With House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power dominating the cultural conversation, multiple generations of fantasy fans are looking to seek out other epic adventures from far away realms. HBO
Yet, for all the mainstays of the fantasy film genre, some are attempting to look beyond Westeros and Middle Earth for something a little different to add to their queue. With this in mind, I've assembled 20 underrated fantasy films that just might satisfy those who love
House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power. 1. Dragonslayer
Sporting stunning practical effects, this 1981 co-production between Walt Disney Productions and Paramount Pictures stars a young Peter MacNicol as a wizard’s apprentice who is tasked with killing a 400-year-old dragon terrorizing his kingdom.
Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection 2. Reign of Fire
Taking a contemporary spin on traditional dragon tales, this 2002 post-apocalyptic fantasy fan favorite starring Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey takes place in a futuristic England that has been torn asunder by awoken dragons that have since become the dominant species on Earth.
Touchstone Pictures / Prod DB / Alamy 3. Season of the Witch
Maligned upon its release in 2011, this surprisingly star-studded fantasy-horror-action hybrid is headlined by Nicolas Cage as a former Teutonic Knight who is tasked with escorting a cursed witch (Claire Foy) to a distant monastery, facing hallucinations, demonic creatures, and other daunting obstacles along the way.
Atlas Entertainment / Relativity Media / Alamy 4. Krull
Marrying fantasy and science fiction elements, Peter Yates’s 1983 cult classic constructs an Arthurian tale of mythical monsters, ancient prophecies, and a band of reluctant heroes with a
Star Wars-esque intergalactic setting, though it trades lightsabers for “The Glaive,” a magical throwing star. Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection 5. Beowulf & Grendel
Filmed across the beautiful landscapes of Iceland, this uniquely grounded 2006 adaptation of the epic poem starring Gerard Butler, Stellan Skarsgård, Sarah Polley, and Rory McCann feels remarkably ahead of its time.
Icelandic Film / Spice Factory / Arclight Films / Prod DB / Alamy 6. Black Death
This horrific 2010 British fantasy film surrounding plagues, necromancers and bloodthirsty cults also offers stellar performances from Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, and Carice van Houten.
Egoli Tossell Film / HanWay Films / Alamy 7. The Green Knight
David Lowery’s 2021 epic film mixes a classier and artful aesthetic with more exploitative and shocking elements to create a medieval fantasy worthy of its presentation under the A24 umbrella.
A24 / Moviestore Collection Ltd. / Alamy 8. Brotherhood of the Wolf
Director Christophe Gans wowed audiences and critics alike with this 2001 fantasy-horror hybrid about a pair of daring investigators (Samuel Le Bihan and Mark Dacascos) who search for a vicious creature responsible for hundreds of deaths in 18th-century France.
StudioCanal / Alamy 9. Monster Hunter
This 2020 adaptation of the acclaimed action-fantasy video game starring Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa was more fun than anyone could have anticipated, especially as the film embraces the man vs. monster battle sequences.
Sony Pictures Releasing / Alamy 10. Night Watch
Effectively injecting supernatural fantasy elements into an urban thriller,
Wanted filmmaker, Timur Bekmambetov, put himself on Hollywood’s radar with this incredibly successful 2004 Russian film about superpowered humans who are entrusted with policing the forces of the light and the dark in modern-day Moscow. Bazelevs / Prod DB / Alamy 11. Hellboy (2019)
While the recent reboot of
Hellboy may be a far cry from Guillermo del Toro’s stylish and awe-inspiring Hellboy films, Neil Marshall’s 2019 superhero outing embraced the fantasy elements of the comic series full-stop, adding some pretty cool practical creations and subplots that include blood witches, baby-stealing faeries and even Baba Yaga. Collection Christophel / Summit Entertainment / MIllenium FIlms / Alamy 12. Dracula Untold
Much like the aforementioned
Hellboy reboot, 2014’s Dracula Untold decided to trade encompassing horror within the lore of that franchise for a more fantasy-based adventure film, complete with a number of solid performances and a strange undertone that sets it apart from other big budget studio films of the time. Universal Pictures / Alamy 13. Return to Oz
Though it is infamous as a staple among kindertrauma enthusiasts, this surreal 1985 sequel to one of the most iconic fantasy films remains a dark and occasionally demented flick that certain plays differently for older audiences.
Buena Vista Pictures / Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection 14. The Fall
Tarsem Singh’s glorious 2008 fantasy is a visually dazzling (and sadly overlooked) fantasy tale with two heartbreaking parallel stories told with jaw-dropping real locations, practical effects, and a powerhouse performance from Lee Pace.
Googly Films / Absolute Entertainment / Deep Films / Prod DB / Alamy 15. 47 Ronin
Starring the one and only Keanu Reeves, this mystical fantasy film from 2013 might not knock your socks off, but there's plenty to enjoy from its many sleek, stylized, and imaginative set pieces.
H2F Entertainment / Relativity Media / Alamy 16. Immortals
Tarsem Singh makes his second appearance on this list, as his eye for amazing real locations, incredible costuming and mythological imagery brings this ultraviolent 2011 fantasy film (starring a pre-
Man of Steel Henry Cavill) to the next level. Virgin Produced / Relativity Media / Alamy 17. Solomon Kane
Based on the pulp comic character of the same name, this 2009 fantasy adventure film starring
The Following's James Purefoy didn't set the world on fire after its limited theatrical release but is quite enjoyable as a bloody and badass alternative to the toothless fantasy fare of the era. DAVIS-FILMS / Album / Alamy 18. Outlander
An exiled spaceman (James Caviezel) helps vikings take on a more dangerous extraterrestrial threat in this fun sci-fi/fantasy twist on
Beowulf that has sat on the cusp of cult notoreity. Weinstein Company / Virtual Films / Alamy 19. The Company of Wolves
Before he became one of the biggest filmmakers on Earth with
The Crying Game and Interview with the Vampire, director Neil Jordan assembled a rogue's gallery of stellar British performers to bring this creepy fantasy anthology film filled with petrifying parables to life. Palace Pictures / ITC Entertainment / Alamy 20. Snow White: A Tale of Terror
This wicked take on
Snow White from 1997 is anchored by a spine-chilling turn from Sigourney Weaver, who earned a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for her role as the evil queen. Universal Pictures / Alamy