Film makers have been working tirelessly since the dawn of the cinema age to convince us that the world will end at some point in the not too distant future.
We’re in a day where you can place a bet on how he world will end, a day can’t go by without another blockbuster being rumoured, confirmed or released and we utterly adore it – the concept of the world drawing to a close seems to keep us gripped firmly to the edge of our seats - so here’s a run down of the five best disaster movies ever:
28 Days Later
A very common theme amongst disaster movies is that the human race are generally to blame for the planet’s inevitable conclusion. Danny Boyle’s 2002 effort, 28 Days Later, follows this theme in fine detail as not only is the virus that brings the population to its knees man made; but animal rights activists are the reason it gets out – whoops!
The reason 28 Days Later is one of the greatest disaster movies of all time is down to the fresh take on the Zombie genre it brought to the masses. Previously, Zombies had been depicted as dim witted, slow and rather unthreatening monsters – 28 Days Later changed the game as the creatures couldn’t have been scarier if they tried! Fast, clever and deadly – not a nice way to go.
As it transpires (SPOILER ALERT), the infection doesn’t leave the British Isles and the country is quarantined – the end of our world but not quite the planet hence the lowered position.
Everyone reading this article has probably just zoned out but, believe me, this film has its merits and is one of the greatest (potential) disaster films of our time. All you need to remember is that the weird romance sections between Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck can be skipped and the astronauts tried to drill but couldn’t master the mechanics of the process – okay!?
The meteor heading for earth story has been covered in TV, film, comic books and more but never quite as well as when Hollywood got its hands on the concept. Michael Bay’s film didn’t have quite as many explosions as his recent efforts but it did push the similarly themed Deep Impact out of the ball park despite being released just weeks apart.
The sad bit at the end is obviously what everyone remembers but the film on the whole is brilliant from the Aerosmith soundtrack right the way down to the, now, dodgy CGI.
An odd choice, no doubts there, but the Core removed much of the blame for the world (nearly) ending from the human race and pointed the finger squarely at science. To summarise the film; the core of the Earth stops turning and throws the whole planet out of whack – volcanos erupt all over the globe, the magnetic poles stop functioning and all of humankind’s advances are all but worthless.
To get things moving in the right direction; Aaron Eckhart and company enlist the help of a formerly respected engineer to build a burrowing machine that will launch nuclear warheads into the core and ‘restart it’ – not overly feasible but scientists say it’s a possibility if we ever reach this eventuality.
Aside of the intelligent premise; the performances of the cast are truly superb in places and some of the greatest comebacks in cinema history are tucked away in this forgotten gem. If you love physics; steer clear to avoid irritation but otherwise sit back and enjoy.
The story of this film doesn’t deserve its lofty place in the list; it could’ve been Godzilla or even Mars Attacks that found itself second but the premise of 2012 is far more realistic than any other disaster movie you’ll ever see – even the Day After Tomorrow can’t match up to this level of predicted fact.
In short, the global warming situation has gone from bad to considerably worse and we follow the deadpan John Cusack as he attempts to get his family away from California as San Francisco falls into the sea. Eventually, he finds himself on an enormous aeroplane heading for the ‘rescue ships’ which the audience have been led to believe are spaceships for virtually the entire film.
Nope. Huge boats that ride the rising tides full of the world’s best and brightest (and John Cusack) are the solution before the tides settle down and cover much more of the earth than ever before – everyone takes refuge in Africa temporarily and a solution is sought to the absent polar ice caps; crisis averted.
The War of the Worlds
Not the Tom Cruise version, never the Tom Cruise version.
As we all know, a reading of The War of the Worlds once caused international panic as thousands truly believed the threat from Mars was imminent; thankfully we got a film in 1953 that really put the whole business of Martians arriving to bed.
If you’ve never encountered The War of the Worlds before; essentially it’s a story of Martians invading Earth and attempting to enslave humanity before they leave their enormous machines and are struck down by a virus similar to the common cold – H. G. Wells always could write a belter of an ending.
Probably the first real disaster movie; The War of the Worlds opened the door to the rest of the genre and gave film makers free reign to create Zombie, Alien, Monster and other disaster movies with varying degrees of success and mixed chances of survival for the desperate humans!
No disasters on this list; except the film’s storylines but you get the picture?