By Christopher Rosa
FAIR WARNING: A FEW SPOILERS UP IN HERE.
It’s hot outside. Crazy hot. Whether you’re getting burnt in the 100+ degree weather down South or sweltering in an urban jungle like New York City, one thing is certain: You’re sweating. And you’re not happy about it.
Neither are we. While some have the luxury of swimming pools or beach houses, most of us have to deal with the heat by sucking down water and imagining cold places. Those with better kindergarten experiences are more equipped.
That’s where movies come in, folks. What better place to escape this unbearable sun than indoors–hopefully with air conditioning and the blinds closed like the vampires we are–with a movie set in the tundra? We know it’s not the same as being in the actual tundra, but it’s pretty darn close.
Not all cold movies are created equal, though. We’ve broken down 10 of the coldest movies in existence and given them a “Frost Factor” to make your selection easier. At VH1, we care about cooling you off properly.
Take a look at the movies below and let us know which ones are keeping you at a comfortable temperature this summer.
10. Mr. Deeds (2002)
Frost Factor: 32°F
This movie—starring Adam Sandler as a small town pizzeria owner who inherits a billion-dollar fortune—takes place in New York City mostly, but gets some serious chill points when Winona Ryder’s character takes an accidental swim in a thin, iced over pond. *Shivers.*
9. Frozen (2013)
Frost Factor: 25°F
Elsa, we’re envious of you. In a heat wave like this, we wish we could magically create ice with our fingers. Teach us your ways, please. We don’t just want to build a snowman. We want to build a snow country with a working government, school districts and a McDonald’s on every street.
8. Snow Day (2000)
Frost Factor: 20°F
Ahhh, nostalgia. This Nickelodeon movie made us wish every day was a snow day. These kids spent the entire film doing exactly what we wish we could do now: Roll around in ice.
7. Misery (1990)
Frost Factor: 15°F
This movie is cold for more than just the weather (it’s set in a snowed-in Colorado cabin). In an Oscar-winning performance, Kathy Bates plays Annie Wilkes, a crazed fan of author Paul Sheldon (James Caan). When Paul crashes his car near Annie’s home (leaving him temporarily paralyzed), she holds him hostage. It’s full of both wintry weather and cold-blooded behavior. (Remember this scene?)
6. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Frost Factor: 9°F
Everything about this movie is freezing, from the White Witch’s (Tilda Swinton) evil ways to the better-wear-your-fur-coat Narnia backdrop. Particularly frosty scenes, like when soon-to-be Prince Edmund (Skandar Keynes) meets the Witch for the first time (and is soon imprisoned in her icy castle), put this film on our list.
5. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Frost Factor: 3°F
When the entire Statue of Liberty freezes over, you know The Day After Tomorrow isn’t playing any games. This weather apocalyptic thrill ride—starring the always va-va-voom Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal—throws every winter fear out but the kitchen sink. In one terrifying scene, a pilot emerges from his crashed helicopter to freezing temperatures that literally turn him into a statue. Sounds pretty great right now.
4. The Grey (2012)
Frost Factor: 0°F
This survival action-thriller set in Alaska is so knuckle-clenching that you will be sweating, but not because of the heat. However, the below-freezing temperatures in The Grey still make it a frigid excursion. Stay tuned after the credits for a “WTF?!”-worthy scene. (Don’t worry, it’s cold too.)
3. Ice Age (2002)
Frost Factor: -7°F
The classic film in the five-installment franchise is still the coldest (and sweetest) of them all.
2. Happy Feet (2006)
Frost Factor: -10°F
The Frost Factor may be low for Happy Feet, but the feels factor is so friggin’ high. In the film, adorable penguin Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood) is a dancer in a colony of singers. In a journey of self-discovery, Mumble learns to embrace his differences and dance his little heart out—all the while set in the arctic. Freezing?—absolutely. But also: So. Much. Cute.
1. The Shining (1980)
Frost Factor: -12°F
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And a frosty one, for sure. This horror movie (setting: a Colorado hotel in dead winter) ends in a terrifying cat-and-mouse hunt, where now-crazed Jack (Jack Nicholson) attempts to kill his wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd). But his plan fails, and Jack dies tragically by freezing outside the hotel. Alright, maybe this movie is a bit too cold for us.
[Photos: Disney, Warner Bros., Open Road/Universal Studios]