16 Terrific Chinese Fantasy Movies

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Travel around the world to magical lands with the best Chinese fantasy movies to watch right now.

If you enjoy films set in Asia, you won’t want to miss this Chinese fantasy movies list filled with time travel romances, historical drama, and adventure and action-packed films.

Witness terrific martial arts scenes, and watch as a daughter tries to bring joy to her mother upon her tragic passing.

Run into, meet, and battle mermaids, vampires, demons, dragons, and monsters. Fall in love, and protect the ones you cherish.

Plus, we are even sharing a few animated Chinese fantasy films. Some of these movies promise cheesy fun too.

Be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments. Let’s get started!

Find even more great movies from, about, and set in Asia.

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Travel to magical lands with these Chinese fantasy movies.

Find more fantasy Chinese movies and books here:

  • Express VPN – Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allows you to view movies worldwide – and they help keep your information safe. Our writers couldn’t have such diverse film reviews without a VPN.
  • Amazon Prime Video – Stream thousands of ad-free movies and TV series on demand with Prime Video.
  • Audible Plus: From Amazon, listen to Amazon Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks. They add new titles every week.

16 Best Chinese Fantasy Movies To Watch

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Movie Poster with images of people in line and some wielding weapons

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

During the time of the Qing dynasty, legendary warrior and swordsman Li Mu Bai decides he has killed enough men and retirees.

As a parting gift, he leaves his renowned sword – the Green Destiny – to a local governor. But during the night, the sword is stolen by an unknown assailant with formidable fighting skills.

On the trail of the mysterious thief is Yu Shu Lien, herself a great warrior, who feels responsible for the loss of the Green Destiny.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is so successful that it not only became one of the most beloved Chinese fantasy films in its native China but also in the western world.

With its combination of breathtaking fight choreography, dazzling visuals, and not one, but two compelling love stories, this epic is hands down one of the best Chinese fantasy movies ever made.

Enjoy more iconic Chinese movies.

House of Flying Daggers movie poster with three people in field with red and purple sky

House of Flying Daggers (2004)

859 AD: as the Tang dynasty declines, the rebel group known as the House of Flying Daggers continues to defy the government, robbing the rich and giving to the poor.

To do so they utilize their considerable martial arts skills, as well as their trademark throwing daggers, which never miss their targets.

Officers Leo and Jin are dispatched with orders to bring down the House of Flying Daggers.

To do this, they decide to recruit the services of blind dancer Mei, who is rumored to have connections with the gang.

They break her out of prison in a staged rescue, but things quickly get out of hand when new information comes to light.

Coming off the heels of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, many saw House of Flying Daggers as a sequel.

However, these Chinese magical movies are set over a thousand years apart and tell the story of very different martial characters.

While not as successful as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers still earns its place among the most stylized and visually impressive Chinese fantasy movies.

Painted Skin film poster with group of six people in v formation with person in front holding a sword over foggy mountains

Painted Skin (2008)

As the land settles into the Han dynasty over two thousand years ago, General Wang Sheng leads his men on an attack into a Xiongnu camp in the desert.

During this assault, he discovers a young maiden named Xiaowei and rescues her from the camp.

Unbeknownst to the general, however, Xiaowei is a fox spirit and maintains her youthful appearance by stealing the skin and hearts of humans to wear and devour respectively.

She falls in love with Wang Sheng, but there are a couple of problems; one, he already has a wife, and two, Xiaowei is not the only supernatural being in the mix…

Part action movie, part horror, part comedy, and part soap opera, Painted Skin is one of the Chinese fantasy movies that has something for everyone.

If you like a juicy drama with a fantastical twist, you’ll enjoy both (yes, both!) of the love triangles the main characters need to work through.

Red Cliff Film Poster with image of people prepared for battle on line of horses carrying red flags

Red Cliff (2008)

Set during a turbulent time in Chinese history, Red Cliff follows the efforts of a greatly outnumbered army as they try to fight off a seemingly unstoppable force.

Chancellor Cao Cao has been given the go-ahead by the Emperor to try and unite all of China under one rule.

