Conjuring up images of snowy landscapes, bare trees and freezing temperatures, wintry weather sets an instant and identifiable tone. It’s no wonder that a number of key movies use this particular season as a constant backdrop. Rarely does the simple use of weather have such an immediate impact as when characters exhale steam as snow falls in an ever-present blanket around them. Indeed, the audience can practically feel the shivering cold through the screen.
Tone aside, winter often plays an even more direct role in the narrative. Movies like “Christmas Vacation” wouldn’t make much sense if they weren’t set during the holiday season, after all. Not to mention the obstructive nature of snow and freezing temperatures in films such as “Cold Mountain”, “Fargo” and “Force Majeure”. In John Carpenter’s horror classic “The Thing,” set in the heart of Antarctica, the desolate winter climate reflects the isolation the characters face as the film progresses.
During this time, the public can wrap themselves in warm blankets and sit beside the fire while taking part in the visual experience. This makes winter movies all the more appealing, as if they boost our own sense of comfort. It also helps that a number of these movies are just great on their own. Here are 20 of the best.
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