October is Halloween season and scary movies are popular to watch these days. What’s your favorite scary movie? You can read my top 10 favorite horror movies to watch. Ghosts and scary monsters not your thing? I completely get that! In fact, I also enjoy a scare from slasher flicks. Check out my favorite.
Well, I made another movie list but this one’s entirely different because these are disaster films! What am I doing recommending disaster films for Halloween? Well they can be scary too, don’t you think? Specially because unlike monsters and killers, disaster films are closer to real life events! In fact, the 10th movie on this list might be considered a mirror ball to the future, well now, our present time.
I saw this disaster film on VCD when I was growing up. It came free with the audio video component Dad bought. It’s about a car that hits a truck full of explosives which causes an explosion in an underground tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey. Sylvester Stallon stars as Kit Latura, who attempts to save the people stuck in the tunnel before the air runs out.
Why is this scary? Well, imagine just going about your day and to get to where you have to be, you have to go through a tunnel. Whether that’s by cab, your own car or whathaveyou, it’s really not a big deal, in fact it’s normal and ordinary. But what if that tunnel collapses like in the movie from both ends so there’s no way out? What will you do now?
Confession: Because of this movie, every time I ride the MRT or pass by the underground tunnels of EDSA, I always remember this movie and silently pray that that dark tunnel doesn’t collapse while we’re passing through. I also always wish that whatever it was I was riding in at the time could speed it up so I’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel already.
I don’t think I have to tell you guys what the movie is about. It’s such a popular shark film!
It is precisely because I watched this film that I don’t swim in the beach. I’m afraid that there’s a shark lurking in the waters, just ready to attack. Although I know, I know, marine scientists have long debunked the myth that sharks purposely hunt people. Still, not the most comforting fact because shark attacks do happen even if its out of curiosity that it may happen.
3. Poseidon Adventure
Another film I saw when I was a kid. This 1972 film is about a luxury cruise liner that takes its last voyage before it is sent to the scrapyards. But then disaster strikes when a tsunami hits and overturns the boat, leaving the passengers and crew trapped. Gene Hackman plays Reverend Frank Scott who tries to lead the survivors to safety by going up at the outer hull, above waters.
Seeing this film when I was young was enough for me to not consider doing an ocean cruise.
4. Dante’s Peak
This movie is actually inspired by a true disaster that happened here in the Philippines, the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption. Pierce Brosnan stars as a vulcanologist assigned to check out Dante’s Peak, a dormant volcano that may be waking up at any moment in a countryside that’s been named the second most desirable place to live in America.
Another volcano movie inspired by a real life volcano eruption. Unlike Dante’s Peak, however, this volcano erupts right at the heart of the city of Los Angeles and Tommy Lee Jones gets the lovely task of having to lead firefighters and police to find a way to divert the searing hot lava away from a city full of people.
6. San Andreas
A previously unknown fault ruptures which triggers a 7.1 earthquake that collapses Hoover Dam and later on it’s discovered that the whole San Andreas fault is shifting which will result to a series of earthquakes that may destroy cities along the fault line. Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock stars as a fire department helicopter rescue pilot who has to save his family from a 9.1 earthquake that hits Los Angeles.
7. Deep Impact
Elijah Woods stars as Leo Beiderman, a teenage amateur astronomer who discovers an unusual object floating in space, which would later turn out to be a comet that’s on a course collision with Earth. He sends a photo to his friend, astronomer Dr. Marcus Wolf who unfortunately dies in a car crash, in his haste to sound the alarm over the impending disaster. A year later, people learn of the comet and of US and Russia’s mission to save the Earth from extinction. Mission to blast the comet with a nuclear bomb fails and chaos ensues as mankind scrambles for survival.
When both Deep Impact and the asteroid disaster movie, Armageddon hit cinemas, the possibility of it actually happening had people wondering. As we all know, it is believed that the extinction of dinosaurs was due to an asteroid hitting Earth. According to scientists, impact event can happen in twenty million years. Still, it’s a scary idea to think about.
This is actually one of my favorite disaster films of all time! A young Jo Thornthon (Helen Hunt) experiences a strong tornado where she witnesses with her own eyes her father taken away by the tornado storm after it rips the door to the storm cellar where they were hiding. Years after her father’s death, Jo is now a meteorologist and storm chaser who studies tornadoes. Together with her estranged husband and their team, they go off chasing tornadoes in Oklahoma during a severe outbreak in the area.
When you know a tornado is going to hit, the normal response would be to find a place where you can be safe from it, right? But even as it may be hard to imagine, there are real life storm chasers – people who actually do this as a profession.
9. Day after Tomorrow
Dennis Quaid is paleoclimatogist, Jack Hall, who undertakes a dangerous trek to New York City to save his son, Sam, played by Jake Gyllenhaal when a sudden worldwide storm puts the entire planet into a new ice age.
I have seen this film so many times already because it’s also an all time favorite disaster movie of mine. I mean, it stars a young and cute Jake Gyllenhaal for one thing! But also the story is really a chilling thought. Can you guys imagine, a new ice age? This movie really made me see climate change as a very, very, alarming and scary event. We may or may not get that sudden storm that turns the world into a new ice age but climate change is real and it’s happening. We are feeling the effects of that!
Last but not the least, I give you Contagion starring Matt Damon. It’s not your typical disaster movie of earthquakes, fires and storm. It’s about a fictional airborne virus called virus called MEV-1 which kills 25 to 30 percent of people it infects. When people started getting sick from COVID-19, an actual virus, people were quick to recall this movie and even said this film predicted the coronavirus outbreak.
There’s no vaccine yet for coronavirus and unfortunately for us, there’s no one immune from this virus. Not like in the movie. Let’s hope we’ll be able to contain the spread of this virus soon enough. I for one can’t wait for this virus to be over and that it can be just like the seasonal flu!