The fantasy genre is more than fairy tales and ghost stories. It’s how we share cultural heritage — bringing the myths and legends of the past, along with modern beliefs, to life in a new way. Netflix is embracing this storytelling with an array of international fantasy shows and we’ve got a few to recommend.
Arthdal Chronicles (South Korea)
Arthdal Chronicles is a series that takes place in the fictional world of Arthdal. The technologically superior Saram tribe set out to rule the world, and a chosen one — the last of his people — may be the only thing that can stand in their way. It gives off some Game of Thrones vibes but since it takes inspiration from the late Stone Age instead of the Medieval period, Arthdal Chronicles stands out.
Luna Nera (Italy)
Luna Nera is a beautiful series about witches trying to escape persecution during the Italian witch hunts of the 17th century. Written and directed entirely by women (a first in Italy), Luna Nera is a sympathetic look at midwives, herbalists, and, yes, actual witches fighting for what they believe in — even as bigotry, and the rise of modern medical science, seek to destroy their way of life.
Think of Diablero as Mexican Constantine. This horror-comedy centres around a group of demon hunters, called Diablero. They’re trying to find the daughter of a Catholic priest, who’s been kidnapped by demons. Diablero can be strange and silly, and the lead demon hunter (nicknamed “Elvis”) is kinda ridiculous at times, but it’s also really fun to watch. Just be forgiving of the demon CGI.
Green Frontier/Frontera Verde (Columbia)
Green Frontier takes us deep into the Amazon, as a detective and her partner investigate a series of murders that are connected to the jungle’s magical properties. And Nazis. Created by Diego Ramírez Schrempp, Mauricio Leiva-Cock, and Jenny Ceballos, this show strives to accurately portray the Amazon’s many indigenous populations, along with how modern society is destroying their homes and cultures. It’s a very beautiful show but also a slow one, so it requires some patience.
The Ghost Bride (Malaysia/Taiwan)
A woman marries a ghost so she can solve his murder. That…might be the greatest show idea of all time. This 19th century period piece, based on the bestselling book of the same name, tells the story of Li-lan, who agrees to marry the “ghost son” of a prominent family. The son, now in purgatory, thinks he was murdered by someone close to him — so Li-lan promises to help him get revenge. It’s full of twists and turns, and even some slapstick comedy — making it the kind of fantasy that gives us life.