Fairy Tales for Grown Ups

These are films that are based- either loosely or closely- on classic fairy tales. For the most part they are geared toward older audiences (teenage and older)
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
The Red Shoes (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina. (134 mins.)
“ Based on the Hans Christian Anderson story of the same title. This film depicts a ballerina torn between love and art and driven to maddness as a result ” - funnygurl
 
2.
Black Swan (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity. (108 mins.)
“ The story of this film about a ballerina's nervous breakdown parallels the story of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake which is based on the fairy tale The Swan Maiden. ” - funnygurl
 
3.
Hard Candy (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A teenage girl raids a man's home in order to expose him under suspicion that he is a sex offender with pedophilia. (104 mins.)
Director: David Slade
“ This film about a young girl taking revenge on a suspected pedophile and murderer turns the classic Red Riding Hood story on it's ear. ” - funnygurl
 
4.
Freeway (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A twisted take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker traveling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer/pedophile. (102 mins.)
Director: Matthew Bright
“ A twisted Red Riding Hood tale about a runaway girl who takes up with a serial killer. ” - funnygurl
 
5.
Ondine (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An Irish fisherman discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his precocious daughter believes to be a selkie. (111 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
“ A romance about a fisherman who draws a breautiful woman from the water- but she may have a past that can hurt then both. Draws heavily on several selkie/seal wife tales. ” - funnygurl
 
6.
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her. (96 mins.)
Director: Jean Cocteau
“ This film is very faithful to the classic Beauty and the Beast story, but has dark undercurrents and incorporates some adult themes. It's also a visually stunning experience. ” - funnygurl
 
7.
Red Riding Hood (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
Set in a medieval village that is haunted by a werewolf, a young girl falls for an orphaned woodcutter, much to her family's displeasure. (100 mins.)
“ A European village in the middle ages falls prey to a werewolf in this version of the classic tale aimed at teen audiences. It does have some strong storybook influenced visuals to recommend it. ” - funnygurl
 
8.
The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A young soprano becomes the obsession of a disfigured musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opéra House. He kidnaps the soprano and forces the owners of the play to keep her as the lead role of the play. (143 mins.)
Director: Joel Schumacher
“ Any adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera has strong ties to Beauty and the Beast. I chose this one because it has saveral visual references to Cocteau's 1946 adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (also listed). ” - funnygurl
 
9.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation. (105 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ An inventor dies before he can finish his greatest creation: a young man. Left with scissors for hands, Edward grows up along in a crumbling mansion until the day he is discovered by a saleswoman, who brings him home. When Edward meets her daughter he falls in love in this Beauty and the Beast story. ” - funnygurl
 
10.
Penelope (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A modern romantic tale about a young aristocratic heiress born under a curse that can only be broken when she finds true love with "one who will accept her as one of their own." (104 mins.)
Director: Mark Palansky
“ Living under a family curse, a young girl with a pig's snout for a nose must be loved by "one of her own kind" if she's to break the spell. Penelope does find love and break the spell, but not in a way that anyone expects. This Beauty and the Beast story shows that the Beast and the Beast can sometimes be the same person. ” - funnygurl
 
11.
Splash (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is. (111 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
“ A mermaid loves a human in this classic romantic comedy inspired by The Little Mermaid. ” - funnygurl
 
12.
The Company of Wolves (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A teenage girl in a country manor falls asleep while reading a magazine and she has a disturbing dream involving wolves which appears to take place in the woods visible from her bedroom window. (95 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
“ This Red Riding Hood story also incorporates several of Angela Carter's short stories, and other fairy tales. Sexy, scarey and not for the kids! ” - funnygurl
 
13.
No Such Thing (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
"No Such Thing" tells the story of a young journalist who journeys to Iceland to find her missing fiancée only to encounter a mythical creature. She eventually forges a relationship with the being. (102 mins.)
Director: Hal Hartley
“ Beatrice is a tabloid journalist whose fiance is killed by a monster in Iceland. When Beatrice encounters this monster they forge a relationship that is threatened by an unscrupulous media in this Beauty and the Beast story. ” - funnygurl
 
14.
Ball of Fire (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A group of ivory-tower lexicographers realize they need to hear how real people talk, and end up helping a beautiful singer avoid police and escape from the Mob. (111 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ A gangster's moll on the run takes refuge with a group of stuffy professors in this take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. ” - funnygurl
 
15.
Running Scared (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A low-ranking thug is entrusted by his crime boss to dispose of a gun that killed corrupt cops, but things get out of control when the gun ends up in wrong hands. (122 mins.)
Director: Wayne Kramer
“ A cop is put in possession of a gun that shot one of his fellow officers. But when the neighbor kid finds it and uses it to shoot his abusive father, the cop must find him and the gun, before the police and the mob do. This gritty crime drama has some strong Hansel and Gretel ties. ” - funnygurl
 
