The best disaster films
By "disaster films" is always meant thrillers and dramas, in the plot of which the characters got into completely extreme conditions and try to escape. Spectators are attracted by the dynamism of events and the opportunity to “tickle the nerves” with the fear of nature or human error.
Features of disaster films
Modern sophisticated viewers offer a large set of various horrors. Films of the “catastrophe” genre have a rather branchy classification depending on the scale of the incident, the reasons for its occurrence, the number of persons involved, the number of special effects, etc.
As a rule, the plot of the film consists of the following moments:
- Natural or man-made disaster, in which the characters act.
- Romantic relationship between the main characters.
- Family attachments.
- Betrayal, indifference and concealment of important information.
The need to include stories about human relations in disaster films is a strategy developed by long practice to create such tapes.After all, the ordinary viewer is interested to look not only at the heroic struggle with the deadly threat, but also at how the danger affects the connections between people.
Studios from different countries have created many film masterpieces, and therefore it is impossible to make a list of the best disaster films of all times. But it will be possible to select leaders in a certain direction quite easily.
Armageddon, apocalypse - the end of the world
The death of the planet Earth or of all intelligent life on it is a popular topic in the 21st century. The best disaster films that earned the recognition of viewers around the world and large box office were created on this idea. And among them:
"2012". United States, 2009
Directed by Roland Emmerich created a fantastic film based on the version of the end of the world, predicted by the ancient Maya Indians. He was voted "the most anticipated premiere of the year" and tripled his budget during the rental period. "2012" became a product of a completely new format, setting several peculiar records:
- Experts from NASA and scientists from various fields recognized the film as “absolutely anti-scientific.” According to them, no parade of planets can move the tectonic plates of the Earth.And if this starts to happen, this process is not fast and will last for years.
- The film is 70% computer graphics. Virtually all types and destruction created using programs specifically designed for the shooting of "2012".
- In the DPRK (North Korea), not only screening in cinemas, but also the private viewing of "2012" was banned. This was due to the fact that people could not believe in the bright future promised by the party, but in the near Armageddon and behave accordingly.
- Psychologists warned people with an unstable psyche to watch a movie. There were grounds for concern - a few dozen viewers around the world committed suicide within 6 hours after leaving the cinema.
"Day after tomorrow". United States, 2004
This film is regularly included in the rating of "disaster films: a list of the best," despite the mixed reviews from critics and viewers. In addition, there is a catastrophe of some kind of “small” - the ice age in most parts of North America due to global warming. Los Angeles is destroyed, and New York was in the place of the “temperature bottom”, and the temperature is about to fall to -100 ° C.A group of young people must survive in these conditions, wait for the US Army and evacuation to the warm southern states. The theme of betrayal and disbelief to the authorities sounds very clearly in the film - one of the main characters, a climatologist, warned of a moving wave of cold. But from him just waved.
The film "The Day After Tomorrow" has gained much more popularity in the world than in the USA. He was particularly successful in Mexico and Latin America. According to the audience, the scene of the destruction of the Statue of Liberty was particularly spectacular.
"Last Hours". Australia, 2013
This is a tragic story about how people spend the last 12 hours of life before everything absorbs fire. The catastrophe itself is practically not indicated - the viewer is shown stupefying the heat and the wave of fire to the skies in the final. Most of the plot is devoted to people who are alone with the inevitable death. And among them is a young man trying to reach his pregnant girl before the world consumes fire.
Someone spends time with loved ones, others try to quickly die or forget about drugs, drinking and murder. This is the time when you can have sex in public, pass by a dying child.In the "last hours" it is beautifully shown what people who know about the soon "end of all things" are capable of. For this reason, he occupies a worthy place in “Films about disasters. List of the best,” and because of the abundance of frank and cruel scenes he was assigned a rating of “+18”.
Epidemics and pandemics
The fact that the population of the planet will begin to perish en masse due to the next virus is much more believed than in global warming. The last decade has presented the world with several intractable mutations of influenza, Africa is overrun by the Ebola epidemic, and the number of HIV-infected people is growing every month. Naturally, human fears were reflected in the films - “Doomsday”, “12 monkeys”, “Blindness”, “Virus”, etc.
"Confrontation". United States, 1994
Perhaps this is the oldest film about the mass extinction of humanity. But he was shot so talented that "time raid" is not felt at all. At the heart of the plot is the eponymous work of Stephen King about a deadly virus created in a secret laboratory. Due to a technical error, the disease breaks free, bringing death not only to people, but also to animals.
