Released in 1999, Stephen King wrote the “Storm of the Century” screenplay for a television movie. The film was released in three parts, totaling over four hours of air time. The book was interesting for sure, but I felt like the screenplay style hindered what it could have been. The film was exactly as you’d expect after reading the book.
The residents of Little Tall Island off the coast of Maine (of course) are battening down the hatches and preparing for what the news is referring to as the storm of the century (go figure). While this is happening, a mysterious man shows up and kills an innocent old woman.
Side note: You may recognize Little Tall Island. It was the setting for “Dolores Claiborne” and the short story “Home Delivery.” Dolores is mentioned a couple times by the residents in “Storm of the Century.”
Anyway, this mysterious man is Andre Linoge. He ends up being like a lame version of everyone’s favorite King baddy: Randall Flagg. Linoge gets himself arrested by island constable, and the main character of the story, Mike Anderson.
Anderson is in charge of keeping the citizens calm and making sure everyone is safe during this storm, but now he must also deal with a murderous stranger. The storm escalates to its title and all the residents of Little Tall Island end up taking refuge in the town hall building. Meanwhile Mike and a few others stand guard outside of the island’s one cell where Linoge is being held.
From his cell, Linoge uses some sort of psychic abilities and sorcery to cause chaos. I wont go much further into details to avoid spoilers, but some of the events Linoge causes are quite intense, especially the ultimatum at the end.
“This is a cash-and-carry world, pay as you go. Sometimes you only have to pay a little, but mostly it’s a lot. And once in a while it’s all you have. ” – Mike Anderson
This review is shorter because the book itself wasn’t long. The screenplay, coming in at 376 pages, is hard to go over without spoiling and it read much faster than that page count suggests. You can watch the movie and honestly probably enjoy it more. Like I said before, this story isn’t bad, and the end is even a little heartbreaking, but I would have liked it much more if it were in novel form.
Overall, “Storm of the Century” wasn’t bad, but it definitely wasn’t King’s best work.