Storm of the Century (1999) [REVIEW]

storm of the century movie poster cover stephen king large 1999

 

HEY WOLFMAN, THIS ISN’T A MOVIE YOU FUCKING IDIOT! You make a compelling argument, person who isn’t real whose dialogue I made up. You think I really give a shit what YOU think, imaginary person?! I DON’T. I can’t really say why this “tradition” started with me, but every year around Thanksgiving, I watch something that’s Stephen King related. WHether it be a movie or miniseries, it doesn’t really matter. I think it started a few years ago when I watched The Shining miniseries and I guess I just always associate Mr. King with Thanksgiving. Not wanting to break tradition, and knowing there’s a lot of shitty things based on Stephen King floating around out there, I figured it would be a safe bet to watch Storm of the Century. Contrary to most of the decisions I make in life, this is one that I’m proud of.

 

storm of the century 1999 tim daly

Okay that’s cool that you have a gun and all but you can’t shoot the snow you dingdong.

On a small island community off the coast of Maine, it’s 1989 and reports are coming in of a terrible winter storm. Having dealt with storms like this before, the town Constable, Mike Anderson (Tim Daly), isn’t too worried about it. Unfortunately, this storm is bringing in more than just snow and wind, and with the arrival of the storm comes the arrival of Andre Linoge (Colm Feore), who murders an old woman upon his arrival. Linoge allows himself to be taken into custody by Constable Andserson and, despite no one having any idea who Linoge is, has lots of personal details about all of the town’s residents. With a small community of only a couple hundred residents, word of Linoge travels fast as the storm approaches and cuts off the island’s ties to the mainland. Some supernatural things start happening while Linoge is in captivity, like people guarding him mysteriously killing themselves, townspeople violently turning on one another, and the town’s children falling into a deep sleep. Linoge takes credit for all of these events and explains that he’s a powerful being who has been around for hundreds of years and that all he wants is a child to be given to him that can take after him once he’s dead or he will kill everyone in the town. It’s up to the townspeople to decide if it’s worth sacrificing one child to save the whole island or if they should let Linoge make the whole town disappear so they don’t have to make that decision.

 

storm of the century colm feore andre linoge town meeting

If you don’t pull that hat down then your ears are going to get really cold whether you’re a demon or not.

A big issue that I have with most Stephen King novels is that it takes him 700 pages to tell a story that can be told in 500 pages. There’s a lot of filler in there that doesn’t really heighten the mood for me and a good amount of that stuff can be edited out. You’d think that with Storm of the Century having a running time of over four hours, my big gripe would be how long it is. Surprisingly, I feel the opposite, as I love how long everything is drawn out for. It should also be noted the, unlike most other Stephen King miniseries, that Storm of the Century wasn’t a novel first, but went straight to being a screenplay. Rather than taking just some of the most important aspects of any of his stories and trying to convert them to make sense in a movie or miniseries, he was able to include all the stuff he wanted to be shown. The pacing is very deliberate and it gives the audience time to learn more about the dynamic of the town and gives you a chance to see the true colors of some of these characters, similarly to how we saw Stephen King’s characters acting in the grocery store in The Mist. It was over four hours and I could have watched the tension and mystery of Andre Linoge drawn out even longer.

 

storm of the century give me what i want and i'll go away

By the way he wants a kid so maybe don’t give him that because he seems like a creep.

Is it okay that I really dug this? I feel apologetic to anyone who I say I liked this to and I don’t know why. It’s not amazing or anything like that, but I really enjoyed the metaphorical storm coinciding with the appearance of Linoge. There are some biblical implications that I think I might have missed from either zoning out during the four hours or just didn’t understand because I don’t know much about the Bible, but I didn’t find the biblical implications to add or take away from the story. What is it about the special effects of Stephen King miniseries that require them to be absolute dogshit? There weren’t too many special effects in this one, but a few scenes where the wolf head of a cane come to life and Linoge is seen “flying” with all the children just look like complete garbage. AND HOLY SHIT. THERE’S A SCENE WHERE WE SEE THE OLD AGE VERSION OF LINOGE AND IT’S SO FUCKING AWFUL. Like, guys, it’s so dumb. They show long white hair sprouting from his hat. HE LOOKS LIKE HE HAS HAIR COMING OUT OF HIS HAT. The ending also has a few predictable moments that come across as melodrama, but the cast does a decent enough job of handling it. Far from perfect, also not the best Stephen King related movie/series, but it’s a FAR more successful adaptation of his work into a miniseries and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes slowly paced stories about communities dealing with a mysterious, supernatural threat.

 

Wolfman Moon Scale

three quarters moon


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