Small-Town America in Disaster Films

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, America was battered and embattled: we went to war, we experienced terrorist attacks and biological warfare, we endured hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes, and we lost everything in a recession and subsequent stock market crash. National paranoia rose as we clung to the things that seemed quintessentially American: mom-and-pop shops, true grit, and apple pie. And so a culture war between the liberal big cities and conservative small towns was born. This tension was reflected in our pop culture, especially science fiction, and as always, the genre…