We’ve had a lot of snow lately; in fact it’s snowing right now as I write this.
I personally love the snow and cold weather is much more attractive and exciting than sunny dry vistas.
Snow has inspired a lot of literary and cinematic works. Even our fables and legends have a lot of snow and ice in them, like the legend of Jack Frost and books like the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Snow Queen and our yearly favourite animated short, The Snowman.
Here are some movies that are all connected by snow.
30 Days of Night (2007) – One of the few comic to movie remakes I actually enjoyed and also one of the best beheading scenes to date. I had to include this in my top snow movies, as it’s illustrates some of the unusual situations your posed with if you want to live in a cold and snowy area. There are several places that you can live where there are seasons of night, and obviously dark tales come from these areas, there are increases in crime and the folk law is much more sinister. You’ll notice northern European fairy tales rarely have a happy ending and the Swedish crime noir that seem to be all-popular now have had the prolonged winter darkness used as the reason why the stories are so shadowy and gruesome.
Alive (1993) – I remember when this was first released, I was a young teen, just starting high school and everyone at school was talking about cannibalism.. * shock horror! * I had already read an awesome book called Flesh and Blood so it was quite tame for me. It’s funny how you have to be a certain age to see a movie but not to read a book!? But a brilliant adaptation of a true life event, regrettably it’s one that I haven’t researched the real life event to compare yet but it’s something that I like to do.
Alien Vs Predator (1993) – Not the best Alien movie or an acceptable Predator movie but I really did enjoy this, maybe I have a thing for science fiction in the snow, after all The Thing (1982) is one of my all time favourite movies. This film isn’t accurate or true to either story line, but as an independent film it’s okay to see some devastation in an abandoned whaling town.
Avalance (1999) – A conservation one this time, a helicopter pilot works with a husband and wife in the frozen north tagging foxed for the EPA.
Cliffhanger (1993) – A botched heist in the Rocky Mountains.. with Rocky! It has a lot of clichés but it’s an ok movie. LOTS of ice climbing, dangers and perils.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – Trying to make the snow into a huge budget natural disaster with CGI wolves kinda sucked. It had some cool ideas and brought some interesting points to weather movies but it didn’t gel well together for me, maybe I’m just being a movie snob? It is a stunning story about a father and son trying to locate each other as the planet plummets into a rapid ice age, but for me personally it didn’t sink in.
Die Hard 2 (1990) – For me this movie has the Best “comedy” death scene in a snowy action movie? You have to love that icicle scene, thanks John McClaine, you demonstrated what our mothers always warned us about (or was it just my mother.. )
Dod Sno (2009) – HORROR time, we’re finding zombies everywhere, and nazi zombies aren’t usually too far behind!! It was a breath of fresh air when I finally got around to seeing Dead Snow. Finally a combination of senseless violence, zombies, snow and young fit men covered in blood! WHHOOO. The amount of fake blood used in this movie must rival Evil Dead! Actually which movie uses the most fake blood ever??
The Edge (1997) – I’m a big fan of Anthony Hopkins and it’s great that I get to include one of his movies in this list. It’s a gritty thriller with an introductory role for Bart, Bart the bear! I have a fear of bears now, Thanks Bart. I’d also like to say a little RIP to the big ole dude and congratulations on acting with Anthony Hopkins twice.
Essential Killing (2010) – One of the modern day silent movies, this is an emotional car crash of a movie. A man is pulled from his terrorist activities in Afghanistan to a military base in an unknown frozen land where he has to fight to stay hidden and survive. There is a lot unsaid in this movie which I respect as it makes you think and interpret what is going on and what happened.
Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) – Old school horror comedy all set in a icy cold landscape I’m not a huge fan of comedy and I don’t laugh my ass off throughout this movie BUT I do love it as it has a very unique style to it that I’ve never seen in any other movie. If anyone knows of something similar then let me know. I thoroughly enjoy this movie on a regular basis.
