Five Great Films Based on Folklore

In today’s list, let’s count down five great films based on folklore stories from a variety of regions of the world. Many of these films have horror elements and may be counted as folk horror films, too.

I hope the variety of the article is satisfactory. While I could’ve included many films based on many folk tales from all around the world, I believe that short lists are more pleasing and easier to read. Depending on this article’s reception, I might do a follow-up list.

Without further ado, let’s count down five great films based on folklore.

Border (2018)

Five Great Films Based on Folklore

Ali Abbasi’s Border is a uniquely beautiful fantasy film from Sweden that’s about an extraordinary border guard. There are more than a handful of memorable and even haunting scenes in this film that will remain on the minds of the viewers long after they’ve seen it. With an important, concerning underlying message, Border is a rather distinct piece of cinema.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

Five Great Films Based on Folklore

Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his distinctive style of filmmaking. The Killing of a Sacred Deer certainly emphasizes how his films are always quite different. From the title, some of you may have guessed that the story was inspired by the tale of the deer of Artemis from Greek mythology. In plain, simple terms, this film is rather weird. I believe it’s truly a one-of-a-kind film.

The Wicker Man (1973)

Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man actually influenced the widely popular Midsommar and some other films. In this story, a pious man named Sergeant Howie arrives at the colorful and quaint Scottish island, Summerisle. His primary goal is to find a girl that went missing here, but as he learns about this unnerving place, certain bizarre secrets known only to the inhabitants of the isle come to light. It’s a horror film that’s quite different from many others.

The Seventh Seal (1957)

The readers may have seen medieval artworks of Death playing Chess. Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal is a film about a knight named Antonius Block who returns to a plague-ravaged Sweden after taking part in the Crusade. He then meets with Death and they initiate a game of chess.

With mind-blowing imagery and thought-provoking dialogue, Bergman made this masterpiece one of the best existential films ever. There are horror elements in it, but none of it is generic. There are many reasons why The Seventh Seal is considered to be one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces in history, and I implore you to watch the film to learn why.

The Lighthouse (2018)

Based on the myth of Prometheus, The Lighthouse is a film about two men who keep a lighthouse, and how this mysterious and dangerously enticing light affects their minds. Robert Eggers filmed this odd movie in an unusual yet fitting way, with an aspect ratio seen in older films and the color palette being black and white. This is one of those enigmatic films that you need to see more than once.

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