Netflix doesn’t have a massive collection of fantasy flicks, but you can find several charming (and eclectic) gems. Many combine the fantastical with real-world struggles, including the remarkable Closet Monster. Or dive right into the high fantasy realm with The Golden Compass, based on Philip Pullman’s classic novels.
Hopefully you’ll find an intriguing gem below.
Co-produced by Sam Raimi, this dark fantasy is inscribed with top horror credentials. Still aimed at younger viewers, Nightbooks leafs through a mystery about a young boy who must figure out how to escape a magical apartment owned by Krysten Ritter’s witch Natacha. A tomb of fun.
Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s not the greatest Tim Burton entry, but Dark Shadows offers 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 Green). 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 taste for revenge. Though the characters and plot could be fleshed out significantly, Dark Shadows boasts a stellar cast, including Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter. Plus, it gives you Barnabus’ hilarious fish-out-of-water reactions to ’70s pop culture.
Unlocking multiple genres, Closet Monster uses its fantasy elements to open the door to a fresh and moving coming-of-age tale. Scarred by witnessing a homophobic attack, closeted and imaginative teenager Oscar must grapple with his feelings for Wilder. Be warned, Closet Monster splices David Cronenberg levels of body horror into its bigger picture about internalized homophobia. Capped by Connor Jessup’s superb performance, Closet Monster an indie gem.
This dark fantasy drama comes from Spanish director J.A. Bayona, who’s since branched off 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 is centered on coming-of-age tales; A Monster Calls follows a troubled young boy who encounters a tree that promises to tell him three stories, as long as Connor tells him one in return. With roots in darker themes, one of them being death, A Monster Calls is a smart, moving fantasy tale.