• A 2023 disaster movie called Supercell has drawn attention for its similarities to the 1996 film Twister, as both focus on storm chasing and the beauty and terror of tornadoes.
  • Despite bombing in theaters and receiving mixed critical reviews, Supercell has gained traction on Hulu, possibly due to audience demand for newer disaster films and the “so bad it’s good” mentality.
  • The casting of controversial actors like Skeet Ulrich and Alec Baldwin may have sparked viewer interest in Supercell and contributed to its popularity on the streaming platform.

The 1996 disaster film Twister was hugely successful upon its release, and the similarities of a 2023 movie are prompting viewers to call it a ripoff of the ’90s classic. Set in Oklahoma in the early 1970s, Twister follows storm chasers Bill (Bill Paxton) and Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) as they put themselves in the dangerous path of tornadoes with the goal of building an advanced weather system. The film doesn’t hold back when it comes to the devastating effects of natural disasters, opening with the death of Jo’s father and the destruction of her home after a tornado hits her family’s farm.

A 2023 disaster movie takes a similar approach to tornadoes, placing storm chasers at the center of its narrative. Supercell follows William Brody (Daniel Diemer), the son of revered storm chaser Roy (Skeet Ulrich), as he attempts to understand his father’s passion for pursuing tornadoes. On this journey, William comes to appreciate his father’s calling — but he also finds himself at the center of some incredibly dangerous situations. Much like Twister, Supercell drives home the joint beauty and terror of natural disasters. Its likeness to the ’90s film is getting it attention months after its theatrical release.

supercell poster with tornado and van

Directed by Herbert James Winterstern, Supercell hit theaters in March 2023. Despite its thrilling premise and promise to improve upon disaster movies of the past, it didn’t fare well at the box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie only grossed $39,027 worldwide. And although it received decent audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, its critic score came to a “rotten” 50%. Needless to say, Supercell didn’t stir up the same excitement as Twister did back in 1996.

Despite its disappointing theatrical debut, Supercell ramped up some excitement this August after it arrived on Hulu. The movie began trending on the streaming platform, suggesting there’s some demand for newer disaster films. It’s been a while since disaster movies held the spotlight, and that could be part of the reason Supercell gained traction on the platform. However, with IMDb reviews calling the movie “Twister on a budget” and “Twister extra light,” there may be other reasons Supercell grabbed subscribers’ attention.

RELATED: Twister Director Says Reboot Won’t Work If It’s Just A Bigger Tornado

Why Supercell Is Getting So Much Attention On Streaming

skeet ulrich with van in supercell

Supercell‘s similarities to Twister might have helped it break into Hulu’s trending films, but other factors probably played a role. For one, audiences are more likely to take a chance on unknown or negatively received films when they’re streaming rather than when they’re in theaters. The “so good it’s bad” mentality may have contributed to Supercell‘s streaming success, as subscribers don’t lose out on much when watching a “bad” movie on Hulu.

Supercell‘s inclusion of controversial actors may have sparked viewer interest as well. Skeet Ulrich, who admitted to knowing about the Harvey Weinstein allegations back in 2017 (via The Hollywood Reporter), plays the main character’s father in the film. Alec Baldwin, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter for his role in the fatal Rust shooting, also appears in the 2023 disaster movie. Those charges have since been dropped, but Baldwin has been mired in controversy since the tragic incident occurred. Supercell‘s casting choices could have worked against it, but they could just as easily have drawn Hulu subscribers to the film.

Source: Box Office Mojo, Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, The Hollywood Reporter

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