"Confrontation" is a collection of surviving stories.People of different positions, ages, mindsets, and character come together. But anger, envy, cruelty and the worst in man did not disappear after the plague - the new society is still divided into good and evil camps and preparing for war.
The writers have significantly softened the plot of the book, removing from it a description of the frank scenes of violence and horror that some survivors are capable of. But the atmosphere of the suddenly deserted world still inspires the audience with awe. The film was so long that it was released on television in the format of a mini-series.
About 80% of the film was shot in a pavilion in southern Utah. City streets, houses and even a cornfield were created by decorators.
"Mobile phone". United States, 2015
Almost all people on the planet use cell phones for communication and entertainment. At the end of the 20th century, the theory that cell phone radiation could cause brain cancer or schizophrenia in humans was popular. And in 2015, this idea was reanimated in the film “Mobile”.
In the story, an unknown impulse that has passed through the phones turns people into dolls, driven by someone's will and incomprehensible instincts. Only those who did not speak at the time of the attack on the mobile phone remained unharmed, and afterwards refrained from calling the rescue service.Among the survivors and artist Clayton, who a few seconds before the crash, finished talking to his wife. Now he, at the head of a small group of survivors, goes in search of his family.
Although "Mobile" is regularly indicated in the compilations "The best films about the disaster," the rating from the audience. On the one hand, everybody celebrates the game of actors, tense atmosphere, good music. But many criticize the cheap special effects and the lack of "trash", which is characteristic of most disaster films.
"Epidemic". Spain, 2013
Around the world, people are beginning to suffer from agoraphobia. They cannot go out even under the threat of inevitable death and are locked in houses, offices, subways and subways. Lack of food and drinking water starts to be felt very quickly. The young clerk Mark, along with his colleagues, punches a tunnel in the underground parking lot to get to the house where his pregnant wife is waiting for him.
Epidemic is a one-of-a-kind film. There are no exquisite special effects in it, but the atmosphere of chaos and general hopelessness to the creators of the tape perfectly succeeded. The audience will undoubtedly be pleased with a touching happy ending not only for the main character, but also for all of humanity.
Invasion and war with aliens
The best films about the disaster associated with the invasion of the planet of aliens, are shot at Hollywood studios. In other countries, too, they are removing masterpieces, but not in such numbers. Among the most famous films of the XXI century the following films:
"War of the Worlds". United States, 2005
The film is based on the same work of science fiction writer HG Wells. But even despite the famous plot, "War of the Worlds" attracted attention thanks to a magnificent special effect. The image of an alien alien tripod in the future repeatedly appeared in various films.
"Independence Day". United States, 1996
July 4, over the capital of the United States appear alien ships in the form of disks. The newcomers do not come into contact, as the enlightened society expected, but destroy the city and the military forces of the country.
For Will Smith, the lead role on Independence Day was one of the most significant in his career. For a black actor, it was a real breakthrough.
The film became the highest grossing tape of 1996 and spawned a continuation in 2016 - "Independence Day 2". He is a bit pretentious and violently sings about the heroism of the United States, but after its hire, sociologists noted an increase in patriotism among the population.
In the category "Alien best catastrophe films" - rating, the list is rather difficult to compile precisely because of the large number of works on this topic. In addition, the genre, they are always closer to the militants than to thrillers.
Zombies and the revived dead
Directed by George Romero - the world-renowned master in the category "Zombies: a film-catastrophe." The full list of the best ones consists of more than half of the films made by him. The revived dead began their march around the world in 1968 (the film “Night of the Living Dead”) and after almost half a century the number of films on this subject number in the hundreds. The trends of recent years allow us to divide them into 2 groups:
1. Zombie Horror - the horrors of survival in the onslaught of the living dead. The degree of success of such films depends on the level of fear and tension that they will be able to catch up with the audience. Of course, such films as Dawn of the Dead (USA, 2004), Diaries of the Dead (USA, 2007), Land of the Dead (USA, 2005) and Resident Evil - 1, 2, 3 are leading. (United States, 2003-2009).
2. Zombie comedy - the humorous adventures of heroes in the face of disaster. Such films appeared when the theme of horror in the "dead" theme was exhausted. In their story, fear and death are heavily mixed up on humor. Sometimes quite flat.At the moment, zombie comedies are known - "Sean vs. the Dead" (USA, 2004), "Scouts vs. Zombies" (USA, 2015).
