It’s graduation day in the small town of Silverton. Vice principal and single dad Gary (Richard Armitage) struggles to connect with his oldest son Donnie (Max Deacon). On the other side of town a rag tag group of storm chasers are at their wits end since they haven’t been able to catch on camera a single storm in three months, and somewhere in between a couple of rednecks film each other doing dangerous stunts in hopes of becoming YouTube sensations. Their paths will collide when the deadliest and most erratic of storms approach.
So after the found footage style movie has run its course with horror (REC) monster movies (Cloverfield) even superhero films (Chronicle) it was only a matter of time before we got some sort of disaster movie. Well here comes Into the Storm.
The film takes place in a single day where the small town of Silverton is being hit by the most erratic and possibly biggest storms than “have never been,” as told to us by our meteorologist Allison, (Sarah Wayne Callies). Joining her are Matt Walsh as Pete, a seasoned storm chaser who drives a mini tank which is equipped with cameras on all sides as well as three extra cameramen.
On the other side of town is vice principal Gary, a single dad who spends most of his time ignoring his two sons Donnie and Trey, (Max Deacon and Nathan Kress respectively) because his job is more important and he’s grieving his wife’s or ex-wife’s death. The boys are given the task of recording the ceremony since they are great with cameras. Oh and there are a couple of no fear amateur stuntmen who also film everything they do.
There have been complaints on the lack of character development in this film. Now hang on a sec. First there are complaints about big budget event movies such as Godzilla and Transformers focusing on the humans too much while the central focal points only appear for about half an hour. Now we’re given a film that knows why we’re all here and gives us just that and still people complain? Personally with films like this and Godzilla, I want less human interaction and more mayhem thank you very much. If I want a good character drama I will go and see a film about characters. Director Steve Quale understands this so we’re given about half an hour of introductions before the storm hits and I couldn’t thank him more.
But for those that do want character development, there is one scene shared between Donnie and his girl to be Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey) which will truly tug at your heartstrings and is acted out greatly by the two. And no it isn’t a luvvy duvvy scene. As for the rest of the cast, they do their best with what they are given since half the time they are acting towards something that isn’t there.
As for the effects it’s hard not to mention or compare Into the Storm to Twister so here it is. At times Twister which was made in 1996 had better effects! The effects in Into the Storm are great and I got to see it at The Empire’s huge Impact screen but at times there was a certain blurriness going on or the effect felt half finished. For those concerned, no I didn’t see it in 3D. Those complaints though only refer to the earlier scenes because the fire twister and the F5 alone deserve a special mention for the effects were absolutely stunning. I recommend if you do see this film, watch it in a cinema with a good sound system too.
All in all this is a fun ride. Quale has brought back his production team from Final Destination 5 and once again they have succeeded in giving us well executed, intense scenes of carnage and destruction. The effects could have been given a slightly bigger budget but with a good cast and a firm understanding on what you wanted to achieve, i.e in this case a fun film. And that is exactly what this film is, fun, nothing more nothing less.
Running Time: 131 Minutes
Director: Steven Quale
Starring: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh
Release Date: 22nd August 2014