Extreme Cold: 20 Frost Survival Films

The laurels of the discoverers of the Far North have haunted many scientists and travelers since the 19th century. The ice trap of the white desert killed many polar explorers, leaving no trace of the brave. However, the endless expanses of snow still attract people like a magnet. In this selection of films about the north – stories where the characters find themselves in such cold places, compared with which our freezers are worth the African heat.

Ice Drive (2021)

The brave Irishman Liam Neeson returns to the big screen in a new chilling action-thriller. Trucker Mike takes on any job to help his brother injured in the war. We have to accept a financially tempting, but life-threatening offer – to overtake a truck weighing 33 tons on thin ice in severe frost. Only by delivering this cargo can people be saved from the collapsed diamond mine. And the cold with a snow storm is not the only trouble in the way of Mike and his team.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
The Ice Road

Genre:
Action, thriller

Actors:
Liam Neeson, Laurence Fishburne, Benjamin Walker…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:
16+


Midnight Sky (2020)

This deep drama about loneliness is an adaptation of the science fiction novel by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Augustine is an outstanding astronomer who devoted his life to studying the stars. Astronaut Sally sacrificed her family for a mission to Jupiter. Outside Augustine’s windows – the north and the frost of the Arctic. Behind the porthole at Sally is the emptiness of space . When all radio signals on Earth disappear due to a disaster , and mission control stops communicating, Augustine meets the mysterious girl Iris, and Sally rushes home. Both heroes are wondering if there is still at least one living soul in the universe?

Original title:
The Midnight Sky

Genre:
Fiction, fantasy, thriller, drama

Actors:
George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 5.7, IMDb – 5.6

Age restrictions:
12+


Ice trap (2020)

Based on a true story , the thriller follows a young married couple who are buried alive under a crust of ice and drifts of snow in a stalled car on the side of a highway in Norway. Mobile communication does not catch, food and water supplies are coming to an end. It’s too far to the nearest hotel and it’s pointless to wait for someone to come. Matthew and a pregnant Naomi will have to rely only on themselves.

Original title:
Centigrade

Genre:
Thriller, drama

Actors:
Vincent Piazza, Genesis Rodriguez

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 4.9, IMDb – 4.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Above me the sun does not set (2019)

Connoisseurs of soulful cinema should watch this Russian film about the cold of the Far North and the warmth of human hearts – a good parable about a blogger guy who had to go to work far from home. On an island near the Laptev Sea, where the boy Altan arrives, Baibal lives alone. An elderly man flatly refuses to leave the deserted wilderness, because his wife is buried here. And since there are no other people on the island , Baibal asks Altan to bury him next to his wife. Two people from different times meet in the desolate north to help each other understand life and heal the wounds of the past. The guy persuades the old man to look for his daughter with the help of a video blog, and the old man teaches him worldly wisdom.

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Ivan Konstantinov, Stepan Petrov, Anatoly Kirillin …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.1


Lost in the Ice (2018)

In the Arctic desert, where the air temperature drops below 70 degrees, a crashed pilot is trying to survive. He has managed to adapt to the extreme cold and establish a life in the wreck of the aircraft, fishing, and marking every day spent in snow captivity in a makeshift calendar. One day, a couple of rescuers arrive for him, who also get caught in a storm. Only the girl remains alive, and she is seriously injured. The pilot will have to leave his familiar place to find help. At the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, the film received a ten-minute standing ovation from the audience.

Original title:
Arctic

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smaradottir, Tintrinai Thikhasuk…

Country:
Iceland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
12+


Mountains between us (2017)

This film does not look like brutal action movies about severe frost and no less strong characters, rather, it is a mix of a melodrama about love and a thriller about the struggle for life. Ben and Alex are in a hurry about their business, but their flight is cancelled. Then the man and woman find a private jet pilot willing to take them to their destination. On the way, the pilot has a stroke and dies, and the plane crashes in the mountains. The heroes remain alive, but they have no water, food, communication with the outside world, and there is frost around. In addition, no one knows about their route. Realizing that there will be no help, friends in misfortune set off on a long journey.

