A disquieting storm and a comforting calm

Into the Storm
English (U/A) ¬¬¬
Director: Steven QualeCast: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh

A tornado comes but sporadically and takes things by storm, disrupting the unanticipating lull that was its predecessor. Without going into how Into the storm seems like a late progeny of Twister, let the focus remain on the movie wholly.

 A rather humdrum start to the movie beguiles you into thinking of it as a yawn-eliciter; however, not for long, as the action kicks in early. And boy, is there a lot of it. Action, thrill, havoc and bedlam – form a tight-knit destructive quartet enveloping characters and situations alike. The USP? All of it has been packed snugly into a mere 90 minutes.

Allison Stone (Sarah Wayne Callies) studies storms and is assisting Pete (Matt Walsh) and three other documentary makers by accompanying them on their mission to film tornadoes. A few misses later comes a big hit, which she predicts will chance upon a spot not too far from their present location.

Going against his better judgement, Pete, who is distrustful of Allison’s reasoning, and his team decide to head there.

 Meanwhile, Gary Morris (Richard Armitage), the vice-principal of the local public school, is a widower who believes in tough love when it comes to raising his teenage sons Donnie and Trey. The tornado is slowly inching towards the school on the day of its high school graduation. 

Here’s what happens next. The school resorts to its storm shelter and the tornado passes, harming none. But, don’t breathe yet, for the worst is yet to come. There is a detour in the storyline as Donnie and his friend Caitlin are trapped at a defunct factory away from the city and need to be rescued.

Maternal and paternal love dot periods of misery and anxiety. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Pete’s hunger for more footage, the ceaseless profusion of unnerving tornadoes, gory deaths, vast destruction and the gloomy ambience suck you into the foreboding eye of the pernicious storm.

With constant instances of footages being filmed, Into the storm feels like a mitigated Cloverfield at times. The striking cinematography, visual effects, portrayal of horror, ominous sounds and the frantic movement of cameras all contribute to the impact the movie-makers were hoping to achieve. A laudable effort, that is subtly bookended by a well-meant message: Life is a gift. Live it well. Touché.

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