To do this, he has gathered an army of such size that no one should be able to stand in its way.

However, the main obstacles of his military campaign come in the form of Liu Bei and Sun Quan – two “warlords” from the south.

After being persuaded that the best chance of survival lies in fighting together, the two generals marshal their forces at Red Cliff, a strongly defensible coastal position, surrounded by mountains.

There, they wait to fight the most epic battle of their lives.

Directed by legendary action master John Woo, Red Cliff is one of the longest Chinese fantasy films on this list, with the unabridged version clocking in at almost 5 hours.

But none of that time is wasted; every frame of this war epic holds beauty or action – or both!

The Yinyang Master Movie Poster with Chinese writing in gold on red and black background

The Yinyang Master (2021)

When an imperial tribute is stolen, the person responsible for guarding it – Captain of the Guard Yuan Boya – is stripped of his rank.

Determined to recover it, he strikes out after the thieves but gets more than he bargained for when he enters the realm of demons.

On his journey, he encounters the Yinyang Master known as Qing Ming.

Qing Ming is working to uncover a conspiracy that would see the realm of humans destroyed and the Demon King returned from the dead.

Together, the two take on the hordes of darkness in epic battles across reality.

There aren’t many Chinese fantasy movies that are based on mobile game apps, but The Yinyang Master is one of them.

This means there is a plethora of creative visuals to draw upon as well as plenty of action to keep you engaged all the way to the epic finale.

Hi Mom Movie Poster with image of older person with arms wrapped around back of younger person in photograph like frame

Hi, Mom (2021)

Not all fantasy Chinese movies are based on times of historic legend.

This lighthearted slice of magical realism begins in the modern-day but then skips back in time twenty years.

After her mother passes away following injuries sustained in a car crash, Jia Xiaoling is understandably heartbroken.

As she wallows in grief, she finds herself wishing that she could somehow have made her mother’s seemingly lonely and unhappy life more joyful.

In answer to this small prayer, the hospital corridor begins to fill with bright light, and Jia Xiaoling finds herself brought back in time twenty years, to 1981.

Now she can befriend her mother and make sure that she definitely has more fun.

This amazingly successful magical comedy is one of the best Chinese fantasy movies for when you want a smile put on your face.

Mr. Vampire Film Poster with illustrated images of different people

Mr. Vampire (1985)

Even Chinese fantasy films are not without their vampires, but Mr. Vampire is probably unlike any vampire movie you’ve seen before.

Our main protagonist is Master Kau, a Taoist monk who works to control the level of malevolent powers in early 20th-century China.

One day, he accepts a job from a wealthy businessman to move his father’s body from one cemetery to another, a more auspicious resting place.

However, when exhumed, Master Kau notices that the body has not decayed as much as it should have. He realizes that this man is a vampire!

Before long, the deceased old man is up and hopping around (literally), and it’s up to Master Kau and his two clumsy assistants to stop the spread of vampirism.

This seminal 80s classic started a new wave of Chinese horror cinema upon its release and spawned numerous sequels.

If you love movies with vampires, try these vampire books!

Hero Movie Poster with image of people in a view and person out front wielding a sword

Hero (2002)

Anyone looking for the best Chinese fantasy movies with one-on-one fight scenes should not miss out on Hero.

In ancient China, the king of Qin decrees that no one is allowed to be within 100 paces of him.

This is because he has narrowly survived many attempts on his life, notably from three particularly deadly assassins: Long Sky, Flying Snow, and Broken Sword.

However, one day a mysterious warrior – known only as Nameless – arrives and informs the king that he has killed all three of the assassins.

Because he has accomplished this feat – and proved it by showing the king the signature weapons of the assassins – Nameless is allowed to approach up to 10 feet away and tell the king how he did it.

Through his words, we follow Nameless as he recounts his interactions with the rebel fighting masters.

Each part of Nameless’ story is color-coded to the warrior he fights, lending Hero a very stylized and distinctive look.

Chinese fantasy movies about single combat are rarely this emotional and thought-provoking.

