"Hell is repetition", says Andre Linoge. "Hopefully, this review won't sound too much like repetition to my readers", says your humble reviewer and friend.
Out of all of Stephen King's mini-series for television, this one is my favorite. And unlike his other mini-series, this one was written for television right from the start. In other words, it was not adapted from one of his books. He wrote it with TV in mind, right from the start.
The story takes place on a small island near the coast of Maine, Little Tall Island. The plot begins with the news of an upcoming storm, the storm of the century. The town starts preparations for the storm, while on the edge of town, in front of a small house, a stranger in a navy peacoat appears. He knocks on the door of the house and murders the elderly woman living there as soon as she opens the door. He bludgeons the old woman with his cane, killing her. "Born in sin, come on in", utters the stranger in the navy jacket as he enters the house, stepping over the dead woman.
The town grocer, who is also the part-time constable, takes the man into custody and locks him in the jail cell behind his store (like I said, it's a small town). The stranger identifies himself as Andre Linoge. Linoge seems to know all of the town people's deeply-held secrets and makes them public, causing distress and mistrust to spread among the villagers. Soon afterwards, the people start acting out in violent ways. Murder and suicide begin. And the only clue that Mike Anderson (constable and grocer) has is a cryptic message found on the corpses, "Give me what I want, and I'll go away". Meanwhile, the storm continues to rage outside, increasing in fury and intensity. The people all gather in the basement of the City Hall in order to shelter from the violent storm. Snow pours down heavily from the sky as the waves batter the coast unrelentingly.
Mike and his sidekick, Alton Hatcher, suspect Andre Linoge is the one causing the mass murders and mass suicides through some kind of mind manipulation. They decide to form a small posse, with a pair guarding the jail cell at all times, taking shifts. Linoge waits for the height of the storm and then breaks out of his jail cell, with the posse unable to stop him, he walks out into the storm. A short time later, Linoge appears at the storm shelter beneath city hall, and instructs the villagers to call a meeting for that evening. He tells them that he will return for the meeting, he will tell them what he wants during the gathering. As he walks out, back into the storm, all of the children fall into a comatose state.
I do not want to spoil the story for you, it's excellent. This is definitely worth watching. Tim Daly plays the town constable, Mike Anderson. Mike is one of those people with natural leadership skills. He is well-respected in the community for his intelligence and honesty. Jeffrey DeMunn plays the town manager. Debrah Farentino plays the role of Mike's wife, Molly Anderson. And Colm Feore plays the role that he will be best remembered for, the sinister Andre Linoge.
on August 4, 1999
What an innovative idea from the Master of the Macabre to write a "novel" exclusively for television! When I first heard that Stephen King had a new miniseries coming out in 1999 and I heard the title, I kept saying to myself "I'm missing one of his books!" Until I finally realized the concept. Of course, after seeing King's words on the small screen I wish we could all read them in an actual novel (not just the teleplay). Sigh.
Believe it or not, I did not watch "Storm of the Century" when it was first teleplayed in February. And being the King fan that I am, that was not at all like me. But I had to make a choice - you see, 'Storm' started the same night and time as the X-Files and I just couldn't miss my show (the second part of a major mythology two-parter, no doubt). And seeing as I could never watch a King miniseries after missing the first part, I sadly missed it (and even worse heard from others how good it was!). But in the back of my mind I kept telling myself I would get to see it on video one day. Little did I know how soon the video would be released!
Happily I watched the four-hour+ miniseries, without commercials :), over two nights - it was a little too long for one sitting in the middle of a work week. And I really enjoyed it.
I hadn't known quite what to expect. Like most of you King fans, I would usually see one of his movies AFTER I had read the book (short story etc.). But, think about it, 'Storm' was NEW to everyone, King fan or not.
Tim Daly gave a wonderful performance as Constable Mike Anderson, the soul of the group of islanders. And Colm Feore as Andre Linoge (who reminded me a little bit too much of Leland Gaunt in "Needful Things," out to destroy another town), gave a credible, frightening and almost hypnotic performance.
Always love King's movie cameos, ala Alfred Hitchcock, and he gives another one here as a lawyer in a sleazy TV ad (through the broken picture tube, no less!).
Good, consistent Maine accents from the actors; can't help but have that drawl when saying Martha Clarendon!
Very suspenseful too. I truly did not figure out exactly what Linoge wanted until we, like the islanders, were told.
Great Town Meeting scenes at the end. Almost "realistic" in its conclusions - good does not always win out over evil, even in Stephen King's world. Excellent. (And "nice" homage to "the Lottery" there.)
