I can’t think of any other genre in which I would separate films by seasons. There is no way in hell I am making lists of “Spring Dramas” or “Fall Comedies”, but “Winter Horror” for some reason seems entirely logical. I can’t really think of any other genre in which I could do that (Ok, this is a lie, I can already think of a few “Winter Action” films off of the top of my head – The Long Kiss Goodnight being one of them) for, but the horror genre welcomes this type of over-categorization.
In all honesty, I’ve seen more lists, sub-genres and categories for horror than I have for any other film genre, and that includes porn. Horror fans love this attention to detail and, more importantly, are always looking for excuses to re-watch their favorite films and discover new titles that they may have missed for one reason or another. The winter months lend themselves to this, especially if you’re in the north east part of the country like I am and already have inches of fucking snow in your drive way, as a good portion of our days are shrouded in darkness and tend to be cold and bitter. What more reason to sit inside with a stack of films that portray just what is outside your fucking window, only with the addition of masked killers, ravenous zombies or some other force-that-shall-not-be-fucked-with?
I have been compiling a list of “Winter Horror” films for a while now and I figure this is a good opportunity to share it with others. The list is certainly not complete, for I only included films that I would recommend people see (and I’m sure there are films that qualify that other people may think are worthy that I did not) and I, of course, have not seen every horror film out there.
Grab some hot cocoa (and put some Bailey’s in that shit), a stack of pizzas (or whatever the hell else you eat in the winter), put on those really lame fuzzy socks you wear when nobody else is home and enjoy some winter horror before the weather won’t allow you to.
In no particular order:
- The Shining – Do I really need to explain this one?
- The Children – Recent British horror film about killer children and it takes place around Christmas time. Surprisingly effective and unfairly overlooked.
- Inside (A l’intérieur) – Incredibly brutal French film from 2007. Has gotten a lot of attention recently. See this before it inevitably gets remade.
- Pontypool – Canadian zombie film that is fairly unconventional. Most of this takes place in doors, but even so, you can still tell that it is winter.
- Let the Right One In – Odds are you’ve seen this. If you haven’t, do so. The remake is even surprisingly effective as well.
- Frozen – I was really unimpressed by Hatchet but Adam Green showed me that he can actually make a decent film with this. It is more of a thriller than a horror film but it is one of the scarier films on the list in my opinion. Though, this may only be so if you’ve ever been a skier.
- Cold Prey – Above average slasher flick from Norway. Nothing really new here but it is done really well and snow covered mountains make for a pretty dreary setting.
- Silent Night, Deadly Night – I was going to avoid putting Christmas films on here as they truly warrant their own list but I couldn’t avoid this one.
- Day of the Beast – Another one that takes place on Christmas but it takes place in Spain and it certainly does not feel like Christmas. It definitely feels like winter though.
- Misery – Another great Stephen King adaptation. Not a fun horror film by any means but the performances from the leads elevate this above most films in this list regardless.
- Kwaidan – Japanese anthology film. Creepy and atmospheric. Not a lot of gore here but some of the most striking imagery I’ve seen on film.
- The Thing – This is another that needs no introduction.
- Dead Zone – I’m a sucker for Cronenberg and this film really utilizes the snowy landscapes. Oh yeah, and it’s another Stephen King adaptation. Guess that guy likes snow.
- Ravenous – I was wondering if I should include this or not. It is more of a dark comedy/period piece than a horror film but it is a lot of fun and has developed a surprising cult following since failing at the box office when it was released.
- Jack Frost – Last but not least. Who am I kidding, this movie is fucking awful, but goddamn is it fun. Perfect excuse to get drunk in the dead of winter and rally up a group of fellow horror lovers.