Whether you’re looking to cool down in the midst of grueling summer heat or need some comfort during the cruelest winter chill, these snow horror movies may be just the entertainment you’re looking for!Become a Patron!
30 Days of Night (2007)
30 Days of Night takes place in Alaska, in a town that’s super close to the Artic Circle, that’s about to experience a 30-day-long (night long?) Polar Night. As in, no daylight for 30 days! And of course the bulk of that hellish month is going to be full of -ugh- snow! As if being trapped in a blizzard during a month of endless night weren’t bad enough, the folks of Barrow also have to deal with vampires picking them off while they’re at their most vulnerable.
Let the Right One In (2008)
Let the Right One In AKA aka Låt den rätte komma in is a multiple award-winning Swedish horror film in the vampire subgenre… where they don’t actually call the monster a vampire (which actually happens fairly often – maybe I should make a list of those instances sometime too?). Anyway, the monster/vampire in question is Eli, in the form of an androgenous child, and how they befriend a 12-year-old human boy named Oskar. Let the Right One In is primarily the story of Oskar and Eli unusual friendship/”romance” (I hesitate to call the relationship between a 250-year-old being and a tween boy a romance, but I guess…? They do care deeply for each other) and how perhaps the real monsters aren’t vampires but social isolation and existential anxiety. Or maybe the real monster is all the friggin’ snow!
Let Me In (2010)
Let Me In is an unnecessary remake of Let the Right One In… That said, it’s very well done. The differences are so minor (Owen and Abby instead of Oskar and Eli, 1983 America instead of 1982 Sweden, etc.) that it’s essentially the same movie. The author of the book both adaptations were based on (and the screenwriter for Let the Right One In) loved this film, so I think that’s nice. Watch whichever version is available to you at the time, basically. This one’s in English. Still PLENTY of snow!!
Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck is a vampire horror comedy directed by and starring Roman Polanski (Rosemary’s Baby). Two idiot vampire hunters head to a snowy mountain village where they discover their services are needed — both in defeating the vampires who’ve taken over the town and to rescue Sharon Tate from a devious Count.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a heavily romanticized film adaptation of the 1897 horror novel with plenty of gothic scenery — and plenty of snow! It also has Quincey Morris, the American cowboy oft-omitted from Dracula adaptations, and an epic end credits song by Annie Lennox.
Based on a Stephen King novel, Dreamcatcher has a plot featuring aliens, cancer, superpowers, government/military shenanigans, and lifelong friendships that’s nearly impossible to sum up. It starts out as a horror movie starring kids that’s not for kids (much like IT) and then follows what happens to those children years later as adults. And it’s set in Maine (surprise!) so there’s tons of snow for the characters to suffer in.
The Crawling Eye (1958)
There’s something deadly hiding in the fog above the snowy Swiss mountains! Find out what lurks in the chilling mist along with a young psychic, her older sister, and a dude they met on a train. The Crawling Eye AKA The Trollenberg Terror is a ton of fun and one of my Dad’s and my favorite horror movies from the 1950’s.
AVP: Alien VS Predator (2004)
Predators, Xenomorphs, and a large cast of human fodder collide in Antartica for a pretty fun 101 minutes!
Is the “Ancient Enemy” in Phantoms an alien? Not exactly (I probably could have put this in the Snow Monsters section technically, but even the characters in Phantoms call the creature an alien so I put it here!). Is there snow? Not exactly. My Southern California brain’s interpretation of “freezing” remembered there being snow in Phantoms, but it’s actually just really nasty wet-looking weather and the anticipation of snow-to-come combined with everyone commenting on how cold it is while wearing fabulously late-1990’s puffy jackets. BUT, I rewatched Phantoms as part of my research/self fact-checking for this piece and I enjoyed it. That late ’90s nostalgia hit the comfort zone, y’know? It was silly and entertaining! Which is exactly what you need if you’re dealing with horrible weather! Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd… the story takes place in SNOWfield, Colorado! SNOW!!