Fargo (1996) – The Cohen brothers know how to make a great movie. I can’t quite put my finger on WHY their movies are so good but Fargo was an instant hit with me. You never really see the full extent of the harsh climate but you do see people deal with a lot of snowy issues. And the first weather conversation I’d seen in a non weather movie for some time. They say it’s only us brits that like to talk about the weather.. yep just us and old bar men.. O,o
Four Brothers (2005) – While these four brothers are looking to revenge their mothers death it becomes apparent that snow fills this movie from beginning to end! For that reason it’s worth a mention here.
Fritt Vilt (Cold Prey) (2006) – I wasn’t won over by this film, it has some interesting moments but I didn’t think that overall it was all that exciting, maybe it needed to be shorter? It does have two more sequels maybe there is a bigger picture? A serial killer on the loose, preying on some teens who have tried to find shelter in a hotel with one of them injured and teens doing what they do best the isolation of the cold does not help the situation.
Frozen (2010) – I hadn’t bothered with this for ages, the cover put me off, (I know don’t judge by the cover.. ) I was expecting a few wimpy US teens to start complaining about being cold because of the snow outside BOO HOO.. but somehow I rented it out (I probably ran out new DVD’s at Blockbusters) It was brilliant!! It’s not the best movie of all time and won’t make my top 250 movies of all time but I have to admire it for the fact that it doesn’t have a fairy tale ending and it demonstrates how fragile we are in the natural world.
Frozen River (2008) – I think if this movie was set anywhere else it might not have been so desolate, the barren landscape and harsh conditions makes you feel so much more for the family and their problems. It illustrates just how harsh things can be in such a cold climate.
Ice Station Zebra (1968) – This movie is a thriller, but at some points instead of fighting among themselves the people find themselves fighting against the perils of the icy weather!
K2 (1991) – An adventure drama based around climbing the K2 Mountain, I think most mountains have their climb adventure movie. Not all named after it directly though..
Misery (1990) – How could I forget this gem!? I absolutely adore this film. The snow is the reason why a world famous writer gets taken out on his way home after writing a new novel. He’s picked up by his No.1 fan and all hell breaks loose in a crippling sort of way. I feel cold for the first part of this movie then I just feel all twangy in my legs.. * grimace* [edited 23.01.13]
Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – A woman suffering from amnesia beings to recover her memories after trouble from her past finds her again. Apart from the killer deer scene I remember there is a constant supply of snow in this film.
Nordwand (2008) – Definitely in my top 100 movies of all time, based on a real life event, a tribute to two wonderful men and a brave attempt to climb the North Face of the Eiger (translates as the ogre) . I did some research after watching the film and it’s such a sad tale (dammit have I given too much away??) All the same there are some amazing shots of a distinctive landscape and it’s actually beautiful to see the connection between Andi (Andreas) and Toni during their climb. And I have to chuck in the fact I’m addicted to men/women with THAT 1930’s European hair cut.. * faints * also I think this man needs a shout out on he matter.
Orca (1977) – This movie isn’t exactly centred around snow but the most memorable scenes of the finale are in a polar area where man and beast battle for love and honour. Definitely left an impression on me.
Oorlogswinter / Winter in Wartime (2008) –Near the end of world way II a 14 year old boy becomes involved with the resistance after coming to the aid of a wounded British soldier.
Les Rivieres Pourpres (Crimson Rivers) (2000) – I am adding this one in because it’s about several grisly murders in an alpine area and without giving too much away there is a great avalanche scene. The movie is a French horror crime movie, staring Jean Reno (who else?) and Vincent Cassel, trying to work out what a popular and prestigious college has to do with a series of odd murders. I really loved the movie and the others that followed.
Rocky IV (1985) – I do love my Rocky boxset, and as much as I remember the latter movies form my childhood I prefer the movies in order of release, the first being the best and loosing hope throughout BUT accepting that ALL of them have their merits and I couldn’t be without them. All in all the snow training scenes in Rock IV make me want to do my own winter exercises.. for me making a snow angel is as active as I get.
Scarce (2008) – a couple of retarded teens get trapped in an isolated cabin with some freaky locals.. I can’t say anything good about this movie, lets just say you’ll need a deck of cards and a bottle of bear while watching this movie.
