Which type of storm/tornado related aspect would be interesting to see in a Hollywood movie?

Aug 27, 2009
We all love seeing tornadoes and storms in Hollywood movies and we all know there is one movie above all others. Other than that, tornadoes in movies are generally something that is added to make a scene more spectacular and typically also by having more than one, especially in catastrophe type of movies. Like the absurd tornado scene with 5 tornadoes next to each other in Geostorm, the multiple tornadoes in LA in (was it?) The Day after tomorrow. It's spectacular but misleading and often just very stupid - like pretty much every tornado scene in every movie, including Twister. In general, it seems, tornadoes are added to a movie just to create a spectacular shot and very, very rarely adds something to the plot (except for Get Shelter and perhaps Donnie Darko).

I have yet to see a tornado or storm related movie where the storms/tornadoes are actually depicted somewhere close to reality. Where they are not there for show-off and special effects but actually serves an important role in the plot and/or show a reality that hasn't been shown before. This leads me to my question: What kind of tornado related aspects or scenes would you like to see in a Hollywood movie? Like, if you were a big time Hollywood producer and got to make a movie, what would you do?

I, personally, would find it very interesting to see a drama with real depiction of the perils of being in the line of an (HP!) EF-5 tornado with your house and family at stake. I read the book "What stands in a storm" and it was such an emotional book (highly recommend it!) and it provides a whole new view of it that no movie ever have depicted. I can't really imagine the fear you must feel when you are in the path of it or if you are outside and know you have loved ones in the path of it. Understand me correctly here, I don't want to indulge in misery but I would love to have someone transfer those feelings into a great drama.

It would also be interesting to see an inside (although fictional) view of what is going on in an EF-5 tornado. How debris are flying around, how subvortices look inside and how all those freak tornado related events happen (like grass straws flying through trees etc). Most still think the end scene of Twister is how a large tornado looks inside and I would love to see a more "true" depiction of it.

Lastly, although it is not necessarily something I want to see, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea of having a large Hollywood production actually show some of the really unsexy parts of tornadoes. How people do not adher to warnings, go outside to look for an HP tornado and what this could actually do to you. People get the wrong idea about tornadoes the way the are depicted in movies. They are always visible and you "learn" that the high winds and getting sucked up into the sky are the risks of tornadoes, not the nasty sandpaper/2x4/metal sheet all-mixed-in-a-blender type of injuries and subsequently getting crushed by your house with no emergency care being able to get through-type of hell they actually are. Perhaps include a scene of what happens at an overpass when assholes stop and block the traffic to hide under the overpass thinking it is safer. Basically, scenes that would scare people into not doing stupid things when there is an oncoming tornado.

I get so frustrated every time I see those memes with "What normal people do during a storm vs what Oklahomans/Texans etc do during a storm (i.e. casually sit on the porch, take photos etc)". I always think this is how some of the people in Joplin must have thought and did - overly confident they would be able to get to safety once they saw a tornado. What if they actually would have understood first of all what HP storms/tornadoes really mean and have an understanding of what it really means to be caught outside, I think a whole lot more people would have chosen to go underground, or at least stayed indoors, that day.

There is an ongoing recording of "Falling to earth" with Ben Affleck if I'm not mistaken. Perhaps that movie will share a new view of tornadoes for the wider audience and perhaps erradicate some myths. It would be the first time....
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Reactions: JamesCaruso
Jul 5, 2009
Newtown, Pennsylvania
I agree it would be great to see a movie version of “What Stands in a Storm” (which I also read and agree was quite good). Other great book adaptations (and books I would recommend if you have not already read them) would be “The Man Who Caught the Storm” (Tim Samaras biography), ”The Mercy of the Sky” (about Moore OK 2013), or “F5” (1974 Super Outbreak with a focus on Alabama). I think these would be far better than a completely fictional tornado event. A scientific documentary would probably be most enjoyable to those on this list, but if we’re talking about a movie with entertainment value and a human element that also appeals to the mainstream public, we would want it to have multiple tornado scenes - but we want them to be realistic. So the movie would have to be about an outbreak event (unless it’s the Samaras bio which would of course include multiple tornados).
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Reactions: ChristofferB


Jun 14, 2013
I've read all those books except the Samaras bio. and they were quite good.

They contained quite a few first hand accounts which could provide some ideas, jumping off points for story lines. One from "F5" that really stood out is the account of the teenage couple who get caught in one of the 1974 Tanner, AL F5's. The girl had really bad injuries, with embedded pieces of debris still working their way out many years later. And her experience in the car was just amazing.

Carolyn Brewer wrote two books about the 1957 Ruskin Heights, MO F5. They aren't put together with a journalistic flow, but are a series of interviews of the survivors. There is lots of material dealing with what it's like to be in a tornado, including the author's.
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