A wintry mix: Top 5 chilling chillers

With plummeting temperatures, the motivation to leave the warm confines of your house has similarly diminished. It’s cold. You’re cooped up. Make it a movie night with a delightful horror flick that reflects your sentiments. Art imitates life, life imitates art. Here are five frightening winter goodies to heat up your evening:

“The Thing” (1982)

the-thing-carpenter-postBased on the 1951 “The Thing from Another World,” horror guru John Carpenter’s 1982 “The Thing” is the epitome of chilling suspense. Quite literally, it’s set in the Antarctic, and centers on a group of American researchers who encounter an alien lifeform able to assume any identity. Carpenter’s classic flick features a frigid backdrop, engrossing whodunit scenario, and stunning special effects.

“The Shining” (1980)

The_ShiningStanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining remains one of the most celebrated horror films to date. Differing substantially from the novel, Kubrick’s envisioning is arguably the greatest depiction of cabin fever in cinema. The tension builds steadily, culminating in a claustrophobic romp through a wacky hotel during a snowstorm. Jack Nicholson’s eyebrows add further creepiness to Kubrick’s masterpiece.

“Pontypool” (2008)

Pontypool_posterPontypool” is one of the freshest zombie flicks, and a highly enjoyable winter thriller. Set in Pontypool, Ontario, there’s a raging snowstorm but the real catastrophe is the alarming proliferation of strange happenings in town. Relayed War of the Worlds style through reports to radio DJ Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie), the story unfolds slowly, but with high tension. “Pontypool” is darkly comedic, and surprisingly cerebral, rarities in the zombie genre.

“Misery” (1990)

MiseryAcclaimed author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) crashes his car during a blizzard, and he’s rescued by local resident Annie (Kathy Bates). Unfortunately for Sheldon, when Annie says she’s his number one fan, she’s not using the phrase lightly. Captured in a secluded cabin with a snowy background and Kathy Bates’ lovely creepiness, “Misery” will leave you far from miserable.

“The Children” (2008)

The_ChildrenFamily holidays can be truly horrific, mainly because of dreaded relatives, but “The Children” takes the fright to an entirely new level. For the holidays, Elaine (Eva Birthsitle) brings her husband and kids to visit with her sister Chloe (Rachel Shelley) and her family. It’s rare that children villains arise, and the kids in the ominously titled “The Children” are real terrors. The harrowing environment is echoed by a bleak, snow-covered landscape, which is put to good use. “The Children” corrupts the jolly white Christmas fantasy in an eerily enchanting fashion.