Foreign Disaster films are taking over the game. Not only are the graphics on point but they really take the time to develop the story and get the audience to care about the characters. Something many American disaster films are lacking. Although the movie, "San Andreas" with the Rock had great graphics it lacked character development in my opinion. If it wasn't for the Rock it would be irrelevant and wouldn't have been as popular in the box office around the world.
The movie, " 2012" was so much better in opinion it took more time to tell the relationship between the characters. You felt their struggle to stay together and survive. The graphics were amazing showing pure devastation, many times from the characters point of view. The writers also did a great job showing the truth about what the upper class and the government would do if a disaster really happened. The best disaster films in my opinion always have that extra part to show how much "on our own" we would really be.
In the last few years ( 5 to 10 years) we've seen the emergence of remakes and original twists of awesomeness from foreign film makers in the disaster genre. The films are longs but, their amazing and feel so real. As if their happening right now in another part of the world. Its not just Asian films but also European film makers taking the genre to the next level.
South Korea... o South Korea I'm in love with their tact for the disaster genre. Two movies that they made changed my view of foreign disaster films: The Tower and Tidal Wave. The Tower is a remake of the classic 70's film, " The Towering Inferno" and does an amazing job not only at recreating the film buy upgrading it to modern times. I loved how they based the movie on Christmas of all days elevating the mayhem. If they had carolers I could just imagine their faces, when the doors is opened to a wall of flames... merry blazing Christmas lol.
While I consider, The Tower to be an avoidable disaster made by corporate greed. The movie, Tidal Wave does an amazing job at a good old natural disaster movie. I did question when was the disaster going to happen.. it took a minute to get to the point but, I realized they were building up the characters. In doing this you care more when things do go terribly wrong. I like films that make you question if your favorite character really is going to survive. The special effects were very natural, like they were really running from huge waves. Right when you thought the craziness is over... boom something else happens. This film reminded me why I would never live on a coast even if its above sea level lol.
Japan is Sinking, was a great movie as well (really long) but crazy enough came out a few years ( + or -) before the tsunami/ nuclear disaster there. The writers did a great job researching the facts of the matter. Watch the movie and see how a lot of what is happening or happened there was in the film.... including water bubbling up from the streets.
Russia had its own disaster film ( more so action, thriller) called, Metro. The film is based in Moscow,Russia and takes place underground in a train station. The characters struggle to survive when the station is flooded with water. I really liked this film it reminded me of Sylvester Stallone's 1996 movie, Day Light. The characters possibly facing emanate death start reflecting on their lives. My favorite part is (spoiler) the main character fighting to survive with his young daughter and running into the man his wife is having an affair with. How hard would that be trying to save yourself and your kid, while trying not to drown the a-hole sleeping with your wife?
An honorable mention that had a great mixture of a disaster and horror mixed with the aftermath of an earth quake is the Chilean-American film, "After Shock". Just wow, imagine going on a trip with friends... meeting some hot girls ( or boys) then boom an earth quake happens. Yeah, you survive but then the prisoners of that area escape and folks aren't too friendly to outsiders looking for shelter. Its definitely a must watch and very much rated R.
Don't get me wrong not all American disaster films are bad or not well written or rely to heavy on the special effects to carry the movie.. "cough" ..Sharknado. The movie, The Impossible was amazing! Not only was it a tear jerkier but it was based on a true story which made it that much more amazing. How the frack did that family survive.. the question I asked myself throughout the film? If you haven't seen it you should. Especially if you love disaster films. The movie's, The Day After Tomorrow, Dante's Peak, Twister, Taking shelter ( love it) and etc. were great to but I'm talking consistency and execution. Thoughts anyone?