Power outages in movies are a little far-fetched at times, but they’re entertaining all the same since they add a definite sense of comedy, irony, or horror to the given movie they appear in, especially when it’s used as a major part of the plot. In real life, power outages are a pain in the backside since they require actual people to come in and fix the problem. In the movies though a power outage can be humorous when it has a purpose and focus since it becomes something that people can relate to in one way or another. But the realism behind it can be a bit misleading since with the current technology that’s available and the idea that outages aren’t nearly as crippling to society as they used to be, there’s enough belief in the system that if there is an outage on the level that some of these clips show it means that something really wrong went down and there’s more to worry about than not being able to operate the microwave or charge your cellphone. In some instances, massive power outages tend to mean that something truly terrible has happened. But in the movies, it’s usually just another plot device.
Here are a few power outage scenes in movies that were used in the most awesome ways.
5. Ghostbusters 2
When it comes to movies New York City is a hotspot since it appears that something is always going on, and the vast number of stories that can come out of this city don’t appear to have an end. But in the sequel to one of the best comedies ever made it does get a little cheesy when Ray, who’s being dangle on a line to collect a slime sample from a river of pink goo running beneath the city, kicks a bundle of cables and suddenly causes a massive blackout. In a city like New York, this would be a major problem since just a couple of city blocks can house hundreds of people. Now imagine a good chunk of the city going down, if not more, and you’re looking at thousands to millions of irate individuals wanting to know just who’s responsible for the lights going out. It’s not that realistic, but it’s still kind of funny, from a distance.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Remember what I said about realism? This house would likely be able to be seen from space if it was sucking up this much power and on top of that, every bulb would likely burst only seconds after being turned on since if anyone’s ever been around one neighborhood or another during Christmas, there are plenty of homes that would put the Griswold’s to shame. But for a comedic effect, it’s perfect, especially given that the movie came out decades ago when the power grid was likely still having to worry about rolling blackouts for various reasons. As it stands, this brief blackout is definitely a favorite of many.
3. Escape from LA
A localized blackout is one thing, but turning off the world is something entirely different since that’s just what Snake does. Who in the world would devise a system that would turn off the world’s electricity? Plus, the code being 666 is kind of ironic really and a bit amusing. But while the fantasy of this is something that might be interesting to look into, the reality is that with the know-how and the existing knowledge of how to power everything back up, it’s likely that this would turn out to be a good way for Snake to get away and remain hidden for a while, but the power would probably be brought back up eventually.
2. Ocean’s Eleven
The idea of using a humongous pinch to knock out the power in Las Vegas is a nice thought and it works for the movie, but the reality is that it wouldn’t work like this. It’s been explained that a pinch many times the size of the one in the movie can’t generate enough power to take down even one casino, and possibly couldn’t do enough to cause more than a minor disturbance, but again, the story needed something and this was it, so it worked. One can just imagine the kind of bedlam that would take place if the lights went out in Vegas all of a sudden, and how many people would be anxiously grabbing anything and everything they could before the lights came back on.
1. Lights Out
A murderous ghost that causes a power outage in order to get to one individual would definitely count as awesome if it wasn’t inherently terrifying since Diana is so fixated on her targets that she has to be a pain in the backside and cause the rest of the neighborhood to lose power as well. But one can easily surmise that the family she’s tormenting isn’t really worried about whether their neighbors can use the TV or not since the ghost absolutely needs the darkness to kill and to exist.
Power outages are interesting in movies but a pain in real life.
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