For some, the holidays are a time to gather round the fire, mug of cocoa or spiked eggnog in hand, and sing jolly carols alongside friends and family. But sometimes Christmas isn’t quite that cozy, and sometimes you want a holiday that’s not quite so saccharine. For times like these it’s nice to flip on a winter movie about survival and snow to remind you that the season isn’t all about happy little elves skipping down candy cane lanes, their tummies filled with gingerbread and sweets. It can be nice to escape the overly-saturated world of holidays in which stores and over-eager celebrators want you to revel.
Then when you’re done with your escape and return to the world of holiday cheer, you get to truly appreciate the true warmth and love of the season! So please enjoy this small selection of wonderful winter films that aren’t quite so jolly…
This might be my favorite winter survival movie. Not only is the cast star-studded, with Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins and a brief appearance by Elle MacPherson, it also stars a mother-freaking crazy bear. A bear who is stalking our stars because he’s just a jerk stalker bear who has nothing better to do with this time than terrorize plane-crash victims. These 2 dudes are surviving an evil bear. A. Bear. Who gets the first credit at the end of the movie. Because he’s a star. This will make you appreciate your non-insane pets, your loved ones, and the fact that you’re not involved with a supermodel.
This is a Norwegian gem that brings together two things we have long hoped would be brought together: Nazis and zombies. You’ve got one evil, then double evil! Campy? Yes. Not the best movie ever? Sure. But isolated cabin, hilariously gory action-packed fun. And a tiny bit of a history lesson stuffed in there to boot. And I do mean tiny.
This movie will make you glad you’re not in Minnesota/North Daktoa, since it looks crazy freezing. And, you know, wood chipper body disposal and all. Just kidding – I bet MN and ND have tons to offer other than crime and snowstorms, Appreciate the accents and the pregnant super-cop that is Frances McDormand. As the poster says, it’s a “homespun murder story” – perfect holiday viewing for the whole family. Well, except for kids. Don’t let them watch this, probably. And also the gore-sensitive. And those opposed to awesome accents.
This is set in the opulent and seemingly idyllic Overlook Hotel where it just so happens sometimes people snap and murder their entire family. But murder and mayhem aside, the hedge maze is gorgeous, the geometric interior design grand, and Danny’s sweaters are fabulous. This one will really make you treasure your family, because nobody is quite as dysfunctional as the Torrances. And it’ll teach you to quit working and start playing to avoid dullness.
Encounters at the End of the World
If you haven’t seen a Werner Herzog documentary, this would be a nice snowy place to start. Venture to the South Pole and get a peek into the wild and weird world that it is. Experience wacky isolation survival tactics, the unbelievable beauty of the environment, and the sad realities of a deranged penguin.