16.
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A bus crash in a small town brings a lawyer to the town to defend the families, but he discovers that everything is not what it seems. (112 mins.)
Director: Atom Egoyan
“ A tragic and fatal schoolbus crash destroys a town in this tragic Pied Piper-esque story. ” - funnygurl
 
17.
Sleeping Beauty (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires. (101 mins.)
Director: Julia Leigh
“ An apathetic college student joins an organization of girls who agree to be loaned out to men while under sedation. However as time goes on, our heroine discovers she wants to know what's happening while she's asleep. ” - funnygurl
 
18.
Carrie (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. (98 mins.)
Director: Brian De Palma
“ OK, it might seem like a stretch but the daughter under the the thumb of an oppressive mother, with cruel peers (rather than siblings) gets a chance to go to the ball (or prom as the case may be). In the Grimm's version of Cinderella the step sisters get their bloody desserts when their toes, heels and noses are cut off and their eyes are plucked out by a bird. Here of course it's Carrie who exacts that bloody revenge on her classmates on a larger scale. Yes, this is truly a Cinderella story, Stephen King style! ” - funnygurl
 
19.
Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The "real" story of Cinderella. A refreshing new take on the classic fairy tale. (121 mins.)
Director: Andy Tennant
“ A sweet, feminist friendly retelling of Cinderella given some historical context as well. ” - funnygurl
 
20.
Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In this dark take on the fairy tale, the growing hatred of a noblewoman, secretly a practitioner of the dark arts, for her stepdaughter, and the witch's horrifying attempts to kill her. (100 mins.)
Director: Michael Cohn
“ A very dark version of the Snow White story with a brutal stepmother! Set during the crusades this has images of crucifiction and cannibalism galore. ” - funnygurl
 
21.
The Red Shoes (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A woman who finds a pair of pink high heels on a subway platform soon realizes that jealousy, greed, and death follow them wherever they go. (103 mins.)
Director: Yong-gyun Kim
“ The Hans Christian Anderson story is given the Korean horror movie treatment. ” - funnygurl
 
22.
Donkey Skin (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A fairy godmother helps a princess disguise herself so she won't have to marry a man she doesn't love. (91 mins.)
Director: Jacques Demy
“ The story "Donkeyskin" is plently disturbing as is. Here it's given a candy coated musical treatment for adults, which makes it even more unsettling. ” - funnygurl
 
23.
Beastly (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A modern-day take on the "Beauty and the Beast" tale where a New York teen is transformed into a hideous monster in order to find true love. (86 mins.)
Director: Daniel Barnz
“ Beauty and the Beast set in modern day New York City. This is very teen oriented and not very good IMO. But I put it on here for the sake of completion. ” - funnygurl
 
24.
Secret Beyond the Door... (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
When a lovely wife and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her. (99 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
“ Bluebeard as seen by Fritz Lang. Suspenseful and Freudian. ” - funnygurl
 
25.
Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A teenage prostitute escapes from a juvenile prison with a 16-year-old serial killer and both go on a destructive road trip to Mexico in this twist on the "Hansel and Gretel" fairy tale. (97 mins.)
Director: Matthew Bright
“ Stand alone sequel to Freeway that takes on Hansel and Gretel ” - funnygurl
 
26.
Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A demented widow lures unsuspecting children into her mansion in a bizarre "Hansel and Gretel" twist. (91 mins.)
“ "Hansel and Gretel" story about two British orphans pitted against a "charitable widow" who is more unhinged than she lets on." ” - funnygurl
 
27.
Hansel and Gretel (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
After meeting an mysterious girl on an dark stretch of road, a young salesman is invited to a beautiful house with bizarre secrets and no way to escape. (117 mins.)
Director: Pil-Sung Yim
“ Haunting and bittersweet Korean ghost story inspired by the titular fairy tale. ” - funnygurl
 
28.
Elvis and Anabelle (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Groomed by her overly ambitious mother, Anabelle is on the road to winning the Miss Texas Rose tiara when she dies tragically during a pageant... (106 mins.)
Director: Will Geiger
“ Sweet modern Sleeping Beauty story turned romantic comedy. ” - funnygurl
 
29.
Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
In this dark take on the fairy tale, the growing hatred of a noblewoman, secretly a practitioner of the dark arts, for her stepdaughter, and the witch's horrifying attempts to kill her. (100 mins.)
Director: Michael Cohn
“ Pretty much what the title says! The focus here is on Sigourney Weaver as the Stepmother whose sanity is slipping... ” - funnygurl