Directed by: Steven Quale. Remember when Hollywood’s fallback position for a mindless, moneymaking blockbuster wasn’t superhero films, but natural disaster films? In recent memory anyway, the likes of Volcano and Dante’s Peak seem to be the smaller-scale ancestors of the global-destruction genre—think Armageddon, Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012, taking us up to every contemporary earth-go-boom 3D epic in theaters. But it all seems to have started with Twister, the second-highest grossing movie of 1996, showing Hollywood that all you really need for a blockbuster is a modest CGI budget and a reasonably passable human drama to fill the parts in between barns getting destroyed and cows whizzing through the air. Almost 20 years later, here we are again, in a family drama set in tornado-prone Oklahoma, but with some telltale differences. Rather than Twister’s stable of solid talent like Helen Hunt, Cary Elwes, a script by Michael Crichton and producing credits from no less than Steven Spielberg, Into the Storm features a slew of less familiar faces (not necessarily a bad sign) and directing by a guy whose sole directing credit is Final Destination 5 (kind of a bad sign). And while the superficial markers of recognizable names and impressive credits don’t always say anything about the quality of a film, this is one of those times that it definitely does. I had to see this movie for a real publication, but the word restrictions and language restrictions and general professionalism restrictions didn’t allow me to fully express how awful this movie was. So, then, I’ll keep it short so that we don’t waste any more time on this piece of garbage: PLEASE DON’T SEE THIS. This movie was fucking awful, but not even in a half-enjoyable, ironic, “Oh man this movie is so bad, you gotta see it!” kind of way. It’s just really really bad. The characterization and dialogue and cinematography are all sub-TV garbage aimed at a generation raised on reality shows and farts, who have been so repeatedly brutalized by mediocre culture that their sense of self respect is numbed to this assault on their intelligence. This movie is a complete waste of time and resources, it adds nothing to our culture, it raises no questions, and, most gravely, unlike a lot of no-substance action thrillers, this movie doesn’t even provide us with a proper piece of mindless escapism because it’s too poorly done to allow us to escape from anything, because we can’t escape how fucking poorly done it is. This movie makes me mad in a way that not a lot of bad movies do. Shame on you, Steven Quale, and shame on you, whatever studio executives green-lit this, and shame on the entire blind and soulless movie industry that allowed this abortion of a movie to make it into theaters and into my memory.