For those of you not living in the UK at the moment, this top 5 may seem a little peculiar. But stick with it. For the past couple of days, Britain has been gripped by ‘the beast from the East’ as it’s been nicknamed. Bringing freezing temperatures and blizzards, it has completely crippled the nation – as it always does.
Why a world superpower like the United Kingdom ceases to function at the mere hint of the white stuff is another debate for another time, but while I’m watching it fall from outside my bedroom window, I thought I might as well look through the best snow films ever. That is, films that feature snow heavily, either as an aesthetic practice or in the overall plot of the movie. And blimey, there’s more than you’d think. Read on to find which five made the cut and share your thoughts in the comments box below.
The Day After Tomorrow
It’s not subtle, but boy does it get the job done. The Day After Tomorrow, directed by Roland Emmerich aka the disaster movie expert, this disaster movie is a slickly shot and well-paced film that’s brimming with special effects.
Some of them hold up well and some of them don’t (ahem, the wolves). But the story is decent and Jake Gyllenhaal is always a win, plus Dennis Quaid is always reliable. It’s also much, much better than 2009’s 2012 and remains a really good addition to the genre, though maybe a little too close to home for the UK at the moment. Storm Emma is on her way and she’s not going to be pretty.
Animated films, I feel, do snow a lot better than the majority of live-action movies. Why? Well it’s much easier to render snow when you’re creating a film that is solely CGI, you don’t need to worry too much about realism or shooting on location.
Ice Age remains one of the all-time greats of the genre, and in my opinion, it’s a little underrated. It’s spawned numerous decent quality sequels and has a cracking cast and a light, witty script that’s perfect for adults and children alike to enjoy. The snow is part and parcel of the movie, so that’s why it avalanches its way to number four in this list. Get it, avalanches? I’m on a roll.
Another criminally underrated film that didn’t perform particularly well at the box-office, despite the casting of Liam Neeson in the lead role (this was before he had become too typecast with his special set of skills as well).
The Grey follows Neeson and a group of other forgettable plane crash survivors as they fight for their lives against an inhospitable Alaskan landscape and a pack of deliciously clever and terrifyingly hungry (maybe hangry) wolves. Animal rights campaigners hated it for its depiction of the animals as merciless killers, but I liked it for its bleak and unforgiving tone throughout and that frustratingly open ending.
30 Days of Night
A brilliant vampiric horror with a rather neat twist. Set in the bleak and unforgiving landscape of Iceland, this film sees murderous vampires attack a sleepy town during a time when the sun disappears for an entire month. Just think about that for a second, their bombardment wouldn’t stop for a whole 30 days. Eurgh, it’s not worth thinking about.
Creepy, beautifully filmed and genuinely terrifying, 30 Days of Night also features a great performance by Josh Hartnett (whatever happened to him?). It’s an intriguing take on a horror genre that has been done to death and is well worth a watch. If you’re up for a horror movie of course.
Stanley Kubrick was an absolute mastermind when it came to directing and watching his films are like a masterclass in movie-making magic. Sure, he was apparently very difficult to work with at times and on the set of The Shining in particular drove one cast member to near madness.
Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, The Shining is a 1980 horror classic. It’s not particularly scary anymore, but at the time, it was a deeply unnerving film set in a bleak mountain location. Look out for an incredible performance from the legendary Jack Nicholson if you haven’t seen it before. The cast member driven to madness? That would be Shelley Duvall.
Frozen – A future classic by Disney. Frozen is one of the highest grossing films of all time. Could it be to do with the fact that snow features heavily? Doubtful, but it’s a cracking story of love and family.
Snowpiercer – From the man who brought us Okja, Snowpiercer follows Chris Evans on a train that never stops. The world has frozen and the only humans left alive are stuck on a carousel of absolute nonsense.
Alive – Based on a true story and directed by Frank Marshall, now more famous for his input into the Jurassic Park series, Alive follows the Uruguayan rugby team’s crash aboard Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 into the Andes mountains on Friday, October 13, 1972.
Which films do you feel show of the white stuff best? Have you seen the five in my list? Leave a comment in the box below. I reply to them all.