You want to know what are the greatest Russian fantasy films of all time? Are you tired of watching the same old Hollywood movies (time and time again) and you feel like you need something new in your life?
You can’t travel outside your house (or an apartment) because of the lockdowns and social distancing? Your mind is filled with nonsense that you gathered from social media?
Well, then, now it’s the perfect time to join me in the exploration of Russian fantasy movies.
Be honest, you’ve got nothing else going on (unless you are Jeff Bezos, of course).
1. Night Watch
This motion picture is a supernatural thriller, released in 2004. This Russian movie is based upon a 1998 novel written by Sergei Lukyanenko.
It follows the struggle between the forces of Light and Dark, the great war that ensued during medieval times, and the events that unfolded afterward.
Filmed in modern day Moscow, this motion picture is considered to be one of the best in its genre.
Filled with great action sequences and unique and new views on the struggle between the forces of Light and Dark (Day and Night), this highly popular Russian flick, is a must watch for anyone who plans to spend their holidays at home.
IMDB score: 6.4/10
2. Gogol. The Beginning
Gogol. The Beginning is directed by a great Russian director Yegor Baranov. This Russian horror film is based on the works by (possibly) the greatest Russian writer, Nikolai Gogol.
This motion picture, released in 2017, is a part of a series of movies, all centered around the works of Nikolai Gogol.
The main character experiences seizures and strange visions that at a first glance seem to be completely unconnected. The fun part of the story is the unfortunate timing of his visions coinciding with murders that are being committed elsewhere.
IMDB score: 5.8/10.
3. Gogol. Viy
Gogol. Viy, the second part of the trilogy centered around the works of Nikolai Gogol.
Directed by the same director, and with the mostly unchanged cast members, this movie breaks the mold, when it comes to sequels not being as good as the original movie.
A small, Russian village is plagued by a serial killer that in a short period of time manages to kill eleven women. This horror film follows Gogol, as he unravels the mystery of the strange murders.
Gogol. Viy, made around 8 million dollars at the box office.
IMDB score: 5.8/10.
4. Gogol. A Terrible Vengeance
Nikolai Gogol is resurrected and ready to get his revenge. This Russian flick is directed by Yegor Baranov.
The main protagonist, Gogol, is again played by an amazing Russian actor, Alexander Petrov.
If you don’t mind the subtitles, I recommend that you find the time in your busy 2020 schedule, to see the complete trilogy. The story and world is completely unlike anything that we have been accustomed to, while watching Hollywood movies.
IMDB score: 6.0/10.
5. Black Lightning
Black Lightning, released in 2009, follows the journey of a college kid and his flying car (completely insane, I know!). The kid uses the car to become the best flower delivery boy, while also fighting crime, and trying to protect the city he lives in (?).
This science fiction action movie is all about growing up, finding love and your place in this crazy world.
The protagonist, Dima, and his flying car have managed to find their permanent place in modern-day, Russian culture.
IMDB score: 5.7/10.
6. Forbidden Kingdom
The Forbidden Kingdom or Viy (Russian title of the movie), is a dark fantasy directed by Oleg Stepchenko.
The plot follows an 18-century cartographer, Jonathan Green, as he chooses to travel from Western to Eastern Europe.
Adventure and unique views on history and culture are staples of this motion picture.
Viy is considered as one of the highest grossing Russian movies, with earnings of around 39 million dollars, worldwide.
IMDB score: 5.2/10.
7. To Kill A Dragon
Directed by a famous director Mark Zakharov, this is one of those movies that has the ability to transport you through time and space into a completely new reality that somehow still feels familiar.
A distant relative of the now famous, sir Lancelot, also called Lancelot, sets on a journey to liberate the people from a cruel and vicious dragon.
This motion picture is strangely filled with deeper meaning, and is a must see, for everyone!
IMDB score: 8.0/10.
8. Last Year’s Snow Was Falling
Last Year’s Snow Was Falling is a Soviet animated motion picture directed by Alexandr Tatarskiy.
This strange comedy flick is centered around a drunk man with a speech impediment trying to get a Christmas tree. It’s only 20 minutes long, so it won’t take up too much of your time.
Last Year’s Snow Was Falling is a great way to improve your mood during those “stay at home lockdown orders” and holidays.
IMDB score: 8.4/10.
9. Formula of Love
Formula Of Love is a romance motion picture directed by, the above mentioned, Mark Zakharov.
Follows the story of a man who decided to prove that gods don’t have the power over the human race when it comes to finding love.
This flick presents a unique view on social relations, Russian culture, and every aspect of life in general.
IMDB score: 8.1/10.
10. The Last Warrior
A young man called Ivan (he’s from Russia, so you know, not an unusual name) is transported into a fantasy world, where he has to fight creatures from Russian folklore in order to save it.
You will get to meet all the most prominent types of fairytale creatures such as witches, houses that have chicken legs and can walk (YES!), evil princesses, and much more.
This flick was directed by Dmitriy Dyachenko.
IMDB score: 6.5/10.
11. White Tiger
The plot of this title is set during the most turbulent time in human history, World War II. The protagonist of this movie is focused on finding an elusive and invincible German tank, named “White Tiger”.
Imagine having to travel around the Eastern Front in order to chase down a special German tank, that’s killing everybody. Well, now you don’t have to, just consider watching this flick, and you’ll get to experience it, first hand (not really, but you know what i mean).
Yes, the main’s character’s name is Ivan, but unlike every other Ivan that you’ve met, this Ivan, has amnesia.
IMDB score: 6.1/10.
The Bottom Line
We’ve run through some of the best science fiction, war, and/or fantasy movies. Some of them cover dark and gritty themes exploring the depths of the human mind, and some of them are lighthearted and just simply fun.
No matter which title you end up watching (and there are a lot of titles) I am certain that you will enjoy it.
Just make sure to wear your mask in public, be safe, and add English subtitles!