10 Dark Fantasy Movies To Watch Before The Game Releases

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Release scheduled for February 2022, Ring of Elden is the next entry in From softwarethe lineage of legendaryly challenging action RPGs. Technically starting with king’s field on the original PlayStation, but achieving widespread success after the 2011 release of dark soulsthe Japanese studio’s unique collection of dark fantasy adventures has captivated hardcore enthusiasts and casual gamers alike, thanks to their near-impossible-to-reproduce identity.

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While the lore of these games is often too vague to properly translate to film, several silver-screen features, both modern and retro, brought a dark gothic atmosphere and tense adventure to life.

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The Green Knight (2021)


A photo of Gawain, the protagonist of the 2021 dark fantasy film The Green Knight.

An adaptation of the Arthurian legend, The green knight follows Gawain on a quest to, once again, confront the titular creature after beheading him on Christmas Day a year prior.

Set in a grim but fantastical world, The green knight makes impressive use of color, with the film’s striking greens and powerful yellows used in both Ring of Eldenpre-release trailers. Moreover, an unfortunate quest in an unfortunate world, The green knight mirrors the dire circumstances held in nearly every Soulsborne title.

The Black Cauldron (1985)


An image from the 1985 Disney animated film The Black Cauldron.

In the mid-1980s, Disney sought to break the mold of its kid-friendly animated films by incorporating elements of dark fantasy and horror into its animated films. One of the results was The black cauldronan oppressive offering that, while critically acclaimed, bombarded the box office.


Years later, however, it was revived as a cult classic. An epic tale that sees a little boy journey to save his land and become a hero, it borrows a bit from Tolkeinian storytelling and, in the modern age, its eerie atmosphere and diabolical villains may be reminiscent of some of the two. dark souls and Ring of Elden.

The Witch (2016)


A still from the 2016 horror film The Witch.

A folk tale adapted for the big screen, Rober Egger’s The witch-stylized as The Vitch– was a disturbing epic that combined true-to-the-era dialogue and setting with subtle elements of witchcraft and Satanism. Although it has a much smaller range than Ring of Eldenelements of a more traditional medieval world pushed into realms of inexplicable horror prevail in both works.


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Ring of Elden may focus much more on magical duels and horseback combat, but, much like A24’s now-iconic horror flick, The witchit seems to be mostly fearless gifts fighting against powerful occult forces that they can’t fully comprehend.

Army of Darkness (1992)


Bad Ash with his burnt skin in Army of Darkness

While the first two episodes of Sam Raimi diabolical death trilogy are basic horror-comedy movies, bearing absolutely no resemblance to FromSoftware’s fantasy epics, army of darknessthe third entry in the series, transports badass protagonist Ash Williams to the Dark Ages, where he must, once again, pursue the Necronomicon.


Easily the weirdest of the already weird series, army of darkness is more of a comedy movie than anything else. Yet the medieval elements mixed with extravagant fantasy recall aspects of Elden ringeven though the two look totally different.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)


A creature from the 2006 dark fantasy film Pan's Labyrinth.

Perhaps the most recognized work by horror author Guillermo del Toro, 2006 Pan’s Labyrinth is an odd mix of war drama and high fantasy. Following a little girl who escapes into a strange realm of illusions as the horrors of the Spanish Civil War unfold around her, Pan’s Labyrinth asks viewers to think about both what they see and what they wanted to see before entering the room.


While the correlations between the fantastic worlds of Pan’s Labyrinth and Ring of Elden are obvious, they are likely to share similar narrative elements. FromSoftware’s works often feature convoluted and intricate storylines that players are advised to ignore outright or analyze on their own, and it’s a tactic used – to some extent – in Pan’s Labyrinthalso.

The Headhunter (2018)


A still from the 2018 film The Head Hunter.

Set in the Dark Ages, The headhunter sees a lone warrior making a living by slaying vile creatures and claiming their bounties. He is badly injured almost every time, but he heals himself with a miraculous elixir he concocts from the viscera of monsters.

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Striking resemblance to the new God of the war Payment, The headhunter could also be compared to both dark souls and Ring of Elden. With its focus on hand-to-hand combat, vials filled with a healing agent, and gruesome monsters, the film certainly seems to take a page from Hidetaka Miyazaki’s work.

Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)


An image from the 2012 fantasy film Snow White and the Huntsman.

A 2012 adaptation of the classic folk tale, Snow White and the Hunter is a dark take on the traditionally kid-friendly lore surrounding the titular character. With twisted villains, a Dark Age aesthetic, and plenty of fantastical elements, it’s as if the story of Snow White was combined with something like game of thrones.


Scenographies reminiscent Demon’s Souls‘ Boletaria to a villainess with similarities to dark souls 3‘s Aldrich, the connections between the film and FromSoftware’s games aren’t hard to draw. Of course, the fantastic universe of the film could easily be compared to Ring of Eldenalso.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001 – 2003)


A promotional image for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Flagship adaptation of Tolkein’s high fantasy anthology, Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings the films are heralded as some of the best page-to-film translations of all time. Presenting an epic journey that spans multiple imaginative territories and deals with all sorts of basic fantasy creatures, every sword and sorcery fantasy tale owes something to these stories.

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A collaboration with A song of ice and fire series writer, George RR Martin, Ring of Elden will no doubt borrow from many tropes established in Tolkien’s oeuvre, and its massive open world will likely be compared to the grand, awe-inspiring landscapes seen in the Lord of the Rings movies.

Berserk – The Golden Age arc series (2012 – 2013)


An image from the Berserk animated film trilogy.

Telling the story of a rogue warrior embarking on a great quest, the Berserk The manga series and its 1997 anime adaptation had a huge influence on FromSoftware during the development of the dark souls Games. Many narrative elements, character designs, and game mechanics were derived from events depicted in the manga, and the dark souls the games could be interpreted as spiritual adaptations of the Berserk story.

Ring of Elden may not borrow so blatantly from Berserkbut the influence of the manga will likely be felt in one form or another, and dedicated FromSoftware fans are in for a treat not only of the early 2010s anime trilogy, but the rest of the series as well.

Princess Mononoke (1997)


San sits on top of the Moro wolf in Princess Mononoke

One of Studio Ghibli’s grizzliest releases, 1997 Princess Mononoke marries a beautifully rendered, larger-than-life world of high fantasy with allegories for modern-day issues. The influence of the film could mainly be felt when FromSoftware releases in 2019 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twicebut elements of the film may very well arise in Ring of Eldenalso.


The vast, lush landscapes seen in Princess Mononoke are set to be a core feature of FromSoftware’s next title, and themes of humanity overstepping its bounds and meddling with the natural order of the world are key elements of the developer’s narrative structures.

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