It baffles me how documenting a dangerous event is sometimes placed higher than self-preservation. I don’t care how wicked that storm looks or how many hits you’ll get, save yourself!
In the span of a day, one town gets hit with several tornadoes.
So, this is supposed to be a found footage movie, complete with random filming, shaky camerawork, and supposedly real people in real events. Problem is, some of the shots should not exist because there is no camera. I’m not kidding. Now, one could argue that some were provided by a news helicopter but there’s no indication.
Unlike The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield, there’s nondiegetic music during the film. As some of the characters prepare to drown in the abandoned paper mill, somber music comes in out of nowhere. I’m sorry, but last I checked, I didn’t hear random music flow into whatever room I was in during an intense moment. It goes against the conventions of found footage in a way that detracts from the overall piece.
“But Thomas,” you may ask, “isn’t found footage as a whole implausible in that someone decided it was a good idea to release a film where bad stuff happens to real people?” Yes, but that’s not the point. Once you accept the premise that this “actually happened”, you just go along for the ride and might get sucked into the film.
In terms of plot, what little there is for surviving real weather, I questioned the graduation ceremony as a whole. While it was planned in advance, why did they not have a back-up location in case something like this happened? Better yet, why didn’t they choose to be indoors in the first place when the weather report stated that there’d be storms rolling through at the same time as the ceremony?
The lighting was far too dark for where I saw this film, a drive-in. Some of the colors projected on the screen matched the sky behind it, with little contrast. Ideally, this probably wasn’t the right way to see it, whatever that is. True, this is supposed to be all-natural and whatever but it doesn’t hold tension.
The visual effects were nice, but the former animation major in me saw a well-made wind and particle simulation. This mindset is rather cynical but at this point I didn’t care what happened to everyone involved, despite how predictable it is. There is one other good shot involving the eye of the tornado but that’s about it.
I enjoy a bad movie every now and then, but I like them to be incredibly corny. This could’ve used more sharks. It’s a movie with sound and fury, but ends up meaning nothing.