When it comes to disaster movies, it is typically severe weather conditions that rule the day. Since everyone -- regardless of where one lives -- deals with bad weather of some sort, most people have some personal experience to bring into these movies with them. Be it tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes or more, there is a bad weather movie out there for everyone.
However, the quality of these movies varies drastically. Roland Emmerich has made it his goal to seemingly destroy the world in every feasible way, from alien invasions to worldwide weather disasters. Other filmmakers have done their work with earthquakes, volcanos, and tsunamis. Even others have used weather to tell smaller scale stories to even greater effect. Here is a look at the 10 best weather movies, ranked.
So, maybe there are a lot of movies that better fit this ranking than Sharknado, but this disaster movie was so successful that it needs mentioning. Crazily enough, as nuts as this concept is, there have now been six movies in the Sharknado series and some pretty famous names signed on for cameos.
The idea is simple albeit a bit ludicrous. Ian Ziering and Tara Reid lead the cast as a husband and wife who encounter a cyclone that brings swarms of sharks in its grip. This weather means tornado-like winds that fling sharks through the air, with their mouths open ready to eat anything in its path.
9 THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW
When it comes to weather-related disaster movies, Roland Emmerich is the king. While some of his films are terrible (2012), others work well -- thanks mostly to the characters. In The Day After Tomorrow, Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal lead a cast through a new ice age.
The movie takes the idea of climate change and uses it to result in severe weather catastrophes. While scientists try to warn of impending doom, the U.S. government ignores their concerns and the new ice age occurs, resulting in the death of millions. What makes this movie work so well is the focus on a family and their fight for survival and reconciliation.
8 THE FOG
Whatever you do, please don't watch the 2005 remake with Tom Welling and Maggie Grace. That movie has a four-percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and it is well deserved. However, in 1980, John Carpenter followed up his groundbreaking 1978 slasher film Halloween with this tale of the supernatural.
The Fog stars Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Atkins, and Janey Leigh in this movie about a dense fog that sweeps into a small coastal town. From the fog comes the ghosts of mariners killed when they shipwrecked there years before. The movie is a cult classic with one of the best horror music scores of all-time.
7 STORM OF THE CENTURY
Stephen King is from Maine and knows all about bad weather. That explains his tendency to incorporate it into many of his stories. Storm of the Century is different from most King movies since this was never a novel and the Master of Horror wrote it as a screenplay from the start. The film hit in 1999 and King later published the screenplay version itself.
The movie takes place in a coastal town near Maine where a powerful storm rolls in and shuts off the town from the rest of the world, including cutting out their communication as well. Soon, a stranger appears named Andre (Colm Feore) who knows everyone's secrets and demands one of their children in exchange for the survival of the town.
6 THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE
Released in 1972, The Poseidon Adventure focuses on a luxury ocean liner called the SS Poseidon that was on its final voyage before heading to the scrap yard. Like most "one last mission" movies, things do not go well. A tsunami strikes and the ship overturns, the survivors frantically seeking a way to safety, before it is too late.
The movie was a huge success, with two Oscar wins and a Golden Globe award. Much of the success is due to the fantastic cast, including Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine, and Red Buttons. In 2006, Wolfgang Peterson also made a decent remake called Poseidon.
5 THE MIST
The second Stephen King movie on this list is also the second movie that focuses on a fog rolling into a small town. Unlike The Fog, which saw murderous ghosts come out, The Mist saw the town overrun by giant creatures and monsters. However, as dangerous as the monsters are, some of the humans trapped with the heroes are pure evil.
Thomas Jane starred as a father trapped with his son while Marcia Gay Harden was a fundamentalist who believed God was punishing them for being sinners and felt sacrifice was needed to survive. Frank Darabont, who also directed King's Shawshank Redemption, helmed this movie and also created a great black and white version.
4 THE PERFECT STORM
Before Wolfgang Petersen remade the classic Poseidon Adventure, he already created one visually dynamic weather movie set on the high seas. Based on the novel by Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm stars George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg as members of a commercial fishing vessel caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991.
That was a real storm that formed on Oct. 28, 1991, and lasted until Nov. 2. There were 13 deaths and over $200 million in damages caused by the real storm. The movie tells the story of the small crew aboard the boat as they try to make it back to shore but ultimately fail.
Possibly the most famous weather movie based on natural disasters is Twister, based on a severe outbreak of tornadoes in Oklahoma and the brave storm chasers in pursuit of the dangerous twisters. Jan de Bont (Speed) directed the movie, which has gained a cult following since its release in 1996.
Bill Paxton led his tornado chasers after bigger and more dangerous tornadoes, while Helen Hunt is the former wife who survived an F5 tornado as a little girl while losing her father in the incident. When a new F5 strikes Oklahoma 27 years later, they end up back together to try to get a research device into the center of the twister to help them learn more about it to help save more lives in the future. There are also flying cows.
Snowpiercer is based on the French comic book of the same name, directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host). The story focuses on a future event where climate change causes the next ice age; however, this time, the governments of Earth know it is coming and make the necessary preparations. They build a globe-spanning track and a self-sustaining train.
They then sell spots on the train to the wealthy and affluent. The train is broken up by classes, with the rich in the front and middle class in the middle. When a group of poor people rushes the train, they are allowed on but only in cattle cars in the back. The movie then shows the breakdown of this hierarchy as those in the back rebel.
1 THE SHINING
The third and final Stephen King movie on this list is one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Stanley Kubrick adapted King's The Shining, and while King hates the movie because of liberties taken with the story, as a horror film, it is a masterful work of horror.
The weather here is a typical winter storm in Colorado. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), a recovering alcoholic, moves his wife and son into the Overlook Hotel to care for it during the winter months. Sadly, his urges to drink return and the ghosts of the hotel drive him insane as the snow cuts them off from the rest of the world.