"Uh, on second thoughts, I don't want to go to Oz that badly."


"Uh, on second thoughts, I don't want to go to Oz that badly."

INTO THE STORM

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. RANDOM SUBURBAN STREET #274

A gaggle of ANONYMOUS DOOMED TEENS park by the side of the road. Suddenly a TORNADO jumps out at them.

TEENAGE IDIOT

Awesome! I thought this movie might try for some kind of suspense or atmospheric buildup of tension, but nope, ten seconds in, giant death funnel! I gotta film this.

(walks towards swirling vortex of death)

LESS STUPID TEENAGER

Dude, what the hell are you doing, dopily filming when you should be running for your life? For fuck’s sake, you’re acting like a character from a-

(gasps)

Oh God no. Not another fucking found footage movie! This stupid gimmick has run its course, done fifty extra laps, run out of fuel, been abandoned by the side of the road and rusted to the fucking ground!

TEENAGE IDIOT

I know, absolutely nobody wants another one of these things, but to prevent the Elder Gods of Shaky-Cam from rising and devouring the world we have to keep them going until they’ve covered every single genre. We’ve already done horror movie, monster movie, superhero movie, zombie movie, buddy cop movie, raunchy teen comedy, now we can cross off disaster movie. And when somebody figures out how the hell you do a found-footage western-

(squashed by tornado)

EXT. RANDOM SUBURBAN STREET #119

Storm chasers SARAH WAYNE CALLIES and MATT WALSH are trying to figure out where the next TORNADO will be.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Sigh, I’m sick of all this travelling. As a single mother I mean well, but I worry that I’m doing a bad job, not being there for-

MATT WALSH

Stop, too much characterization. What movie do you think this is? Look: I’m your asshole boss. NEXT.

JEREMY SUMPTER

I’m a scaredy-cat camera guy.

SCOTT LAWRENCE

And I’m the other camera guy.

LEE WHITTAKER

And I’m the OTHER other camera guy.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Wait, we’ve got three cameramen? And like fifty cameras stuck on the side of our storm-chaser batmobile thing? So, hang on. Who’s shooting this part right now? Anyone? Where is everybody standing right now, I need to figure out if this shot is even possible.

MATT WALSH

Ha, it’s working! Our plan to throw in so many fucking cameras that the audience can never tell for sure which shots are bullshit is working! Bet End of Watch wishes it had thought of this.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Either way, are we really doing a movie about a bunch of storm chasers pursuing tornadoes during an unusually dangerous storm season? Is there, like, any way at all that we’re not just Twister with a dumb gimmick and a cheaper cast?

MATT WALSH

We’re nothing like the guys from Twister! They were scientists trying to save lives, we’re filmmakers trying to get awesome footage.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

So we go in crazily risking our lives for much shallower reasons. Wonderful.

MATT WALSH

Hey, at least this premise gives our characters an unforced reason to continually film everything. I bet the audience is glad to see a found footage film that doesn’t cook up strained, implausible justifications for the footage to exist!

INT. SUBURBAN HOME

MAX DEACON

So here I am making a video time capsule for a school project, which requires me and my brother to film a bunch of student interviews, as well as film every other random thing that happens for some reason! Dad, say something character-defining for the camera.

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Not now, uh, Mark? Mike? Whatever, I’m busy trying to get a refund on this American accent. I traded in all my brooding sex appeal for it, and it turns out the damn thing’s defective.

MAX DEACON

DAMNIT DAD, WHY IS NOTHING I DO EVER GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? YOUR VAGUE PARENTAL NEGLECT DEFINES ME IN AN ANGSTY FASHION, WAAHHH!

(runs off)

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Ah nuts. As a single father I mean well, but I worry that I’m doing a bad job, not being there for my kids.

(pause)

I know, I know. But Crazy Bob’s Discount Stock Character Emporium was doing a two-for-one deal that was just too good to pass up. For instance, check out my other son:

NATHAN KRESS

DAMNIT DAD, WHY IS NOTHING I DO EVER GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? YOUR VAGUE PARENTAL NEGLECT DEFINES ME IN AN ANGSTY FASHION, WAAHHH!

