100 Best Dark Fantasy Movies of All Time – A Streaming Guide

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If you like your fantasy movies to be twisted, gruesome and ghastly – with stories of the dark arts and terrifying creatures – this guide to the 100 best dark fantasy movies of all time is perfect for you. In addition to a ranking of the top titles, we’ll show you where you can watch every movie on this list today on streaming services in the United States. We’ll also let you know if you can watch any of these iconic dark fantasy movies legally for free online.

The dark fantasy genre combines fantastical stories with themes of horror. Some of the most recognizable directors known for putting dark fantasy stories on the big screen include Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, The Shape of Water), Tim Burton (Coraline, Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands) and Jim Henson (The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth).

Despite their themes of horror, there are plenty of dark fantasy movies that can be enjoyed by the whole family. A few examples include the animated adventure Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH, Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, and George Lucas/Ron Howard’s Willow. Families with older children may also enjoy slightly darker adventures such as Roald Dahl’s The Witches, The Addams Family and Spirited Away.

If you’re interested in exploring some of the best dark fantasy movies produced outside of the United States, must-see titles include Onibaba (Japan), The City of Lost Children (France), Viy (Soviet Union) and In Fabric (United Kingdom). You can also enjoy dark fantasy anime movies such as Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Wicked City, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc trilogy and Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train.

Where can I watch the best dark fantasy movies?

Below you’ll find the latest streaming information for the 100 best dark fantasy movies. You can filter your results by release year, price, IMDb rating, age rating and run time.

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  1. Pan's Labyrinth

    Pan's Labyrinth

    2006

    IMDB 8.2 (705k)

    #1

    Living with her tyrannical stepfather in a new home with her pregnant mother, 10-year-old Ofelia feels alone until she explores a decaying labyrinth guarded by a mysterious faun who claims to know her destiny. If she wishes to return to her real father, Ofelia must complete three terrifying tasks.

  2. Häxan

    Häxan

    1922

    IMDB 7.6 (16k)

    #2

    Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen's legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious-- instead it's a witches' brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous.

  3. The Dark Crystal

    The Dark Crystal

    1982

    IMDB 7.1 (71k)

    #3

    On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal and restore order to his world, before the grotesque race of Skeksis find and use the crystal for evil.

  4. Labyrinth

    Labyrinth

    1986

    IMDB 7.3 (150k)

    #4

    When teen Sarah is forced to babysit her half-brother Toby, she summons Jareth the Goblin King to take him away. When he is actually kidnapped, Sarah is given just thirteen hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue him.

  5. The Secret of NIMH

    The Secret of NIMH

    1982

    IMDB 7.5 (45k)

    #5

    A widowed field mouse must move her family -- including an ailing son -- to escape a farmer's plow. Aided by a crow and a pack of superintelligent, escaped lab rats, the brave mother struggles to transplant her home to firmer ground.

  6. The Crow

    The Crow

    1994

    IMDB 7.5 (205k)

    #6

    Exactly one year after young rock guitarist Eric Draven and his fiancée are brutally killed by a ruthless gang of criminals, Draven—watched over by a hypnotic crow—returns from the grave to exact revenge.

  7. The City of Lost Children

    #7

    A scientist in a surrealist society kidnaps children to steal their dreams, hoping that they slow his aging process.

  8. Faust

    Faust

    1926

    IMDB 8.1 (16k)

    #8

    God and Satan war over earth; to settle things, they wager on the soul of Faust, a learned and prayerful alchemist.

  9. The Phantom Carriage

    The Phantom Carriage

    1921

    IMDB 8.0 (14k)

    #9

    An alcoholic, abusive ne'er-do-well is shown the error of his ways through a legend that dooms the last person to die on New Year's Eve before the clock strikes twelve to take the reins of Death's chariot and work tirelessly collecting fresh souls for the next year.

  10. Legend

    Legend

    1985

    IMDB 6.3 (72k)

    #10

    Set in a timeless mythical forest inhabited by fairies, goblins, unicorns and mortals, this fantastic story follows a mystical forest dweller, chosen by fate, to undertake a heroic quest. He must save the beautiful Princess Lili and defeat the demonic Lord of Darkness, or the world will be plunged into a never-ending ice age.

  11. Return to Oz

    Return to Oz

    1985

    IMDB 6.7 (30k)

    #11

    Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, finds herself back in the land of her dreams, and makes delightful new friends, and dangerous new enemies.

  12. Hellboy II: The Golden Army

    #12

    Hellboy, his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz, and aquatic empath, Abe Sapien, face their biggest battle when an underworld elven prince plans to reclaim Earth for his magical kindred. Tired of living in the shadow of humans, Prince Nuada tries to awaken an ancient force of killing machines, the all-powerful Golden Army, to clear the way for fantasy creatures to roam free. Only Hellboy can stop the dark prince and prevent humanity's annihilation.

  13. The NeverEnding Story

    The NeverEnding Story

    1984

    IMDB 7.3 (157k)

    #13

    While hiding from bullies in his school's attic, a young boy discovers the extraordinary land of Fantasia, through a magical book called The Neverending Story. The book tells the tale of Atreyu, a young warrior who, with the help of a luck dragon named Falkor, must save Fantasia from the destruction of The Nothing.

  14. Ladyhawke

    Ladyhawke

    1985

    IMDB 6.9 (51k)

    #14

    Captain Etienne Navarre is a man on whose shoulders lies a cruel curse. Punished for loving each other, Navarre must become a wolf by night whilst his lover, Lady Isabeau, takes the form of a hawk by day. Together, with the thief Philippe Gaston, they must try to overthrow the corrupt Bishop and in doing so break the spell.

  15. Excalibur

    Excalibur

    1981

    IMDB 7.3 (67k)

    #15

    A surreal adaptation of Sir Thomas Malory's "Le Morte d'Arthur", chronicling Arthur Pendragon's conception, his rise to the throne, the search by his Knights of the Round Table for the Holy Grail, and ultimately his death.

  16. Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty and the Beast

    1946

    IMDB 7.9 (28k)

    #16

    The story of a gentle-hearted beast in love with a simple and beautiful girl. She is drawn to the repellent but strangely fascinating Beast, who tests her fidelity by giving her a key, telling her that if she doesn't return it to him by a specific time, he will die of grief. She is unable to return the key on time, but it is revealed that the Beast is the genuinely handsome one. A simple tale of tragic love that turns into a surreal vision of death, desire, and beauty.

  17. Spirited Away

    Spirited Away

    2001

    IMDB 8.6 (855k)

    #17

    A young girl, Chihiro, becomes trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free her family.

  18. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer

    1981

    IMDB 6.6 (20k)

    #18

    The sorcerer and his apprentice Galen are on a mission to kill an evil dragon to save the King’s daughter from being sacrificed according to a pact that the King himself made with the dragon to protect his kingdom.

  19. Coraline

    Coraline

    2009

    IMDB 7.7 (265k)

    #19

    A young girl discovers an idealized parallel universe behind a secret door in her new home, unaware that it contains a sinister secret.

  20. A Chinese Ghost Story

    #20

    Ning Tsai-Shen, a humble tax collector, arrives in a small town to carry out his work. No one is willing to give him shelter for the night, so he ends up in the haunted Lan Ro temple. There, he meets Taoist Swordsman Yen Che-Hsia, and the beautiful Nieh Hsiao-Tsing, with whom he falls in love.

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