Brow Beat

The Best, Snowiest, Stormiest Movies to Stream While You’re Snowed in This Weekend

You, this weekend.
You, by Sunday morning.

Still from The Shining © 1980 Warner Bros. Entertainment

If current forecasts hold up, the day after tomorrow will be, well, The Day After Tomorrow. Until then, you’ll be ordered to stay off the roads, to never leave the house, and to generally sit around doing nothing.

But if you’re going to do nothing, you better do it right. Here are the best, blizzardiest, and most claustrophobic movies and TV episodes that you should watch while you’re snowed in.

The Day After Tomorrow (Streaming on Amazon)

The first 45 minutes of The Day After Tomorrow are perfect winter storm viewing because they offer hot cocoa-sipping homebodies the chance to revel in a storm even worse than their own. The superstorms of Roland Emmerich’s weather-porn extravaganza represent not just winter but The Last Winter, the winter that will eventually come for us all, and no matter how annoying it is to shovel your walk, at least you won’t freeze solid in seconds while doing it. Skip the movie’s second half, which for some reason is about wolves chasing Jake Gyllenhaal through the library, and just revel in the wintry destruction of all we know and love. —Dan Kois, culture editor

The Simpsons, “Mountain of Madness” (Streaming on Simpsons World)

There are few things more comforting during a blizzard than basking in the warm, glowing, warming glow of The Simpsons, and this episode, from that golden age when just about every episode was a classic, is the perfect snowstorm companion. As Homer and his boss Mr. Burns get snowed in together, and the cabin fever gradually drives them insane (culminating, of course, in a hallucinated battle between an army of snowmen and an army of history’s greatest politicians), you will learn many important lessons about life stuck inside, such as how to bring the salsa toward you without getting up from your chair. It will also remind you that, no matter who you’re snowed in with, it could always be worse. (Just be happy that you didn’t get snowed in with Lenny.) —Forrest Wickman, senior editor

Snowpiercer (Streaming on Netflix, Amazon, and Showtime Anytime)

Many movies are about getting snowed in, but what Snowpiercer presupposes is: What If all of civilization was snowed in? That’s the high concept at the center of this action/comedy/sci-fi film from the great South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, which places all the surviving members of society on one train circling the Earth in the midst of a new Ice Age. The train becomes a microcosm for all our world today, and a vehicle for the movie’s Occupy-the-luxury-car message about economic inequality and outsourced labor, but Snowpiercer is entertaining whether you want to chew over those ideas or just munch on some popcorn. —Forrest Wickman, senior editor

The Ice Storm (Streaming on Amazon)

The only thing worse than being snowed in is being iced in—in the ’70s, amidst several sad scenes of suburbia: from a key party that permanently changes the relationship between two families (and two sets of spouses) to the tragic wake left by the storm itself. You may not feel less claustrophobic after watching this Ang Lee drama, but you might feel better about your own suffocating situation—and you’ll discover a soundtrack as chilly and beautiful as ice. —Heidi Strom Moon, product manager

Misery (Streaming on Amazon)

Misery is not a movie for the faint of heart; for the unfamiliar, the underlying premise is predicated on a fan (Kathy Bates) being so preternaturally obsessed with a writer (James Caan) changing the plot of his novel that she sees no other way to deal with it than to keep him in captivity and torture him until he tweaks it. But all psychological games aside, a freak blizzard is the true villain of the film—the snow is to blame for the accident that puts James Caan in Kathy Bates’ custody, and frequent shots of the snow on the ground outside and around her home serve to drive home how trapped he really is. — Chelsea Hassler, deputy audience engagement editor

The Thing (1982, streaming on Amazon)

