Into the Storm review

For all its AV-thrills, this found-footage take on the disaster genre still blows...

Remember the 1996 smash Twister? Well, this insipid flick treads familiar ground, pitting humanity against some adverse, yet entirely benign, weather conditions. Only this time, the concept has been given a found-footage makeover.

Populated entirely by tired stereotypes (strict dad, misunderstood teenage son, single-minded storm chaser), Into the Storm can't even be bothered to come up with a plot. Instead, it presents viewers with a collection of sequences in which successively larger cyclones destroy buildings while our protagonists try to either run away or hold on to something – all while continuing to film the mayhem around them.

It adds up to the sort of film that the Syfy channel cranks out on a pretty regular basis (albeit the digital effects here are at least much, much better). Unlike those flicks though, Into the Storm has absolutely zero personality and – outside of one brief 'fire-nado' – comes nowhere close to the sort of craziness and unbridled fun found in more trashy genre outings like Volcano, or even Sharknado.

Picture: Shot using a variety of digital cameras (everything from the high-end RED Epic to cheap-and-cheerful GoPro Hero 3s), Into the Storm makes a splash on Blu-ray with a crisp and textured AVC 1.78:1 1080p encode.

No matter how mad the digital effects get, delineation is always first-class, ensuring that the scenes of destruction are intricately rendered and have a sense of scale. Indeed, the only real surprise is that the filmmakers didn't take the opportunity to shoot it in 3D (or convert it in post).
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: Unsurprisingly, Into The Storm arrives with a gale-force DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. Digital FX-heavy scenes such as part of the town being hit by a twister (Chapter 5) or the destruction wrought by the colossal EF5 tornado (Chapter 8) are given considerably more threat and weight by the furious power of the winds gusting around your speaker setup.

There's plenty of LFE here, too, with the mix regularly employing your subwoofer to underscore the meteorological mayhem with thudding effects.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Bonus features are about as thin on the ground as believable performances are in the film. Into the Storm: Tornado Files (11 minutes) looks at real storms and how they were recreated digitally here. Titus: The Ultimate Storm Chasing Vehicle (eight minutes) looks at the film's 'storm-proof' car. Finally, Fake Storms: Real Conditions (six minutes) focuses on the practical effects (rain, wind, etc) used to recreate storm conditions during shooting.
Extras rating: 1.5/5

We say: The film is a total duffer, but its aggressive lossless audio means this disc could still go down a storm with AV-hedz

Into the Storm, Warner Bros., All-region BD, £25 Approx