Original title:
The Mountain Between Us

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, romance, adventure

Actors:
Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


6 feet deep (2017)

The thriller based on real events will continue the list of the best films about the cold. Eric Lemark, the Olympic champion in hockey , it is difficult to live without adrenaline after the end of his career. The guy cheers himself up with drugs and snowboarding. Having once again refueled with a dose, Eric sets off to conquer the snowy peaks. A storm is coming, but the hero does not care – he decides to roll at least once. Downstairs, the guy realizes that he doesn’t know how to get back. Attempts to get out will take the man 7 days.

Original title:
6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain

Genre:
Thriller, drama, biography, sports

Actors:
Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Sarah Dumont…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 5.7

Age restrictions:
16+


In the forests of Siberia (2016)

In this feature film about adventures in Siberia, the unique Lake Baikal plays the best of all, from which it is difficult to take your eyes off. Not surprisingly, the number of tourists from Europe who want to see the Siberian miracle has increased significantly after the release of the French drama. Teddy, tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city, wanted peace, quiet and freedom. He is not afraid of frost and travels to Russia to spend the winter on the shores of Lake Baikal. One day, a foreigner is on the verge of death. He is saved by the hermit Alexei, a criminal who has been hiding in the taiga for several years.

Original title:
Dans les forêts de Sibérie

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Rafael Personas, Eugene Sidikhin

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
16+


Everest (2015)

The plot of the realistic blockbuster was based on the events of the first ever commercial conquest of the summit of the Himalayan mountains in 1996. Three teams of desperate travelers overcame all obstacles, including bad weather and frost. The climbers managed to reach their destination, but tragedy struck on the way back. A strong snowstorm began, and the team members were scattered at a decent distance from each other. Now each of them will have to seek salvation in the cold and loneliness among the unpredictable mountains.

Original title:
Everest

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, adventure, biography

Actors:
Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal …

Country:
UK, USA, Iceland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
12+


Territory (2014)

A film about survival in the North, based on the novel of the same name by Oleg Kuvaev, stands out against the general background of Russian cinema. Featuring a cast of famous actors, this epic production tells the story of a team of Soviet geologists who decide to risk everything to find the gold the country so desperately needs. “Territory” refers to the space where the tundra meets the Arctic Ocean. Geologist Ilya Chinkov is gathering an expedition to these incredibly beautiful and dangerous places. Heroes are waiting for the harsh North, frost and bewitching landscapes.

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Konstantin Lavronenko, Grigory Dobrygin, Yegor Beroev …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
12+


In white captivity (2012)

After an air battle, where two planes were shot down, German and British pilots find themselves in a snowy Norwegian forest . The soldiers of the warring armies are forced to survive side by side in a random haven, and for this they need to cooperate and trust yesterday’s opponents. The military is gradually learning to see each other not as enemies, but as allies. The frost outside the window is intensifying, and in the hunting hut the simplest conversations of ordinary guys are being held – about girls, homesickness and the causes of war.

Original title:
Into the White

Genre:
Drama, military

Actors:
Florian Lucas, David Cross, Stig Henrik Hoff …

Country:
Norway, Sweden, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.2

Age restrictions:
12+


Fight (2011)

“Live or die today” is the slogan of an adventure film about survival in the conditions of severe frost, where the extreme cold will be just one of the severe tests. The heroes of the drama are the passengers of a plane that crashed in a deserted desert in Alaska. Now they are surrounded by endless snow, hungry packs of wolves and ruthless nature. But in the fight for their own lives, this is not the worst thing that the heroes will have to face.

