10 Best Psychological Movies To Watch When You're Snowed In, According To Reddit - Screen Rant

From Wind River to The Hateful Eight, plenty of thrilling movies incorporated a winter setting in a way that makes them great on snow days.
Psychological thrillers are a dime a dozen, but most don’t accomplish with audiences what the genre’s title promises. One thing that helps escalate tension in just about any film is isolation. Never is isolation more common (under normal global circumstances) than during a major storm.
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If viewers are snowbound but they have electricity, nothing’s better for passing the time than a movie. And if the film’s prospective audience is already dealing with snow and ice, they might as well view something that makes them appreciate their situation. At least they’re not trapped with a murderous husband, like in The Shining, or facing a faceless alien, like in The Thing. As far as Redditors are concerned, those are the two major examples, but they’ve come up with other suggestions as well.
Stephen King’s Storm of the Century was a late 90s miniseries that plays just as well as an extra-long 4-hour movie to be taken in one sitting. The plot, like many other King works, takes place in Maine. Like The Shining, arguably the most popular snowbound tale, Storm of the Century is a King work involving a town-debilitating blizzard.
Superbanki87 recommended it on a thread looking for winter-themed chills, saying, “Storm of the Century. Based on a Stephen King screenplay, kinda long, 3ish hours I think, but one of my all-time favorites. Definitely has snowstorms in there.”
A now-deleted user suggested a particularly claustrophobic Tarantino film: “I’m not sure you will like it, but I just watched Hateful Eight and it’s pretty cool.”
Another now-deleted user also recommended it but added some details: “You probably know the premise but it involves 8 strangers getting snowed into a cabin by a blizzard. EXCELLENT TENSION.” The user then cautions that the film contains graphic violence while also endorsing its entertainment value. While Tarantino’s filmography can be too intensely violent for some, the well-acted, movie-referencing The Hateful Eight was another winner for him.
On top of being Danny Trejo and Tommy “Tiny” Lister’s (The Dark KnightFriday) first movie, Runaway Train is also a solid, underseen action thriller. Based on an original screenplay by none other than Akira Kurosawa, the film followed two escaped cons (Jon Voight and Eric Roberts) as they take an assistant locomotive driver (Rebecca De Mornay) hostage. Unfortunately for them, it’s aboard a train with no conductor.
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In the words of A40, “Runaway Train. This will leave you shivering. Amazing thriller.”
A Simple Plan, one of Sam Raimi’s best movies, was very much unlike his spider-slinging or over-the-top horror films. It’s a restrained tale of greed and the price of dishonesty. Taking place in snow-covered Minnesota, the plot follows Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton’s brothers (along with a talkative friend/accomplice) as they discover a crashed plane chock full of cash.
now-deleted user simply said “A Simple Plan,” to which another deleted user said, “Watched this yesterday, was amazing.” It is an intense and effective movie with a high rewatchable factor, so “amazing” is a suitable adjective.
Quite a few Redditors spoke highly of what is arguably the Coen brothers thriller masterpiece: Fargo. For instance, a now-deleted user posited “Fargo, Roger Deakins’s cinematography is outstanding.”
There are a number of reasons to recommend Fargo on a snowbound day. Even with tough subject matter such as kidnapping and murder, it’s a breezy watch elevated by Oscar-worthy (and winning, for Frances McDormand) performances and an off-kilter tone.
David Fincher’s remake of the Swedish film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was somewhat passed over at the time (considering its massive budget), but it’s a perfectly palatable rendition of an expansive narrative. There is also unexpectedly solid chemistry between Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, respectively.
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Redditor with a name not worth repeating said this of Fincher’s film: “Even though it’s not fully about isolation, I was completely struck with the scenery in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Any time I think of winter movies, it is the first one that pops into my mind. The way the movie was shot almost makes the scenery and weather seem like their own characters.”
The Revenant‘s troubled production intensely oozes through every frame. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s tale of frontiersman Hugh Glass is arguably the ultimate film to make the viewer feel like they’re in ice-cold weather. Furthermore, the film’s elongated, no-holds-barred narrative never lets up and the tone never lets the audience feel safe. But it’s not the surrounding war that’s the most dangerous enemy to Glass, but rather the harsh conditions that could kill him in any number of ways.
Zootndoot said of the DiCaprio film: “The Revenant is a great watch when in snowy weather.”
One of Jeremy Renner’s best movies, Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River followed an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) and a U.S. Fish and Service tracker (Renner) as they investigate the death of a young woman. She’s been killed on a drilling camp, but complicating the investigation is the fact that it’s located within the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Sparkski gave three suggestions, one of which was the Olsen-Renner mystery thriller. Then idanidan123 came in with “The ending of Wind River was f****** brutal.” Kaleesh_Warrior then astutely added why the ending is so devastating: “Wind River is one of my favorite plausible movies, by that I mean that everything that happened in it could happen in real life the same way.” This is because writer/director Sheridan was inspired by numerous similar real-world cases.
Bong Joon-ho’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi action thriller was notable for several reasons outside of being Joon-ho’s first (primarily) English-language film. Like Runaway TrainSnowpiercer takes place on a train, but it couldn’t be more dissimilar. However, they share a major similarity. Snowpiercer‘s global warming-destroyed world is intimidating, but like many other notable thrillers, it focuses on the ever-potential depravity of human beings in times of great stress.
In moazkhan‘s words, “Snowpiercer. A good movie with great actors that isn’t well known.”
One Redditor surprisingly mentioned Ravenous, a little-seen thriller with an excellent cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, and David Arquette. It takes place in the 1840s, borrowing specific elements of the Donner Party tragedy. Pearce portrays Second Lieutenant John Boyd, who fakes his own death while his fellow men are slaughtered. Then he ends up in a Sierra Nevada outpost, where the men have been alone and hungry for a long time.
As the Redditor, McGirthy, phrased it, “Ravenous. Can’t believe it wasn’t mentioned yet.” To which the original poster, shwashwa123, added “Yep I’ve seen that. Good recommendation.”
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Ben Hathaway is a Senior Writer (Lists) for Screen Rant. A former Therapeutic Day Treatment counselor, Ben is now a career writer. When not working, he is writing and self-publishing (on Amazon) novels under the name Scott Gray. In his spare time, he’s reading on the porch or watching every film under the sun. Ben can be contacted at scottgraywrk@gmail.com.


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