Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Revisiting the 1996 blockbuster hit Twister is a must ahead of a July 2024 release for the tornado-themed, storm-chaser action movie Twisters. It doesn’t matter how you feel about Hollywood deciding to finally make a movie related to the 90s classic hit; I don’t have very high hopes for the new movie since Hollywood never seems to be able to leave good things alone, but I digress. The original movie, starring Helen Hunt and the late Bill Paxton, featured an ensemble cast chasing after tornadoes across the state of Oklahoma, with the prospects of hopefully making a breakthrough in earlier tornado warnings. Yay, science! 

Due to living in the Midwest and experiencing tornado warnings each spring, this was a movie that I grew up with. Every year growing up, my family gathered to watch the movie that still remains one of my favorite movies today. It doesn’t matter that it’s not exactly Citizen Kane, I still love it. Maybe that has something to do with it releasing on my birthdate, only nine years before I was born. 

Twister features Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in the roles of Jo and Bill, the latter hoping to finalize a divorce so he can proceed with his engagement to his girlfriend Melissa (Jami Gertz). This is where we begin: rural Oklahoma in the 1990s. The supporting cast includes Alan Ruck, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Lois Smith as Jo’s Aunt Meg. Not only is a series of tornadoes a major conflict for the storm chasers, but the movie needed a human villain as well: insert Cary Elwes as Jonas, a rival storm chaser who likes to steal everyone else’s ideas. Already this is a setup for true greatness. There are messy almost-divorces, rivalries, an F5 tornado, flying cows, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character Dusty with impeccable comedic timing, and Deep Purple’s ‘Child in Time’ playing during a storm chase. Funny how Deep Purple can make any movie better.  

Minds were blown, t-shirts were worn, and more college students became meteorological majors. This movie had a legacy. There were even urban legends because of the strangely perfect timing of real tornadoes making landfall. Throughout it all, storm chasers did what they always did: they rode it out (I hope you like the subtle reference to the former Universal Studios Florida ride). 

Twister was a genuinely fun movie with an interesting concept: What if a rag-tag group of storm chasers could give people more time to seek shelter than the unreliable sirens by sending up a capsule device named Dorothy (after the Wizard of Oz) filled with tiny weather sensors? A series of iconic scenes make this movie a 90s gem worth revisiting during tornado season in the Midwest. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing an F4 tornado rip through an outdoor movie theater playing The Shining at night? 

It’s no secret that “film bros” don’t care much for this movie. But movies should captivate you, and if a disaster movie can do that, then who cares? Regardless of whether 2024’s Twisters is a hit or miss, at least we’ll always have the original movie to come back to. 

Rebecca enjoys talking about niche pop culture topics that make her laugh. She tends to think she's pretty funny. When she's not scouring the internet for a few laughs, she's reading a fantasy book, or writing stories. She loves drinking coffee and tea, and is working on a Behavioral Health Science degree.