What is with the fascination of disaster movies?

With San Andreas coming out next week, I started to think about what in the hell is our fascination with disaster movies and why in the hell does Hollywood keep making them?

Even though they are really expensive to make, with the whole CGI destruction and the typically large cast involved with making these movies, they are actually really easy to make overall. There really is no need for a screenwriter (even though one is credited) because all they have to do is recycle a previous script. If you are looking to destroy a small town, then look at Dante’s Peak, Twister, Into the Storm, or Hard Rain. Destroying a bigger city, go with Volcano, Battle: Los Angeles, or any of the Godzilla movies. You want something more global, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and Independence Day.

It is the same set up over and over again. A nerdy science guy (or girl) see the pattern in the whatever, then tries to warn the authorities, authorities don’t listen, then catastrophe strikes, and lots and lots of people die, but what do we care, they are CGI people. We follow the nerdy science guy and the plucky team (inevitably one or two of the team members will die), a family (sometimes with some kind of pet) that is dealing with a crisis of their own (usually the dad is some kind of emotional robot and ignores the wife and kids), and some random people there to be fodder for the disaster (one of them is usually a jerk we root for to die in the end). The main science person survives, along with the family (and their pet) who have managed to solve all of their problems, and most of the random people we really don’t know or care about (hopefully the jerk is not one of them).

These movies usually star several big names and usually one of those names is a big enough of an actor to carry a huge movie by themselves. Why they need to star in these? Is it a really good paycheck for them? I don’t know.

It is safe to say that I am not going to go see San Andreas this weekend (or possibly any other upcoming disaster type flicks in the future), but I do want to know why others would. Talk at me here and explain to me why.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

6 comments on “What is with the fascination of disaster movies?

  1. Hollywood keeps making these because they put people in the seats. Though I personally don’t care about these kinds of movies (last one I saw in theaters was 2012, because I love John Cusack… alright), the tradition of making big, epic movies and peddle them to the masses goes all the way back to the 1950s. Back then epic projects got big budgets and big releases and it has been the same ever since. Okay, let’s not forget the brief moment films like The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde were made in the sixties.

    The success of movies like Jaws and Star Wars, however, proved that epic movies, even if they have to fake it by using a natural disaster, are what gets people to theaters. Not films like The Graduate.

    • I totally like John Cusack as well so no judgement from me. The last disaster movie I saw was 2012, but that was due to a boyfriend that wanted to see things blow up and nothing else in theaters at that time. I do understand big epic movies get butts into seats, and I like many big epic movies (look at what I have been posting about =D). I’m just so tired and bored of disaster movies. I love The Rock but he isn’t going to get me into a theater for this one (unfortunately that will be the driving point for others to go and see this horrible looking movie).

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