Hey dudes! I'm currently on my last day of a 4 day vacation which I forced myself to take to calm the fuck down. But turns out I suck at vacations and am unable to do nothing. Yesterday when the sun was bright and way too hot and I was hiding behind my black out curtains in my apartment, I was thinking about movies that make you feel the chill, even in the middle of summer. And today I've decided to compile a list for you!
So if you're like me, and prefer to stay indoors away from the sun that will burn your skin, and are looking for something to keep you cool....check out my top ten picks (in no particular order):
First of all, this is an incredible film, and if you haven't seen it yet you need to get on it right away. It's also an incredible book by my boy, Stephen King, that tells a terrifying tale set in the middle of a winter storm.
Paul Sheldon is a famous writer who writes an addicting romance series featuring the main character Misery Chastain. He has decided to try something a little more serious though and has just finished a manuscript of his new novel. While traveling home from his writer cabin back to New York City, Paul gets caught in a snow storm and crashes his car in the blizzard. Luckily a nurse named Annie Wilkes finds him and brings him home with her to recover. Unluckily for him, she's his number one fan, and a total psychopath.
The snow in this film is just as much as an enemy as Annie is for Paul. He's being held captive and no one can even begin to look for him because of the snowfall on the highway and the blowing storm. As he's trapped in his room, forced to write a new book, all he can do is look out into the snow and realize how helpless his situation really is.
Released in 1990, Misery was directed by Rob Reiner and stars Kathy Bates and James Caan.
I actually recently watched this movie and you can find my full review HERE. Released in 2016, Shut In is about a mother and her brain dead son trapped inside of a house in the middle of a giant winter storm. The power is knocked out, it's below freezing, and while Mary is prepared for this blizzard, she's not prepared for the secrets that will be uncovered when it hits.
Shut In really plays on the claustrophobic side of winter, as Mary is running through her house and attempts to go outside, but is stopped from the snow outside. No one can get to her, the phones aren't working, and the storm is closing in along with the evil inside the home. A great watch for the summer that will make you want to burrow yourself into a pile of blankets and pray the power won't go out.
There's a town in Alaska where every winter they are plunged into darkness for 30 days. Which also makes the perfect breeding ground for vampires. An amazing concept, an amazing comic book series, and a pretty decent film. 30 Days of Night was released in 2007 and stars Josh Hartnett and Melissa George.
Not only is this town stuck in darkness for 30 days, it's also the middle of winter and so obviously a giant blizzard blows through. The whole town is completely stranded as a coven of vampires tears through the population. The craziest part of this movie is that Barrow, Alaska actually exists and does experience this phenomenon (aside from the vampires, I assume), although it's not as dramatic as the movie makes it seem. There is a period each day where there's a sort of eerie twilight for a few hours and the rest is darkness.
A Carpenter classic, The Thing tells the terrifying tale of a research team in Antarctica who find a alien organism that promptly tears the whole camp apart and kills almost every one inside. Oh, and it has shape changing abilities!
An excellent film to watch in the summer that will make you feel the cold down deep in your bones and terrify you at the same time. It also holds up incredibly well, its' practical affects just as great today as they were back then. The setting in the film is like another character, adding to the tension and paranoia that you feel watching it. Every outside scene shows an endless expanse of whiteness with nowhere to run. It's as vast and terrifying as space itself.
Another Stephen King addition, because that man knows how to write winter storms. This is also another alien film about four friends who are on their annual winter hunting trip. Typical cabin in the snowy woods type setting. But when Jonesy brings home a man stranded in the forest who is covered in frost bite and a weird rash, things hit the fan.
The whole forest is quarantined and the four friends who have been separated must fight for their lives within this snow hell hole. Released in 2003, directed by Lawrence Kasdan and starring Jason Lee, Morgan Freeman and good ol' Donnie Wahlberg, Dreamcatcher is a little polarizing among fans. I personally love it, and I enjoy putting it on in the summer to cool down as I watch people with frost bite get infected and shit out aliens.
But that's just me.
Krampus, released in 2015, is a horror comedy surrounding a folklore creature. Written and directed by Michael Dougherty, it also makes a great Christmas movie! Set three days before Christmas, the Engel family are bickering and unhappy with each other which only gets worse when their relatives arrive. But when a winter storm knocks out their power and their means for escape, things continue to get worse.
ax, the young son, is the only one who believes in the Christmas spirit anymore, and unfortunately for the Engel family, Krampus is an ancient demonic spirit that punishes those who have lost their Christmas joy. There's a lot of great scenes of the family trying to escape in the blizzard, of creepy goat footprints in the snow, and a general sense of claustrophobia as the family are stuck inside fighting for their lives among candle light.
If you really want to cool down this summer, Frozen is a great addition to your movie watching list. Released in 2010, it was directed by Adam Green and centers around three friends who find themselves stuck on a ski lift. That's it. That's the movie. But holy shit does it ever work.
As the resort has closed for the weekend, the three find themselves completely trapped very high above the ground. As they slowly freeze to death in the biting wind, swinging listlessly on their chair lift, the three come up with various plans to help them escape. There's some incredibly gory scenes and shocking moments - one involving wolves. And a horrifying scene when one of them falls asleep and awakens to find their skin frozen to the pole. I WAS GAGGING.
I will totally be re-watching this movie this summer and you really should too, it's an incredible minimalist film that totally delivers on every level.
I mean....you didn't think I'd leave out The Shining did you? Another King addition to the list, because like I said...this man can write the fuck out of a terrifying winter. I don't really need to tell you what this movie is about since it's completely iconic. One of the worst blizzards in history is coming down on the Overlook Hotel as the Torrence family slowly fall apart inside.
Some incredible winter scenes like Wendy and Danny escaping out a window down a snow drift, and of course the final moments in the maze. But the storm plays a huge part of this movie even from the beginning. The family knows it's coming from the get go and have been prepped to survive it. But what they didn't prepare for was the Hotel itself.
Another vampire flick to add to the list. There's something so great about vampires in the winter. I will also include Let Me In which was the American remake of Let the Right One In as it's virtually the same story and plays within the same wintry themes. While not completely terrifying, and kind of more endearing, this film reminisces about the 1980's, childhood love and mixes in some dread and blood and snow.
I watched this film for the first time last summer and it hit every perfect chord for me. Cannibals, wendigos, mid-19th century American West, and a bizarre soundtrack. After Capt. John Boyd escapes the Civil War alive, he still struggles with the memories. He finds himself in a remote outpost and confronted with an Officer Col. Ives who has just arrived with terrifying tales of winter and cannibals. The soldiers investigate his story but are confronted with something none of them could ever imagine. Based loosely on the Donner Party and Native American spiritualism, Ravenous creates a terrifying tale that must be seen to be believed.