If the storm outside isn't enough for you, there's plenty of windy, rainy, thundery weather action to find indoors, on your TV. In honor of Hurricane Sandy's imminent arrival on our shores, we've rounded up our favorite movie storms.
Cape Fear: The climax to Martin Scorcese's weird, moody, and operatic thriller remake involves Nick Nolte, a crazed, glowering Robert De Niro, a houseboat, and one mother of a storm. De Niro's Max Cady, a sneering rapist hell bent on revenge against the lawyer who put him in prison, puts Nolte's character on mock trial while the family houseboat drifts and lurches on a roiling sea.
Jurassic Park: How to get our main characters alone on a dinosaur-stuffed island? Have a big storm looming, forcing the evacuation of most the park's employees, leaving our heroes stranded and at the mercy of the velociraptors. While the dinosaurs certainly do more damage than the big blow, it still ably sets the stage for a scary adventure. Who can forget Wayne Knight wiping off his glasses only to meet a rainy end while covered in dilophosaurus goo?
28 Days Later: Danny Boyle's eerily lovely but no less terrifying for it zombie film employs a climactic, thunder-and-lightning storm to add a little extra dose of confusion and mania to a wild and brilliantly shot sequence. The image of a suddenly feral Cillian Murphy standing in a window lit up but a lightning flash was one of this great movie's most indelible images.
The Notebook: Would this sappy Nicholas Sparks swoonfest have been quite as popular if Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams' big kiss happened under a sunny sky? Doubtful. Director Nick Cassavetes knew what his audience wanted, and it was a huge rainy kiss that would become computer wallpaper material for a generation of romance-obsessed teens (and older). It was probably hell to film, but it's an artfully done moment in an otherwise clunky and cloying movie.
The Shining: Jack Torrance and his creepy family were already pretty stranded at the Overlook Hotel in good weather, so a huge blizzard blowing in is just (literal) icing on the crazy cake. Though the ever-noble Scatman Crothers bravely makes it through the storm to try and save little Danny and his mom, it's the snow that ultimatley thwarts ax-wielding Jack. The harrowing chase through a hedge maze during white-out conditions is one of Stanley Kubrick's most elegantly scary scenes.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show & Clue: What good mystery chiller (or parody of said genre) would be complete without the dark and stormy night? Sure we don't see much of the weather in either film, but it still acts as all-important catalyst for all the wacky goings on in each movie's respective spooky mansion. Tim Curry just likes a good storm, we guess.
White Squall: A sad piece of cabin boy eye candy, White Squall's storm is important enough to be, y'know, the title of the movie. In what is otherwise a cheesy coming-of-age tale, the central gale is effectively brutal and bracing. And what it does to poor, young Ryan Phillippe! A true tragedy.
Obviously this is just a mere sampling of the many fearsome tempests of filmdom. So, please, add your own below! (And, no, we didn't include The Perfect Storm because it seemed a little too on-the-nose. Plus it's just not a very good movie.)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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