Natural disasters claim thousands of lives every year. There are people around the earth who constantly live in a vulnerable zone, which makes them susceptible to natural calamities. And these massive disasters have also been made part of the canon of cinema to show their magnanimity and our helplessness against them. A story of survival against all odds in such a situation naturally makes for great summer blockbusters. Some of us might think that disaster films are recent phenomena with the advent of computer graphics and CGI. But you will be shocked to know that the earliest disaster film was produced in the year 1901 and is called ‘Fire!’.
The story of the Titanic was one of the most headline-grabbing disasters in the western world for a long time and the incident has been made the subject of various films on a number of occasions. Disaster movies can be a great emotional rollercoaster ride, because on one hand, they test the limits to which human beings can go to for survival, and on the other hand, these movies also showcase the undying love we have for certain people and we can even sacrifice our own selves for the protection of our close ones. If done well with a proper engaging story and a great cast, a disaster film can turn into a truly unforgettable experience.
In recent times, the scale and magnitude of disaster films have surely taken a huge leap with the advent of computer graphics. And so, disasters depicted in movies these days look far more real and frightening. Movies like ‘2012’ (2011) have taken the disaster genre to new heights. But one problem always remains — are these films made just for entertainment or can they aspire to be something more? While you contemplate on this thought, we’ve got a few recommendations for you. Here’s the list of really good tsunami movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now:
4. The Hurricane Heist (2018)
‘The Hurricane Heist’ interestingly combines two major film genres together. It makes use of tropes of both disaster and heist films. The central protagonists of the film are two brothers, Will and Breeze Rutledge. When the movie begins, we see them trying to escape a hurricane with their father when their truck is stopped by a fallen tree. While trying to escape, their father dies. The story then shifts to the present day when the brothers have grown up. While Breeze works as a handyman, Will is a meteorologist. Another hurricane rages on in their town in Alabama in the present day.
When Casey, a treasury agent, goes to ask Breeze to help repair a generator, we discover that a few treasury agents have planned to steal a total of $600 million dollars, taking advantage of the hurricane. However, the robbers realize that the vault cannot be opened and only Casey knows the code. When they go out looking for Casey, she engages in a firefight with them when Will comes to her rescue using his Dominator. However, in the confusion, Breeze gets left behind and is captured by the robbers. It is now upon Will to save his brother and prevent the robbery. Critical reviews of the film were generally negative. The movie was criticized for its poor direction and acting. It also performed poorly at the box office.
3. Oceans Rising (2017)
This 2017 movie is written and directed by Adam Lipsius. The story of the film follows a character called Adam, who is a scientist. After a solar flare hits the earth, Adam is of the opinion that it might affect the earth’s magnetic field to a great extent. He also says that this change of the magnetic field will cause sea levels to rise across the earth, and might even melt ice caps in the polar region.
However, Adam’s theories are regarded as nonsense by government officials, including his wife Pamela. Pamela herself works at the US Civil Protection but pays no heed to Adam’s theory. Helpless, Ada decides to take the matter in his own hand, and he prepares a boat to sail out on once the water level rises. When another solar flare strikes the earth, a huge tide hits the land surface. Adam quickly takes a few people and his wife on a boat and sets out to restore the balance of the earth. One wonders whether this movie is somehow a modern interpretation of the Noah’s ark story in the Bible. Even the central character’s name is Biblical. Be that as it may, the movie was thoroughly panned by critics for its amateurish filmmaking.
2. The Wave (2015)
‘The Wave’ is a Norwegian film directed by Roar Uthaug. The central character of the film is a scientist named Kristian Eikjord who works at a hill station called Geiranger. The story begins at Kristian’s farewell party before he leaves his current place of work and shifts somewhere else with his wife and children. Just as he is about to leave, Kristian notices some natural phenomenon which warns him of an immediate disaster. What he comes to find out is that a mountain pass is about to collapse and it will give rise to a huge tsunami that might claim many lives. Kristian and his colleagues immediately try to stop the disaster from taking place. It is upon them to prevent the major disaster from happening.
Interestingly, ‘The Wave’ is among the few disaster movies to receive positive reviews from critics. The film was praised for its great acting and compelling story. Also, the fact that the writers managed to create engaging characters while making a movie about disasters is also a great achievement in itself.
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1. Abandoned (2015)
This 2015 feature film is based on a true story. The story centers around four men who have set out to sail in the Pacific Ocean on a trimaran. However, fate is not on their side and they are soon met with a huge storm. The sea waves reach up to six meters in height. The skipper of the boat, John, tries really hard to keep the boat from toppling and killing all of them at once. Meanwhile, the other passengers on the ship begin to get frustrated and angry with John because he refused to spend more money on buying a radio with a better range.
Finally, a huge wave does manage to topple the boat over. Somehow, people manage to cling on to the boat and survive. All of them float in the water for a total of 119 days before they manage to stop at the Great Barrier Peninsula. The movie received wide acclaim for its depiction of the natural calamity and the struggle of survival of these four men. Interestingly, this is one of the few disaster movies that uses a nonlinear structure to tell the story.
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