5 Best Winter-Set Horror Movies
Winter is coming. There is something lurking in the snow, in the darkness, in the night. That chill you feel is not from the lack of warmth, either. It’s from the creature creeping up behind you as the snowflakes fall. Winter always brings with it a sense of dread. It’s a dark, cold season. It’s a depressing time of year and, aesthetically, it is just…dark. Because of this, numerous filmmakers throughout the years have set their horror movies during the winter months. They know that things are just a little bit more ominous when the sun sets earlier and the darkness lasts longer. They also know that snow is at its prettiest when it’s covered in blood.
5) Misery (1990)
What happens when you’re a popular novelist who has just finished his latest book in a remote hotel located in the Rocky Mountains? Well, after you finish writing it, you smoke a cigarette, drink some celebratory champagne and check out of the hotel. Then you get in your car to drive back home, despite the winter warnings to stay off the roads. Maybe it was the excitement of the book, the relief of going back home or, perhaps, you drank just a bit more Don Perignon than you thought. No matter the reason, you veer off the icy roads and crash your car, violently, into a nearby snowbank. You would have probably died were it not for a woman named Annie Wilkes. Except the problem is, Annie is your biggest fan and she is also a little unhinged and now she’s keeping you held hostage in the back of her house in the Rocky Mountains until you finish writing the newest book in your Misery series, but when you finish writing it, she’s going to kill you.
The point is, you should’ve listened to your parents and become an engineer.
4) The Shining (1980)
In keeping with the Stephen King theme, we come to Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of King’s novel, The Shining. Now, The Overlook Hotel by itself is creepy enough. But when it is surrounded by snow and cut off from the rest of civilization, it’s downright horrifying. The Overlook is where Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson) brought his family so he could be the caretaker for the, you guessed it, winter. Well, when The Overlook’s ghosts meet Jack Torrance’s demons, it’s a nightmare in the making. Without the winter setting, however, The Shining would have been a lot less dramatic, a lot less atmospheric and a lot less scary. Also, Jack totally would have been able to find Danny if the corn maze wasn’t covered in snow.
3) Frozen (2010)
There are many reasons not to ski or snowboard. The biggest reason, of course, is that it’s hard. Beyond that, there’s the cold, the people, the walking uphill, the crashing and it’s hard. Another reason not to ski or snowboard is because you might accidentally get stuck on the ski lift when the resort closes early because of a winter storm suddenly approaching. And then wolves come. And you and your friends must decide whether to freeze to death or jump from a very high place, only to be eaten by said wolves. Incidentally, that’s the plot of Adam Green’s Frozen (no, not that one). There are no monsters, boogeymen or Annie Wilkes in this film. The horror of it comes from the reality of it.
2) The Thing (1982)
Okay so, technically The Thing might not count as a winter-set movie. But it takes place in Antarctica and there’s snow and it’s cold and just shut up, okay? Anyway, the plot of The Thing is not a hard one to follow. A group of research scientists are researching science in Antarctica when a sled dog suddenly appears and is being shot at by unknown forces. The scientists bring the dog into their lab to check on it, but it attacks them, revealing itself to be an alien monster creature that can take on the form of its victims. Now, only Kurt Russell can stop The Thing. Unless he is The Thing. We never find out. The Thing would be scary with or without the brittle background but, again, it’s the isolation and dread of snow that really drives home the point that in the Antarctic, no one can hear you scream. Except for the people you’re with. But they’ll be dead soon too.
1) Storm of the Century (1999)
We swear we’re not doing this on purpose. Stephen King just really likes winter-set horror stories, okay? And in terms of winter-set horror movies, one can do no better than King’s original TV Mini-Series, Storm of the Century. Welcome to Little Tall Island, a small community on the coast of Maine with some deep, dark secrets that are about to come to light. Indeed, Dolores Claiborne is not the only person on Little Tall that has some skeletons in her closet. As an impending storm moves closer, a mysterious stranger named Andre Linoge suddenly appears in vicious fashion. He is apprehended quickly by Mike Anderson, the town’s constable, but that was all part of Andre’s plan anyway. Mr. Linoge is going to bring to light all of Little Tall Island’s secrets. And the residents have no way to escape the storm of the century. But, if they give him what he wants, he’ll go away. The only problem is, what he wants will rock the community and destroy Mike and his family.