Seraphim Falls (2006) – I could put a lot of other movies in this just because you see snow once or twice like Ravenous for example. Even though there is only snow in the beginning of this movie and might I add that the film starts off in the cold winter and ends in a desert so there are lot of landscape changes. The snow scenes are done in such a way that I really FEEL the cold so it gets a mention and it also the movie that changed my whole idea of Westerns so well done.
Shining (1980) – This movie I really adore when it comes to being cold. It is one of very few movies to demonstrate cabin fever on a supernatural level. The snow plays an active part as a cause of entrapment and a killer.
Shoot to Kill (Deadly Pursuit) (1988) – Not the best snow film but I have to add it because I learnt one thing from this movie.. there are battery powered socks that warm up your tootsies.. a must for any non snow lover. This is an underrated action film superb performances from all the cast.
Struggle to survive (1994) – this is one another heart string puller like Frozen River, it’s really odd because I watched this on TV and had no idea what the movie was called, didn’t care much either, then remembered it while writing this list and looked up “neil Patrick frost bite” and it seems EVERYONE has seen this movie and didn’t know what the title was!! Oh dear, it’s a great TV movie possibly based on a real life event, I’m yet to confirm.
The Thing (1982) – I’m going to chuck in both of the renditions of “Who Goes There” as they are both based in the snow. I admire this story in every way it’s been told, both movies and the radio play! The story tells of an alien being trapped in the ice, showing that the snow/frost can be a preserver too, this is also demonstrated in a few other movies like Thaw (2009) and Horror Express (1972).
Transsiberian (2008) – I do like this film, it’s interesting, deep and unfolds beautifully, I don’t like it when a movies takes forever to warm up or when the most of the action is at the very end for example, this tale of deception murder and drugs had a contact twist and tension throughout.The snow gets more intense as the plot thickens.
Toby McTeague (1986) – Oh the shame that I remember this movie! I used to rent it a lot from the video shop, I’ve never seen it on DVD.. Basically it’s a high school kid who has his heart set on winning a dog sleigh race, so I’m adding this to count for all the puppy and dog snow movies out there.
Trolljegeren (2010) – Even though this movie is a Found Footage Mocumentary like many others it has a characteristic style that reminds me something but I can’t put my finger on it. The iconic poster with the roll with the blue border and yellow writing just makes it stand out from all other typical movie posters, it’s like BANG, this is it, deal with it. Humm the movie, needs to be watched, I know a lot of people avoided it as they thought it would be like the Blair Witch (1999) but really folks it’s got a lot more going for it. Even though the movie isn’t dedicated to the snow, the ever-changing landscape is still all beautiful and there is a snow ending, so I thought it deserved a shout out. By the way if anyone has that poster for sale I need one!
Vertical Limits (2000) – Mountain rescue for the big screen as a sister has be rescued from the top of K2.
Whiteout (2009) – A killer being tracked in Antarctica around the time that the sun will set for 6 months!? I’ve not seen this yet but I’ve heard okayish reviews but another one that demonstrates mans fear of prolonged darkness.
And the rest…
I’d also like to add a few more items to this now epic list.
I know this isn’t a game blog, I’m not a huge gamer, I will find the odd retro game to amuse me from time to time, but as I have such an impressive snow fetish I thought I’d name a couple of games in my collection.
BBC did a version of Who Goes There – which was very interesting to hear McCready as an actual Scott.
Nightfall did a few snow related shows including…
- Weather Station 4 – A disembodied voice on the radio speaks to one of two men and a dog who are snowed in and running low on supplies, her suggestions become sinister as the situation becomes more desperate, her motive?
- The Late Special – A couple driving home in the winter loose control of their car and crash, the husband is pinned and the wife has lost her sights, but he guides her to a nearby train station by shouting directions, once she’s there she discovers that it’s not totally abandoned, but who is the man who acquires her help for her sight?
- The porch light – A newly wed couple have recently moved into the their new and lowly priced house, during the night they see a lone man standing under a streetlight waving at them but he casts no shadows, the husband remembers the rumours about he previous couple who lived in the house, were these true?
- Windchill – A student lost in the snowy woods, while trying to find her friend cabin to study, chances upon a stranger who seems lost from our time, he’s helpful and friendly but there is a small ghost child that seems to be following him..