Storm of the Century – Stephen King

Storm of the Century is a miniseries written by Stephen King—for once, something that was intended to be a movie, not a movie based on a book. Personally, I think Stephen King should stick to writing books.

Not that Storm of the Century was bad, really. The basic premise is this: Little Tall Island, a teeny island off the coast of Maine, is cut off from the world during (predictably) “the storm of the century” one winter. On the island with them is a man of unknown origin, who, through some dastardly power, is able to make island residents kill themselves—and each other—in grisly, horrifying ways. And at the site of every murder/suicide, there is always a note: “Give me what I want, and I’ll go away.”

Okay, short digression, but I promise I’ll get back to the topic at hand in a minute. I have a love-hate relationship with miniseries. This may surprise you based on many of my previous entries, where I praise miniseries over actual feature films (especially in the case of The Shining). And that’s true, I do believe miniseries often do a better job sticking to the book, because they can. They have more time. And I like when movie portrayals are accurate to the book.


There are downsides to miniseries (miniseries…es?) as well. You’re not going to get any big-name actors, which can be an advantage but often isn’t. They’re paced more slowly, because they’re not worried about packing all the action into a slim two-hours-or-less movie. And they’re freakin’ LONG.

This can be an advantage when it comes to movies based on books. I would have been perfectly happy to sit through a Harry Potter miniseries rather than watch the slaughter of my beloved books on the big screen. But I think Storm of the Century would have been much better as a feature-length film, which is what I had thought it was until it showed up in our mailbox! (See, I told you I’d get back to Storm of the Century!)

Anyway, I think my biggest beef with Storm of the Century is that I HATED the ending. Hated it. Probably the worst ending I’ve ever seen. And Stephen King usually has such good endings! Okay, yes, I will admit that the main reason I didn’t like the ending was because it wasn’t a happy ending (I live for happy endings, realistic or not). But I also just didn’t feel any real…closure. Right at the end you think you’re gonna get some—and I guess you do get a little—but it’s not good closure! It’s bad closure! It definitively ends the movie/miniseries but…ugh. So upsetting. After more than four hours I want something good to happen! But noooooo, nothing good can happen.

Ahem. Sorry. I get carried away sometimes. In the end, I’m glad I watched it, but it’s not something I would invest four hours in again. I think it would have been better if it was shorter—more action, less exposition—and if the ending had not COMPELTELY SUCKED THE LIFE OUT OF ME.

Rating: ♥♥♥

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4 thoughts on “Storm of the Century – Stephen King

  1. I’m a fan of that particular miniseries myself—I’ve watched it three or four times, one of those times when I was snowed into my apartment. But what I liked even better was the treatment of Storm of the Century in Tony Magistrale’s book, Hollywood’s Stephen King. Magistrale say that the whole reason Linoge was pointing out people’s faults was so that what he was about to do—take a child—wouldn’t look so bad.

    You may like Magistrale’s book, Bridget. He makes some of the same points about miniseries that you do, and he also has good thoughts on IT and The Stand. The book also has an interview with Stephen King.

      • That was okay. I think Kubrik’s Shining was better, plus I thought the kid in the miniseries for the Shining was rather annoying. But I enjoyed listening to the audio commentary. Stephen King was one of the commenters, and I enjoyed listening to them talk about Kubrik, religion, etc.

        Here’s a post I did on Storm of the Century. A lot of it regurgitates the plot, but that was because I thought the plot was pretty powerful:

        • I didn’t like Kubrick’s version at all because I’m such a book purist. I can admit that I probably would have enjoyed it as a movie had I not read the book (and, perhaps, except for Shelly Duval…). I don’t remember the kid in the miniseries being any more annoying than the kid in the movie, but maybe I will when I watch it this weekend!

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