(runs off)

RICHARD ARMITAGE

See? Saved a fortune.

EXT. SOME IDIOT’S BACKYARD

Oh look, here are YET MORE GUYS constantly carrying around YET MORE CAMERAS.

JOHN REEP

A-hyuck, we’re a pair of white trash morons trying to get some internet fame with amateur daredevil videos! All you really need to know about our characters is that they’re named “Donk” and “Reevis”. Seriously, somebody got paid to come up with that.

KYLE DAVIS

With all these storm warnings, we should totally chase some tornadoes down and deliberately drive right up to them so we can get some kickass tornado footage! Because we’re so STUPID!

JOHN REEP

Yes, it’s only because we’re explicitly being made out to be total slack-jawed morons that we take such an idiotic risk for such paltry rewards! These are the actions of utter buffoons!

KYLE DAVIS

CONSISTENCY!

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL

MAX goes up to his crush ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY, while his brother surreptitiously FILMS IT like a total CREAPAZOID.

ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY

Oh no, the school project I filmed at an abandoned chemical factory is all corrupted, and now I don’t have time to re-film it!

MAX DEACON

I’d like to help you re-film your project, but I have to film the graduation ceremony today. But maybe I could get Nathan to stop filming those student interviews and instead film the graduation so I could go with you to film the film filmy film film film-

(smacks side of own head)

Sorry about that. Let’s go!

ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY

To the house of volatile chemicals and rusty factory equipment!

EXT. RANDOM SUBURBAN STREET #409

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Nerts, that storm we were tracking has completely dissipated into a forty per cent chance of light patchy drizzle. Looks like today’s a bust.

It immediately starts pouring MASSIVE CHUNKS OF HAIL.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Oh look, the scattered bits of cloud cover suddenly changed their minds and jumped back together into a massive death storm! TORNADO HO!

MATT WALSH

Okay seriously, is any of this even remotely meteorologically possible?

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Well ten years ago it wouldn’t have been, but then Katrina happened, which apparently allows us to throw up our hands and claim that weather can do anything now.

MATT WALSH

Katrina. Are you fucking serious. Goddamn, people, at least The Day After Tomorrow limited itself to yelling “bla bla climate change bla bla carbon levels bla”. We’re actually going to grab one of the worst natural disasters of recent memory and wave it around like a magic science-proof talisman?

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Look you big baby, if it helps we can pay brief lip service to environmental concerns in between special effects. LET’S GO ALREADY.

They SPEED OFF until they find a TORNADO. The TORNADO tears around dramatically chewing up select parts of the LANDSCAPE, while never seeming like much of a THREAT to the CHARACTERS.

MATT WALSH

Well that seems like a winning formula for our action scenes. Let’s just copy/paste that for the next hour, what do you say?

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Oh no, look which way the tornado’s headed! In five minutes it’ll hit the school! Assuming it keeps traveling in a perfectly straight line, which tornadoes basically never do and this one hasn’t done so far.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL

The GRADUATION CEREMONY starts getting hit by STRONG WINDS and RAIN.

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Hmmm, maybe holding an outdoor ceremony when actual tornado warnings were in effect was a slightly fuckwitted idea.

Everybody runs INSIDE. The TORNADO arrives and eats as much of the BUILDING as it can without actually having to HURT ANYBODY, then LEAVES.

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Oh shit, tornadoes are happening and Max is still out at that super-hazardous factory!

NATHAN KRESS

You’re right! Contact 911 immediately!

RICHARD ARMITAGE

What’s a 911?

NATHAN KRESS

...Um, you know... emergency services?

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Emerga-what? Stop making up words, I have to go save Max!

NATHAN KRESS

Let me come too! If you don’t let me help it just reaffirms how little respect you have for me.

RICHARD ARMITAGE

All right, to keep from hurting your self esteem I will indeed take my teenage son out of a storm shelter and into the land of wind and death.

INT. ABANDONED CHEMICAL FACTORY

MAX is seemingly filming ALYCIA standing around in the factory not saying anything, when suddenly the TORNADO attacks! The entire building is reduced to a pile of twisted rubble, except for a small cage-like section which forms neatly around MAX and ALYCIA.

