What would you do if faced with a powerful earthquake, unrelenting tornado, or asteroid strike? Those are the questions natural disaster films strive to answer. These films are terrifying because many of them could happen at any moment.
Prepare for the worst with these 10 possible natural disasters as seen on film.
1. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Nothing is more terrifying than the ocean. If something happens to the ship you’re on, then you better hope both land and a lifeboat are close by. The Poseidon Adventure shows what might happen if a cruise ship becomes struck by a rogue wave.
Rogue waves are difficult to predict, and while some ships are better than others to handle them, there’s always a chance the ship might sink or flip.
You might want to think twice about booking your next cruise.
2. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Dennis Quaid stars in The Day After Tomorrow. It’s a film about the possible consequences of global climate change. Most of the northern hemisphere of the world has completely frozen over with people living in a second Ice Age.
With climate change already having an effect on ocean temperatures and weather patterns, this outcome may just come true.
3. The Impossible (2012)
Flooding is a real danger impacting people across the world. The Impossible is a natural disaster movie based on real-life events. It follows a survivor of the 2004 tsunami that hit Thailand named María Belón and played by Naomi Watts.
This film proves that a terrible tsunami could end up costing thousands of lives at any moment.
4. Twister (1996)
One of the most terrifying weather events is a tornado. It can quickly turn from a mild wind storm to a raging tornado that destroys homes and lives. Twister is a natural disaster film that showcases just how dangerous a tornado can become.
It stars Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton as storm-chasers who are also trying to finalize their divorce and capture readings inside a tornado.
Tornados occur frequently in certain regions of the US, and the events that occur in the movie could happen to those unlucky enough to be in the tornado’s path.
5. The Perfect Storm (2000)
Another terrifying film at sea is The Perfect Storm. Starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, the film depicts the real-life events that occurred on the fishing vessel, Andrea Gail. The ship ended up caught in the middle of a hurricane with the crew trying to survive it.
While most people know not to sail during the threat of a hurricane or have the technology now to predict extreme weather patterns, this film shows that at sea, the weather can change at any moment.
6. Contagion (2011)
These days, the movie Contagion hits a bit too close to home. Back in 2011, when the movie came out, it depicted what might occur if a disease quickly spread through the population. Many of the events that occur in the film would end up occurring in real life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This natural disaster film got many things right, so who’s to say its events won’t occur again?
7. Deep Impact (1998)
NASA likes to assure everyone that it can destroy asteroids and comets from colliding with Earth. However, Deep Impact shows us what happens when governments lack the technology or speed to remove a danger in Earth’s atmosphere.
The film shows a family’s struggle to reach safety to avoid the incoming devastation caused by a comet strike. While we have faith that NASA and other space bodies will destroy any incoming threat, there’s always a chance that they’ll fail.
8. Pompeii (2014)
Those who don’t learn from history are often doomed to repeat it. Living by active volcanos is not a great choice. The events of Pompeii show a possibility of what might have occurred in the city of the same name on that fateful day when Mount Vesuvius erupted.
People living by volcanos, beware.
9. The Birds (1963)
Nature doesn’t just include the elements. Animals can wreak havoc, too. The Birds, one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most popular films, shows what might happen when a certain animal species starts to turn on people.
Who’s to say other animals might not follow their cue when humans are responsible for destroying their homes and habitats?
10. San Andreas (2015)
One of the scariest natural disasters is an earthquake. You never know when it might hit. Those in the Northwestern part of the United States are also waiting for the day the “Big One” hits. It’s a massive earthquake that could strike any day and kill tons.
San Andreas depicts what might happen should a massive earthquake occur at the San Andreas faultline. It stars Dwayne Johnson as a helicopter pilot trying to save his family in the wake of a terrible earthquake.
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