How Long Will I Love U Movie Poster with two people leaning on each other back to back

How Long Will I Love U (2018)

Grab some popcorn and settle down with this gem, one of the most charming Chinese fantasy movies in recent years!

One morning, the down-on-his-luck Lu Ming and the frustrated Gu Xiaojiao wake up face to face in bed, albeit upside down.

After the initial shock, they find out that a wall separating their apartments has disappeared, because of a fracture in the space/time continuum.

They also learn that they are from different time periods; Gu Xiaojiao lives in 2018 but Lu Ming lives in 1999.

Depending on who opens their apartment door, they’ll walk out into that person’s year.

This could mean that they can change things for the better. And, maybe they’ll develop some feelings for each other along the way…?

With great chemistry between the two leads, this puts a new spin on the time travel love story trope and makes for one of the most enjoyable fantasy Chinese movies.

Legend of the Demon Cat Film Poster with image of golden temple in middle and people around it

Legend of the Demon Cat (2017)

For reasons unknown, the Emperor has become sick.

Many believe it is because of a curse, especially because his illness is accompanied by the strange wailings of an unseen cat.

In order to find out exactly what’s happening, Japanese Buddhist monk Kukai and poet Bai Letian must form an unlikely partnership and work together to solve the mystery.

But can a poet and a monk break the curse of the almighty demon cat?

Despite its potentially silly premise, Legend of the Demon Cat is actually a supernatural retelling of a famous Chinese historical event.

But there’s no need to think that hard about it.

Do you like Chinese fantasy films? Do you like cats? If the answers are “Yes” and “Doesn’t everyone?” then jump in and enjoy!

Monster Hunt movie poster with image of group of people with gray colored beasts and monsters behind them with wings

Monster Hunt (2015)

In times past, humans and Monsters lived in harmony, until the humans sought dominion over everything and drove the Monsters out of their lands.

Now, the Monster King has been usurped, and the Monster Queen sends her child off to the human realm for protection.

Receiving the young Monster offspring is Song Tianyin, a village mayor alarmed to find himself now pregnant with the heir to the Monster Kingdom.

Along with the help of aspiring Monster hunter Huo Xiaolan, he must protect the child during a perilous journey where danger can come from both Monsters and humans.

At times dazzling, baffling, cutesy, and comedic, this part-animated, part-live-action adventure is one of the best Chinese fantasy movies for families with young kids.

Watch even more fantasy films that are animated.

The Iceman Cometh Film Poster with image of person jumping from a blast with a sword and woman in bubble

The Iceman Cometh (1989)

Ming guard Fong Sau-ching has been relentlessly tracking the notorious murderer and sex criminal Feng San throughout 16th-century China.

But when Feng San acquires a mystical artifact that can transport people through time, he and Fong find themselves thrown 300 years into the future.

Now in modern-day Hong Kong, the chase between guard and criminal ensues, while they both have to adjust to their new modern surroundings.

Unfortunately for The Iceman Cometh, “modern-day Hong Kong” doesn’t look so modern considering this film was made in 1989.

However, the dated special effects only add to the charm, and absolutely nothing can take away from the martial arts prowess of the two leads, especially the legendary Yuen Biao.

Like many great Chinese fantasy movies filmed in Hong Kong, the stunts are all performed in-camera by the actual actors, making for some truly jaw-dropping set pieces.

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Kung Fu Hustle Film Poster with person wearing white top and black slacks with leg kicked up in air and axes and people flying backward all around them

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

The phrase “from the sublime to the ridiculous” doesn’t apply to many Chinese fantasy movies, but it sums up Kung Fu Hustle pretty well.

Set in 1940s China, we follow the trials and tribulations of young wannabe gangsters Sing and Bone as they try to become members of the notorious Axe Gang, who have been terrorizing Shanghai.

Despite acting tough, these two petty crooks end up caught in the thick of things when the Axe Gang comes up against the stubborn and supernaturally accomplished residents of a slum.

