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INTO THE STORM Trailer – If Sharknado Took Itself Seriously

It’s no secret that Hollywood producers are a nervous bunch. They tend to play it safe, and when certain types of movies gain popularity, you can bet they’ll beat the idea into the ground, dig it up and then beat it some more. I mean, I don’t think there is anybody in the United States and maybe the rest of the world really anxious for a fresh new take on zombie movie, but I wouldn’t even flinch if production began on The Walking Dead film adaptation tomorrow.

Typically, just when a premise is dead and buried — presumably for good this time – is when the Syfy Channel swoops in to desecrate the grave. Seriously, they made a movie called Zombie Apocalypse. That’s like calling an action film War Movie.

Yet, with Warner Brother’s release of the trailer of Into the Storm, it seems the Syfy Channel may have been the creator rather than the follower of a trend, this time in the genre of over-the-top natural disaster films. The progenitor of this new movement is, of course, the surprisingly popular and so-ridiculous-it-was-original magnum opus, Sharknado. Is it possible that skittish Hollywood producers have found their next cash cow in these super natural disaster films? After all, Sharknado managed to reel in 2.1 million viewers – in its third airing.

Of course, it’s hard to say if twenty years from now Sharknado will be cited as an inspiration as often as Meryl Streep in Oscar acceptance speeches. My gut says yes, but it’s too early right now to tell if Into the Storm is first of many imitators of Sharknado or just a one-off copycat.

To be fair, though, Into the Storm is far from a carbon copy of Sharknado. For one thing, perhaps to its distinct disadvantage, it seems to take itself way more seriously. Though it’s a movie about dozens of tornados – just plain old tornados, not even a single piranha being tossed around – attacking one particularly hapless town, it has taglines in the trailer like, “There is no calm before the storm,” delivered without a trace of irony.

So, if Into the Storm was in fact inspired by Sharknado, it seems screenwriter John Swetnam and director Steven Quale have created a rather tone deaf imitation. What made Sharknado so endearing is that it knew and embraced how ridiculous its premise was. Despite being a movie that treats tornadoes like a zombie hoard, Into the Storm’s trailer begins with “This is the sound you never forget,” followed by roaring winds and people screaming. It doesn’t look like they’re going for the campy angle.

In fact, Into the Storm seems more in the tradition of Twister, the mother of all natural disaster films. The movie has people clinging to things with their feet in air, desperate cries of “Hang on!”, “Don’t let go!” and a reminder that “storm chaser” is a real job title.

The trailer even features a close up of a familiar object being tossed about in the storm. Instead of Twister’s iconic cow, Into the Storm has a few airliners, which really doesn’t have the same punch since I can’t think of anything less out of place flying through the sky than airplanes.

Into the Storm does feature some pretty decent looking CGI, which seems perfect for its scheduled release date of August 8. It looks like a big, loud movie that has all the subtlety of a pair of diesel truck engines, making it an ideal summer blockbuster material. This trailer doesn’t feature any dialogue beyond some shouts in the wind or give any hint about what the main characters are like. It’s clear the stars of this film are going to be the multiple cyclones descending on the town and maybe they will be enough to carry this film, even without predatory sea creatures or sarcasm.

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Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is a writer, reporter, blogger, and movie-geek. He currently lives in PA and with his wife and son, writing about movies and beyond. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington or check out his blog, blogspike.com