Loved the reference to Dolores Claiborne in regards to the island being able to keep a secret; the collective dream of the islanders, especially the scene when the townsfolk walk off the dock into the ocean; and the oh-so-subtle, blink-and-you-missed-it, literal disappearance of some of the players into thin (white) air while watching the decimation of the light house.
I would have given 'Storm' 5 stars, but there were a few things that bothered me: the snow was fake and, quite frankly, it looked like it. And, for the Storm of the Century, it sure didn't look like there was much of it. The toppling of the lighthouse, at the critical point of implosion, looked like a tiny model on a sound stage. Plus, Linoge's cane (specifically the wolf's head) was a little tacky, and although I literally jumped the first time he bared his fangs, it wasn't so scary the tenth time. Also, the ending, after Linoge leaves the island, was a bit dragged out.
But these really are little things overall.
I know eventually I will buy 'Storm' on video (I have all the other miniseries; but when is "The Shining" coming out?), but the current price is too much. Unfortunately, I can't see myself watching the whole thing again for awhile. I'm not sure exactly why, but I think I know in my heart that nothing will ever surpass the thrill of seeing 'Storm' for the first time.
P.S. I will never listen to the song "Little Teapot" the same way again!
on June 13, 2000
Even if I hadn't known Stephen King was the author of this 250 minute movie, I would probably have guessed. The attention to intricate detail which means a long movie (you can't leave anything out) is one of the hallmarks of King's work. The convention of the dark stranger who seems to know a small town's intimate secrets is a popular one with King, and although this is not a "scary" movie as such, it still has the suspense you'd expect. The acting is professional and workmanlike, if not Oscar material, and the scenery (of which the weather is the star) is lovely. If I could be sure I wouldn't be snowed in for days with a bad guy, I'd like to go and visit this little Maine island. My eighteen year old son and myself spent a lovely cold and miserable afternoon watching this movie.
on May 14, 2000
Stephen King's "Storm of the Century" is a good flick. Yet many King fans will attempt to associate it or transpose this work - don't bother. This movie is NOT based on any of his, or Bachman, books. Instead, this is King's evolvolution into a a very visual movie producer attempting to unbind himself from his book writing persona. He accomplishes this grand task in "Storm of the Century."
Based on a Maine island preparing for the snow storm of the century in 1989, the movie is based on a stranger, Andre Linoge, who kills a elderly woman for no evident reason. Then, he escalates into a bizarre evil force that captivates a small Maine island whos occupants have a hard time dealing with the truth. Mr. Linoge seems to know every evil act committed by the island's occupants: cheating, lying, bodily harm, and adultery. Instead, they seem oddly comfortable living in denial. "Give Me What I Want And I Will Leave" is the ongoing testement for Mr. Linoge. His methodology for death, with the help of his murderous cane, is often pointless and grotesque at times. The significance of this cane is never mentioned. Yet I was very pleased and quite surprised by Mr. King's ability to develop his characters so deeply. The Constable, played by Tim Daly, is wonderfully acted and developed. In "Storm," viewers quickly become familiar with the many Islanders only after the first hour. The unfortunate problem is that King doesn't develop the antagonist, Andre Linoge (great acting by Colm Feore!), no where nearly as some would have liked. Instead, throughout half of "Storm," you'll find Linoge's character sits and stares. When Linoge does speak, it shows wasted time on and underdeveloped character.
The ending is both vivid yet a letdown. Mr. Linoge's whole intent seems overkill while the Islanders reactions often understated. I think viewers will either love or hate it. Either way, viewers will enjoy the beautiful scenery, vivid photography, and colorful charecters in "Storm of the Century."
on February 24, 2012
What can I say about the genius that is Stephen King? The Storm of the Century is an awesome movie! I loved it from start to finish. Finding out that demonic wizard Linoge is another way of spelling Legion was beyond creepy. Legion is a depiction in the Bible. Notably one of the most famous quotes, "My name is Legion, For we are many" denotes that Linoge is Demonic in nature and represents all sin and evil in the world. Wanting a child to carry on his work, made me appreciate my kids more (even when they get on my last nerve). I cannot stand to hear the "I'm a Little Teapot" song any longer, and the way Linoge knew things about everyone on that island unnerved me. I don't know how King comes up with his material, but PLEASE DON'T STOP! I'm a fan for life!!
