Snowy Scares: Horror Movies to Feed Your Winter Need

Winter is typically the dumping ground for movies the studios don't think will win any awards or become a blockbuster hit -- namely, horror movies. But if you're going to watch a movie during the winter, why not heighten the realism by having the story set in the snow? Here are some snow-themed horror movies that do just that; they'll chill you inside and out.

Note: For purposes of (relative) brevity, I don't list Christmas-themed films (which are pretty much all snowy) here. Instead, refer to my list of Christmas Horror Movies.

The snowy setting of Barrow, Alaska serves as the ideal locale for a vampire invasion, given the town plunges into 30 days of sun-less darkness every winter. If you're ever stuck there, pray for daylight...or Josh Hartnett.

The Abominable Snowman (1957)

The Abominable Snowman (1957)
© Anchor Bay

In this early British film from the legendary Hammer Film Productions, perennial Hammer hero Peter Cushing tracks down the Yeti in the Himalayan Mountains, despite the warnings of locals. Silly locals, thinking they know stuff.

Avalanche Sharks (2013)

Avalanche Sharks
© Entertainment One

During a spring break celebration, an avalanche unleashes giant prehistoric sharks that, through the magic of SyFy science, somehow swim in the snow.

Blood Glacier (2014)

Blood Glacier DVD
© IFC

In this Austrian film, workers at a climate observation station in the Alps fight for survival against animals mutated by a mysterious red substance oozing from a nearby glacier.

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Blood Runs Cold (2013)

Blood Runs Cold
© Bloody Disgusting Selects

A young woman reuniting with childhood friends in an isolated cabin (uh-oh) in the snowy wilderness falls prey to a psycho killer clad head to toe in winter gear.

The Children (2009)

The Children (2009)
© Lionsgate

During a New Year's family get-together in the snowy backcountry, the young children develop a mysterious ailment that turns them into homicidal maniacs. Part of the Ghost House Underground series.

In this gritty Norwegian film, a group of 20-somethings on a snowboarding trip are forced to take shelter in an abandoned ski lodge that turns out to be home to a homicidal maniac. Said maniac proceeds to bump the snowboarders off, one by one. A traditional slasher set-up enlivened by the snowy setting.

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The Colony (2013)

The Colony
© Entertainment One

In an apocalyptic future in which the Earth is covered by snow and ice, most of the population is dead, and the survivors live in underground colonies that must band together when a pack of feral cannibals attacks.

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The Corridor (2012)

The Corridor (2012)
© IFC

In this Canadian film, a group of friends on a snowy getaway encounter a strange glowing "corridor" in the woods that begins to affect their mental state, tearing them apart from the inside out.

Dead Snow (2009)

Dead Snow
© IFC

More Norwegian horror about a group of friends in the snowy wilderness (naturally with no cell phone reception). This time, the foe is a battalion of zombie Nazi soldiers who were killed during World War II. Where's Indiana Jones when you need him? followed in 2014.

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In this twisty thriller, Mary Steenburgen stars as a struggling actress who ventures to a remote cabin (never a good idea) in the snowy woods for what she thinks is a choice role. However, she ends up the captive of a maniacal doctor and his sidekick (Roddy McDowall), who force her to play a role in their murderous scheme.

Dead of Winter (2008)

Dead of Winter (2008)
© Lionsgate

Not a remake of the 1987 movie of the same name, this film, AKA Lost Signal, finds a couple drinking spiked beverages on New Year's Eve and crashing on an icy road, leaving them stranded in the middle of nowhere with what may or may not be a dangerous stalker lurking.

Five killer kids (including Leif Garrett!) escape from the care of a psychiatric facility when their van crashes on a snowy road. They make their way to a cabin in the woods, where they play sadistic, deadly games with the occupants (including Boss Hogg!). Bonus: they turn one of the victims into a human snowman.

Devil's Pass (2013)

Devil's Pass
© IFC

In this found footage film, five American college students travel to Dyatlov Pass in a remote region of the Ural Mountains in Russia to investigate the notorious deaths of a group of hikers in 1959.

Donner Pass (2012)

Donner Pass
© Freestyle

A group of teens on a ski trip in the Sierra Nevada mountain range where the infamous Donner Party met its fate begin turning up dead...and half-eaten.

