It is often said that the French Netflix film catalogue is famished, and it must be admitted that some genres are indeed not spoiled. This is particularly the case with fantasy, which is not very well represented. Endless Story, Hook or The Lord of the Rings are currently missing. However, the fantasy genre in its broader sense is doing much better.
After looking at science fiction and horror, we will now focus on the latter. This is an opportunity to see that the boundary between genders is sometimes thin and that not all genders are sealed. Fantasy is characterized by the intrusion of the supernatural into the realistic framework of a story. It is therefore different from science fiction and dystopias, which intend to create a rational universe, even in the future. But this does not prevent him from mixing with anguish or comedy to make it work! Here are some films/series that you should have seen on the platform when you are interested in the genre.
It is difficult not to mention Harry Potter in this selection, so much the universe created by J.K. Rowlings has accompanied young readers and spectators. Fortunately for film lovers, the adaptation of this phenomenal success was done without any mistakes, even if some episodes are much better than others. One thinks in particular of the episode of Alfonso Cuaron (The Prisoner of Azkaban) or those of David Yates.
These 8 feature films released over a ten-year period allow us to follow the evolution of the little wizard, who grows along with his fans. But it is also an opportunity to discover a universe of great richness, balanced between cursed places and magical fauna. Enough to dazzle the more (or less) young people.
Since they tell you that laughter can mingle with the macabre! The Adams Family is nearly thirty years old, but still has a special charm. Barry Sonnenfeld’s film is certainly based on a script sewn with white thread, but that’s not the point. Indeed, the latter’s staging, which breathes real poetry into the genre, has inspired many subsequent works.
It’s hard not to see references in other feature films like The Strange Christmas of Mr. Jack or games like Medievil. A nice introduction, which proves that darkness is not always synonymous with danger.
Tim Burton’s work is intimately linked to fantasy, but Sleepy Hollow still acts as a black diamond in his filmography. The director brings to life a majestic gothic universe that truly pays homage to his new namesake Washington Irving. Johnny Deep plays a deliciously phlegmatic police inspector whose goal is to solve a series of murders committed in 1799. He will soon realize that the headless horseman he keeps hearing about may not be a legend…
The staging, sublimated by Danny Elfman’s score, constantly mixes nightmare and fairy tales, and evokes the existential question of the search for our origins.
To evoke Guillermo del Toro, we could have quoted you the excellent Labyrinth of Pan… But it is no longer on the platform. Never mind, why not dive into the world ofHellboy? Beneath his superhero generic airs, this colossus created by Mike Mignola evolves in a striking universe, which the Mexican has been able to transcribe with talent. Summoned by Nazi researchers, Anung Un Rama (his real name) is finally recovered by the U.S. military, who dubbed him Hellboy, and made him the spearhead of the Office of Paranormal Threats.
Accompanied by Liz Sherman, who possesses pyrokynesia skills, and Abraham Sapien, an amphibian man (who reminds us a lot of the creature of the Form of Water), he fights the demons that want to invade the earth. The two episodes of del Toro take us on a journey into an inspired world, teeming with detail. The opportunity to meet impressive creatures, which give rise to some pretty enjoyable fights. A real cinema proposal, which pleases in the face of the usual lukewarmness of this type of Hollywood productions.
Michel Gondry has a style all his own, where the fantastic often tends towards the dreamlike. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is still considered one of his best films. It tells the story of Joel and Clementine, a couple who are seriously flapping their wings. Determined to move on, Clementine decides to have all memories of the relationship erased from her mind. The latter will then go to Dr. Mierzwiak, the inventor of this process, to do the same.
He will then dive into her memories and remember why he fell in love with her. Then begins a very original battle against the doctor’s machine… Carried by the excellent Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, the film combines ingenious directing ideas and offers viewers a truly singular love story. Don’t… Forget it!
Roald Dahl’s tale has been adapted several times for the cinema, but Tim Burton’s version (always him!) pays a vibrant tribute to him. The inclusion of fantasy is gradual, as if the story of Oliver Twist was slowly taking a delirious turn. Charlie’s a poor kid who can’t afford to eat candy. Miraculously, he finds one of the five gold tickets that Willie Wonka hid in his chocolate bars. He will be able to discover the establishment of this eccentric boss, and earn a living of candy. But little by little, he realizes that the visit is not going as planned.
Johnny Deep excels in the role of the chocolate maker, and once again delivers a performance full of mischief. This time Burton leaves his gloomy world to turn to a colourful, but still disturbing universe! Nevertheless, it allows an interesting reflection on filiation to emerge, which gives a welcome touch of emotion to the whole.
Psychokinesis is a Korean film that went rather unnoticed, but it is still worth the detour. Directed by Sang-Ho Yeon, who has already taken care of the very nice Train for Busan, it revisits the figure of the superhero in a rather singular way. We follow the story of Seok-hyeon, a not very brave man who works as a security guard in a bank. He suddenly discovers that he has telekinetic powers, and sees an opportunity to make some extra money. But when the local mob goes after his daughter Roo-Mi, he’s going to have to go to great lengths.
For once, Korean cinema mixes genres. While this is less successful than in his previous work, we still appreciate the underlying discourse that tackles the corruption of cities and denounces the urban capitalism that makes them deformed. A rather cheerful anti-Avenger.
The platform also offers various series that look towards the fantastic. Many of them are of questionable quality but some of them obviously stand out. So don’t wait any longer!
A phenomenon series since the release of the first season in 2016, Stranger Things offers us an immersion as refreshing as it is nostalgic in the small town of Hawkins, where strange phenomena occur, to say the least. Marked by the disappearance of Will Byers, his friends and family will search for him, helped by the mysterious Eleven, a pre-teen girl who came out of nowhere and obviously has extraordinary abilities.
A true declaration of love in the Spielbergian belle époque and in the 80s, Strangers Things is one of Netflix’s biggest hits, or at least one of the most publicized. Today, the series has just delivered its third season, and two video games are being developed by the SVOD giant.
With the second season now available, why not give Darka chance? This German series took many spectators by surprise thanks to its dark atmosphere and its staging with small onions. Some people perceive it as a kind of Stranger Things plus adult, which says a lot about the quality of the show.
It focuses on the mysterious disappearance of several children, which occurs in the small town of Winden every 33 years. While four families have been broken up through the ages, police investigators will understand that the facts are linked. But in order to try and solve the case, they’re going to have to put their beliefs aside.
We take our hats off to the young actors, who give great depth to this tortuous story that plays with the audience like a puppet. However, it will be necessary to be well concentrated during the viewing, as the notion of time is crucial to appreciate the whole.
When it comes to fantasy, the name Stephen King comes up a lot. And that’s understandable. The American writer fed his readers with stories that had become cults, which quickly became more or less successful adaptations for the cinema. While films such as Misery and Shining clearly opted for horror, other of his works leave more room for the imagination. This is notably the case of The Mist, which was already skillfully adapted by Frank Darabont in 2007 before Netflix released it as a series. But we’d rather recommend the three seasons ofUnder the Dome, which kept us on our toes. The show, whose executive producers are Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, is more mysterious than scary.
It tells the story of a small village that, overnight, finds itself trapped inside a translucent dome. Cut off from the world, the inhabitants will have to organize themselves to survive. Some of them see this strange phenomenon as a way to take power. The dissensions then begin. For once, King wanted to use a fantastic external element to make us think about our behaviour. And it hits the bull’s-eye!