Into the Storm despite being another found footage flick, and certainly with flaws in others such as story and character, does excel with the visual and some practical effects, culminating with an incredible lossless score.
Into the Storm
Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller, Drama
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 89 min. – $35.99 | November 18, 2014
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
I’m so sick of found footage, though I understand from a budgetary viewpoint, they’re the best option for the unproven or new filmmaker and although it is an overused vehicle, and often used liberally in the shots seen, not to mention the quality of said shots, it was used quite effectively for Into the Storm, a movie successful more so for the visual effects than the acting, which for the most part wasn’t bad, characters or story.
The setup is a documentary on tornadoes filmed through the eyes of a variety of characters, beginning with tornado chasers Pete (MATT WALSH), meteorologist Allison (SARAH WAYNE CALLIES), cameramen Jacob (JEREMY SUMPTER) and Lucas (LEE WHITTAKER) and driver Daryl (ARLEN ESCARPETA); next we get the townsfolk of Silverton: Gary (RICHARD ARMITAGE) and his two sons Donnie (MAX DEACON) and Trey (NATHAN KRESS); country hicks Donk (KYLE DAVIS) and Reevis (JON REEP); and high school girl Kaitlyn (ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY), whom Donnie has a major crush on.
As with 1998’s Twister, one area is going to get hit like no other in the history of tornados. The town of Silverton is on the tornados to-do list and boy does it bear down leaving no stone unturned and sending our helpless, and reckless, heroes all over town with two, Donnie and Kaitlyn, being trapped with water pouring down. Mother Nature is sure a bitch I’ve learned between Twister and now Into the Storm!
That’s it. There’s really no real plot, just some thinly written characters, albeit at least the two name actors with Richard Armitage (The Hobbit Trilogy) and Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”) do get some background, but the rest are more or less throwaways and potential victims to the narly tornadoes that strike down, including the biggest one ever recorded, one that puts the F-5 in Twister to shame.
Into the Storm does at least have one thing going for it: the visual effects, with a few exceptions, is fairly impressive both in terms of the tornadoes, as inane as they might be including a fire tornado, but some of the practical effects of characters being thrown around, destruction of buildings, etc. Considering the budget, $50 million, and a relatively inexperienced director in Steven Quale (Final Destination 5), it’s an admirable effort even if everything else falls short.
I can’t sit here and say this movie stunk. Certainly, portions did and much like Twister, the story is a bit of a joke, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I at least was semi-entertained and given the really short running time (89 minutes), it’s a, pardon the pun, breezy and entertaining flick, though I doubt I’d ever be inclined to watch it again.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5
This release comes with a slip cover. Inside are a standard DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital Copy.
Into the Storm: Tornado Files (10:48; HD) gets into the scientific conditions behind the destructive windstorms and gets into a bit of the VHX work done.
Titus: The Ultimate Storm-Chasing Vehicle (8:23; HD) examines the tank vehicle featured in the film.
Fake Storms: Real Conditions (5:37; HD) – Drenched by rain, pummeled by winds, pelted by debris and yanked by wires, we get to watch as the cast endure the (fake) elements to re-create the effects of terrifying winds.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Into the Storm tears its way onto Blu-ray presented with a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec) and with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio. For a found footage movie, this is one clear video with good sharp detail levels, colors are often bright and well balanced but even the darker scenes show no signs of artifacting, pixilation or other flaws.
AUDIO – 5.0/5
Although the video is great, the audio is outstanding. It may only be your standard DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, but holy hell when the tornadoes touchdown, you feel every bit of it; these action-oriented scenes just sounds incredible and easily reference worthy. Outside of that, dialogue is nice and clear and there’s a fair amount of use for the rear channels as well.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Into the Storm despite being another found footage flick, and certainly with flaws in others such as story and character, does excel with the visual and some practical effects, culminating with an incredible lossless score. The Blu-ray itself is limited with its bonus material while the audio/video transfers were top notch.