Tornadoes and hurricanes
The Russian audience at the mention of "tornado" inadvertently recall the "Wizard of the Emerald City." Indeed, such natural phenomena as atmospheric eddies in most cases are associated exclusively with the expanses of the United States. Every year in this country record the appearance of more than 100 tornadoes, destroying everything in its path. One of the worst natural disasters in the world is reflected in the following films:
"Tornado". United States, 1996
Director Jan de Bont made a film about wrestling and overcoming his own fears. A brave meteorologists couple is heading to the epicenter of the disaster to launch a tornado research instrument. A life-threatening undertaking almost ends in the death of heroes. It is only through lucky chance that they succeed and manage to survive in the center of the air funnel.
"Tornado" regularly falls into the ratings like "The best films about the disaster: lists of spectators", and despite the fact that he was recognized as the worst film of 1996 and received the "Golden Raspberry" for it.However, according to reviews of the audience, the latter are attracted not so much by the play of actors, as by the visual effects and the real sounds of the storm - a terrifying melancholy howl. Fortunately, not all of them know that the roar of a camel was used in slow-motion playback to create such acoustics.
"Towards a storm." USA, 2014
The real invasion of air funnels completely destroys little Silverstone. Houses destroyed, hundreds of people died or went missing. But tornadoes continue to attack, attacking literally from all sides. Evacuation takes place under constant blows of the elements and not everyone is able to get out of the disaster zone.
The main advantage of "Towards the Storm" - these are great special effects. All tornadoes and destruction created using computer graphics, but it does not feel the audience, as the scenery. And in the mere creation of this impression was put enormous work.
Unfortunately, in recent years, films about tornadoes and hurricanes come out extremely rarely. The peak of the popularity of such films was at the end of the XX century.
Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes
The best disaster films about the sudden (or predicted) awakening of volcanoes, earthquakes and faults as well as possible reflect the panic horror of people in front of these phenomena.In recent years, enough of this kind of cataclysm has happened in the world to keep human nature in suspense.
Among the most famous films last years worth noting:
"Dante Peak". United States 1997
The plot tells about a fictional volcano, which is about to wake up, a small town at its foot, a heroic volcanologist-widower, a beautiful woman mayor and the criminal frivolity of the government. A classic catastrophe in its content with beautiful special effects, as close as possible to reality. For example, for a scene near a crater, they were filmed on the slopes of the active St. Helens volcano.
"Earthquake". China 2010
The catastrophe of 1976 in the city of Tangshan claimed 250 thousand lives and was recognized as the largest tragedy of the century. Filmed on its basis, the film is not replete with special effects, but perfectly shows how fragile human happiness can be.
In the first minutes of the "Earthquake" talks about a happy Chinese family with two children - a boy and a girl. The catastrophe not only deprives them of home, father and husband, but also forces the mother to make a choice - which of the beloved babies to save and whom to condemn to death.A woman who has made a decision can never get rid of the feeling of guilt, and only the happy finding of a lost daughter saves her from the pangs of conscience.
The film contains documentary footage of the earthquake of 2008, a wonderful musical series, and the play of actors does not give away a false image for a second. But still watching the film is very difficult from an emotional point of view. The tragedy of broken human destinies will not leave anyone indifferent.
Among the disaster films about earthquakes and volcanoes, it is also worth noting - San Andreas Rift, Epicenter, Pompeii, Snow Armageddon and the Russian film Earthquake, which should be released in 2017.
Floods and tsunami
Water disasters are not uncommon in the world, and reasonably the biggest response from viewers is caused by films based on real events. Perhaps the most impressive of these is:
"Impossible". Spain, 2012
In 2004, the tsunami that hit Phuket Island in Thailand claimed hundreds of lives and almost completely destroyed the coastline. Most of the victims were tourists from different countries and on the history of one Spanish family and the film "Impossible" was founded.
The film is particularly marked by the wonderful acting.Debutant Tom Holland (15 years) took the bar, unattainable even for some professionals. The characters throughout the tape are very tense emotionally, allowing viewers to see all the shades of feelings of those who survived the catastrophe - from stupor and horror to insane joy.
“Impossible” very successfully brings to people the idea that human well-being is a very fragile thing and it’s not so scary to be inside a catastrophe, how to survive in it, but to detect the absence of a number of dear and close people.
Among the less rated are also worth noting films such as "2012. Tsunami", "The Death of Japan", "Signal 252: There are survivors", "Wave", etc.
