Have you ever watched a scary movie where a crazed killer chases a person in an old, abandoned house during a thunderstorm? If you have, then you know how certain kinds of weather can add suspense and thrills to a horror movie. Thunderstorms can be loud and can produce the flickering lighting that adds to a scary movie. Some of the classic movies just had to include stormy weather. Follow the links below for my picks of favorite scary weather scenes in horror movies.
Frankenstein. How would Frankenstein be born without a good thunderstorm with plenty of lightning?
The Shining. Stephen King built his book (and the subsequent movie) The Shining upon the fact that weather can be horrible. The Shining focuses on a hotel where a couple and their son are trapped by bad weather, and (bwahaha) the hotel eventually drives Jack Nicholson’s character mad. Towards the end of the movie, the scene below would not be possible without a major winter storm. SPOILER ALERT for the clip below: If you’ve never seen The Shining, you might want to avoid watching this clip!
Psycho. The classic Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho also uses bad weather to drive the action forward. Near the premise and beginning of this movie, Marion Crane leaves her home and work place after stealing money from her boss. After hours of driving on the road, a mixture of fatigue and stormy weather influences her decision to spend the night at the Bates motel. Without the storm, would she have stayed at the Bates Motel? We’ll never know, but you have to admit, weather played a large role in her decision to spend the night at a hotel … that will never let her come out alive.
Bottom line: Can you think of classic horror films that center around weather? (Examples: American Horror Story, The Mist, The Fog, etc.) My favorites are in this post.
When he's not keeping EarthSky's community up-to-date on global weather happenings, meteorologist Matt Daniel is the weekend Meteorologist for 13WMAZ (CBS) in Macon, Georgia. He is also a freelance weather producer for CNN. He has contributed to articles to MSN Weather and worked with the National Weather Service. Matt graduated from The University of Georgia where he obtained a degree in Geography and a certificate in Atmospheric Sciences and Music Business. He has a passion for helping to keep people safe when severe weather strikes and says if you don't have a NOAA Weather Radio ... you should get one.