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the cataclysm

31 Days of Halloween

[Nightstream] ‘The Cataclysm’ review: The end is nigh

What if you were ready for the end of the world but the world wasn’t ready for you?

Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.

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Doomsayers have been a part of society since there have been people to warn each other about their impending destruction. From Nostradamus to the turn of a century, there always seems to be signs to warn everyone when the world is about to end. And no matter how many times things go unfulfilled, there will always be those who prepare for the worst.

The Cataclysm is a short film screening at the Nightstream Film Festival. The story focuses on a family that is preparing for the end times. They are deeply religious and their local televangelist has said the end is about to come. Naturally, they believe it.

Things go as expected. People close to the family do not answer their phones. The televangelist is no longer on. The Cataclysm does not state whether the family has actually done any investigation into the possible end of humanity. One should hope so considering the events of the film. This is a pretty big plot hole since simply stepping one foot out the door or turning the channel would make the entire short moot.

That being said, The Cataclysm is not so much about the events of the story as it is about the meaning behind them. Instead of the mystery usually found in these types of films, there is a deep sadness. The audience is also privy to the extent some will go to in order to justify their beliefs. This is most evident in a seemingly innocuous line about time zones. Still, it is surprising the fear of the moment is not touched on more.

Stories about the end of the world tend to be very popular. The Cataclysm is a short film about a religious family that prepares for the end after hearing about it from a televangelist. Some interesting themes are touched on, but never given time to develop. 

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