6. Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
“Jurassic Park” has spawned was of the most powerful and enduring franchises in the world. A franchise that does not limit itself to the movie and its sequels but includes TV series, video games, arcade games, action figures, theme parks and many more.
“Jurassic Park” was made in the same year with “Schindler’s List” – an acclaimed war drama also directed by Steven Spielberg. Both films received universal appraisal. Wacky, eccentric billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) – a man living on a remote island – claims to have brought dinosaurs back to life (using frozen dinosaur DNA) to serve his amusement park.
For the grand opening, he has invited renowned paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) alongside mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). Everyone knows what happens next. The dinosaurs break loose on the island creating total chaos. What better way to sustain the state of chaos and tension, throughout the whole film, than rain.
The rain is forever present on the isolated island making it even harder for the outnumbered humans to take refuge and try and stop the dinosaurs. The scene where the infamous T.Rex looks for the two small children as the rain continuously poors down on his large head will forever be remembers as one of the scariest scene in the film; and this is just one example of the power the rain has in films like “Jurassic Park”.
7. The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994)
There two main reasons why people still talk about “The Crow” to this very day. One is because it is a hauntingly beautifully made revenge/action film with a unique visual style, premise, and emotional depth. The other is because of lead actor’s Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) mysterious death during the filming of the movie.
“The Crow” brings new twists to the classic revenge tale adding martial arts and spiritual beliefs to the mix. It tells the story of rock musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) who is brought back to life after he has been brutally murdered. Because his resurrection was somehow guided and supervised by a large crow (a bird commonly associated with graveyards), Eric puts on an imposing black costume and paints his lips and eyes black.
Back on Earth, Eric must not only avenge his death but also the death of his fiancée Shelley, who was also rapped the night they were killed. The rain is forever present in the key elements of the movie accentuating the sinister undertones the film is trying to transmit to its audience. It rained the night Eric and Shelley were killed, it rains in the nights The Crow will have his vengeance.
8. Se7en (David Fincher, 1995)
If there was ever a film covered in rain it would definitely be this one. Except for the last scene – when all is revealed and all is resolved…or not – every outdoor scene in this movie features rain. Even when the characters are indoors, rain can be heard falling on the rooftops or banging against the windows. Se7en would have been a very good neo-noir detective film with just the story itself, but with this simple yet magic touch, that is the rain, it becomes an excellent neo-noir film.
From the very first shot of the film, one realizes that something special is about to happen in the next two hours. Detective Somerset (Morgan Freeman) wakes up in his lonely apartment preparing for one of his last days on the job. He soon finds out that he has been paired with Detective Mills (Brad Pitt), a cocky cop recently transferred to the department. The two work together to track down a meticulous serial killer whose killings reflect each one of the seven deadly sins.
The movie’s gripping premise is highly accentuated by the surroundings of the characters. First, there is the unnamed city in which the action takes place; dark and grim with high impersonal buildings. Then there is Detective Mills’s apartment; a dark and small apartment situated terribly close to the subway. And then there is the rain. The rain is everywhere; over the city, over the cars, over the people trying unsuccessfully to get on with their lives while the John Doe killer carefully plans his next strike.
The rain – with its imposing clouds and its occasional electric discharges – implants a strange form of anxiety into the character’s hearts leaving no hope of a better tomorrow. The characters seem to be doomed from the first frame of the film and the rain can be seen as a metaphor for a veil that no one seems to be able to shake off. “Se7en” is a colossal work of cinema and the rain is an important part of it.
9. The Perfect Storm (Wolfgang Petersen, 2000)
“The Perfect Storm” is an obvious choice for a list like this. In this movie, the rain merely accompanies the storm but it presents itself impressive nonetheless. The film follows the fatal fate of group of fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The group seems to be on a streak of bad luck. This bad luck attracts poverty to them and their families as their lives and daily income depend on it.
On a cold autumn day, the group, aboard the commercial ship “Andrea Gail”, decides to risk it all and go out to sea in spite of an upcoming storm. Captain Billy Tyne (George Clooney) and his crew fear no storm as they have been through many in their days as fishermen, but what they don’t realize is that this storm is perfect.
As expected, the consequences are devastating but what is even more devastating is that the crew has no other chance. They have to go at sea and risk everything to avoid risking the well-being of their own families. In the end, everything is washed away by the perfect storm and its perfect rain.
10. Road to Perdition (Sam Mendes, 2002)
Although it is adapted from a comic book series, “Road to Perdition” does not have the feel of a comic book adaptation. It does not even have the feel of a graphic novel adaptation. It has the feel of a very well-made and highly stylized drama. It is the doomed story of Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) and his family.
After a series of jealousies rivalries and misunderstandings, Michael’s family is brutally murdered by order of his boss and spiritual father John Rooney (Paul Newman). His oldest son Michael Jr. is the only one left alive so his father takes him along on his blood ride to avenge his murdered loved ones. During this doomed journey towards vengeance, the two create a special bond that, surprisingly, didn’t exist whilst living their normal family lives.
Michael Jr. has tried constantly to live up to his father’s expectations and get close to him and now – through this series of tragic circumstances – he finally has that chance. Michael senior is now driven only by his thirst for revenge and if it were not for his son, he would not care of what happened to him as long as the people responsible were dead and buried.
The rain is present in the film but it is not omnipresent (like “Se7en” for instance). It only occurs in the crucial moments of the film – every time a killing takes place. Every time somebody dies in the film heavy rain poor starts coming down somehow mourning the loss. The highly stylized rain combined with the dark, sepia-like, images creates a grim atmosphere but what better atmosphere to suit a killing. “Road to Perdition” is a visual masterpiece in which the rain scenes are truly worth watching over and over again.
Author Bio: Horia Nilescu is a 30-year-old cinephile from Brasov, Romania. He works at a local bookstore as a multimedia & events manager (handling supplying issues in regards to cd’s and dvd’s and also organizing local events). He is passionate about film and fascinated by its diversity. He has created a local film club in Brasov (going of 3 years) in which he handles all aspects. He likes to talk and write about movies but most importantly he likes to watch them.