Netflix has brought major blockbusters in the world of fantasy and science fiction into the homes of millions of subscribers, while also giving audiences unique programming like The OA, Sense8, and Hemlock Grove.
The streaming service often promotes its own content first, wanting to give viewers easy access to the most talked about shows and films. Once you burn through some of their heavily promoted programs, however, there's still plenty of things to check out, thanks to the streaming service obtaining the rights to independent and foreign films.
Whether your tastes lean towards time travel, dystopias, or mythology, there are lots that Netflix has to offer once you start digging around.
Scroll down to see some of the best sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV shows that Netflix has to offer that you might not have heard of!
Photo Credit: EMA Films/Timpson Films
The Similars (2015)
Playing like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone, The Similars focuses on a group of eight characters who are stuck in a bus station waiting for a bus that may never arrive on a dark and stormy night.
Once the characters realize just how stranded they are, a series of mysterious events begins to unfold that shows them that a bus arriving late to the station is the least of their worries.
From the somewhat hokey plot and exaggerated dialogue, The Similars makes no attempt to hide its '50s and '60s sci-fi influences, even with the film being shot in a sepia tone. Every time the audience begins to think they've figured out what's going on, the film throws you another curveball, making you wonder what really happened to these strangers at a bus station in 1988.prevnext
Scandanavian countries carry with them a long legacy of myths and legends, something the filmmakers behind Trollhunter take advantage of to wonderful effect.
Combining equal parts fantasy, horror, and comedy, the film takes a mockumentary format to show a film crew trying to investigate a man who supposedly locates and destroys massive trolls that are wreaking havoc throughout Norway.
In addition to having to kill and/or capture the massive beasts, the titular Trollhunter must also help concoct various fabricated stories to help explain to the public the various casualties caused by the trolls, ranging from bears to humans themselves.
The whole film leads to an epic climax and interesting reveal about the true source of these mythical beings.prevnext
Turbo Kid (2015)
If you ever wondered what it would look like if a group of kids got together to make their own version of a post-apocalyptic film in the vein of Mad Max: Fury Road, Turbo Kid is your answer.
In the not too distant future, a.k.a. 1997, a young teen, who goes by "The Kid," roams the Wasteland on his BMX bike looking for any resources he can sell. When The Kid comes across another loner, named "Apple," the two form a partnership to steer clear of the ruler of the Wasteland, named "Zeus."
Turbo Kid is silly, stylish, and incredibly gory, spilling buckets and buckets of blood in its cartoonish hyper-violence that will make you grin with delight.
[H/T Epic Pictures Group]prevnext
Before filmmaker Gareth Edwards was helming big budget blockbusters like Godzilla and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he made his debut with the much more intimate and personal Monsters.
In an alternate reality, most of Mexico has been classified as a demilitarized zone due to the discovery of massive, terrifying monsters. A young woman in South America is desperate to get back to the United States, forcing her to hire a guide to escort her through the terrifying region. While surrounded by monsters, the duo learn what it truly means to be human.
The film might be called "Monsters," but you'll soon realize that they aren't the most important parts of the story, as Edwards uses the far-fetched situations to show how characters react when they're outside of their element, showing early on why he made a great choice to helm bigger budget sci-fi and fantasy flicks.prevnext
Initially conceived from a 2009 pilot episode, 3% is the first Netflix original series made in Brazil.
In the not-too-distant future, the societies of the world have divided, with one side thriving in progress and affluence while the other side lives in poverty and devastation. Members of the worse-off areas of the world are given the chance to relocate to the successful side, but only 3% of those who attempt to cross over actually succeed.
The show's 8-episode first season debuted last November and it was announced that it would receive a second season last December. The film features beautiful cinematography and eerie allegories for societies around the world.prevnext
Another Norwegian film about the region's mythical past, few other films can combine Vikings, archaeology, and family adventures quite like Ragnarok.
When a researcher has the opportunity to discover the truth behind the Norse legend of Ragnarok, it's the weekend in which he must care for his kids, leading him to bring them on an adventure. As the group of explorers goes deeper down the rabbit hole in the search for clues, they discover there's even more to the legend than they bargained for, leading to truly incredible discoveries.
Part Jurassic Park and part Raiders of the Lost Ark, the fantasy-adventure film captures a kid-friendly sense of adventure without ever being cynical or sarcastic, whereas many American films featuring similar content often give tongue-in-cheek references or winks to the audience.prevnext
One of the most entertaining components of films that feature time travel are the ways in which filmmakers predict the future or attempt to recreate the past, attempting to hypothesize what the extensions of our current society could look like in different eras.
A problem with many time travel films, however, is the more you start to analyze the narrative and the ways in which realities have been altered, a linear narrative can fall apart.
Primer doesn't try to show futuristic societies, but focuses on how two guys who have discovered time travel could experiment with traveling a few days into the past or a few days into the future, going to great lengths to make sure every variable is accounted for so they don't tear a hole in the time-space continuum.
Although the film can feel quite dense with information, for those willing to commit their focus to the film, it's one of the best time travel movies of the last 20 years.prevnext
One of the most popular shows that features elements of science fiction and fantasy is The Leftovers, which debuted in 2014. Back in 2004, however, a show with many similarities aired on USA for four seasons.
Whereas The Leftovers focuses on how the world would react if 2% of the population vanished, while The 4400 explores what would happen if 4,400 individuals reappeared after having vanished in beams of light in 1936.0comments
Having not aged since their disappearance and with no memory of what had happened to them in their 70-year absence, a government agency is tasked with learning everything they can about the mysterious group to not only prevent it from ever happening again but also to help the individuals integrate back into society.
- 10 Netflix Hacks That Will Make Your Streaming Experience Perfect
- Here's Every TV Show Premiere This Summer
- Every Original Series Cancelled By Netflix