I’m an “all seasons are awesome” kind of person, but I have recently noticed how Winter tends to bring up my nostalgic side: whether it’s about carrying on family traditions or creating new ones with my chosen family, I’m up for it. A Christmas movie marathon is one of my top-notch activities (and so it is watching Star Wars for the whole duration of December, because there is definitely some snow at some point, right?), and I love sappy Christmasy films – especially those tv films where everything is a specifically annoying shade of red and everyone is smiling all the time for no reason.
While I understand that not everyone is a wannabe elf in disguise, there is one brand of movies I have never understood: anti-Christmas movies. To put it simply, if you do hate Christmas, why would you watch a movie about Christmas on purpose? Therefore, give a warm (pun intended) welcome to those titles that could really use a cup of hot chocolate and some gingerbread to go with, although they have nothing to do with Christmas.
This classic animation tells the story of the legendary pack of huskies who saved the children of None, Alaska, from the diphtheria outbreak of 1925, by carrying the antitoxin for over 1000km. The movie doesn’t go for an accurate depiction of the events, but what it gets completely right is the incredible bond that forms between men and huskies in such a hostile environment, where their lives depend on trust and teamwork. Add a Russian snow goose who raised a wolf dog and two polar bears as a single father, and you can tell just how much you need this movie.
The harrowing winter landscape of this cinematic masterpiece will hardly give you any Christmas vibes. It doesn’t matter what time of the year is: the snow, the cutting wind, the loneliness, the silence, they will transport you to a place where everything shows its most deadly side. The soundtrack alone will give you the kind of chills no hot cup of tea can make go away. And if you have a lot of spare time in your hands, you can also jump on the series immediately after the movie.
No brief description can bring justice to this movie, based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jaques Lob. Snowpiercer takes place entirely inside a train that runs on a never-ending circle while carrying the last of mankind, both cause and victim of a new ice age. Those who can stomach a reasonable amount of violence, typical of action South-Korean movies, will be rewarded with an imaginative and alarmingly relatable dystopia, that takes advantage of the claustrophobic setting and never fails to make the frozen, outside world look scary enough to justify the characters’ determination to remain in this train of horrors. Not a ‘fun’ ride, but a good one, I can promise you that.
4. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
It will never get any creepier than a vampire story settled in Sweden. Not your average vampire story, nor your typical coming-of-age movie, and far from a supernatural romance, it tells the story of the unique friendship blossoming between Oskar, an introvert boy victim of bullyism, and Eli, a girl who looks his age but is, in fact, a vampire.
Against all the odds, for once I would also recommend the US remake, strictly after watching the original.