The dark days of winter are upon us, providing the perfect excuse to curl up with a good movie at home. If you still want to channel the crisp outdoor temperatures and get into the spirit of the season, we’ve selected some of the chilliest movies you can watch while warm and from the comfort of your own home. These wintry films feature snowy, icy settings that are integral to the powerful atmosphere of each story, existing as more than just a pretty backdrop. White blankets of winter weather reveal a dichotomy that filmmakers love to toy with, symbolizing the emotional mindsets of their characters, isolation and tragic circumstances, or the fragile beauty of a new love. Here are ten of our favorites that use snow as a filmic mirror and canvas. Share some of your picks, below.
Restrained, distant, and still are several ways to describe the work of Ang Lee, and no film captures the starkness and purity of his emotional approach more than The Ice Storm. It’s a somber meditation revealing mundane moments in dysfunctional relationships — confused characters trying to cope with the rapidly changing political, social, and sexual climate of the 1970s in the Connecticut suburbs. Attempts to connect with one another only alienate Lee’s players further. Several are as frigid as the impending ice storm that transforms their lives. Lee shows us, however, that his characters can’t simply blame the chilly tempest for the loneliness they trap themselves with.