(Module 9) Looks Like a Disaster to Me

outbreak-hoffmanDisaster Films are sometimes a sub-genre of Science Fiction, but not always. These films focus on some type of physical devastation (to property, humanity, the environment, or a world).

Catastrophes can take many different forms – but they are mostly man-made or natural. These disasters can be either impending or ongoing, or they can exist locally or globally. The most commonly portrayed disasters in films are:

  • Natural disasters  – earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tidal waves, tornadoes, etc.into_the_storm_2014_film
  • Accidents  – skyscraper fires, plane crashes, ocean liners capsized or struck by icebergs.
  • Biological/Environmental – viruses unleashed, the Earth fights back against humanity.
  • Nuclear-related crises  – usually related to man-made war.
  • Criminally-instigated  – bombs planted in planes, terrorist conspiracies.
  • Failed technology or technology-gone crazy  -computers running amok or machines vs. man.
  • Extra-Planetary-related  – asteroids or meteors off-course.
  • Alien invasions and rampaging creatures (often mutant).
  • Apocalyptic  – the end of the world as we know it tales. These films can combine a few or many of the other storylines mentioned above.




Reference: Content is courtesy of –

Dirks, T. (n.d.). Disaster films. Retrieved from http://www.filmsite.org/disasterfilms.html


Manning II, N. T. (2018, October 10). This is a disaster [lecture notes].


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