Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Ending Of Into The Storm Explained

There are few more exhilarating places to be in nature than staring down the funnel of a massive tornado. Classic disaster flicks like Twister have given viewers a taste of that bracing experience from the safety of their own home. The 2014 thriller Into the Storm takes the genre to another level by utilizing a found footage approach to make viewers feel like they are right in the midst of the action.

The movie takes place in the sleepy town of Silverton, Oklahoma, where students at the local high school are getting ready for graduation by filming video diaries to put in a time capsule that will be opened in 25 years. Unbeknownst to them, they could not have picked a worse day for the festivities. A massive storm system descends on the town during the ceremony, throwing the event into chaos and the graduating class into a panic as they run to take shelter.

With the tornadoes comes a team of storm chasers. Lead by determined and ambitious Pete (Matt Walsh) and measured meteorologist Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies of The Walking Dead fame), the professionals find themselves in over their heads as they try to get their once-in-a-lifetime footage and save the local high schoolers, all while contending with a storm system of historic proportions.

Here's how Into the Storm's dramatic story reaches its conclusion.

The team faces tragedies and triumphs

In the chaos of the initial tornado outbreak, Pete and Allison's team ends up combining forces with the vice principal of Silverton High School, Gary (Richard Armitage), and one of his sons, Trey (Nathan Kress). Gary's older son Donnie (Max Deacon) was at a paper mill on the outskirts of town with a friend when the storms hit, and Gary is worried that they could be in trouble.

As everyone loads into Pete's storm chasing vehicle, the tank-like rover called Titus, Jacob (Jeremy Sumpter), one of the group's cameramen, expresses reservations about the increasing danger of their mission. Fellow cameraman Daryl (Arlen Escarpeta) encourages him to think about the money he'll make once he's on the other side of the assignment. Unfortunately for Jacob, he never gets to reap those rewards.

When another batch of funnel clouds descend from the sky while the convoy is on their way to the paper mill, Jacob decides to step up his game and stops to try and film a fiery tornado. The storm overpowers him and drags him into its deadly funnel as the rest of his team watches on in horror.

Allison lambasts Peter after Jacob's death, as she thinks his devotion to getting footage is a grotesque display of greed. Seeing Jacob die is also no doubt even more intense for her as this assignment is the first time she's been away from her young daughter, and now that she's found herself in an extremely dangerous situation, the guilt and fear are becoming palpable. Tense words are exchanged, but ultimately, the team moves onto the paper mill where they find Donnie and his friend trapped and in danger, but still alive. However, everyone's ordeal is far from over.

Pete journeys to the center of the storm

After rescuing Donnie, the group learns that a gigantic tornado has formed nearby. The tornado warning sirens have been knocked out around town, meaning that those still hiding in the high school won't know what is coming for them. Worse still is the fact that the force of the enormous storm is enough to destroy the school's shelter, meaning everyone there is in mortal danger.

The group manages to make it back to the high school and convince those sheltered there to evacuate. But when debris blocks the roads out of town, everyone is forced to seek refuge in a roadside drainage pipe. Unfortunately, it proves to be an imperfect hiding place. The grate on the pipe is ripped away by the force of the wind, which threatens to suck everyone out to their deaths. That is until Pete steps up to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Pete hands his camera hard drives to Gary and says, "This footage and data can save lives one day." He then climbs out of the pipe and drives the Titus in front of the compromised grate, creating enough of an obstruction to prevent those inside from being killed. It's both an act of extreme bravery and a revelation that Pete's determination to film the tornadoes has less to do with his ambitions as a filmmaker than it does his aspiration to help people.

At first, it seems Titus might survive the mammoth storm. In the end, though, the vehicle is no match for the tornado's power. Titus is sucked into the air, giving Pete a spectacular view of the inside of the funnel and the clear sky above as he's launched high into the stratosphere before plummeting back down to earth.

Everyone reflects on their harrowing ordeal

Pete's act of heroism ends up saving most of the people hiding out in the tunnel. Once the storm passes, the movie begins to wrap up with some documentary-style interviews with the survivors.

With her daughter on her lap, Allison tells the cameras that despite her conflicts with Pete, she now knows that he approached their assignment with good intentions. It wasn't greed that drove him, but rather, a desire to help bring a greater scientific understanding to tornadoes in order to make them more survivable. "I know why he gave up his life," she says. "He wanted to make a difference."

The students of Silverton High School have their own lessons to share. While being interviewed, one student speaks to the irony of the fact that their ordeal began with the students creating videos for the time capsule. He says, "Twenty-five years? It doesn't matter, you know? Just taking it one day at a time. Every day is just fine. 'Cause I'm alive. That's it. Nothing else matters."

This theme of enjoying the days you have is central to the film. The tornadoes arrive during a high school graduation, a time when young people are asked to begin thinking about what the rest of their lives are going to look like. But, as the storm's destruction proves, there is only so much that looking toward the future can accomplish. Nature has the power to annihilate all those plans. One of the key takeaways for several characters is to focus more on enjoying each day as it comes, rather than worrying about the ones that aren't guaranteed.

Although the gripping disaster sequences are front and center in the film, the ending of Into the Storm brings the action to a close on a poignant moment of reflection.