Netflix doesn’t have a huge collection of fantasy movies, but you can find some charming (and eclectic) gems. Many combine fantasy with real-world struggles, including the notable Closet Monster. Or dive straight into the high fantasy realm with The Golden Compass, based on Philip Pullman’s classic novels.
We hope you find an intriguing gem below.
Errementari, translated from Basque as The Blacksmith, is a horror fantasy about a deal with the devil. In northern Spain in the 1830s, a blacksmith holds a demon captive until an orphan girl unwittingly frees it. War, murder, kidnapping, suicide and more await you in this furnace of hellish horror with surprising twists of black comedy.
Sea Beast joins Netflix’s collection of stellar family animated adventures. A young girl named Maisie (Zaris-Angel Hathor) comes home on the ship of sea monster hunter Captain Crowe (Jared Harris), engrossed in an exciting journey through uncharted waters. Bringing originality to the high seas and incredible characters, The Sea Beast is a must-see chapter in the enchanting fantasy.
The Golden Compass (2007)
Fans of Philip Pullman’s series of classic fantasy novels are probably better served by the HBO TV show adaptation. But The Golden Compass, based on the first book, is a solid chapter with generous doses of escapist fantasy. Follow Lyra Bellaqua (Dakota Blue Richards), a young adventurer who embarks on a journey from the respectable halls of Oxford colleges to the kingdom of polar bears in the frozen north. Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Eva Green round out a rich cast.
This dark fantasy drama comes from Spanish director JA Bayona, who has since branched out into huge franchise chapters, including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the first two episodes of Prime Video’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series. But perhaps his best work centers on coming-of-age tales; A Monster Calls follows a troubled young boy who meets a tree that promises to tell him three stories as long as Connor tells him one in return. Rooted in darker themes, one of which is death, A Monster Calls is a smart, exciting fantasy tale.
Waterman won’t be for everyone. More drama than pure fantasy, this family adventure deals with themes of grief, loss and friendship. Eleven-year-old Gunner and his family move to a new town, where the bookworm must deal not only with a lack of friends, but also with a harsh father and mother suffering from leukemia. His escape from reality takes him to a fairy forest where his imagination comes alive. An adventure story dealing with bigger issues.
This 2015 film delved into the origins of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. It features Garrett Hedlund as Hook and Hai Jackman as the pirate Blackbeard.
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Enjoy a fantasy tale that may or may not be true. Will Bloom (Billy Crudup) visits his dying father, whose thrilling, impossible stories about his life begin to gain credibility. This sprawling, Tim Burton-directed adventure takes us back to the youth of Edward Bloom (Ewan McGregor), where we see his stories play themselves out. With witches, a circus and bank heists, Big Fish is a fascinating prize to catch.
Unlocking multiple genres, Closet Monster uses its fantasy elements to open the door to a fresh and exciting coming-of-age tale. Scarred by witnessing a homophobic attack, closeted and imaginative teenager Oscar must struggle with his feelings for Wilder. Be warned, Closet Monster weaves David Cronenberg levels of body horror into its larger picture of internalized homophobia. Backed by a superb performance by Connor Jessup, Closet Monster is an indie gem.
Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s not Tim Burton’s greatest performance, but Dark Shadows offers yet another opportunity to admire the director’s trademark gothic visual style. Based on the soap opera of the same name, the comedy-horror follows a rich playboy who unwisely breaks the heart of a witch (Eva Greene). She turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas (Johnny Depp) emerges, discovering the world of the 70s while harboring a desire for revenge. Although the characters and plot could be greatly improved, Dark Shadows boasts an all-star cast including Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter. Plus it gives you Barnabus’ hilarious fish-out-of-water reactions to 70s pop culture.
Technically a superhero movie, The Old Guard delivers a number of impressive action sequences that pop with every one of star Charlize Theron’s shots. Theron plays Andy, the leader of a group of immortal mercenaries, including a knight who fights in the Crusades. The centuries-old warriors go on a mission of revenge, bringing progressive characters and slick battles, although it cannot avoid every cliché.
Co-produced by Sam Raimi, this dark fantasy is infused with the highest horror credentials. Still aimed at younger viewers, Nightbooks spins a mystery about a young boy who must figure out how to escape a magical apartment owned by Krysten Ritter’s witch Natacha. Tomb of fun.
A Boy Called Christmas (2021)
A Christmas cracker delivering loads of holiday spirit. A Boy Called Christmas isn’t going to win any awards for originality, but it sure does what it says on the tin. Young Nicholas embarks on a mission to find the legendary village of the elves, together with his friend Blitzen. No prizes for predicting the resulting gift-giving shenanigans.
Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more
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