Geek Speak

Five Great Geek Films to Enjoy on a Snow Day

So, cold enough for you? Okay, that’s a stupid question. Unless you’re a goddamned penguin, polar bear or ice troll, it is way too cold for you. Thanks to the fact that spring announced its arrival this year with a foot and a half of snow, we’re all stuck in the house for a day or two, watching the wind and snow make a mockery of our attempts to keep the walk shoveled while we try to figure out how to keep from going stir crazy. Of course, the best thing when you’re stuck in the house is movie night, and when nature is giving you this kind of inspiration, it may as well be a themed movie night. Or movie night and day. In the interest of keeping you sane while you scowl at the snow trapping you inside, I offer you my five favorite snowbound geek films.

5. The Empire Strikes Back
Okay, only a quarter or so of Empire takes place on the ice planet Hoth, and technially they’re not even snowbound, but they don't have a lot of freedom to get around, either. After all, the modifications to the speeders to make them work in the cold aren’t done yet, so they’re riding tauntauns like some kind of weird space cowboys on ice. Besides, Hoth is one of the most iconic science fiction ice planets in geek history — how many different Star Wars video games have featured a Hoth level? All of them? And what would we do for our memes if it weren’t? 
4. Snowpiercer
As bad as it is to be stuck in your house for days during a blizzard, imagine how much worse it would be to be one of the last humans alive, stuck on a snow train until you die. Grim stuff, huh? Really puts the fact that you’re going to run out of booze in a few hours into perspective, doesn’t it? Now you understand why they felt a need to rebel against those upper-class jerks.

3. Dead Snow
Yeah, it sucks to have to shovel your walk, try to make it to the corner store for cigarettes or, gods forbid, get to work if you have one of those insane bosses who doesn’t believe snow days are a real thing — but it could be worse. How, you ask? Try being pursued by unkillable Nazi zombies with a thirst for revenge and a penchant for disemboweling their victims while you do all of those things. Possibly the least essential movie on this list, it’s still a fun one, and it beats actually going outside for any reason right now.

2. The Shining
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of cabin fever, cold weather shenanigans and evil spirits is just the thing to keep you toasty on a cold winter’s day. Not only will you enjoy its masterful cinematography, gut-churning tension and oppressive atmosphere, you might even be inspired to let the kids ride their big wheels in the house. Anything to keep them from bugging you, am I right? Especially if your kids happen to be creepy twins.

1. The Thing
How well do you trust the people you’re currently trapped with? Is there any chance, any chance at all, that one of them is a shapeshifting, identity-stealing monster accidentally revived by the warm weather we had up until Wednesday morning? Are you certain? Maybe you better watch The Thing just to be sure, and rig up some kind of flamethrower in case you turn out to need it. 
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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato