Alright, let’s talk about some great movies to watch on a stormy night. We could go through a really long introduction, but let’s just skip that part this time.
Here are the movies. Feel free to check them out at your leisure.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Maybe it’s just nostalgia that makes A New Hope feel cozy. Or maybe it’s the exquisite set design, which makes every interior feels real and lived-in.
Or maybe there’s something inherently comforting about good storytelling.
Regardless of the reasons, the first Star Wars movie just feels good to watch, even if you don’t happen to be a lifelong fan of the franchise.
The movie has aged a bit, and that’s just another part of the overall appeal.
It’s also just immersive, and that makes it very effective escapist entertainment. It’s extremely easy to get invested in these characters, especially after they actually leave Luke’s ultra-dull home planet.
It’s a funtime space adventure that’s still a great watch almost 50 years later. And yes, the sequels are also pretty great viewing for a rainy stay-inside night, but they also have much higher stakes and are a bit too serious to be any kind of relaxing.
Oh look, it’s the best Pixar movie ever made, and we definitely think that it’s one to watch on a stormy night.
One of the most comforting aspects of the movie is the kitchen of Gusteau’s.
A big chunk of this movie takes place in the kitchen, but varied camera angles and on-screen action make it a wonderful spot in which to hang out with our characters.
It’s also genuinely difficult to watch this movie without getting hungry, even if you just finished a big meal.
The movie also uses lots and lots of warm yellow lighting, which is just what we happen to prefer when it comes to lighting. Sure, cold blue outdoor lighting serves its purpose, and there’s some of that in here, too. But this is around the time when Pixar’s lighting really started to shine, so to speak.
Overall, it’s an excellent movie and it’s still one of our favorites when the weather isn’t exactly cooperating.
Carnival of Souls (1962)
We had to include at least one horror movie on the list, since there are probably plenty of people out there who see a stormy night and want to dig into something a little creepy.
A little creepy is also how we would describe Carnival of Souls, a rather old movie that remains very effective.
The story is simple and it won’t be very long at all until you’ve got a good grasp of the central conflict.
After that, it’s all about keeping the tension high until you reach the next scare moment.
It’s definitely not paced the same way as a lot of horror movies, but that’s a good thing in our opinion.
But it’s also not a long movie. The runtime is pretty lean and it doesn’t feel long, either. You can get in and get out after a few good scares and continue to see a certain face in your nightmares for the rest of time.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The Indiana Jones series definitely has a lot of overlap with the Star Wars franchise, thanks to Lucas’s involvement in both, the shared tone, and even the inspiration for the storytelling style.
But Indiana Jones has always felt more grounded, mostly because the movies all take place on Earth in more or less the modern day.
Now, which of the Indiana Jones movies is the least stressful and the most fun?
It’s The Last Crusade. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a great action-adventure movie, but it has its dark moments.
Temple of Doom is nothing but dark moments, making it a tough one to rewatch casually, unless you have a high tolerance for torture and child slavery.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is closer to being a comedy than any other Indiana Jones installment.
It combines fast-paced adventuring with fish-out-of-water moments facilitated by Sean Connery, who plays Indiana’s father.
Our heroes race against the Nazis to obtain the Holy Grail. That might be the best movie pitch we can think of.
Mon Oncle (1958)
We really like Jacques Tati, and his work, though celebrated in the international film community, still deserves even more attention.
Mon Oncle, Trafic, and Playtime are the three movies where he pretty much got to do whatever he wanted, as long as the team could scrape together the money for some wild props.
Mon Oncle doesn’t have much of a story. In terms of motifs, it’s about this sort of friendly rivalry between the old and the new.
A idyllic French village is contrasted by an ultra-modern home that honestly would fit right in with contemporary architecture, especially over here in the Hollywood Hills.
This house serves as base camp for a whole bunch of visual gags, which was Tati’s thing.
As with a lot of Tati’s work, it’s a movie you can watch without knowing any French. You can even watch it without audio and you’d still get the jokes and the story.
The In-Laws (1979)
If I had only ever seen the poster for this movie and heard the premise with very little elaboration, I probably wouldn’t have checked it out.
I have this weird thing against a lot of ugly-looking 70s and 80s comedies. Even if the jokes hold up to some extent, there’s just nothing exciting about them, visually, and for some reason they tend to have some of the most painfully dated music in the history of cinema.
But when you actually sit down and watch The In-Laws, it’s so, so much better than you would expect.
It also had another major challenge, which is that it’s technically an action-comedy, and as is the case with just about any movie trying to tackle multiple broad genres at once, it’s really difficult to have both elements be good, rather than serving one side way more than the other.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s why action-comedies in particular have more or less dried up. Remember Mortdecai with Johnny Depp? Exactly.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
We’ll end the list with another comedy because we think comedies fit stormy evenings pretty well, especially if you’ve just thrown your wet clothes in the dryer so that you can snuggle up and sip on the warm beverage of your choice.
And when it comes to goofy comedies, we just haven’t discovered the technology that will aloow us to make one better than Wet Hot American Summer.
Sure, the cast is absolutely star-studded. You will recognize many of them, and later on you will realize that you even recognize some of the less well-known performers as well.
But none of that is really important. What’s important is that the movie is funny. It’s just funny and we’re not really sure how they managed to pull it off.
Yes, the jokes are low-brow most of the time, but there’s a crucial sense of self-awareness that pushes this one past all the forgettable low-brow stuff that we avoid like the plague.