It turns out that these folks are the greatest martial artists in the world; perhaps defeating them will ensure Sing and Bone get membership in the Axe Gang?

The action and comedy scenes in writer/director/star Stephen Chow’s love letter to slapstick are essentially like watching a cartoon happen in real life.

Kung Fu Hustle holds a unique place among fantasy Chinese movies.

Mermaid Film Poster with mermaid with giant mermaid tail causing a tidal wave of water

The Mermaid (2016)

In another lifetime, humans and mermaids could have learned to coexist.

Unfortunately, humans have developed technology so far that they have begun to destroy the natural world… and the mermaids believe that they must be stopped.

One particular human offender is Liu Xian, a real estate developer determined to reclaim land for his latest project.

The young mermaid Shan is sent to assassinate Liu Xian before his project can begin, but something unexpected happens: she falls in love with him!

The Mermaid is one of the most over-the-top Chinese fantasy films on this list.

The drama is turned up to eleven, the special effects are turned up to eleven, and the performances are also turned up to eleven (and a half). Don’t think; just enjoy.

If you like movies with mermaids, try these fun mermaid books.

Rigor Mortis Movie Poster with image of colorless face with button like objects over nose and mouth

Rigor Mortis (2013)

Following the departure of his wife and son, actor Chin Siu-ho is despondent. He moves into a public housing tenement, and not too long after, he tries to kill himself.

But then something unexpected happens: as he hangs from the ceiling, the ghosts of two twin girls enter the room and try to possess his body.

Before they can successfully do so, however, they are driven away by the sudden arrival of Yau, one of Chin’s new neighbors.

He explains to Chin that he and his family are from a long line of vampire hunters and that there are plenty of supernatural powers at work in the apartment complex.

Not long after, the application of some dark magic causes the creatures of the building to run amok, and it’s now a game of survival for anyone living there.

This is one of the most meta Chinese fantasy movies on this list, with the real Chin Siu-ho – star of real-life previous vampire film Mr. Vampire – playing a version of himself.

Jiang Ziya Film Poster with image dragons fighting in magical pink and blue world

Jiang Ziya (2020)

War is raging across the three realms, caused by the downfall of the Shang dynasty.

After much fighting, the Fox Spirit responsible is caught and sentenced to be executed by Jiang Ziya, a mortal warrior who gained much renown during the war.

However, during the execution, Jiang Ziya sees an innocent girl linked to the Fox Spirit and that killing it would end her life as well.

Unable to go through with the task, Jiang Ziya is banished, powerless, to the North Sea. There, he vows to return to the heavens and take his place as a god.

Like many animated Chinese fantasy films, there are some beautiful visuals on display here, as well as some epic moments and heightened mythological drama.

With fast-paced kung fu fighting and a cute animal sidekick, this is one of the best Chinese fantasy movies for families with older pre-teens.

Where to learn more about and watch these movies:

Amazon Prime Video | Netflix | IMDb | Hulu | Max

Save These Chinese Fantasy Films For Later:

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Did you find a new Chinese fantasy film to watch? Save this list for later, and travel around the world with The Uncorked Librarian.

Grab the best Chinese fantasy movies and books here:

  • Express VPN – Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) allows you to view movies worldwide – and they help keep your information safe. Our writers couldn’t have such diverse film reviews without a VPN.
  • Amazon Prime Video – Stream thousands of ad-free movies and TV series on demand with Prime Video.
  • Audible Plus: From Amazon, listen to Amazon Originals, podcasts, and audiobooks. They add new titles every week.

What fantasy Chinese movies do you love?

Do you have a favorite Chinese fantasy movie? We are always adding to our “to-be-watched” list. Let us know in the comments.

And, you might also like these fantasy movies from, about, and set in Japan.

You May Also Enjoy:

Japanese Movies
Korean Movies

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Jeremy Paterson

Jeremy (pronouns: any) is an autistic writer, hobbyist, and movie buff, as long as that movie is Labyrinth. Since leaving the corporate world behind in 2018, he has read more books than he thought possible. True to his British upbringing, his first instinct in any given situation is to put the kettle on.

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