This mess of a Stephen King adaptation throws everything into the mix: aliens, ghosts, psychic powers, deadly infections, evil military men, Morgan Freeman's overgrown eyebrows, anal secretions and of course, a monster snow storm.

Extinction (2015)

Extinction
© Vertical Entertainment

Thinking their ordeal may be over, three survivors of a zombie apocalypse venture outside of the safety of their snowy hideout only to discover the zombies have evolved into something more dangerous.

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Sylvester Stallone is a burned-out cop (Is there any other kind in movies?) who's trying to drown his sorrows in alcohol after the death of his wife at the hand of a serial killer. He's sent to a rehab facility in the middle of nowhere when a blizzard strikes, trapping the patients inside with -- you guessed it -- the same serial killer.

In this Swedish vampire movie, a rogue scientist attempts to merge human and vampire DNA, but when his teen lab assistants take the pills he creates, they turn into vampires who spread out across the snowy landscape to feed and create more slacker vamps like themselves.

Frozen (2010)

Frozen
© Anchor Bay

No, not THAT . In this movie based on a true story, three skiers finds themselves trapped in mid-air on a ski lift with a snow storm moving in, the resort closing down for several days and a pack of ravenous wolves circling on the ground below.

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Hypothermia (2012)

Hypothermia (2012)
© Dark Sky

's Michael Rooker stars in the story of a deadly creature emerging from the depths of a frozen lake to terrorize a group of ice fishers.

In this cheap monster movie, a series of earthquakes around an Antarctic oil station prompt the oil company to send in...a bunch of grad students? I guess 50-year-old seismologists wouldn't have been sexy. To their dismay, the quakes have unearthed (uniced?) a bug-like creature with a taste for grad students.
The perfectly preserved remains of a prehistoric woman -- or woman-like creature -- is discovered in a frozen state. While being shipped on a plane, the "ice queen" awakens and attacks the pilot, causing the plane to crash into a snowy mountain next to a ski resort. The atmosphere is a perfect killing ground for the ice queen, who belongs to some sort of race of beings that can freeze people by touching them. Then she enjoys yummy human popsicles.

Ice Road Terror (2011)

Ice Road Terror
© Vivendi Entertainment

Ice road truckers in Alaska run into a giant prehistoric creature that's been unearthed from the ice. 

Ice Spiders (2007)

Ice Spiders
© Sony
In this poor man's Eight Legged Freaks, an alpine military base is the site of an experiment splicing prehistoric spider genes into modern-day spiders to produce super-strong silk for bulletproof body armor. Unfortunately, they don't plan adequately for the super-strong spiders themselves, which escape. Although the snowy wilderness is supposed to prevent the spiders from running amok, the creatures get over their cold phobia and set their sights on the neighboring ski lodge.

Iced (1988)

Iced
© CBS Fox Video

Long-forgotten '80s slasher about a group of people who receive a mysterious invitation to a ski lodge and then find themselves stalked by a homicidal skier.

Jack Frost (1996)

Jack Frost (1996)
© Simitar
In this low-budget horror-comedy, snowy weather causes a police vehicle carrying a convicted murderer to collide with a tanker containing an acid solution. When the acid spill onto the killer, he melts into the snow and voila, we have a killer snowman! Followed by the 2000 sequel Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman.

Workers for an oil drilling company near the Arctic Circle discover that the melting ice has released a supernatural being that isn't fond of people messing with Mother Nature. Even Al Gore couldn't foresee this.

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Let the Right One In (2008)

Let the Right One In
© Magnet

The perpetual snowy landscape in this award-winning Swedish movie heightens the bleakness of the story of a friendship between a boy and a his little vampire friend. The similarly snowy American remake Let Me In would follow in 2010.

Man Beast (1956)

Man Beast (1956)
© Associated Producers

In this B-movie, a woman and her boyfriend travel to the Himalayan Mountains in search of her brother, a scientist seeking to prove the existence of the Yeti. Mountain climbing, murder and interspecies crossbreeding ensue.

When a novelist crashes on an icy rural road, he's rescued by his biggest -- and looniest -- fan, who holds him captive, thanks in part to a cleverly utilized sledgehammer. 

In this overlooked little flick, a group of people volunteer for an Internet reality show in which they're holed up in an isolated house in the middle of snowy nowhere. They must stay in the house for six months to collect a million dollars, but if anyone leaves, nobody wins anything. Needless to say, when sinister events begin to happen, the paranoid players must decide whether to abandon the house and risk the elements outside or to continue playing the game.

