Netflix's The Witcher Is More 'Grounded Horror' Than Fantasy Series
Netflix's upcoming live-action adaptation of The Witcher will reportedly focus less on fantasy and will instead attempt to offer viewers "more grounded horror" elements to sink their teeth into.
Anyone who's played the CD Projekt RED games or read the original Andrzej Sapkowski novels on which the new show is based will be aware that Geralt's world is certainly one that's just as horrifying as it is fantastical. There are some truly gruesome monsters hiding in the darker corners of The Continent.
It's great news that the Netflix show won't be shying away from the scares then, as The Witcher's Visual Effects Supervisor revealed in a recent interview with SFX (via GamesRadar). Julian Parry commented that the series is leaning more towards horror than traditional fantasy - which isn't to say that it's ditched the fantasy entirely, of course.
"I definitely think it leans more towards horror," Parry explained. "We're definitely taking the fantasy out. I can honestly say we're not fantastical. I mean, it's fantastical but in a grounded horror sense. For example, with a Striga [a woman cursed to live as a monster], that's one gnarly-looking thing. That's very unpleasant!"
He's not wrong. The Witcher series is home to all manner of nasty beasts with incredibly grim lore behind them. There are your Werewolves and Chimera of course, but then you've got stuff like Leshens, Ghouls and Foglets. The stuff of nightmares, all.
Parry also explained the decision to focus on a more intimate kind of horror rather than over-the-top fantasy bombast comes down to logistics. "We've got the Nilfgaard armies, which can't exist because there are 10,000-plus of them," he said. "Same with the Temerians and the Cintrans. The armies physically can't exist here on set."
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Personally speaking, I think the decision to focus more on horror than fantasy is great for a few reasons. It stays true to Geralt and his grittier, more complicated world for one thing. But it should also help The Witcher stand apart from Game Of Thrones - because you just know those comparisons are gonna come thick and fast.
The Witcher comes to Netflix on December 20, and it would seem that Producer and Screenwriter Lauren S. Hissrich already has at least seven seasons worth of story mapped out.
"Right now it's just about, 'How do you set up stories that really capture audiences for years at a time?' The worst thing we could do is put all of our energies just into season one, and not be thinking about where these characters can grow to," she told SFX.
We still haven't had official word from Netflix on whether there's going to be a future series of The Witcher (the show isn't even out yet, after all). But an insider report from back in July claims that the streaming service is very happy with what it's seen of the show and has already renewed it for at least two more seasons.
Let's just hope the first eight episodes of The Witcher are actually good, then. Based on the latest trailer, I'd say we can probably let ourselves get excited.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix