dir: Steven Quale
Does anyone really miss Twister? Is there a cult following for that tornado movie which had Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton chasing tornadoes, something which contravenes entirely common sense and basic human nature?
I would say no. No-one misses Helen Hunt. Twister was, however, bafflingly successful, and was one of the first times special effects became realistic enough to look more real than the nincompoop humans on screen.
Those tornados looked real, devastatingly real. And catastrophe on the big and small screens is dangerously compelling to us.
When Jan De Bont’s Twister succeeded, it created an entire genre of action movies derisively labelled as ‘weather porn’. When you think about the combination of the two words, it does make for a very complicated mental image. Basically, it just points to the idea that many of us ‘like’ (however that liking manifests itself) watching weather slap around a bunch of people and property for our entertainment.
Tornadoes are a great way of making it look like weather can take a personal and distinct form with which to kill people.
This isn’t the place to start moralising about it, about what it says about audiences. We’ve ALWAYS enjoyed watching disasters and catastrophes on screen. It dates back to when this crazy cinema thing started off. It’s just that collectively, as a species, we’re better at it now.