For starters, you have Kurt Russell at the beginning of his charm period (about four years before Big Trouble in Little China). This is also the second collaboration out of four between him and director John Carpenter. Carpenter is perhaps best known for his horror classic Halloween, but he can also deliver camp with the best of them. All you really need to know, though, is a group of scientists are holed up in a station in Antarctica, they can’t leave, and a shape-shifting alien is also there and wants to kill everyone. You’ll get some good jump scares, some good laughs, Russell’s classic delivery, and Wilford Brimley! And while the effects may seem a bit dated by this point, they now serve the overall campiness, and don’t detract a bit from the suspense. — Jon Lechliter, software developer

The Shining (Streaming on Netflix and Amazon)

It’s hard to think of a movie that captures a cabin-fever–induced spiral into crazy quite like Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant The Shining. But amidst the ghosts and madness lurk even more terrifying monsters: oceans of ennui-filled time, the setting at once spacious and claustrophobic, and all those miles of beautiful, awful snow. —Paul Smith, web developer for Panoply

Fargo (Streaming on Amazon and Hulu)

For your consideration, snowed-in Making a Murderer fans, I present to you Fargo, the perfect film for your binge hangover. Fargo similarly challenges small-town Midwestern values by pitting them against bone-chilling elements of the true crime genre. But this is a Coen brothers movie, so you should also expect kidnapping, a briefcase full of cash, Steve Buscemi’s frozen, panting breath, a lot of tense windshield de-icing, and a woodchipper. The film is set against the austere backdrop of a dead-cold Minnesota winter, which means you also get stark snowdrifts, winter parkas, and thick Minnesotan accents. What more do you need? Making a Murderer was just a warm-up for this. —Evan Mackinder, audience engagement editor

I Love Lucy, “Lucy in the Swiss Alps,” (Streaming on Hulu)

I have no idea if I Love Lucy pioneered the “wintry cabin fever” bottle episode, a staple of the sitcom genre, but this is certainly one of the better examples. In this Season 5 episode, the Ricardos and Mertzes go on what they think will be a nice, short hike in the Swiss Alps, only to find themselves trapped in an abandoned cabin following an avalanche. Snowbound hijinks ensue, as they fight over what little food they have and make some soul-baring confessions. America’s favorite couple-friends make perfect company for this blizzard—especially if you’re less than thrilled with your own snowed-in roommates. —Aisha Harris, staff writer

Gilmore Girls, “The Bracebridge Dinner” (Streaming on Amazon)

There are other good snowy episodes of Gilmore Girls, a show that made the most of its quaint New England town setting, but the most memorable is Season 2’s “The Bracebridge Dinner.” Lorelei and Sookie are hosting a historically accurate(ish) 19th-century dinner at the Independence Inn, and when the party that’s supposed to come cancels because of a snowstorm, they invite the whole town. It’s not claustrophobic in the sense that no one can go outside at all, but pretty much everyone on the show does end up staying at the inn for the night, a Stars Hollow slumber party not equaled until, well, the other times the show pulled cutesy stunts like this. Even non-townies like Paris and Grandma and Grandpa Gilmore show up. And all the dramedy that usually takes place throughout Hartford, Stars Hollow, and the byways in between is confined to the inn for the night—townspeople banter, Rory wonders about her dad, Emily and Richard fight, and Luke and Lorelei and Jess and Rory share romantic and poignant sleigh-drawn carriage rides. Plus, there’s a Bjork snowman/snowwoman! —Heather Schwedel, copy editor

Transsiberian (2008, streaming on Amazon)

An American couple (Woody Harrelson, Emily Mortimer) with barely a knick in their passports decide to take the Trans-Siberian railroad from Beijing to Moscow after a Christian mission in China. First mistake. As the cavernous train drags along the snow-cloaked frontier, the pair befriend a younger couple (Kate Mara, Eduardo Noriega) that take an unlikely interest in them. Second mistake. Eyes begin to wander, a grizzled Russian policeman starts to ask about drugs, and soon things take a very sharp turn for the worse. This is a caper-on-a-train movie for an age of global anxiety, and the tightening tension pays off in a genuinely startling third act. —Jeffrey Bloomer, associate editor and video producer

Read more in Slate about the East Coast blizzard.