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Top 5 Ice Movies That’ll Make the Polar Vortex Seem Pretty Okay, Actually

With America caught in the grips of a deadly polar vortex, I figured it’d be a good time to highlight a handful of movies that feature icy dystopias far more desolate than the one you may or may not be currently suffering through. And away we snow! (Sorry.)

5. Frozen – You said it, the title of this movie! Everything gets frozen in this thing. Fountains, walkways, people. Literally every step you take post-Hurricane Elsa puts you at risk of slipping and cracking your head open. Your last sight – cold, grey sky. And that’s if, and only if, you don’t get disembowled by a frost giant. Way worse than a polar vortex.


4. The Ice Storm – Slight SPOILER ALERT on this one guys, so go pop in your Criterion Blu-rays of The Ice Storm real quick before reading on. The titular storm in this flick may not be that dramatic from a visual standpoint, but it is downright malicious. This storm had the gall to down a power line right next to a train track in the precise window of time that baby Elijah Wood decided to have himself a sit. That’s no accident. That’s Mother Nature actin’ like a straight-up sociopath. At least the polar vortex has a benign scientific explanation behind it, according to the fifteen seconds of Googling I just did.



3. Ice Age – I had to think about this one, because in the context of the film the Ice Age seems kinda fun. You’ve got slides and luges galore, some colorful reflections. It’s a blast!


But then I reminded myself – this story is told from the perspective of a mastodon, a sabretooth tiger, a sloth, and a scrat. The only humans in the story lose their baby. A baby that winds up, ironically, manhandled by sharp-toothed beasts for what seems to be at least a full week. It’s a miracle that baby survived. You would NOT want to be a human in this ice age, but it’s only mildly terrible being a human during this polar vortex.


2. The Day After Tomorrow – Easy call. The premise of this movie is pretty much, “What if there was the worst ice storm ever, way worse than could ever be scientifically possible.” This movie presents an ice storm so bad it makes wolves hate you. The ice in this movie will literally chase you down a hallway. It happens. I think. I’m not sure, I haven’t seen it in like ten years.


1. Snowpiercer – Technically this movie hasn’t been released into theaters yet, and I haven’t seen it, but from the looks of the trailer, no polar vortex could ever be as awful as the snow hell this flick takes place in. Why? Um, you have to LIVE IN A TRAIN FOREVER.


Have you ever been on a train before? It’s nice for the first, like, hour. Maybe. But then? Boredom like you’ve never imagined. You might think to yourself, “Oh, but I’d get to see the world from a ground level!” Um, yeah, COVERED IN BORING ICE. Plus, you’d see the world within a month or two. And then what? The same terrain, forever. It also seems like nobody on this train gets to shower.


A tight, contained space where nobody can shower, forever? Um, polar vortex, please!

I hope these movies remind you that although the polar vortex is really, truly awful, it could always be worse! (If you were a fictional character.) What’s your favorite snowpocalypse movie? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. WT says:

    Alive! Yes! Num num football players… and then there was Ice Station Zebra…

  2. boB says:

    Aren’t you Nerdist people all in southern California? What do you know about cold weather??? I’d much rather be in any of these movies than the polar vortex. :p

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  4. Doug B says:

    Um…Alive? The only thing worse than shoveling snow is having to eat a rugby player.

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  9. John G. says:

    John Carpenter’s The Thing!

  10. WT says:

    I was thinking ‘Fargo’ might be a good one to watch during this little weather hiccup.