Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980)
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
In The Shining a struggling author with an alcohol problem (Jack Torrance) takes a job as a caretaker for an isolated hotel during its snowbound off-season. He’s brings his wife (Wendy) and son (Danny) who over the course of the winter become the objects of Jack’s madness and rage. The origin of Jack’s mental illness becomes a focus of the film. Was it alcohol? The stress of providing for a family? Cabin fever? Or was it something more supernatural?
The Shining is the perfect horror film to watch in a blizzard because no matter how bad the wind howls or how deep the snow gets, The Shining reminds us that things could always be worse inside. Unlike Jack and his family, we can expect to be snowbound only for a few days rather than a few months. As long as none of you happen to live in a haunted hotel, I think we’ll make it through just fine.
How about turning this storm into a nice family stay-cation? Grab a few of your favorite board games and play by candlelight to keep the mood lighthearted. Yahtzee! Just be sure to monitor children closely, don’t let them play alone, and reinforce the “don’t talk to strangers” rule.
If you’ll be snuggling next to your significant other by the fire, take this opportunity to get to know each other better by having a long talk about your feelings. If cabin fever begins to set in, you’ll be able to keep each other in check. However, you may want to lock up any potential melee weapons especially baseball bats and axes.
If you’ll be spending the storm alone, grab a drink and settle down with a good book. Stephen King’s lengthy tale should keep you fully occupied for at least few days. You can start to panic only when your drinks are being prepared by a well-dressed bartender named “Lloyd”.
Man is the warmest place to hide
The Thing centers around a team of scientists at a research base in Antarctica that are thrust into a terrifying scenario where a parasitic alien life form begins to covertly inhabit the bodies of their fellow researchers, and leaves behind a collection of corpses.
The Thing is the perfect film to watch in a blizzard because it makes us appreciate the trusting relationships we have with our best friends. We know that if times got tough, there are a select few we would trust with our lives. However, what do we do when one of our friends is not who they seem?
If you’ll be having a “Blizzard of ‘13” party with a group of your best friends, I suggest stocking up on alcohol and bonding over the rough situation. You’ll laugh and joke through the entire storm. Be sure to keep some extra rope handy and pick up a few of those drugstore DNA tests. If anyone begins acting strange, tie down the entire group and test their blood for alien parasites. Don’t worry, they’ll thank you in the morning. If their tests show ANY abnormalities, quickly run to the basement and grab your flamethrower. Be sure to char their corpses into a pile of ash to avoid further contamination.
My little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due south
In Misery a famous author (Paul Sheldon) crashes his car during a flash snowstorm, is knocked unconscious, and breaks several bones. He is rescued and nursed back to health by a woman (Annie Wilkes) who describes herself as his “number one fan”.
Misery is a fantastic film choice for a blizzard because it shows us what the consequences are when we disrespect Mother Nature. Misery also makes us value the company of those who are familiar to us and teaches us to avoid isolation.
If you’ll be spending the next few days trapped in a secluded cabin with your “number one fan”, I suggest you put on a gleaming smile, act cordially, and hide a butcher’s knife under your mattress. If your companion looks longingly into your eyes, has memorized your personal habits, and begins to fantasize about your joint suicide, it’s time to plan your escape.
First, it is absolutely imperative that you memorize the exact placement and positioning of each ceramic knick-knack in the house. Next, hide a can of lighter fluid in your pants and threaten to set fire to the thing she loves most. When she goes to save it, smash the bitch in the head with a heavy object. Unfortunately you’re still crippled so cross your fingers and hope someone shows up before you starve or freeze to death.
In all seriousness, I hope all of you in the Northeast stay safe during this heinous storm. I’ll do my best to keep you entertained as long as we have power. Please discuss your favorite films below or on Belladonna’s Facebook page. Best of luck to all.