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"Into the Storm" will leave you breathless

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For many Wadena residents, the emotional scars from the June 2010 tornado are still raw and real. Though I didn't live here during the tornado, it has affected my family. So it was with trepidation that I watched "Into the Storm" with my niece and nephew.

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This film is a really powerful look into the devastation that a tornado, several in fact, can do to a town.

The opening scene makes the viewer's heart race right from the beginning. You just know something bad is going to happen and are on the edge of your seat. The rest of the film keeps you there.

The premise of this film is that two giant super cells are converging on the small town of Silverton, Oklahoma. A team of storm trackers has been trying to capture an image of the eye of a tornado for a documentary, but so far is having no luck. When they discover that a huge storm is bearing down on Silverton, they race there in a last-ditch attempt to get the money shot. However, once there, they realize that this storm is bigger than anything ever seen before. When the first tornado touches down and rips through town, their mission becomes two-fold; to get the shot and to help the people of Silverton.

Matt Walsh plays Pete, the storm chasing team leader and a guy you love to hate. His sole focus is to capture the eye of a tornado, even at the expense of his team. The viewer can feel his desperation even as they question his morals.

Silverton High Vice Principal gary Fuller (played by Richard Armitage) struggles to keep his family together after the death of his wife. His two sons, Trey (played by Nathan Kress) and Donnie (played by Max Deacon) don't feel that Dad listens to them or appreciates them. Donnie chooses to skip high school graduation to film a video for his crush, Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey) in an abandoned warehouse when they are caught in the tornado, burying them under tons of rubble.

Father and younger son set out to rescue Donnie and Kaitlyn but meet several roadblocks in the form of more tornadoes and downed powerlines and trees and crushed cars.

Most of the town takes shelter in the high school, which has a storm shelter, but it becomes clear that the shelter is no match for what is about to hit the town; two super cells which merge into one gigantic, deadly storm.

The film doesn't delude itself into thinking that this could really happen, though it alludes to previous super storms Katrina and Sandy and should make the viewer question why these storms are happening more often. The storms are the real stars of the film. The stunning visual effects make up for the lack of legitimacy. One particular scene in depicting a fire tornado will leave the viewer breathless. The film culminates with one mother of a storm and the depths to which the Silverton residents will go to survive.

This film may bring forth long-buried emotions about our own twister, but Director Steven Quale does an admirable job making the viewer care about the characters and showing that strength doesn't come from not having any trials, but from how you survive those trials. "Into the Storm" is well worth the price of admission.

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