Snowclad landscapes are some of the most beautiful sights our planet offers us, and they are also among the most challenging environs to survive in. And just as diverse as the experience that snow offers you is the list we have below. Except that all these movies have something in common — they give you the chills and are set against snow-filled backdrops that double the thrills and cut down the chances of survival by several notches. So put some warm clothes on and lock all your doors and windows so we can get going on our list of 10 Films Set in the Snow That Will Give you the Chills!
The cold icy plains of Antarctica come alive in The Thing (we’re covering the 2011 film here, although the 1982 John Carpenter film would have been as good as an addition) and thanks to some really cool visual effects and a powerful lead role by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, was quite the chilling affair. And although the movie did not score very well at the box office — not even recovering its entire production cost of #38 million — it is quite the movie to watch if it is adventures in the snow that you want. Following the pursuits of Kate Lloyd, with deliberate traits of the character match that of Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise, the movie revolves around the discovery of an alien that can take on the form of any being and thus, remain elusive. To dissuade the creature from finding its way to civilization, Mary decides that no matter what, the alien will remain in Antarctica, and thus begins the spate of killings. With the Thing taking over one team member after another, not even sparing animals, the movie provides quite a few thrills, especially with the visuals of transformations that prove quite interesting. We agree that this one may be far from being a masterpiece but as far as movies in the Arctic or the Antarctic go, it’s made for a good watch indeed.
There are plenty of tales of survival out there that have been made into some amazing movies. If we had to make a detailed list of these movies, Arctic would surely find a place in the all-time top 100. With Mads Mikkelsen in the lead, the story begins with Overgard living his daily life that consists of the sole motive of trying to stay alive after his plane crashes in the Arctic Circle. Things take a turn for the worse when what was a rescue mission to save him goes horribly wrong and Overgard is left to tend to a severely injured passenger who was on the rescue copter, a role played by Maria Thelma Smaradottir. Knowing that the passenger will not survive for long, Overgard takes the decision of making it out of the plane crash site, knowing the risks fully well but determined to save the young woman’s life. While he had been fighting against the harsh environs of the Arctic all along, the decision to leave his plane and venture out proves to be disastrous at every step. This one’s a must-watch if only it is for Mads Mikkelsen’s brilliant portrayal of one man’s determination to save a life.
The 12th Man
“Where is the 12th man?” is the question that marks the beginning of this tale where a captured commando of the Norwegian resistance against the Germans decides to escape the Nazi Germans that are holding him captive and head to Sweden. A Norwegian historical drama that is set against the backdrop of the Second World War, the movie stars Thomas Gullestad and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the lead roles. It is one thing to take on the Germans, and another to take on the harsh climate of snowy and icy plains, and in his bid to escape, the main protagonist does both. With help from the locals, who are as determined to help him escape the Germans, the 12th man, Jan Baalsrud, finally makes it to Sweden after enduring what can only be described as a mad man’s will to survive. If survival and escape stories interest you, The 12th Man aka Den 12 Mann this one should go on your must-watch list right now.
The Mountain Between Us
We know there are quite a few survival films on this list already, but leaving out The Mountain Between Us would be a crime indeed. After all, how can we leave behind a story that has Kate Winslet and Idris Elba playing it out for us! The storyline of the movie follows the two survivors and a dog as they make their way to safety and help after surviving a plane crash. More than just a survival movie — although it does offer plenty of sequences that display the unforgiving conditions of the High Uintas Wilderness out of which the two protagonists wish to find their way out — The Mountain Between Us also stands as testimony to the evolution of human relationships and how even under the most difficult circumstances, the heart provides enough will to drive both the mind and the body. Although the movie was ridiculed for the lack of chemistry between Idris and Kate, we think the storyline does enough to make this movie what it is — impactful, full of heart, and certainly different from the run-of-the-mill stories out there.
Of course, this isn’t the cute animated Walt Disney franchise of Frozen that has taken the world by storm that we’re talking about! This is the other 2010 American film that is quite the opposite as far as genre is concerned. While the first one is all about magic and dreamy sequences, this one’s filled with terrorizing scenes that range from freezing in the cold to being eaten by wolves. The story begins with three friends being stuck in a ski lift after they’re forgotten by an operator who just doesn’t know that they’re out there. With a long weekend coming up, the friends know that they’d freeze to death if they waited that long, and thus begins the quest for survival. As if the freezing temperatures weren’t enough, the trio also has to battle a pack of wolves that have already decided on them as their next prey. Although this Frozen dwarfs in comparison to the Walt Disney one in terms of box office collections as well as popularity, considering the genre and the idea that the storyline is based upon, it makes for quite a successful attempt.
