It's Freaking Hot -- So Watch Some Cold Movies

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Longtime Texas residents know that the months of June through September inclusive are best spent avoiding the merciless heat. Tried-and-true methods include cavorting naked at the Williams Tower water wall, taking a summer internship in Lapland, and -- for the undead -- filling your coffin with ice instead of soil from your homeland.

Of course, there's always going to the movies, as these folks in Temple can attest. And while arctic theater A/C can certainly supply physical relief, the following frigid horror movies will also chill you psychologically, which is almost as good.

Okay, not really.

5. Alien (1979)

As Khan Noonian Singh once noted, "It is very cold in space." It's also allegedly where no one can hear you scream, which is news to John Hurt (in this clip) and Veronica Cartwright, who made the walls of the Nostromo fairly tremble with their messy, shrieking demises. Finally, I credit H.R. Giger's nightmarish creature design for spurring me in my lifelong opposition to interplanetary exploration. "Space City" be damned.

4. The Thing (1982)

Set in balmy Antarctica (okay, a refrigerated Los Angeles sound stage), this tale of alien infiltration and paranoia still holds up today (except maybe for the computer chess program). The character of MacReady (Kurt Russell) is such a badass no one questions his decision to wear a sombrero that looks like it was purchased while queued up at the border crossing in Nuevo Laredo. Belatedly realizing they'd traumatized an entire generation of Americans, Hollywood would attempt to make the cosmos a more friendly place with offerings like E.T. and Alf, but the damage was already done.

3. Jaws (1975)

Not having spent much time on Long Island, I was unaware that those lucky Yankee bastards can still wear sweaters on the beach during the summer. And it would follow that a dip in the Atlantic would be inadvisable when one has to don long pants. It's too bad young Chrissy Watkins didn't take the hint and stay by the fire, drinking chardonnay and singing Dan Fogelberg songs with the rest of the trust-fund tourists instead of taking her ill-fated plunge.

2. The Exorcist (1973)

A drop in ambient temperature is an oft-noted phenomenon in cases of supernatural incursions into our world. Surely Pazuzu can't be blamed for wanting to enjoy his business trip away from the Lake of Fire in comfort and drop the mercury a few degrees while vacationing for a couple of weeks in the body of young Regan McNeil. And don't forget about the free soup.

1. The Shining (1980)

Finally, what could be more invigorating during our triple-digit days than the prospect of slowly and luxuriously freezing to death? Jack Torrance knows what I'm talking about, as seen in this unintentionally hilarious clip depicting his frosty doom. Author Stephen King was reportedly displeased with the choice of Nicholson for the role, saying he played Torrance crazy from the start. Maybe he should've spoke up at the casting meeting when someone said, "Hey, what about Nicholson?"

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