MAX DEACON

Oh fuck, we’re trapped but conveniently unharmed! We’ll have to use every bit of our resourcefulness to MacGuyver ourselves a way out of here.

ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY

Bah, that sounds hard. Couldn’t we just sit around talking a bunch of half-assed Breakfast Club shit while we assume somebody will come save our useless asses?

MAX DEACON

Fine.

VOLATILE CHEMICALS AND RUSTY FACTORY EQUIPMENT

Uh, guys? We’re still waiting for our cue over here.

MAX DEACON

Oh right, we totally forgot about you. Well, ah... I guess you can just go home then.

VOLATILE CHEMICALS AND RUSTY FACTORY EQUIPMENT

(leaves, muttering)

EXT. RANDOM SUBURBAN STREET #528

RICHARD and NATHAN speed off into the WEATHER, and they manage to run into SARAH and MATT and their army of CAMERAMEN. The TORNADO tries to EAT SARAH, but then the EXPERIENCED STORM CHASER is rescued by the BORING HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Hello attractive single man.

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Hello attractive single woman.

(pause)

If we had been developed as characters even a little bit, the audience might actually give a shit whether anything happens between you and me in this movie.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

But we weren’t. So they don’t. And it doesn’t.

MATT WALSH

We’ll drive you and your son to save your other son! Nathan, you should get in our specially weather-proofed storm tank. Richard, you split up from your son and get in our regular non-tank van, even though there’s enough room for you in the tank also.

INT. ABANDONED CHEMICAL FACTORY

MAX DEACON

Angst angst distant father angst.

ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY

Angst dead mom angst angst?

MAX DEACON

Angst survivor’s guilt angst.

WATER PIPE

OH SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY

(bursts)

MAX DEACON

Ah crap, the room is rapidly filling with water! Okay seriously, we need to actually start coming up with some ideas here.

ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY

Ooh, I have an idea!

MAX DEACON

Yeah?

ALYCIA DEBNAM CAREY

Let’s film some ANGSTY SOBBING DEATH DIARIES!

MAX DEACON

...Fuck it, whatever. Filming some parting messages on electronic devices that will soon be completely waterlogged and destroyed, that’s a great use of our time.

EXT. RANDOM SUBURBAN STREET #336

The STORM CHASERS are, for a change, DRIVING AROUND WHILE TORNADOES HAPPEN.

MATT WALSH

Holy shit look, the tornado has split into two separate funnels!

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Yeah, great. How very unlike that exact scene from Twister.

MATT WALSH

Uh, did I say two funnels? I meant THREE funnels! No wait, FOUR! SEVEN!! ELEVENTY BAJILLION!!! Your move, Twister!

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Yipes, this is so dangerous! Because as we all know, the only dangerous part of a tornado is the funnel. Seeings as how all this wildly-flying debris is made entirely of styrofoam and cobwebs.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

On the up side, this means we can cut to other characters in peril without the storm needing to sputter out here first. To whit:

EXT. RANDOM SUBURBAN STREET #289

Those MORONS are driving around filming the TORNADO and being MORONS.

JOHN REEP

Well we found the tornado! What are we gonna do with it?

KYLE DAVIS

I figure we’ll drive near it, and look at it. And yell, like, “YEE-HAW!” and stuff.

JOHN REEP

Er, that’s it? But the movie’s sacrificed so much of its tone just to make us into the most cartoonish, self-preservation-free yokels in all creation. Shouldn’t we try and parasail in the tornado, or jump a motorcycle through the funnel, or do anything at all to pay off the “daredevil runs into a tornado” premise?

KYLE DAVIS

Well, we can get out of our car and point at the tornado. Is that good enough?

JOHN REEP

What a fucking waste of-

(flanked by second funnel)

Clever girl!

EXT. RANDOM SUBURBAN STREET #632

More WEATHER CRAP happens. JEREMY starts to FREAK THE FUCK OUT. You know, JEREMY SUMPTER? One of the camera guys? The scaredy one?

MATT WALSH

Look, I know you’re scared, but don’t be.

