Elden Ring, am I right? FromSoftware’s latest challenging RPG is a global smash hit, and the studio has said they’re looking to expand beyond games. So we thought it’d be a good time to talk about some movies that remind us of Elden Ring. FromSoft’s games are known for hauntingly beautiful fantasy environments and enemies and a relentless amount of dying by the main character, so we’ve picked some movies to match. This post is partially inspired by this tweet about The Green Knight and by a recent viewing of A Writer’s Odyssey.
Whether you’re away from your gaming system, don’t have Elden Ring, are interested in the vibes of Elden Ring but not in playing it, are just looking to supplement your marathon playing session, or anything else, here are 13 movies that can keep those haunted vibes going, Tarnished.
A Writer’s Odyssey
What it is: A new Chinese fantasy action-adventure about a writer whose fantasy novel seems to be having a mysterious impact on the real world, and the man who has been sent to kill him.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: The monster design and fight sequences feel straight out of a Fromsoft game, from towering four-armed giants to one-eyed sentient skeletal armor.
Conan the Barbarian
What the 1982 version is: The first film adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s pulp magazine hero, this was a breakthrough role in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting career. (A more recent — and less-praised — adaptation of Conan, this time with Jason Momoa in the lead role, arrived in 2011 if you need something more contemporary.)
Why it’s like Elden Ring: As our colleague Patrick Gill put it: “Conan gets chased by dogs into a cave where he finds a giant’s skeleton on a throne, and then takes the skeleton’s sword.” If that’s not Elden Ring, what is?
Where to watch it: Streaming on Starz, available to rent for $3.99 on Google Play, Apple, Amazon, and other VOD platforms. You can stream the 2011 version on Fubo and AMC Plus, and rent for $3.99 on Google Play, Apple, Amazon, and other VOD platforms.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
What it is: Guy Ritchie’s frantic, messy, and fun Arthurian adaptation stars Charlie Hunnam as a young Arthur finding his destiny and overthrowing the evil Vortigern (Jude Law).
Why it’s like Elden Ring: High fantasy swordplay with heavy CG fight sequences with strong video game vibes.
Where to watch it: Streaming on Netflix.
The Head Hunter
What it is: A short 2018 fantasy horror movie made on a microbudget, The Head Hunter follows a bounty hunter waiting for the creature who killed his daughter and has been compared to a live-action version of Skyrim.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: Maybe the closest in tone to the game, this is a beautiful, atmospheric horror fantasy.
Where to watch it: Streaming on Shudder and AMC Plus, available for free with a library card on Hoopla.
Army of Darkness
What it is: The third movie in the original Evil Dead trilogy, Army of Darkness is much more comedic than the previous entries in the series, as Ash time travels back to the medieval ages with his chainsaw arm.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: Undead fantasy with unconventional weaponry and plenty of slapstick humor.
Where to watch it: Streaming on HBO Max.
What it is: Russell Mulcahy’s 1986 iconic action-adventure fantasy fever dream about immortal warriors stars Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown, and Sean Connery, who plays an Egyptian immortal named Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: High fantasy with swordplay, a narrative that unwraps slowly, and a twisted, monstrous villain. This is basically the same as getting invaded by another player in Elden Ring.
What it is: A 1981 dark fantasy movie about a young wizard hunting a dragon, Dragonslayer received Oscar nominations for its visual effects (including a 40-foot hydraulic dragon made out of of 16 puppets) and original score.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: Great monster design, bleak atmosphere, incomprehensible dialogue, and some big lore implications that the film doesn’t need or care to explain. Also the dragon is named “Vermithrax Pejorative.”
Where to watch it: Available for free with a library card on Kanopy.
What it is: An action-packed 2018 South Korean period piece set in the Joseon dynasty era … with zombies.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: Undead fantasy action intertwined with royal court drama.
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
What it is: Netflix’s animated Witcher adventure, an origin story of Geralt’s mentor Vesemir.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: Animated dark fantasy with great action sequences and monster design.
Where to watch it: Streaming on Netflix.
Edge of Tomorrow
What it is: One of the best blockbusters of the 2010s, this adaptation of the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill stars Tom Cruise as a public relations officer who finds himself in a time loop trying to stop an alien invasion along with an experienced solider (Emily Blunt).
Why it’s like Elden Ring: The protagonist is constantly dying. Over and over and over again.
Attack the Block
What it is: A cult hit from 2011, this sci-fi/horror/comedy is about a group of teens (including a young John Boyega) who are the only ones aware of an alien invasion in their London neighborhood.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: Behold, dogs!
The Great Wall
What it is: Wuxia master Zhang Yimou’s very good 2016 monster movie stars Matt Damon as a European mercenary held as a prisoner at the Great Wall, before lending a helping hand to the defending forces when monsters attack.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: Did not expect dog.
What it is: A supernatural period horror drama starring Anya Taylor-Joy as a young girl whose Puritan family is torn apart by the machinations of a mysterious evil lurking in the nearby forests of their farm.
Why it’s like Elden Ring: A child suffers the dire consequences of hugging a stranger.
Where to watch it: Streaming on Showtime and Fubo, or for free with a library card on Kanopy.