Rage of the Yeti (2011)

Rage of the Yeti (2011)
© SyFy

SyFy fare about a treasure hunters in the Arctic who encounter a pack of ravenous Yetis.

In this deliciously dark flick, a 19th-century US Army officer is banished to a remote outpost in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains, where he ends up partaking of a local delicacy: human flesh. Donner party, your table is ready...
Another great Stephen King adaptation, this one starring Jack Nicholson as a writer who gets a job as a caretaker at an isolated hotel that closes every year during the perpetually snowy winter season. As the snow sets in, so do the ghosts and the homicidal insanity that results in "red rum."
Stop me if you've heard this before: a group of partying, sex-crazed teens go to the middle of nowhere for a good time... In this case, they've chosen a ski resort, but they didn't count on being stalked by a mysterious killer skier who doesn't take kindly to snow boarders.

Snow Shark (2013)

Snow Shark (2013)
© Independent Entertainment

Believe it or not, Avalanche Sharks isn't the only movie about man-eating sharks swimming through the snow. 

Snowbeast (1977)

Snowbeast (1977)
© Legacy Entertainment

In this TV movie, an "abominable" creature attacks people in an around a Colorado Ski Resort during a winter carnival.

Snowbeast (2011)

Snow Beast (2011)
© SunWorld Pictures

This SyFy fare isn't a remake of the 1977 film, but it may as well be, since the basic concept of a "snow beast" attacking locals is the same. In this instance, a scientist (John Schneider) studying local wildlife and a ranger (Jason London) team up to stop the creature.

I'm not sure who was clamoring for not one, but TWO sequels to the made-for-TV adaptation of Stephen King's short story Sometimes They Come Back, but this second sequel takes the action to a government mining facility in Antarctica, where two military police officers are sent to investigate a series of deaths, which turn out to be of satanic origin.

The first story that Stephen King wrote as a television miniseries, this tale takes place in a small town being battered by the worst blizzard in a century. However, the worst of their problems is a devilish stranger who strolls into town demanding a sacrifice from the townsfolk...or else.

The Thaw (2009)

The Thaw
© Lionsgate

Cabin Fever meets The Thing, with a commentary on global warming, in the story of ecology students (led by Val Kilmer) who discover that a deadly prehistoric parasite that has been released from the melting polar ice cap.

In the original classic and its arguably more classic remake, an alien life form discovered frozen in the ice by a team of Arctic (in the remake, Antarctic) workers emerges to wreak havoc. A snowy prequel to the John Carpenter remake followed in 2011.

Unnatural (2015)

Unnatural
© After Dark

A mutant polar bear, the result of genetic experimentation, escapes into the Alaskan wilderness and menaces the local population. Part of the 2015 After Dark Horrorfest.

The Weather Station (2015)

The Weather Station
© Hannover House

This layered Russian thriller unfolds in two separate time periods, one telling of meteorologists at a remote weather station encountering a pair or strangers and a later one of investigators trying to determine what happened to the now-missing meteorologists.

In this somber supernatural tale, a family vacation to a remote winter cabin takes a turn for the worst when a dark presence seems to permeate the area. Could it be the legendary Wendigo, supposedly a half-man, half-deer? Or perhaps the elusive, Hendigo, half-man, half-chicken? Or maybe Bendigo, the half-man, half-rat? Or the most deadly of all, Fenndigo: half-man, half Sherilyn Fenn.

Whiteout (2009)

Whiteout (2009)
© Warner Bros.
The only US deputy marshal assigned to Antarctica must investigate the continent's first murder before winter sets in.

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011)

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings movie poster
© 20th Century Fox

The fourth entry in the Wrong Turn franchise is a prequel in which a group of college students get lost in the snow and head to an abandoned sanatarium, unaware it's inhabited by the cannibalistic kinfolk. 

Yet another silly SyFy endeavor, this time about a plane carrying a college football team on its way to Japan (?) that crashes on a mountain inhabited by a man-eating Yeti.

You'll Like My Mother (1972)

You'll Like My Mother
© Universal

This thriller plays like a mix of Misery and Flowers in the Attic, as dark family secrets and homicidal mania erupt when a pregnant woman (Patty Duke) decides to visit her late husband's mother for the first time, arriving during a snowstorm that traps her in her mother-in-law's mansion for days.