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.