Unlike most films of the genre, Melancholia gives very little importance to the disaster itself. This is exactly what makes the film worth watching.
Melancholia is the story of two sisters, Justine and Claire, set in the backdrop of a planet’s impending collision with the Earth. Instead of focusing on the destruction caused by the catastrophe, the film explored the impact of disasters on human emotions and relationships. The over-the-top action sequences and visual effects were replaced by the beautiful cinematography we’ve come to expect from Lars von Trier’s films, making the film a worthwhile watch.
2. Independence Day
Looking back, Independence Day might not be one of the greatest disaster films ever made. However, it played a very important part in shaping the genre into what it currently is.
The film, starring Will Smith, featured VFX that were way ahead of their time, combining them with exciting action sequences and an epic speech. The film did have its fair share of flaws, but they seem negligible considering its impact.
3. World War Z
World War Z is far from the smartest or most-exciting disaster movie ever made. What it is, however, is an interesting film that doesn’t take a conventional view on disaster.
Most disaster films focus heavily on the global or universal impact of the disaster in question. World War Z took a much more realistic look at catastrophe, as it never really showed us sequences and montages of entire cities being destroyed. Instead, it shows us the confusion and the uncertainty an individual was likely to face in a situation such as this. As Gerry learns more about the disaster(s) being faced, so do we, which made the film interesting.
4. Deep Impact
Unfortunately, Deep Impact failed to have much of an impact on the box office. Perhaps, a release in the same year as Armageddon wasn’t the best idea. Even so, it is definitely a disaster film worth-watching.
The character-driven movie primarily focused on two characters, who (in their own ways) begin to uncover the rumblings of a disaster. The story was further improved by its focus on the lives of the characters, adding a distinctly human touch to the film. Unfortunately, this may have been the very reason Deep Impact never made it big. Still, the film stood the test of time and makes for great viewing even today.
Sharknado is unlike any other film mentioned in this list. In fact, it’s probably unlike any other disaster movie ever made.
As the name suggests (or blatantly states), Sharknado is a tornado, but with sharks! The film follows four friends as they set out to combat the sharknadoes by throwing bombs at them. Predictably, things don’t end well. However, what you won’t be able to predict is just how weird they get.
As you might have inferred, Sharknado is the quintessential "so bad that it’s good" film. So go ahead – watch it, laugh at it and hate yourself for enjoying it!
It looks like this genre of films will soon be joined by another addition to the genre – Into the Storm. The movie, which will showcase Mother Nature at her most-extreme, seems like the perfect blend of a captivating plot and stunning visuals. Have you watched all the films on this list? You might just enjoy Into the Storm, releasing this week!