead of time.

Unfortunately, no one believes him, and the death toll only rises. 

As the movie goes on, he is suspected of the crimes, as one young girl after another dies, and you are left wondering if there will be a happy ending to this movie.

So, if you want a mind-bending mystery horror, you must watch Out of the Body.

Doctor Sleep (2019)

Next is the Steven King horror Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining.

The main character, Dan Terrance (Ewan McGregor), must care for a young girl named Abra (Kyliegh Curran), who possesses special powers that a deadly cult known as the True Knot wants to get their hands on.

As a recovering alcoholic, Dan Terrance already has much on his plate. With a deadly cult hunting him, things will only get more difficult. 

While the movie does not focus on astral projection, it does have an amazing astral projection scene, where a character named Rose the Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) flies through the sky over a beautiful landscape, with the stars twinkling in the distance. 

Doctor Sleep is well known for its multiple visual jump scares and its usage of techniques that pay homage to The Shining.

It is an excellent movie that received glowing reviews from both critics and the general audience, and it is well worth a watch if you are looking for a horror movie to enjoy.

Flatliners (1990 and 2017)

Flatliners is a psychological horror film that follows the story of five medical students curious about what lies beyond life and death.

The students – Joe Hurley (William Baldwin), David Labraccio (Kevin Bacon), Rachel Manus (Julia Roberts), and Randy Steckle (Oliver Platt) – led by ambitious Nelson (Kiefer Sutherland), conduct a dangerous experiment by deliberately stopping their hearts for short periods to trigger near-death experiences.

Each time they are revived, they experience flashes of walking nightmares from their childhood, reflecting sins they committed or had committed against them.

As the experiment becomes increasingly dangerous (as they try to outbid each other on how long they’ll remain dead), they are confronted by the sins of their pasts and the paranormal consequences of trespassing to the other side.

The students realize they have not returned alone from their near-death experiences. They experience increased intelligence and euphoria, but they also experience physical harm inflicted by their past sins.

The students must confront their past actions and find a way to forgive themselves, put the past to rest, and return their lives to normal.

In 2017, Danish film director Niels Arden Oplev directed a stand-alone sequel also named Flatliners.

Although the story is a bit different, the plot is very similar to the original from 1997. If I were to recommend watching only one of these, I’d recommend the first one.

Also, check out this article about famous horror couples from movies.

Closing Thoughts

Astral projection horror movies offer a unique blend of psychological terror and supernatural suspense.

They challenge the audience’s understanding of reality and delve into the unexplored territories of the human mind and soul. In that sense, they explore similar topics in many Korean horror movies.

As a study, astral projection encompasses several different topics, including out-of-body experiences, sleep paralysis, lucid dreams, metaphysics, and various spiritual experiences.

These can convey the idea of leaving behind one physical body and freeing the astral body to travel about the astral plane.

Horror movies, though, tend to stick with sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, and the occasional spiritual experience, as those offer the best opportunities for creepy situations to occur.

Astral projection horror movies are a fascinating subgenre that continues to push the boundaries of cinematic horror, proving that our consciousness can be the most terrifying realm of all.

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