If you’re going to call a film Into the Storm, then you need to do some impressive storming if the film is going to work. Unfortunately for Into the Storm, the windy bits are the only part of the film that really work, as it has a very weak script, a flimsy grasp on what constitutes found footage, and some poorly shot scenes that take the tension out of the story.
One of the biggest problems I had with the film was with a character called Lucas, who seems to appear out of nowhere halfway through the film (to the extent that I thought him being visible in the background of a scene inside a van was a mistake, that he was a crew member rather than an actor), only to disappear again in scenes when he should actually be helping the people he’s travelling with.
Another problem is the film’s extremely loose definition of what found footage actually is. It’s not uncommon for found footage films to cheat (I love Chronicle, but there are definitely ‘wait, how could they have access to that footage?’ moments), but Into the Storm often seems to forget it’s supposed to be found footage, and the way several scenes are shot make it impossible for any of the characters to have shot it.
There’s also a very lengthy ‘Wait, why are they filming this?’ scene, one that is basically a carbon copy of The Day After Tomorrow when Jake Gyllenhaal’s character calls his dad because he’s going to drown. Two characters fall into a hole in an abandoned factory when a tornado hits, leaving them trapped under rubble while water pours in. But they inexplicably set up a camera as they try to get out, as though they’ve thought ‘Hey, I need to film us as we slowly drown, so our parents can see us die’. Another problem with that scene is that it’s shot in such a way that it appears as though there are higher parts of the wrecked area that they could move into to give them more time to survive.
But despite all these problems (the film also has too many characters, none of whom are particularly interesting, and what appears to be a relatively small town also has a bizarrely large airport), the scenes of the tornadoes in action are reasonably well done, and entertaining enough to mean the film isn’t a complete waste of time. Basically, it could have been a lot worse, which isn’t a recommendation, but it is a little bit better than I was expecting.