Chinese cinematography has come a long way since the 2000s and is proving that it’s a rightful contender in the worldwide film industry. The storyline and the visual effects as well as the acting quality have been improving for some time now. Chinese filmmakers produce films of various genres but their fantasy movies have been very successful in capturing the audience’s imagination through the use of CGI effects. With all that said let’s get into the list, here’s our recommendation for the 20 best Chinese fantasy movies you need to watch!
League of Gods (2016)
We are going to start off this list with a 2016 fantasy film League of Gods. This is a movie adaptation of a 16th-century Chinese novel called The Investiture of the Gods. The story is set in ancient China and the ruler of the land is king Zhou. His evil tendencies grow over time because of his consort Daji who is pulling all the strings behind the scenes. Will someone be able to stop king Zhou in time and defeat the Black Dragon, watch the movie to find out.
L.O.R.D. : Legend of Ravaging Dynasties (2016)
Next on the list, we recommend you watch is an animated fantasy adventure, Legend of Ravaging Dynasties. The film follows a world in which there are seven rulers, each having their own dominion. To stop the threat of worldwide war started by one of the rulers, the other six have to unite against him. Joining the fight is a young boy named Qi Ling who discovered that he has powerful abilities. Because of this, Qi Ling must team up with Yi Chen to further bring out his abilities and try to save the world.
The Storm Warriors (2009)
The Storm Warriors is a fantasy film that serves as a sequel to the movie Storm Riders. The movie starts off with many different martial arts experts being imprisoned by Lord Godless. The reason for this capture was so Lord Godless can officially declare his sole rulership in the country. Thanks to a distraction that happens sometime after the imprisonment, two martial arts experts, Cloud and Nameless manage to escape. Now the two have to find a way to save China from Lord Godless’s grip.
The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity (2020)
The movie is set in Imperial City and an evil serpent is wreaking havoc all around it. Qingming, also known as the Yin-Yang master vows that he will end the serpent’s reign of terror over the city. The serpent is hiding in a human shell but there’s suspicion of who it might be. In a city where humans and demons live together but the demons are looked down on, it is on the Yin-Yang master to try and save everyone from the evil that’s creating unrest.
Jiang Ziya (2020)
Just like League of Gods, this animated movie is based on the hundred-chapter Chinese classic, The Investiture of Gods. Jiang Ziya follows a story about a world with three realms, one of the gods, demons, and humans. Jiang Ziya, a human, was sent to capture a Nine-Tailed Fox demon. This was the first time a mortal being was sent to the Stairway of Heaven. He succeeded in his mission, he captured the demon fox but before killing it, the fox told him that it was linked to a human girl and if he kills it the girl dies as well. Ziya couldn’t bring himself to do it and because of this, he was banished. Watch the movie to see what happens next.
A Writers Odyssey (2021)
In this movie, we follow a father, Guan Ning, who lost his only daughter six years ago. Someone kidnapped her, and because of that, he sacrificed his career and love life so he could maybe find her someday. Two characters enter the story, Tu Ling and Li Mu, they call upon the father to kill a man named Kongwen. They said to him that there is a chance that he will see his daughter, Tangerine if he does this for them. In his desperation, he accepts the offer. Will he succeed in his plan and will he bring his daughter back home?
New Gods: Nezra Reborn (2021)
Three thousand years ago Gods tried to settle the differences between them and the mortals by arranging a hierarchy. This helped stop the fighting for a while, leaving the world in an uncertain balance. Although, certain gods were always on the lookout for how to disturb this peace. We follow a young man named Li Yunxiang, who is an ordinary delivery boy but soon he becomes very important. How does he fit into the story and what will he find out about himself?
The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (2017)
This 2017 action-fantasy film follows a new detective called Dao Yichang. He starts working at the Kaifeng City police station, and his first assignment is to look for different wanted criminals. However, his colleagues take a dislike to him and decide to send him off on a blind search, giving him fake „Wanted“ posters. On his search, he encounters a Dragonfly who is able to change its face and the two get caught up in a fight where they try and stop an alien creature. What will Yichang’s colleagues think of this incident, how will it all unfold?
Zu Warriors: The Legend of Zu (2001)
The story is set high in the Chinese Zu Mountain range. This mountain is home to immortal martial arts clans but they also attract demons. There were many powerful demons who tried to annihilate the martial arts clans. It didn’t seem possible for a long time but now a really powerful demon is targeting the Omei clan. To save the world the Omei clan and Zu warriors have to join forces.
Time Raiders (2016)
Time Raiders tells the tale of an antique shop owner whose family has a history of tomb raiding. We switch over to an uninspired writer who is trying to find something that will help him write his next novel. Right before leaving for his next adventure, the antique shop owner tells the writer about his family and how they have been traveling in search of ancient tombs. The writer then decides to join him on this journey to an ancient city.
Double World (2020)
This film is an adaptation of a popular online video game. It is set in ancient times of China where there are two regions at war. The Northern Yan and the Southern Zhao, after the attempted assassination of the Southern King decide to hold a contest. Invoking an old rule that the competition for a new grand field martial must be held in order to help the region restore its former glory. Following this announcement, eight clans now have to send one representative to these fighting competitions.