Original title:
The Gray

Genre:
Thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.8

Age restrictions:
16+


Siberia. Monamour (2011)

Monamur is a romantic name for a completely unromantic place in the Siberian wilderness. Here, in an abandoned village, old man Ivan lives with his grandson Alexei. A few years ago, the boy’s father left them, but Leshka firmly believes that he will return. Winter is coming, which means hard times will come. It is already difficult for the Old Believer grandfather to get food, so sometimes relatives living on the other side of the taiga bring them provisions. By coincidence, the old man and the boy will soon be left without this help, one on one with the cruel North.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Petr Zaichenko, Mikhail Protsko, Sergei Novikov …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Frozen (2010)

An American horror film about freezing can scare worse than thrillers about maniacs . A company of snowboarders is having fun at a ski resort. In the evening, the guys decide to make the last descent before the base closes for the weekend. But due to the inattention of the resort employees, they are simply forgotten on the lift in the very middle of the cable car. The night is thickening, the ground is far away, the wolves are roaming below, and the frost is getting stronger. Will friends be able to defeat fear, cold and predators?

Original title:
Frozen

Genre:
Horror, thriller, drama

Actors:
Emma Bell, Sean Ashmore, Kevin Zegers…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.1

Age restrictions:
16+


How I Spent This Summer (2010)

The filming of this unusual film was carried out at an operating hard-to-reach polar station in the north of Chukotka. Sergey is the head of the station on the island of the Arctic Ocean, Pavel is his trainee. This is their last season, and soon – sending home. Nothing foreshadowed trouble until Pavel received terrible news on the radio. The transport, which is supposed to deliver the polar explorers home, is delayed, and the men are left alone with themselves and their thoughts. Each of them will have to decide whose life is more important.

Genre:
Drama

Actors:
Grigory Dobrygin, Sergey Puskepalis, Igor Chernevich …

Country:
Russia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.0

Age restrictions:
18+


Whiteout (2009)

The events of the film unfold in the ice of Antarctica. Servant of the law Carrie is experiencing a personal drama and flees from sunny Miami to the cold of the Arctic. She has to figure out the mysterious crimes at the geological station, which began with the death of one of the scientists . The body of the deceased was found at the side of the mountain. Although this death appeared to be accidental, the autopsy revealed that a murder had been committed.

Original title:
Whiteout

Genre:
Horror, Action, Thriller, Crime, Detective

Actors:
Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Tom Skerrit …

Country:
USA, Canada, France, Turkey

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 5.5

Age Limits :
16+


White Captivity (2005)

In this film about the North Pole, the main characters are eight sled dogs. The drama, which earned rave reviews from viewers and a high rating, is based on real events. Due to an impending storm, scientists in Antarctica need to leave the station, leaving the dogs behind. But the rescuers promise polar explorer Jerry that they will return for the dogs. Soon the truth will be revealed – no one cares about four-legged helpers. While Jerry’s flock will try to survive in the conditions of the Far North throughout the long and cold winter, the man will look for funds and help to fly in for loyal friends.

Original title:
Eight Below

Genre:
Drama, Adventure

Actors:
Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.1, IMDb – 7.3

Age Limits :
12+


Day After Tomorrow (2004)

We’ve all heard about the threat of global warming, but this sci-fi movie is about the possibility of another ice age. The apocalypse is coming – a piece of grandiose size has broken off from the glacier in Antarctica. Soon half of the planet will be covered with snow and ice. All those who managed to be saved are transported to Mexico, and meanwhile in New York, the son of a scientist, along with a group of guys, falls into an ice trap. The USA has already turned into a snow-covered desert, but the boy’s father intends to rescue his son.

Original title:
The Day After Tomorrow

Genre:
Fantasy, thriller, drama, adventure

Actors:
Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
12+


Lost in the Snows (2003)

Our top films about endless winters and colds are completed by a motivating Canadian drama. Behind the back of pilot Charlie is participation in World War II and successful flights in any weather in the Far North. Carrying out the next flight, Charlie meets a group of Eskimos. They persuade him to take a sick girl on board to transport her to a hospital . Due to a snowstorm, the travelers’ plane crashes. Now a fragile girl who does not understand English, and a strong brave guy will be left alone with frost, hunger, fear and far from civilization.

Original title:
The Snow Walker

Genre:
Drama, adventure

Actors:
Barry Pepper, Anabella Piugattuk, James Cromwell…

Country:
Canada

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.3

Age restrictions:
16+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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