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Apocalyptic Movie Hour: War of the Worlds

Film Title: War of the Worlds

Release Year: 2005

Director: Steven Spielberg

Main Cast: Tom Cruise (Ray Ferrier), Dakota Fanning (Rachel Ferrier), Tim Robbins (Harlan Ogilvy)

Apocalyptic Movie Hour: War of the Worlds

In our latest episode of "Apocalyptic Movie Hour," we dive into Steven Spielberg's 2005 adaptation of "War of the Worlds," a film that masterfully combines intense action, emotional depth, and groundbreaking special effects to depict a harrowing tale of survival against an otherworldly threat.


Dock worker Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) is thrust into a desperate struggle to protect his children, Rachel and Robbie, from a catastrophic alien invasion. As massive, tripod-like machines emerge from the ground and wreak havoc on Earth, Ray and his family must navigate a landscape of destruction and chaos, relying on their wits and each other to survive. This adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic novel remains faithful to its source material while adding Spielberg's signature touch of suspense and spectacle.

Critic Reviews

Critics had polarized reactions to the film. The San Francisco Chronicle praised it, calling it "the alien-invasion movie to beat all alien-invasion movies," highlighting its meticulous detail, expert pacing, and stunning visuals. On the other hand, Salon critiqued it harshly, labeling it as a display of Spielberg's bad impulses, noting that despite its grandeur, it felt emotionally shallow.

Our Take

COBY rated the film 81 out of 100, appreciating the stellar performances by Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, the gripping plot, and Spielberg's directorial prowess. He noted the film's unique visual style and praised its tension and storyline. However, he felt that the basement scenes with Tim Robbins dragged on too long, and the aliens' downfall felt abrupt.

CAM gave it an 88, admiring the film's eerie opening, sound editing, and depiction of unplanned panic. He highlighted the movie's ability to evoke the fear of a large-scale alien invasion and appreciated the scenes capturing crowd panic and military intervention. CAM also enjoyed the subtle humor sprinkled throughout the film but found the basement scenes overly lengthy and the ending too swift.

Prepper Pick Ups

"War of the Worlds" offers numerous survival lessons that resonate with the prepper community:

Evacuation and Bug Out: Ray's quick decision-making and rapid evacuation underscore the importance of having a bug-out plan and being ready to leave at a moment's notice. Despite some poor choices, Ray's actions highlight the need for preparedness, including having a bug-out bag and a hardened bug-out vehicle.

Resourcefulness: The film emphasizes using available resources to stay alive, such as scavenging supplies from downed planes and stealing a van for transportation. It showcases the moral dilemmas and practical challenges faced in survival situations.

Situational Awareness: The importance of situational awareness and quick decision-making is a recurring theme. The masses' ignorance and lack of preparedness lead to their downfall, while Ray's awareness and swift actions save his family.

Community and Cooperation: The film depicts both the benefits and risks of forming alliances with other survivors. It illustrates the need to evaluate the mental state of potential allies and the importance of cooperation in survival scenarios.

Long-term Survival: The movie touches on the long-term challenges of surviving an alien invasion, such as securing food and water, finding sustainable shelter, and dealing with the psychological toll of the disaster.

Wargame Segment

In our Wargame segment, we discuss how experienced preppers would handle the alien invasion scenario presented in "War of the Worlds." Key strategies include:

Initial Response: Gathering information, planning evacuation routes, and having multiple safe destinations are crucial. Ray's immediate actions, though flawed, highlight the importance of having a well-thought-out bug-out plan.

Supplies and Gear: Essential supplies include bug-out bags, transportation, food and water, communication tools, and weapons for defense. The film underscores the necessity of being prepared with the right gear and having a plan for various scenarios.

Communication: Keeping in touch with loved ones is vital. The movie shows the challenges of maintaining communication during a crisis and the importance of having alternative methods when traditional means fail.

Long-term Survival: For prolonged survival, securing sustainable food and water sources and finding defendable shelter are paramount. The film demonstrates the need for long-term planning and resourcefulness in a prolonged disaster.

"War of the Worlds" not only entertains with its gripping storyline and spectacular effects but also provides valuable lessons for preppers. Its portrayal of an alien invasion offers a compelling scenario to analyze and learn from, making it a perfect addition to our "Apocalyptic Movie Hour" series.


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