on September 1, 2013
Already a big Stephen King fan, I absolutely love him more for this wonderful made-for-tv movie which is so incredibly done that it reminds me of old classic scary movies before they became so over-the-top that it took all the fun out of them. Originally a three night event this movie is presented here in its entirety on dvd. The setting is a small island off the coast of Maine and the residents of the town are getting ready for a huge snowstorm. However, a mysterious and dangerous stranger comes to town and chaos ensues. People are murdered and secrets revealed. Timothy Daly plays the island town's constable and seems to be the only resident to keep a level head. His faith is put to the test as is his loyalty not only to the town's residents but also to his own family. The stranger who goes by the name Linoge begins to make a startling request. I won't give away any more of the plot but I think it's safe to say that this movie rates right up there when it comes to possessing all the elements that make a scary movie good. The setting is very creepy and, as with all Stephen King works, the storylines are thrilling and chilling with interesting characters and plot twists. And the bad guy is quite believable too. This is a fun movie to watch and it is not too graphic since it was made for tv. If you like to be a little scared without being disturbed then this is a great movie to enjoy.
on October 8, 2015
Another great screenplay by Stephen King. This is very a great horror film to watch mid winter when there is snow storm. I love this movie. It is a bit on the slower side for a King but well worth it. There are many suspense filled moments but few scenes where just plain scary as hell! I first saw this a s a mini series and I love that I can just curl up on the couch with my fuzzy blanket and popcorn and watch it all at once. If you haven't seen this I highly recommend purchasing it.
on January 23, 2013
This is probably one of Stephen Kings best mini series. The best part of this DVD (and I wish more would be made this way) is there is only 1 disc There are 3 movies or I should say parts of this 1 movie and usually they give you seperate discs which means you have to get up and change them. This is not that way..when one part ends it goes right to the main selection and you tab over to the next part...Also this DVD came with a bonus feature "Children of the Corn II" Same as stated above...when the final part of Storm of the Century ends you can choose to watch Children of the Corn without getting up and changing disc. Smart and great idea for us couch potatoes LOL !!! My husband and I watch this movie all the time. The seller sent the movie very fast. Got it before the expected date so Im very pleased with this purchase. 5 STARS.
on June 8, 2001
At the outset I'd like to say that King's fans are gonna love this one. It's a bit slow, long, but it's spooky, scary, terrifying, nightmarish, and it delivers an unforgettable message at the end. Vintage King.
Now, for the rest...
A weird guy shows up in an island in Maine (King's favorite State), and kills an old lady for no real reason. But he doesn't go away - he waits to get arrested. In this case, however, the real prisoners are the residents, some of whom are murdered in vicious ways by the stranger, with the help of his ominous-looking cane.
Colm Feore is terrific in the role of the evil man, while Tim Daly does a decent job as the town grocer and Constable. The really cool thing about this film is that you never notice the length (close to 4 hours!), as scene after scene captures your imagination and tortures your soul.
Small town mentalities and moralities are exposed for what they are - cheap, narrow, selfish, and deadly. Each character has (or has had) a past (or present) that they'd never like the world to ever know. But the stranger (the Legion) knows EVERYTHING about everyone.
As secrets come out, and as hidden conflicts are brought out into the open, one can see the characters change faces. When the main objective of the stranger is revealed by him during a town meeting during the course of the storm, it's time for soul-searching and morals-testing. None emerges unscathed, except Tim Daly and his wife, though in completely opposite ways.
The ending is definitely not satisfactory, and seems forced to deliver some sort of closure to the viewer.
In summary- Positive things:
1. Good, strong character development.
2. Powerful storyline.
3. Intelligent, relevant screenplay.
4. Good photography.
5. Excellent acting by most.
6. Wonderful music score.
1. Length (some people will definitely groan!)
2. Unsatisfactory ending.
3. Colm Feore is not used very well.
4. Slow beginning, with a few scenes of really bad dialogue delivery and acting.
on November 4, 1999
I have mixed feelings about Storm of the Century. While I did wait with great anticipation for each installment of the mini-series, I must admit I thought the plot moved VERY slowly. Lenoge was a great villain - he was creepy and quiet and deadly. Every time his teeth turned into fangs I got goosebumps. There were many suspense-filled moments but few scenes of sheer terror. It's like the anticipation builds and builds and then falls flat. I kept waiting for the movie to move along faster in pace, but this thing went slower than my Ford on a cold Winter day. Okay, so having said that - I will admit that every night AFTER I had finished watching each part of the series, I was so tense that I couldn't fall asleep unless a light was on somewhere in the house. So I guess for all my condescension about the plot - I was effected by the movie on some level. One of the good things about this movie was the setting -- an island cut off from the mainland by a terrible snow storm - its inhabitants literally prisoners of the environment - so that when you add a supernatural maniac (who seems to have an affection for the song "I'm a little teapot" ) who wreaks havoc - you have the basis for an entertaining movie. I just wish it had moved at a faster pace and that it had reached the climactic scenes earlier.