Choosing the perfect film to watch amongst a sea of movies can be quite tricky to do. Add in a specific desire for a certain atmosphere, setting, or weather event, and it’s no surprise that many viewers will feel lost. Where do you even find movies that fit a very specific vibe? If it’s an atmospheric rainy day vibe, you’ve come to the right place!
A lot of the films we’ve recommended will also fulfill the desire for Fall movies, but we didn’t want to, um, fall too far down that hole. So rest assured that I thought long and hard about the best rainy day movies, including a variety of genres, release dates, and even some variations on country of origin. You can’t go wrong by watching at least one of the selections we have below.
The Twilight Saga
Whether or not you are a fan of the content in 2008’s Twilight and its following entries, no one can deny that the movies are insanely atmospheric. They scratch an itch for our idealized image of the foggy, cool, and rainy Pacific Northwest. If you are in need of rain, muted lighting, and a chilled atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with the Twilight Saga. I especially recommend Twilight and Twilight: New Moon for this vibe. It doesn’t hurt that they also have amazing soundtracks.
One of the more serious entries on our list, The Wailing is a triumph of the horror genre that thrives off of its rainy setting. Set in the small South Korean village of Gokseong, The Wailing follows an investigator trying to get to the bottom of a confusing and fatal affliction consuming the local community. A bleak movie in a rustic setting, it makes for a perfect film to complement your thunderstorm binging.
Me Before You
While a romance movie may not initially come to mind when you want to soak yourself in some cloudy energy, Me Before You does hit a sweet spot that can’t be ignored. Rain isn’t present in the entirety of the film, but it is seen at multiple key points that help to establish the tone. Whether it’s a constant, dreary trickle in the English countryside or a torrential downpour at a tropical resort, rain is definitely used effectively in the bittersweet romance of Me Before You.
We don’t want to tell you too much about the sci-fi horror movie Significant Other, because it’s a film that benefits from going in blind. The rain itself is technically pretty rare in the film, but Significant Other manages to evoke the vibes you’re looking for even in scenes without a drop of water. A couple backpacking through the Pacific Northwest encounter something strange that will change them forever. The twist for this movie is massive and will catch you off-guard, but it doesn’t detract from the cozy, overcast mood.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is more commonly associated with Halloween, but this technically shouldn’t be the case. It actually takes place in November, only further proving that this horror-comedy musical deserves a more broad place on movie recommendation lists. We find that the vintage vibes, abundant rain, and moody castle makes this a perfect addition for your rainy day viewing. It doesn’t hurt that this cult-classic also features tons of memorable songs and one-liners.
Another entry in our list that technically doesn’t have a lot of rain, Arrival has still earned its place. As evidenced by many other films, a scene of it raining isn’t enough on its own to properly capture a rainy mood. From the dark green landscape, to the dim and cool lighting throughout, the sci-fi film Arrival finds inventive ways to evoke the feeling of overcast skies. Most importantly, the meetings with the aliens in a foggy white expanse is the pinnacle of liminal spaces.
Can you really embark on a cool and rainy themed movie marathon without including a Tim Burton title in the mix? Of course you can, but we really recommend checking out the 1999 Burton movie, Sleepy Hollow. A young Christina Ricci steals the show, with her ethereal face as the focus of many moody shots throughout. This adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow really strikes a chord with rain and overcast weather enthusiasts, inviting you to feel the atmosphere through the screen.
There are few things more painful than grief, and the environment of the horror film The Ritual only amplifies this sentiment. Following a group of adult friends traversing the Northern Swedish wilderness after a horrible tragedy, The Ritual is punctuated by its dour lighting and intermittent rain. From the first few minutes of the movie, you are reassured that this won’t be a sleepy little film. The graphic horror doesn’t detract from the overcast vibe, though.
Road to Perdition
If you want a movie where the quantity of rain is very important, you can’t go wrong with Road to Perdition. While the film won tons of awards shortly after its 2002 release, it has been a bit lost to time and become sort of a hidden gem. Featuring Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Paul Newman, Stanley Tucci, and more very talented actors, the cast is definitely star-studded. Road to Perdition is a very moody and noir- inspired crime drama with an impeccable atmosphere.
While rainy-day movies often feature low-tech settings like the woods, cozy cabins, and derelict manors, the 1982 film Blade Runner goes to show that atmosphere is the most important quality of a rainy film. Set in a dystopian and futuristic version of 2019 Los Angeles, there is weirdly an alarming amount of rain for the Californian setting. We don’t mind though, as it only adds to haunting tone of the slow burn sci-fi.
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