Dead Snow (2009)
Dead Snow AKA Død snø and its sequel Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead (2014) are peak “Zombies in the Snow” horror movies. The series was written with a simple theory in mind: “What’s more evil than a zombie? A Nazi zombie!”
Pontypool follows the story of a Canadian radio DJ and his assistant as a horde of zombies (infected by the English language!) surround the radio station where they’re working. It’s a tense 95 minutes with characters you quickly become invested in. And, in addition to the infected humans banging at the doors, there’s also a blizzard keeping the leads trapped! Yikes!
Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
I’ve written about Anna and the Apocalypse before — it’s a zombie movie musical that takes place in Little Haven, Scotland right around Christmastime (plenty of cold/snow!). It’s a goofy, gory, heartfelt horror movie musical that’ll have you thinking about it (and adding a few of its songs to your playlist) for days afterward.
Another Stephen King novel adaptation (and the only one to win an Academy Award thus far), Misery is the story of Paul Sheldon, an author who’s caught in a blizzard, has a car accident, and is abducted by a psychotic fan who then holds him prisoner by doing whatever it takes to keep him in her home. The snow continues to fall throughout this horror thriller, adding to the claustrophobic bleakness of the situation — it remains suspenseful even when you already know the story!
The Shining (1977)
I thought about saving The Shining for a snow horror movies sequel post, perhaps one with a section on snow ghost movies, but although this film does have a supernatural element, the true terror is crazy Jack Torrance. And, yes, this is yet another Stephen King novel adaptation! What can I say? Mr. King writes a lot of horror stories that take place in the snow.
The Invisible Man (1933)
Ah, poor Dr. Jack Griffin. He knew he’d messed up when he’d turned himself into an Invisible Man, he asked people to give him some time to figure things out, and did they…? Of course not. People continued to get up in Dr. Griffin’s business until he snapped and went on a murder spree! This is a classic Universal Monsters movie that every horror fan needs to watch at least once — and it has some key snow scenes!
Snow Holiday-Themed Baddies
A family whose lost their Christmas spirit is hunted down by Krampus, portrayed here as an ancient demon, and they have to figure out how to re-learn loving each other while simultaneously avoiding the wrath of Krampus and a powerline-damaging blizzard!
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
This snow horror movie is from Finland! A team of researchers drills deep into a Finnish mountain, towering above a town of reindeer herders (how Christmas-y, right?), and release an entity, what they come to believe is a Joulupukki (a Christmas goat demon, a component of the folklore that helped shape modern-day interpretations of Santa Claus). Rare Exports is another horror movie starring a child that’s NOT for children, and it’s a fast-paced (82 minutes) wild ride. You’ve got a PISSED Santa Claus, evil elves, and more snow than anyone could possibly handle.
Dial Code: Santa Claus (1989)
Dial Code: Santa Claus AKA 3615 code Père Noël AKA Deadly Games AKA Game Over AKA Hide and Freak is a French Home Alone for hardcore horror fans. No, really; 1989’s Dial Code: Santa Claus is so similar to 1990’s Home Alone that its director threatened legal action on the grounds of plagiarism! However, as you may have guessed, this movie is a LOT more intense and you (rightfully!) worry that the main character is in actual danger. I first saw this on on The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and really enjoyed it!…except for when (spoilers) the dog dies. 🙁
Just as this is a post about snow horror movies written during a scorching Northern Hemisphere summer, Gremlins is a Christmas movie that was released in June! Gremlins is a classic horror comedy we all know at this point (and one of Christi Bandy’s top recommendations on her list of teen and tween-friendly horror movies!) so I won’t get too into it. Just leaving this here as a reminder that Gremlins has a lotta snow. And Dick Miller! We always give extra points when there’s a Dick Miller appearance.
Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (1957)
Produced by Hammer Films, The Abominable Snowman is the story of an expedition into the Himalayas led by Peter Cushing to capture a live yeti. Does this plan go horribly wrong? Of course! Is there so much snow you can barely see what’s happening on screen sometimes? You betcha!!
The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020)
Is The Wolf of Snow Hollow a werewolf movie…? Actually, that could be classified as a bit of a spoiler! This 2020 film presents the werewolf aspect as the central mystery, so I can’t tell you whether there is or isn’t a genuine lycanthrope involved without ruining the movie. But can I give spoiler-free confirmation that there’s heaping gobs of snow? YES!
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
An American Werewolf in London, like Phantoms, doesn’t really have snow in it — it just looks horribly cold/wet/miserable weather-wise and has characters in puffy jackets. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 37.5 years and have only experienced heavy hail, never “true” snow. To me, any weather below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is “freezing.” To me, the nasty weather featured in An American Werewolf in London is about as wintery as it gets! Anyway, I wanted to include this one so I did. But, because it’s “just” super gross horrible cold wet weather with the looming threat of snow (rather than actively snowing for the bulk of it), this list is 20+ Snow Horror Movies instead of 25+ Snow Horror Movies. 😉
Van Helsing (2004)
Technically, Van Helsing could fit into several categories — it’s got werewolves, vampires, and monsters! Filmed on location in Prague, there’s plenty of genuine snow (as well as plenty of fake snow in the Los Angeles’ sets) and Van Helsing even has a nod to another snow horror movie on this list — Fearless Vampire Killers — during a ballroom dance sequence.
The Werewolf (1956)
A dude with amnesia wanders into a snowy mountain town… Turns out the main thing he forgot is that he was turned into a werewolf. Oops!
The Thing (1982)
Oh hey! Fun Fact: Today (June 25, 2022) is the 40th anniversary of John Carpenter’s The Thing! 🙂 Actually, I was a bit nervous about writing this post (what with my extreme lack of personal experience with real-life snow) but Heather Landry, the gal who illustrated all of our mascots, said, “as long as you remember to include The Thing, it’ll be great!” So, here’s an entire section of “Things” on my list of snow horror movies, starting with the 1982 version because it’s the Birthday Film today! Woop woop!!
The Thing is a science-fiction horror film about a group of dudes doing research in Antarctica who discover a deadly alien parasite. Chock-full of nifty practical effects, The Thing, along with the other movies based in Antarctica, is one of the snow horror movies with the MOST SNOW on this list! BRRRRR!!
The Thing (2011)
If you watched The Thing (1982) and thought, “I need to know the backstory! HOW did this happen? What occurred immediately before this story?!” then The Thing (2011) is the movie for you. The 2011 version of The Thing is the direct prequel to the 1982 version of The Thing and tells how the “Thing” in The Thing became such a troublesome thing. THING!!
The Thing from Another World (1951)
Although John Carpenter’s The Thing is a more faithful adaptation of the source material (the novel Who Goes There?), The Thing from Another World from 1951 is the first film adaptation and has a fun monster design (portrayed by James Arness). In this version, the researchers are based at the North Pole instead of the South and, as I mentioned in June of 2020, the monster is essentially a giant walking vegetable… Make that a frozen giant walking vegetable! Plenty of snow in this 1950’s classic horror movie!
Need More Snow Horror Movies?
Not satisfied with this list of snow horror movies? Well, there are plenty more to choose from! If you really enjoyed this list and would like to read a Part Two/Even MORE Snow Horror Movies, let me know! Or, you can submit your own list. I’m always looking for horror-relevant articles from guest post writers. 😀Become a Patron!
Images via MovieStillsDB and Pixabay.
Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner of LittleZotz Writing, a super-respectable multiple award-winning website for freelance writers. She’s also the HorrorFam.com founder! Lauren grew up in the horror industry (her parents did practical special FX work for many of the horror movies you love from the ’80s and ’90s) and basically created this site so she could freely gas on about creepy stuff and stop having to pretend to be normal.