Storm of the Century (Craig R. Baxley, 1999, USA/Canada)

While not the first Stephen King property developed originally for the screen, Storm of the Century was the first miniseries that King developed directly for the screen. Released as a 3-episode miniseries for ABC in the spring of 1999, Storm is one of the strongest entries in the King miniseries canon. Notably, it marked a departure from the King-Mick Garris collaboration that had birthed both The Stand and Stephen King's The Shining during the 1990s. This series was helmed by Craig R. Baxley, who would go on to collaborate with King on Rose RedThe Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, and Kingdom Hospital.

The storm is notable among King TV properties for its budget - reported $35 million. This is most evident in the realization of the storm - a quite impressive feat. Aside from this, the film relies fairly little on visual effects. It is actually at its best when it avoids special effects (something that has dated many of the other King miniseries horribly). Storm also boasts one of the most impressive King ensemble casts. The highlight here is of course Colm Feore as Andre Linoge, the demonic stranger who manifests and seems to know Little Tall Island's darkest secrets. Feore is deeply menacing, definitely taking cues from Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter, but making Linoge a force of nature.

As with most TV miniseries, the strongest episode is the first episode. Watching the series now as a 3-parter, it is stretched to meet the demands of the TV audience and would be better served as a 2-hour feature. Storm is also notable for having one of the bleakest endings of any Stephen King work - the good guys don't win here. All these factors make Storm one of the best and most memorable Stephen King miniseries of the 1990s and of all time.



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