10 Must-Watch Fantasy Movies For People Who Don't Like Fantasy

Settle down, and let your imagination take hold.

birdman michael keaton
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Fantasy can be a tough pill to swallow;

For many audience members watching a film, being asked to step out of reality and explore concepts that go beyond contemporary understanding can be a big ask. While fantasy has gone through many leaps and bounds and explored multiple sub-genres, the idea is still resolute and if it doesn't gel with an audience member, they can lack the same investment other people watching the film might feel.

As an example, the Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings films are not just fantasy-oriented, but take place within established worlds that require audiences to set aside their present knowledge of reality.

That isn't to say some films are just unfathomable for film some viewers - but I'm sure we've all been in a situation where we've eagerly waited for a loved one's reaction to a beloved sci-fi, horror, mystical movie, only for them to shrug and say "it wasn't for them".

It's in the execution of a film - the pacing and the presentation of a film's premise and world-building is what draws audiences in. If you're not a big fan of fantasy, getting elbow deep in Star Wars or Chronicles of Narnia isn't the way to go. Instead, you need to be eased into the genres. And I know just the right ten films to do that with.

10. Last Action Hero

birdman michael keaton
Columbia Pictures

From the poster (or in this day and age, streaming service thumbnail), eyes might immediately roll at the thought of Arnold Schwarzenegger swinging around with a gun in one hand, a sidekick in the other and a ball of fire behind him.

But if you find you're the kind of person who loves film, but cannot get their head around fantasy or action, Last Action Hero is a film for you because it actively unfolds the genre and weaves the mechanisms into the plot.

As perhaps one of the best meta takes on action films, the movie is book-ended by real-life grim realities, seen through the eyes of teenage movie buff Danny Madigan. When he is literally sucked into the catastrophic, chaotic and cartoonish world of his favourite movie franchise, the cliches and tropes of cinema come to life before Danny's very eyes as he partners up with a caricatured take on Arnold Schwarzenegger's early career.

The movie takes fantasy-haters by the hand and guides them through the wonderland of hyper-unrealistic Hollywood of the 80's and 90's, and presents a reassuring wink that movies know they are being silly at times.

Again, the fantasy element of a magic movie ticket is but a plot device in a well paced and very well written (thanks to Shane Black) film about action movies.


I overthink a lot of things. Will talk about pretty much anything for a great length of time. I'm obsessed with General Slocum from the 2002 Spider-Man film. I have questions that were never answered in that entire trilogy!