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Disaster Films

Posted on December 20, 2016

Reconsidering Disaster Films as Horror

Elizabeth Erwin

Sharing a similar aesthetic, the line between horror films and disaster films has always been hard to pinpoint. From creepy sound effects to graphic violence to a cultivated atmosphere of menace, the characteristics of horror films and disaster films overlap in a very organic way. I’ve been interested in thinking about whether these two genres are distinctly different, or if it benefits us to think of them as similar.

I’m often surprised at how overlooked these movies are by horror film buffs. But with Hollywood attempting to resurrect the genre (World War Z, Olympus Has Fallen), I think it’s worth a look at whether some of the films that created the blueprint for the modern disaster film are also intimately connected to the horror genre. And while disaster films, much like horror, are designed to reflect the times in which they are made, the elements employed by both are startlingly similar.

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