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Film / Into the Storm (2014)

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Into the Storm is a 2014 American found footage disaster film directed by Steven Quale and starring Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Nathan Kress, Jeremy Sumpter and Matt Walsh. The film was released on August 8, 2014.

Not to be confused with the TV Winston Churchill biopic.

Into the Storm provides examples of:

  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • The film Donnie makes becomes this when he and Kaitlyn are stuck in the flooding building with minutes to live, though they're rescued Just in Time.
    • After his Heroic Sacrifice, the footage picked up by the tornado-chaser team also becomes Pete's.
    • We are led to believe that Donk and Reevis' footage becomes this when they get sucked by a twister, but the epilogue shows that they survived.
    • The film's opening sequence becomes this when the teens' footage of highway lights shorting out becomes footage of the four of them being sucked up inside their car to their deaths.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Daryl, the "black guy" survives. Ditto, apparently, the high school's principal.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The knife Gary confiscates from Trey. Also the winch on the front of the Titus.
  • Cool Car: The Titus, a custom-made armored vehicle designed to intercept tornadoes and survive. Rather like the real-world TIVs, it has no resistance to the power of an EF5 wedge, and gets picked up and slammed back to the ground with Pete inside.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Gary applies CPR to Donnie after he drowns.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Jacob is dragged into a firenado and burned to death. Want to know what makes it even crueler? We can see his flaming corpse spinning around it.
    • The Titus is picked up by the climactic EF5 tornado with Pete inside it, taken high into the stratosphere and slammed back down into the ground.
  • Death by Materialism: Jacob, who wants to quit but is persuaded to stay by the idea of money and "sipping margaritas on a beach with your beautiful girlfriend." Surprisingly averted with Trey, who is offered three thousand bucks by Pete for his video footage.
  • Death in the Clouds: Jacob and Pete both buy it to tornadoes. Pete gets flung so high up that he passes the cloud cover (which in a supercell thunderstorm can be over 60 thousand feet up!) before being slammed back down.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Enough already, bring on the giant killer tornadoes!
  • Disaster Movie: The events of the film cover a single day in which a little town in Oklahoma gets hit with multiple high-scale tornadoes.
  • Do Not Touch the Funnel Cloud: The Movie. Cars flying around, buildings being destroyed, a flaming tornado? No problem, as long as you don't get sucked inside!
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The events of the main plot take place over the course of a single day.
  • Found Footage: Zig-Zagged. From time to time—and especially in the climax—the movie contains scenes that are presented as if it were a "normal" movie; i.e. those where none of the characters could actually be filming at the moment.
  • Group Hug: The Fullers have one after Donnie is revived.
  • He Died Because of You: Allison blames Pete for Jacob's death. Though Daryl blames himself because he talked Jacob into staying.
  • Hostile Weather: The whole premise of the film.
  • Idiot Houdini: Donk and Reevis are two completely idiotic rednecks obsessed with doing Jackass-style stunts that have absolutely zero knowledge of how bad the situation is and spend their time with the other protagonists being useless and annoying. They survive being sucked by a tornado (with the only injuries they get being Played for Laughs) while more (comparatively) heroic people get killed or damn near do.
  • I Miss Mom: Donnie admits to Kaitlyn that despite their disagreements, he does miss his deceased mother.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Gary is the football team coach. Donnie is president of the film club.
  • Just in Time: If Gary, Trey and Allison had arrived any later, Kaitlyn and Donnie would have drowned.
  • MacGyvering: Donk and Reevis try to do a "tornado chaser" Jackass stunt with an old pick-up truck that they have welded some make-shift armor to. It gets torn to pieces by the first twister they run into — thankfully they weren't in it at the time.
  • Kill It with Fire: The firenado does this to Jacob.
  • Man Hug: Gary and Trey have one at the end of the film.
  • Manly Tears: Donnie sheds a few when he's making his goodbye video. Gary also when he rescues Donnie and Kaitlyn.
  • Missing Mom: Donnie and Trey's mother died, before the film takes place, in a car crash.