A variety of crashes often become the basis for spectacular films. Among aviation topics worth noting:
"Crew". USSR, 1979
In all respects this work should be headed by the best disaster films about aviation, but, unfortunately, the picture is little known outside the CIS countries. The film tells about the unparalleled courage of the crew and passengers of the liner, which miraculously escaped the city of Bidri, shaking from the earthquakes. Every minute of flight is a struggle for life.After all, the plane was damaged during takeoff: the landing gear was bent, cracks in the casing were blocked, and the elevator was locked.
The film has become a cult for many Soviet people, but it could have never appeared on the screens, if not the case. Many scenes could not be removed on the mock-ups of Mosfilm, and the script began to be reduced to the detriment of entertainment. But at the same time in Novosibirsk, because of the fire, he suffered and the aircraft suitable for the shooting was written off. Soviet TU-154 and used for most of the filming.
"Miracle on the Hudson". USA, 2016
The film, based on the events of flight A320, tells the viewer not so much about the catastrophe itself as about fighting it. The imminent fall was prevented and, thanks to the professionalism of the pilots, the plane with the failed engines managed to get into the waters of the Hudson.
Threat from space
It just so happened that the planet Earth from space is threatened not only by evil aliens, but also various inanimate objects - asteroids, meteors, comets.
"Seeking a friend for the end of the world." United States, 2011
Repeatedly this catastrophe film replenished the list of the best, but in the “doomsday” category. Indeed, he talks about the destruction of the planet, which should happen because of the imminent fall of an asteroid, which the volunteer pilots did not manage to blow.
The death of all life is inevitable, and for many people the moral brakes simply disappear. there comes a time of unbridled fun and permissiveness. And only the main character suddenly realizes that he has to die alone. After all, his wife left him on the eve of the disaster, and a few friends have their own families. And then Dodge, the quiet shy clerk, decides on “madness” - to find his first love. For this, he will cross several states and in fact will find both a friend and love.
"Looking for a friend for the end of the world" - a film without the shocking details of the disaster and human nature. Rather, he talks about how a calm class is preparing for the last minutes, which does not need violence to express its feelings.
"Clash with the abyss." United States 1998
This film was repeatedly called a drama with disastrous decorations. In the direction of the planet moves a huge comet, a collision with which will inevitably destroy all life on planet Earth. To prevent this, the United States and Russia send a ship to the comet, whose crew should change the path of the space body with the help of nuclear charges. But after the explosions, the comet falls apart and debris accelerates movement.Asteroids begin to fall on the Earth, causing great destruction and panic among the population.
The astronauts decide to use the last chance to save the planet and drive the ship into the rift of the largest fragment of the comet to blow it up. This decision does not leave them a chance to survive. In this self-sacrifice, the main drama of the plot manifests itself.
Undoubtedly, “The Clash with the Abyss” entered the history as one of the most spectacular films of that time. But there are some complaints about it:
- The plot of the first 2/3 of the tape seems long and boring. The main special effects are concentrated in the last 30 minutes of the film.
- Despite the fact that the spacecraft is equipped with the United States and Russia, the latter is shown in a very negative way. Russians walk in hats with earflaps, repair spaceships with a wrench.
- The final scene of the farewell to the doomed cosmonauts with their families has extremely ruined many Russian actors. The US astronauts earnestly view photos of their loved ones, and only Russian Mikhail Tulchinsky (actor Alexei Myasnikov) looks at the instrument panel. And the thing is that during the installation, frames were cut with his relatives - his wife and daughter, looking at the photo of which, the man sings a lullaby.
The best disaster films are honored not only with huge box office, enthusiastic feedback from viewers and a place in private collections (Not just a file in the PC, but a license disk on a special shelf!), but also prestigious film awards - Oscar and Golden Globe.
Films about various cataclysms are nominated no less than other genres. But most often in completely different nominations that reflect the quality of the film (visual effects, sound, editing, camera work, etc.). For example, the Oscar for the best visual effects was awarded:
- 1997 - "Smerch".
- 1999 - "Armageddon".
- 2001 - "The Perfect Storm".
- 2009 - "District number 9".
There is also a "negative award" - "Golden Raspberry", awarded for anti-achievement. The catastrophe films became its laureates, including the rather popular ones among the audience - “Armageddon” (the worst film of 1998), “Apparition” (the worst film of 2008), “Sea battle” (worst direction of 2013) and others.