The contenders will compete in these gladiatorial contests in Phoenix City. Hearing this news, a brave young man from small village volunteers to represent a part of the region. Even though the village is not sure whether they should send him instead of a clan member, he shows great bravery and promise as a contestant.
White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom (2014)
In this movie, we follow Jade Raksha, a witch-like woman who is accused of murder and quickly becomes a wanted fugitive. Around the same time, Zhuo Yihang is framed for murder and the two fugitives cross paths. Realizing what they have in common they instantly create a bond. But what happens when one of the fugitives is proven to have committed the crime they have been accused of? Will this change how they feel about each other?
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010)
We are going back all the way to Tang Dynasty where we are following a case investigated by Detective Dee. Similarly to Sherlock Holmes, he uses his observational skills to understand his cases. Wu Zetian, an empress of this era is set to become the first woman to ascend the Imperial Throne. While everyone is preparing for the coronation day, a Buddha statue is being built at the same time. It’s intended to be finished before her initiation. In the final stage of building one of the designers spontaneously combusts. This threat leads to the investigation and the involvement of Detective Dee.
The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang (2019)
If you are a fan of Jackie Chan you will enjoy this recommendation, The Knight of Shadows. The story starts off with the realm between demons and humans being blurred. The barrier protecting the humans from demons has fallen and the demons have started pouring in. Demon hunter, Songling was called to investigate why the barrier had fallen and to capture the escaping demons.
Demon King gifts Songling his magical brush which will help him on his mission. On his journey, he meets a lot of friendly demons who are even willing to help. While he is working on his main mission, he stumbles across a case series of missing teenage village girls. This intrigues him and he decides to pursue the case further with the assistance of a police detective called Fei.
Jade Dynasty (2019)
Once again the story is set in ancient China, where an entire village was killed by a mysterious Demon King. Zhang Xiaofan’s parents were killed in the massacre and sometime after that tragedy, he was adopted. Since he was a child he has been learning martial arts but with little progress. Nevertheless, he applies to a local martial arts tournament, organized by its local martial arts clan.
No one really expects he will place high in the tournament but a mysterious pearl given to him by an old master, ten years ago, touches his blood. Immediately after that it turns into a powerful weapon, the Fire Stick, it starts to follow him everywhere and it never loses a fight when used. The Demon King is made aware of this weapon and he decides to send someone after it.
Turandot: The Curse of Turandot (2021)
Believe it or not but this movie is starring Dylan Sprouse. Yes, you have read this correctly and what’s even more impressive is that he learned Mandarin for this role. The story is set somewhere in Central Asia, it follows the young princess Turandot. Her Father after the death of her mother became angry and decided to take a small region under his rule.
After his attack on Malvia, the youngest son of the King of Malvia cursed his daughter with a magical bracelet. This curse would go on until she’s eighteen years old unless she meets her true suitor and he releases her from it. If that doesn’t happen she will slowly lose her humanity and descent into madness. The curse can be prevented only if the suitor knows how to solve three riddles correctly.
Super Me (2019)
This action-adventure fantasy film follows the main character Sang Yu whose life has been getting increasingly difficult. He lost his job and eventually a place to sleep. He often wakes up from horrific dreams in which a demon hunts him, but one day he wakes up to find that he can actually bring objects from his dreams. Soon enough he finds out that he can bring over antiques into the human world, and slowly starts to get rich off of this. Since he is a screenwriter his dreams are fueled by his ideas but slowly starts to enter the real world and this will have consequences.
Genghis Kan (2018)
Set in the twelfth century, we follow a young Mongol boy and a girl from a neighboring tribe fall in love. All of this is interrupted by the death of the young boy’s father who was killed in battle. The evil warlord Kuchuru, who killed the boy’s father, is resurrected by his lover Dodai. This did not come without a price, Dodai is held hostage by the King of Hell, and Kuchuru is left to do his bidding. Soon after that, it was said that there was going to be an alignment of planets that are placed perfectly for an attack on Mongolia. Many years pass and the world is looking to find its Mongol hero who will save them from this attack.
Dragon Blade (2015)
We’re nearing the end of this list, and so this one is set during the Han Dynasty. The story follows Huo An who lost his parents when he was young. Huo was adopted by a general and from then on he was brought up to believe in some core morals, the importance of peace and bravery. Eventually, he became the leader of the protection squad.
This protection squad gets falsely framed on the charges of smuggling and soon after gets sent to the Wild Gees Gate where they have to work until the end of their sentence. With this, new people started to move to different positions of power and the protection of the young prince of the country failed. In the last minute, he was saved by his protector but this meant that the protection squad was needed once more.
This last movie on our list follows an interesting story about a young scholar Zhu and his servant. They are on their way to an exam when someone tries to attack and rob them. After thinking they wouldn’t get out of the altercation alive, they found themselves in a completely new world. It was as if they teleported to a different planet. This was the Taoist temple, and as they explored further they saw a beautiful woman in a portrait.
This woman left the mural and materialized in front of them. Zhu understood that it was the beautiful woman who saved them earlier. What they didn’t know was that this was forbidden and because of it the queen of the world took the beautiful woman from the mural away. From that moment Zhu swore that he would find her and free her.