  • My Nayme Is: Kaitlyn is traditionally spelled Caitlin.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Donnie was so busy being pissed at his mother, he never got the opportunity to say goodbye to her one last time before her death.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The trailer gives little to no indication that the film is shot in found footage style.
    • The trailer also seems to suggest the storm has a mind of its own, trying to suck people in.
  • Oh, Crap!: Pete when the Titus is lifted up into the giant twister, with him inside.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Donnie drowns in the hole he's trapped in but Gary is able to revive him with CPR.
  • Parental Neglect: Slightly inverted. Allison is this to her daughter, but she's trying very hard to be there for her.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: As could be expected of tornado season, right during a barrage of tornado manifestations.
  • Pet the Dog: Pete apologizing to Jacob for being so hard on him all the time.
  • Product Placement:
    • A Nikon camera is prominently placed on the dashboard of the van.
    • Donnie has a Mac computer with a very large monitor, and Kaitlyn has a Mac laptop.
    • Reevis and Donk can be seen using helmet-mounted GoPro cameras.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Several elements of this movie are strongly reminiscent of real-life events; the initial impact by the tornado on the school almost perfectly matches cellphone video of a tornado striking Briarwood Elementary School in May 2013. The Titus vehicle is clearly based on the real-life Tornado Intercept Vehicle. The airport scene is similar to the 2011 St. Louis tornado, which peeled the roof off Concourse C at Lambert-St. Louis International. (Though the real tornado didn't have the power to toss 747s into the air).
  • Run or Die: When the EF5 tornado forms and starts smashing up the town, Gary, Pete and Allison all head towards the school to evacuate everyone there before the monstrous tornado gets there first, aware that whatever storm shelter the school has won't protect them one bit. Considering that when the tornado hits the school shortly after the convoy of survivors leave it completely obliterates the building until nothing remains, they had every reason to.
  • Real-Person Cameo: The movie was shot in and around the Detroit Metro area, and the news anchors for the local station WDIV (most notably former meteorologist Chuck Gaidica) appear in the movie reporting on the severe weather.
  • Red Alert: The fire alarm can be heard blaring when the high school is about to be hit by the first tornado.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Pete apologizes for being a colossal jerk to his team, for his role in Jacob's death, and uses the Titus to prevent the final tornado from damaging the storm drain various survivors (including the other protagonists) are in. The Titus ends up being sucked by the EF5 and he dies.
  • Scenery Gorn: The aftermath of the tornadoes, naturally.
  • Something We Forgot: Donk and Reevis disappear from the film after being apparently sucked by a tornado and we are to believe that they died. They appear on the very last scene to provide a comedic coda, totally unharmed by the twister (aside from being stuck in a tree upside-down) and then falling down to the ground head-first.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Gary.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm scream can be heard when a poor man gets sucked out of the storm drain.
  • Stock Sound Effect: The tornado sirens (which coincidentally are sounding the rising/falling "attack" tone instead of the steady "disaster" tone).
  • Those Two Guys: Donk and Reevis, the two redneck Jackass copy-cat wanna-be stuntmen.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Jacob for getting too close to a firenado and trying to film it. Also Reevis and Donk for getting so close to a twister. Although the last scene in the film shows they somehow survived, unless that fall out of the tree proves fatal.
    • Billy in the opening definately counts as well, just filming the rapidly approaching tornado despite his friends screaming him to get into the car, and only relenting when it's only a few yards away and thus they all die.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Donnie is this when he's recording his goodbye video to his family.
  • Trailer Park Tornado Magnet: Surprisingly averted. The tornado seemingly wrecks the whole town except for the trailer park.
  • When Are You Coming Home, Mom?: Said verbatim to Allison by her daughter, Gracie.
  • Worst Aid:
    • After taking a person out of an upended car, you may want to move them away from the car in case it tips over.
    • Beating on your son's chest like that probably collapsed his rib cage, Mr. Fuller.