The Day After Tomorrow
If you thought only the Arctic and the Antarctic and snowy landscapes and icy mountains around the world could create a challenging landscape for the protagonists of a movie, one look at The Day After Tomorrow will tell you how even the beautiful landscape of New York City can be lost forever under several meters of snow if the effects of climatic change truly begin to take shape and affect the planet. Displaying the catastrophe that plays out when the Northern Atlantic Ocean circulation is disrupted, this sci-fi disaster film has Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sela Ward, Emmy Rossum, and Ian Holm in the lead roles, trying to save as many as they possibly can as the world around them begins to change forever. Inspired by the book The Coming Global Superstorm, the film was made on a considerably huge budget of $125 million and the magnitude of visual effects we see throughout the movie does complete justice to this production cost. Thanks to a tight storyline, brilliant portrayals from actors, and an almost real depiction of a climatic disaster, The Day After Tomorrow did very well at the box office, raking in a cool $552 million for its makers.
30 Days of Night
Let’s begin this list with one of the most horrifying titles we have on this list — 30 Days of Night! An American horror-thriller that many fans have come to tag a classic, this movie not only follows a storyline that we’ve seen explored before with slight twists and turns but also has a premise that isn’t that new. So what is it that makes 30 Days of Night such a good one? Well, one answer to that is the variations that the film experiments with, making it a perfect addition to the genre of vampire movies and yet ensuring that it’s a notch or two different from the best ones on the list. Built around a plot that has smart-thinking vampires laying siege to a town that is set to stay enveloped in darkness for a period of 30 days and 30 nights due to the dark and chilling polar nights, the movie plays out the entire 30 days with both groups at each other’s throats with an ending that is again a slight departure from the usual. While some components of the movie, especially its plot holes and the apparent and almost desperate need for better actors, did come under fire, we must agree that for a movie that wasn’t such a departure from others that belonged to the same category, this one sure did a far better job than most others.
If 30 Days of Night fell short in the department of great acting chops, Fargo outdid in this department, and this was probably one of the major reasons behind the tremendous success that the movie enjoyed. A black comedy crime film that made audiences fall in love with the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, and their brilliant hold on their work in the writing and directing departments, Fargo follows the storyline of a worn-down but determined pregnant Minnesota police chief Marge Gunderson (played by the talented Frances McDormand) trying to pin down those responsible for the multiple homicides that were suddenly taking place in an otherwise sleepy town. On the other side of the fence are the cold-blooded killers, played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare who are out to kidnap the wife of a car salesman who intends to hold her captive and collect a heavy ransom from her father. With loads of twists and turns that keep the audience at the edge of their seats, the movie proved to be a huge success at the box office too, making a cool $60 million at the box office, a pretty nice profit considering it only took the makers $7 million to create the masterpiece. Fargo won several nominations and wins too, notably a Best Actress Oscar for Frances Dormand and a Best Original Screenplay win for Joel and Ethan Coen. If you want to watch a movie that gives you the chills but also makes you wonder what’s going to happen next, Fargo is a great pick.
When a few lucky passengers survive a plane crash in the snowy mountains of Alaska, you’d think it was where their adventure ends. But when you have to make your way back to civilization, knowing that no one will come to rescue you, and when you have a pack of killer grey wolves determined to kill and feast on each one of you, you soon realize that the adventure is only just beginning. And that’s what The Grey‘s storyline is all about! Led by a brilliant star cast with Liam Neeson playing the main protagonist and Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, and others providing perfect support, the adrenaline rush the movie gives as well as the fear it instills in our hearts are enough reason to put this one on our list. The painstaking details that define each survivor’s instincts and will to fight are what stand out in the film, and this approach is what makes The Grey a brilliant work indeed.
When a movie gives Leonardo Di Caprio a well-deserved, long-awaited, and denied-far-too-often Academy Award, how can we not have it on our list? And of course, the chilling adventure that it is qualifies it as one of the best fits for our list of 10 Films Set in the Snow That Will Give You the Chills too! With some of the strongest characters of the day — Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and Will Poulter — adding their own bits of uniqueness to the portrayals of different characters from the group of trappers and hunters around whom the movie revolves. The terror of being hunted, the infighting that exists, as well as the very basic task of surviving the harsh terrain, all add up to make the tale of The Revenant a gripping one in every sense. The movie is so realistic and heartbreaking in some sequences that there are times when you really wish death upon the protagonists so that it would spare them of some of these horrors. One of the most powerful movies on this list, The Revenant is far too good in so many ways.
Let’s End This List Before We Freeze in Terror!
It’s one thing to feel a cold draft or even venture out on a snowy day to feel a bit of nature’s icy blasts against our cheeks, and another to go all out against Mother Nature and fight against its many dangers as well other threats for survival. And one look at the movies on this list of 10 Films Set in the Snow That Will Give You the Chills will tell you that each movie on it does just about everything to bring to you horror, terror, and fear, all on the same icy plate of snowy wilderness. So before the cold gets to us, let’s call it a wrap on this list!The Thing