JEREMY SUMPTER

What a surprisingly effective pep talk! In fact, it’s reversed my entire personality. Ooh look, that gasoline fire has turned an ordinary funnel into a terrible CGI pillar of flame, let’s go to there! COME HERE FIRE, PRETTY PRETTY FIRE, I WANNA BE YOUR FRIEND

He gets SUCKED UP and turns into a TERRIBLE CGI FLAMING CORPSE. Meanwhile his CAMERA is also INCINERATED AND SMASHED, making it impossible for the FOOTAGE to ever get FOUND and thus putting another bullet in the movie's GIMMICK.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Screw you, Matt! His death is on your hands!

MATT WALSH

Woah now, I don’t think I can really be held responsible if he heard “don’t be afraid of pointing a camera at some bad weather” as “walk into the spinning fire cloud, there’s candy in there”.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

Now that you mention it, is this movie ever going to have any deaths that AREN'T completely avoidable? So far we seem to be under the impression that the only trick to surviving a tornado is to not stand around like an idiot and let it come up and kill you.

KEVIN COSTNER

Dammit, where was that advice a year ago?

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Hey guys, if we can all stop pretending to care about the death of some interchangeable nobody, I’ve got a drowning son to save.

They finally get to the FACTORY. When they dig out MAX he’s NOT BREATHING.

RICHARD ARMITAGE

This one goes out to the three audience members who haven’t had Hollywood’s myths about CPR debunked for them yet!

(magically reanimates Max by pounding his chest)

MATT WALSH

Guys, we got trouble. The storm has expanded into a climactic half-a-mile wide supertornado! We’re talking an F5, people!

(pause)

Okay, screw it, we’re Twister. Is that so bad? I mean, Twister was Twister, and people seemed to like that movie okay.

RICHARD ARMITAGE

No way will the storm shelter at the school hold up against that thing! We gotta get everybody outta there!

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

To go... where exactly? Tell me, where in a five-minute radius of the storm shelter do you think is a safer place to be in a storm than a storm shelter?

RICHARD ARMITAGE

I’m sure we’ll figure that out on the way. Now let’s go convince an entire building full of people to go outside during the rapture!

They somehow SUCCEED AT THIS. Everybody gets into some school buses and start driving to NOWHERE IN PARTICULAR, but then an electrical tower falls on the road, cutting off the last couple of buses including all the actual CHARACTERS.

NATHAN KRESS

Quick, let’s hide in a storm drain! Clearly the best place to be during a killer storm is a place specifically designed to fill with water during a storm!

They get into the STORM DRAIN, but then the TORNADO throws a TRUCK at it, causing the grate to start coming off, putting everybody at risk of being sucked out to their deaths!

MATT WALSH

Wait, are we nearly at the end of the movie? Whoops, I forgot, I was supposed to have a character arc! I’ll just jump straight to the end I guess, switching immediately from jerk who only cares about getting footage to hero who sacrifices himself to save everybody. Farewell!

He goes OUTSIDE and, despite the fact that the whole reason he’s doing this is because the WIND is strong enough to make people FLY AWAY, somehow makes it into the TANK. He then drives the tank into the grate, pinning it in place.

MATT WALSH

There! And now I’ll secure the tank by punching its special spikes into the ground - oh no, the ground’s all mud so there’s no traction! ...Which means I seriously installed on this thing anti-storm measures which can be defeated by “the ground happened to get wet somehow”.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

I’m really not sure why you ever thought a few foot-long spikes in the ground could have saved you from winds that uproot buildings and trees.

The TORNADO lifts the TANK up! And UP, and UP and UP! It flies right up into the clouds! And then it emerges into the sunlight above cloud level! And finally MATT FLOATS AWAY INTO SPACE and ASPHYXIATES!

MATT WALSH

Okay, so that last part didn’t happen, but it fucking might as well have.

(plummets two miles to his death)

Finally the storm STOPS.

SARAH WAYNE CALLIES

...So... what now?

RICHARD ARMITAGE

Well. I suppose we could mumble our way through a couple of aimless talking heads, and then the movie could just sort of unsatisfyingly trail off, and uh...

END.

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