Fitting Winter Horrors For The Coldest Time of Year
Horror movies are great year round. However, there is something so different and comforting about watching dreary horror movies in the dead of winter. Here are five wonderful winter horror movies to cozy up with this season.
Not the Disney movie, that’s for sure. Frozen follows a group of friends on a trip at a ski resort who get stuck in a chair lift over the weekend. Will they make it out alive? This movie has some beautiful cinematography of vast snowy landscapes and you can really feel the weight of the survival situation these people are in. The landscape of snow, daunting height of the ski lift, and other dangerous elements have you on the edge of your seat for essentially the entire runtime. You definitely feel cold watching this unsettling film. The group dynamic and problem solving skills are very compelling. Frozen does a good job of having an overall sense of impending doom and uncertainty. This is a situation that feels like it could actually happen. The ending does offer a twist ending that makes you think about what just happened. The acting is serviceable and there are some well done visual effects. Frozen is a good survival movie with rewatchability. Available for streaming on Tubi and Pluto TV.
The Thaw (2009)
The Thaw centers around a team of researchers in the Arctic who discover a deadly prehistoric parasite. This movie focuses on the group in their remote, snowy location having to defy odds and find a solution to save both themselves and maybe the bigger picture. This is yet another situation that feels like it could really happen. The Thaw has effective eco-horror type themes about global warming and humans’ relationship with nature. The isolation is felt throughout the film as even though it is about a group of people, they are all on their own in terms of survival. The snowy landscape in this film acts as both a character as well as providing a menacing background serving both the story and action very well. There is a twist at the end which works well within the context of the plot. The Thaw is a good disaster/survival film with great cinematography and cool visuals. Available for streaming on Tubi.
Wind Chill (2007)
Two college students break down in the middle of nowhere driving home for winter break, but end up becoming stranded after a car accident. A young Emily Blunt stars in this film, and she is a great fit for the role. Blunt along with Ashton Holmes are strong leads. The relationship the two characters form in their predicament is interesting and their backstories are presented in a creative way. The pacing feels perfect for this story. Wind Chill is more than survival horror; it is more psychological. Snow and winter are a big part of this film, taking place in December. There are effective scares and it tells a unique paranormal story. The cinematography is different from more traditional sweeping landscape shots. The tone and atmosphere is chilling, the outdoors feel very uninviting, and the day and night scenes are expertly contrasted. Overall, Wind Chill is a well done, self contained, simple story about college students just trying to get home. Available for streaming on Amazon Prime and STARZ.
Gremlins is a horror classic from the 80’s. A father gives his son a special present for Christmas which wreaks havoc on a small town. We follow the family and others living in the town as something strange evolves into a dangerous situation. This movie does a great job of blending humor and a darker, more emotional undertone. Gremlins also has an interesting take on the family dynamic and relationships around the holidays. The writing is well done and smoothly hits all the right beats. You also can really feel the high stakes of the problem the town is having as it escalates. The movie does a great job of building up the characters, making you feel like you are a part of the town and care for them. Gremlins is a fun, highly rewatchable classic perfect for the holidays. The effects and puppets have aged well, so the movie does not feel dated, if at all. The gremlins are very cute, fun, and yet still have a sinister mysterious feeling to them. Available for streaming on Netflix and HBO Max.
Black Christmas (1974)
Black Christmas is a historical classic slasher movie predating Halloween. During Christmas break, a group of sorority girls are stalked by a stranger. This movie is terrifying not because of jump scares or over the top kills, but because of how real it feels. Black Christmas moves at a good pace and offers a fascinating look at college girl life along with issues that they may face. The camera work and specific shots are expertly done which adds to the disturbing nature of the plot. The juxtaposition between happy Christmas break and the dark parts of the tension of the killer in the house is artistically achieved. The acting from the cast is all very strong. We get to see how the situation intensifies as the stranger continues his spree and how the girls’ relationships build with each other. This is a movie that stays with you after you watch it. Black Christmas is a tense home invasion, mystery, yet slow burn thriller. This is the perfect Christmas film to watch if you have all the regular holiday classics memorized and are looking for something darker. Available for streaming on Tubi and Pluto TV.
The Thaw (2009) Official Trailer