14th Aug2014

Ten Best: Extreme Weather Films

by Phil Wheat

To celebrate the release of Into the Storm, hitting UK cinemas on the 20th August, we have put together our favourite extreme weather films.

The Perfect Storm


This film reminds us that all extreme weather is 100 times worse when experienced at sea. The Perfect Storm is about the crew of the Andrea Gail, a small sword boat that fishes for swordfish.  The crew decide to ignore weather warnings and risk one last fishing expedition, after a poor season of catch. Little do the crew know, they are heading into the perfect storm, one they are unlikely to survive. Watching this film will show you how far visual effects have come since it was released in 2000. However, as it stars George Clooney, we can forget the visual effects in favour of watching his face.

The Day After Tomorrow


The Day after Tomorrow is one big lesson about global warming and a very extreme imagined consequence of having long showers and leaving the lights on. Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) is a paleoclimatologist who tries persuading the representatives at the United Nations Global Warming conference that the world needs to prepare for violent weather. Of course he isn’t believed. Across the world, violent weather ensues and Jack’s son (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets trapped in flooded and freezing Manhattan, with his only option being to find shelter in the New York Public Library. Jack Hall treks through blistering conditions and natural obstacles to save him. The film had a huge budget of $185 million, and it shows in the special effects.



2012 is an epic adventure film that predicts the year 2012 will bring about the end of the world through a global cataclysm of disasters. This film is unbelievably flawed and packed to the brim full of clichés, but worth watching if only for Woody Harrelson eating a pickle in a tree. That’s right, eating a pickle in a tree. The film also actually has some pretty good acting talent, Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Thandie Newton (RocknRolla) to name a few. If you want to watch an extreme weather film that takes no effort of concentration, 2012 is your film.



Admittedly, a guilty pleasure and surely the most iconic of all the extreme weather films! When it was first released the visual effects and graphics were ‘cutting edge’, with audience members holding on tight to their seats as the twisters appeared to jump out of the screen. Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) became a storm chaser because her Father was lifted into a tornado when she was a child and she wants to track the paths of the tornados and save lives. Her and her husband Bill (Bill Paxton) chased the storms together before he became a successful weatherman and their marriage fell apart. Of course, the two of them come back together to chase a huge tornado. Not the most detailed plotline, but an entertaining watch.



One of the first extreme weather disaster movies, filmed in 1933 and originally thought long-lost, Deluge sees massive earthquakes strike the United States, which destroys the West Coast and unleashes a massive flood that threatens to destroy the East Coast as well.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


If only a severe weather warning meant food would fall haphazardly from the sky. Well, we live in hope. That is the plot line of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. A young inventor wants to be of help to his Town, who have fallen on hard times and can only afford to eat sardines. Finally his invention works, however, it has a mind of its own and the young inventor is forced to eat an abnormally large slice of humble pie. Intended for children, it can be enjoyed just as well by adults. It is always rare to find comedy mixed in the disaster genre, and it is a welcome addition in this case!

Dante’s Peak


Adding itself to the popular collection of guilty pleasure disaster films that returned in the 1990’s Dante’s Peak stars Pierce Brosnan as a volcano specialist who discovers that one of the most desirable Towns in America is about to be the disaster zone of a not-so-dormant volcano. You would think that all the death would be a romance killer, but apparently not. A spark between Brosnan’s character and the mayor/single mum/coffee shop owner of the town soon ignites. Honestly, this film is no masterpiece, but you can’t help but get sucked in to the drama.



Supervolcano opens with the tag-line: This is a True Story, it just hasn’t happened yet. Supervolcano is set around the speculation that Yellowstone National Park is the site of the deadliest volcano in the world and could erupt, leaving ¼ of North America covered in ash. The story is told by surviving Yellowstone scientists, who, in classic disaster movie form, tried to warn officials to little avail. Not the best of the genre, to be sure.

Hard Rain


Extreme weather is trouble enough without adding crime into the mix. In Hard Rain, armoured car driver Tom (Christian Slater) is involved in an emergency evacuation operation must remove the money from the town’s banks. Tom and his uncle are pursued by thieves led by Jim (Morgan Freeman), who is attempting to steal the $3 million on the truck. Although this film was a bit of a wet blanket in the box office, you have to appreciate the originality of fusing a disaster film and crime action thriller together. Even if the results weren’t quite as epic as you may expect.

Into The Storm


In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Into the Storm hits UK cinemas on the 20th August 2014.


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