10 Worst Disaster Movies Of All Time

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Armageddon bright light
Buena Vista Pictures

If you weren't going to the cinema in the 90s and 2000s, you might be surprised to learn that disaster movies use to rule the box office. It seemed like every week there was a new flick that was promising destruction on an unprecedented scale.

These films, despite doing well at the box office, were almost all terrible. Sure there were bright spots (come on, you liked Independence Day too), but these were a rare sight in the cesspool that this genre became.

Nowadays, any disaster film that does miraculously get a theatrical release dies the moment it enters cinemas. The former box office king is now lucky to pull a paltry $200 million worldwide.

The massive destruction and deafening screams of hapless extras all became mute. Audiences moved past this bygone genre and on to better things.

It would be easy to fill this piece with films by the Asylum or some other mockbuster studio. They have produced so much trash that it could fill its own list. For this reason, they have been left out. To appear here, a full theatrical release is required.

10. Pompeii

Armageddon bright light
Lionsgate / Summit

Pompeii (the film, not the historical event) has a very apt tagline. There certainly is no warning or escape when it comes to Paul W. S. Anderson's boring dud of a historical disaster film.

Pompeii is less about Mount Vesuvius erupting, and more about Kit Harington and Emily Browning falling in love. And this is where it fails.

In the pursuit of a laughable love story, the film forgets what people paid money to see. This isn't helped the vast majority of the action sequences centring around sword fighting and not the volcano erupting.

That being said, when Vesuvius does erupt, it looks spectacular. Many of the aerial shots are fantastic, and add a real sense of scale to the action. But this action eventually becomes a drag also, as the final set piece goes on for far too long.

Even with some impression action, Pompeii is held back by its clich├ęd script and poor direction. It all feels woefully misguided.

After he was out of press junket mode, Harington gave his real opinion on the film, commenting that it was more of a disaster than the actual event. He isn't wrong.


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