The Gist: An isolated island village off the coast of Maine prepares to face a snowstorm dubbed the Storm of the Century but they aren’t ready for the deadly stranger that accompanies the winds and blowing snow. When Andre Linoge drifts into town, the 200 residents will find out how willing they are to stay a close-knit, close-lipped community and what price they will pay for their own salvation.
Townsfolk & the Beast: Tim Daly (Constable Mike Anderson), Colm Feore (Andre Linoge), Casey Siemaszko (Alton ‘Hatch’ Hatcher), Debrah Farentino (Molly Anderson), Jeffrey DeMunn (Robbie Beals)
My Take: Storm of the Century originally aired as a mini-series in 1999 and I have wanted to see it again ever since, only remembering snippets but knowing that I liked. One night with an Amazon gift card and couple of beers in me, I ordered the DVD for 5.00. Aside from initial regret, I’ve just watched it and I’m glad I picked up. This is one of the better mini-series created by the one and only Stephen King. Unlike most of the film and T.V. that is created from King’s work, the screenplay for the mini-series was written by the master expressly for television.
Little Tall Island is a tight-knit community of 400 residents. With the oncoming storm half of the residents are on the mainland while the rest remain on the island, using the town hall as a communal shelter. Everything is normal until a teen boy delivering groceries to an elderly resident discovers the woman’s bloody body, her eyes knocked out her head, and a strange man still in the house. So begins the tale of Andre Linoge and his endless request to the residents to: Give Me What I Want and I’ll Go Away. This mantra is repeated up until nearly the end of the 3 part mini-series. It’s not until the last hour or hour and half that we finally find out what he wants. This is after several suicides and a couple of murders, not to mention 2 or 3 disappearances. What is it that Linoge wants? A child, a protegé to raise as his own and to carry on his work once he dies after a very long life.
Linoge is some kind of demon (Legion) and the townsfolk must willingly give him a child or he will force mass suicide on the town. Against Mike Anderson, the town constable, the residents agree to give the creature one of the 8 children; sacrifice one to save many. The choice of child is made by a lottery sort of thing – 8 pebbles are put into a bag, 7 white, one black and one parent of each child must draw a stone. Black loses.
The show is filled typical Kingisms along with the location of Maine. It has the tell-tale characters of the good guy, his buddy, his kid, a happy marriage, the town blow hard that everyone dislikes but tolerates and his bratty kid and dower wife. One thing that annoys me and something I’ve notice with other King works, is addressing people by their full names: Ronnie Beals, Mike Anderson, Alton Hatcher and so on throughout the story. Maybe this is something that is indigenous to Maine but it annoys me and feels like it’s a forced trait to announce a character’s full name.
Yah or Nah: I thoroughly enjoyed watching this again after many years. I liked the isolation of the story and the demon and it’s demand; preservation of one’s lineage, legacy even for a demon. Storm of the Century remains enjoyable and watchable throughout the entire mini-series; something that not all King shows do. Colm Feore’s role is light but he plays the part of the demon well and Tim Daly is good as the typical King hero. Yah.