Oh dear. There were several things I expected from Saturday morning, but this wasn’t one of them. I planned to lounge around in my sweatpants while eating (more than one pack of) Pop-Tarts. I planned to actually go outside for a while (and check the mail). I planned to spend half an hour coming up with a dope hashtag for my tweets. What I didn’t plan for, however, was that my small town in North Carolina would actually be wiped off the map by the worst blizzard the world has ever known.
There was a sense of dread and despair so prominent I could almost taste it (Disclaimer: May have been the Pop-Tarts). How could I possibly survive this nightmare scenario? The only proper solution to my problem was to watch snow-themed horror films and allow certain death to quietly wash over me.
There surely would not be an escape for me (for dramatic purposes, disregard that I’m currently alive and telling you this story) from the fate I’d always been consigned to. The roads were frozen, the will to carry on was long replaced by the will to nervously eat breakfast pastries one after the other, and I stubbed my toe the night before, so walking away from this just wasn’t an option in the first place. Upon accepting my fate, though, the fear melted away and I was prepared to watch one of the most underappreciated snow-themed horror films ever made.
The first film of my marathon was Frozen. One of my personal favorite snow-themed horror films, Frozen presents us with a plot that leaves three friends stranded on a ski lift during a powerful blizzard (though inferior to the one I was facing), who are forced to either freeze to death on the lift over the course of a week, or try their luck escaping with a hungry pack of wolves below. Spoiler alert: both things suck.
Entirely tense throughout, Frozen preys on my fear of heights in panic-inducing fashion. Presenting the audience with three likable characters that we’re forced to watch suffer, the film is equal parts heartbreaking and horrifying. Through the sheer terror of this survival horror flick, however, the audience is taught important lessons. Lessons such as: Don’t go skiing; Don’t jump out of a ski lift if you do; and most importantly, unless you’re Liam Neeson, don’t fuck with a pack of wolves.
30 Days of Night (2007)
Vampires are cool and all, but apart from Nosferatu’s creepy ass, I’ve never really thought of them as being scary. That changed in October of 2007 when 16-year-old me went to the theater to watch this comic book adaptation play out on the big screen. 30 Days of Night follows civilians of an Alaskan town while they are attacked by vampires during a 30-day long polar night. The film brutally depicts the chaos within the town- something I could not be convinced wouldn’t happen to my people once the sun went down on Saturday night.
One of the scariest vampire flicks in recent memory, 30 Days of Night is also one of my favorite snow-themed horror films. If I end up trapped inside my house and defending myself and family from merciless vamps (I don’t), tell the Frog brothers that I died a hero.
The Thing (1982)
Next up in my marathon of snow-themed horror films was the ever-terrifying The Thing, directed by the legendary John Carpenter. The film takes place at an American research base in Antarctica as a parasitic alien lifeform assimilates its victims and imitates them. One of the scariest films ever made, John Carpenter’s The Thing perhaps benefits more from the snowy backdrop than any film on this list.
While waiting for this snowstorm to bury me, I couldn’t help but contrast the alien imitation of myself versus Kurt Russell. If he were to be imitated by an extraterrestrial, the alien would end up incredibly charming with a godly hair/beard combination, whereas if I were to be imitated, the alien would become a tall, lonely schmuck just lookin’ for a soul to squeeze. Blizzards take a toll on a man.
The Shining (1980)
At this point in the evening, I began to go a little mad. The horrifically powerful snowstorm (see above pics) had left me cooped up all day and was obviously taking its time with bashing my brains in. Like Jack Torrance, I began to see and talk to ghosts. Fortunately, this would be the last film of the evening and I’d awaken Sunday morning to a new, slightly melted ice world.
One of the most iconic horror films ever made, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining follows writer Jack Torrance, who moves his family to the isolated Overlook Hotel as he becomes the Winter caretaker. As time passes, Jack falls under the persuasion of ghosts and descends into madness, attempting to murder his wife and young son. One does not simply marathon snow-themed horror films without including The Shining, and it was the perfect film choice to close out my evening. Redrum.
There you have it, folks! The detailed guide of how I survived the Great North Carolina Blizzard of 2017. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to shop for Pop-Tarts. What are your favorite horror films set in the snow? Let us know in the comments!
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