21st Mar2013

The Ten Best – Winter-themed Horrors

by Phil Wheat

10-Winter

Considering the current state of the UK weather here’s a “seasonal” (well it does feel like winter and it keeps on snowing doesn’t it?) rundown of our favourite chilling horrors and thrillers set in snowy climes…

10) The Abominable Snowman (1957)
An expedition to the Himalayas in search of the fabled Yeti goes all wrong when one of the team is revealed as a carnival owner intent on getting a new exhibit for his show. Peter Cushing is the voice of reason as they come under attack from the Yeti who doesn’t like the idea of a career in show business.

9) The Shining (1980)
Stanley Kubrick’s tense horror has rightly taken on cult status. Jack Nicholson and his family are kept on to look after a deserted hotel in the middle of winter. Slowly the desolation starts to play tricks on their minds until Jack snaps. The ‘Here’s Johnny!’ moment is a classic scene in modern cinema.

8) Snow Beast (2011)
Snow Beast, shot in 2011, and not to be confused with the 1977 TV movie Snowbeast (all one word) which starred Bo Svenson and Yvette Mimieux, and is set in the same locale and features almost exactly the same plot, stars Smallville‘s John Schneider as wildlife researcher Jim who, along with his team head up to the mountains every year to study the Canadian Lynx. Only this year things are a little different – as something stalks them, a predator, a hunter, a Snowbeast!

7) The Thing (2011)
A group of research scientists accidentally stumble on the existence of a frozen alien craft in remote Antarctica. Follow the horrifying fall-out of a decision to bring the craft and its deep-frozen inhabitant back to base camp as the scientists battle to contain the terror they have unwittingly unleashed.

6) 30 Days of Night (2007)
Josh Hartnett is sheriff of an Alaskan town which is plunged into darkness for a whole month each year. Sadly for the townsfolk it’s also the time of year that a bunch of vampires want to come out and go on a bloodthirsty rampage. Can the sheriff and his wife save the town?

5) Cold Prey (2007)
This Norwegian horror borrows plot elements from each of the films on this list to give us one great whole. Youngsters are forced to stay at a snow-bound hotel when one of them breaks his leg. They are cut off from the outside world and there is a psychopath on the loose. What could go wrong?

4) Let The Right One In (2008)
This is a Swedish slow-burn classic that is both gripping and truly terrifying. The film follows Oskar, a young boy who is bullied by the other kids and dreams of revenge. His salvation comes in the form of Eli, a pretty young girl who also has a passion for blood…

3) Dead Snow (2009)
More Scandinavian horror as a group of students on a skiing holiday are confronted by a troop of slow moving Nazi zombies. It may be because they lost the war or more likely because they are dead, but these Nazis are seriously hell-bent on carnage.

2) The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s original frosty fear-flick sees scientists in the Antarctic confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

1) Frozen (2010)
Helmed by Adam Green (Hatchet) Frozen finds three skiers stranded on a chairlift in the dead of winter after the ski resort they’re partying on closes for the night. What follows is one of the most gripping horror/thrillers of recent years as the trio are forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death.

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