New Sci-Fi / Fantasy Movies Coming In January 2022

While January is typically a slower month for movies, following December’s big hits and Oscar contenders, this month brings sci-fi and fantasy hits for fans of the genre. Big names like Marvel and Mamoru Hosoda are bringing new stories to the screen with the highly anticipated Morbius and Beautiful, while the classic fantasy The king’s daughter is a return to form for the genre. But January is also a month for foreign films, children’s films and even horror stories, with King Car, the last Hotel Transylvania movie and Arctic void.

While January’s films can span the gamut of genres, the month also features recurring themes for a sense of continuity this season. This month’s films tell tales of accepting the monster within, both vampire and human, and discovering your metaphorical or literal voice. Here are all the sci-fi and fantasy movies to watch in January 2022.

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King Car

Group of men in front of a standing man and a car

King Car brings viewers a superhero movie like no other. After discovering that he can communicate with cars, a young man uses his supernatural powers to lead his working class community in their fight for survival. King Car may feature a wacky gimmick, but the ultimate message is to empower the underdog and tackle capitalism. This Brazilian film uses magical realism for a new sci-fi story that packs a punch.

Directed by Renata Pinheiro, King Car stars Matheus Nachtergaele, Luciano Pedro Jr, Jules Elting, Clara Pinheiro, Adélio Lima and Ane Oliva. The film has its US premiere in select theaters and is released on VOD on January 7.

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Belle stands in front of an oppressive urban skyline

Mamoru hosoda Beautiful follows Suzu, a high school student who lost her ability to sing after the traumatic death of her mother. After joining the virtual game U, Suzu adopts the name Belle and discovers that she can sing again in the Anonymous World. She develops a following, performing in the virtual world until one of her concerts is interrupted by a dragon. Despite the destruction she has caused, Belle / Suzu befriends the dragon and learns to defend herself and her friends.

Beautiful takes its name and some inspiration from the plot of the story of The beauty and the Beast, but this movie is not just an adaptation. The integration of digital selves and browsing identities in the computer age makes Beautiful an entirely new story. Coupled with the wonderful animation for which Hosoda is known, Beautiful is a promising combination of fantasy and sci-fi and a must-have for the New Year.

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu, Belle’s English voice cast includes Kylie McNeill, Paul Castro Jr., Chace Crawford, Jessica DiCicco, Brandon Engman, Manny Jacinto, Hunter Schafer and Cristina Vee Valenzuela. The film hits theaters on January 14.

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Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania Poster

The fourth part of the Hotel Transylvania franchise, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania introduces a “monster ray” which reverses the monster status of beloved characters. As the all too normal Drac learns to live without his vampire powers and Johnny experiences his monster side, the family must find a way to be themselves again. Although initially scheduled for a release last October, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania features many cast members and is sure to delight fans of the franchise.

Directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania stars Brian Hull, Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez. The film arrives on Prime Video on January 14.

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Arctic void

Title on background of ship in water

On the much more horrific and less family side of the spectrum, Arctic void promises viewers a spooky and supernatural story in January. While traveling in the Arctic, the power goes out and most of the ship’s crew are missing. Forced ashore, the three remaining passengers must survive the elements and wildlife in order to unravel the mystery that befell their crew and, hopefully, escape the outpost. This indie sci-fi thriller is sure to give your goosebumps this winter.

Directed by Darren Mann, Artic Void stars Michael Weaver, Tim Grifin, Justin Huen, Rune Temte, Thea Sofie Lock Næs and Ingrid Liavag. The film hits theaters and VOD on January 14.

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The Rising Tiger

Two children on the back of a tiger

Based on the famous children’s book of the same name, The Rising Tiger follows a young boy who suffers from the recent loss of his mother and constant bullying at school. After finding a tiger locked up in the woods, the boy accidentally opens up to a neighborhood girl. Together the children face what to do with their secret tiger. Although this is mostly a drama, The Rising Tiger features scenes from the boy’s imagination, bringing moments of magical realism into the story that touches on the fantastic.

Directed by Ray Giarratana, The Tiger Rising stars Christian Convery, Madalen Mills, Queen Latifah, Sam Trammell, Katharine McPhee and Dennis Quaid. The film hits theaters on January 21.

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The king’s daughter

The king stands behind his daughter sitting in the palace

The king’s daughter is a brilliant piece of historical fiction, focusing on Pierce Brosnan’s King Louis XIV and his illegitimate daughter, but with a twist. The king has captured a mermaid in her quest for immortality and uses her life force to stay young. After her daughter finds out her secret, the family is forced to come to terms with what that secret means. The king’s daughter has been in production for years, so it’s good to see the Golden Film finally hit theaters. And the focus on mermaids is a refreshing twist for the world of fantastic creatures that are so often vampire-oriented.

Directed by Sean McNamara, The King’s Daughter stars Pierce Brosnan, Kaya Scodelario, Benjamin Walker, Rachel Griffiths, Bingbing Fan and William Hurt. The film hits theaters on January 21.

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Morbius Jared Leto Feature

Speaking of vampires, Marvel’s next big movie, Morbius, follows Dr. Michael Morbius as he attempts to cure his rare blood disease using bats. When the procedure goes awry, the Doctor is left as some sort of vampire as his human and monstrous sides fight for supremacy. Back to Spider Man universe, Morbius is sure to be a draw for comic book fans and the hordes of people who enjoyed Spider-Man: No Path Home.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Morbius stars Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona, Jared Harris, Al Madrigal and Tyrese Gibson. The film hits theaters on January 28.

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