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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

A Faustian Bargain

Storm of the Century (1999- ) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Nostradamus pictureThe narrator Constable Mike Anderson (Tim Daly) attests that life is a “pay-as-you-go” proposition, and some­times that price is high. Anderson owns the general store on Little Tall Island off the coast of Maine where residents are stocking up on provisions as they're about to be hit by “the storm of the century.” It's quaint the way every­one knows every­body else down to the minutia of their lives. What isn't so quaint is the way a mysterious stranger (Colm Feore) knows their deep dark secrets along the lines of a Bill Cameron novel:

“Listen,” she said …. “I done some bad things in my life, okay? Maybe some horrible things, people might think. But all that's been behind me a long time. I done my time. I even been off smack since my last time in treatment.” (177)

A TV preacher at the shelter holds forth on “the secret sin,” saying, “Be sure your sin will find you out, and all secrets will be known.” The stranger uses such knowledge as a pretext to move forward the judgment spreading murder and mayhem on the island. He gets him­self arrested but the constable has a difficult time confining him.

Bible bookstandSomeone asks the constable, “Why is this happening to us? You're the lead reader for the Reverend Riggins down at the Methodist church. You always got a quote from the Good Book, Andy! You must have some idea why this is happening!” He does, from (Mark 5:1-4) “And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.” He is a shape shifter going by the name André Linoge, which is an acronym for Legion in Mark 5:9. After Jesus conceded what the demoniac wanted, to be cast into a herd of swine (Mark 5:10-13,) the demons departed forthwith.

APPROVEDSeems that Linoge, too, is willing to depart as soon as he gets what he wants (“Give me what I want and I'll go away.”) He puts it to the refrain of, “I'm a little tea­pot, short and stout. / Here is my handle, here is my spout. / When I get all steamed up, hear me shout, / ‘Just tip me over and pour me out!’” It's easy as pie to get rid of him, just like pouring tea from the kettle, but they must willingly give him what he wants; he can't just take it from them, though he can punish them for with­holding it. The second object lesson is when little Pippa Hatcher (Skye McCole Bartusiak) gets her head stuck between two posts of the bannister. Easy enough to get her head back through after she begins to think small. The town just needs to be small-minded enough to give the jerk what he wants.


The only problem is he's asking a lot more than any town can reasonably be expected to give were it not for the threat of their utter annihilation as “What really happened in Roanoke in 1587.” A viable Virginia colony dis­ap­peared with­out a trace save for the cryptic word Croaton carved in a tree. We're looking at the worst case of, (Eccl. 7:16) “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” If they don't cut back on their righteous indignation and give him what he wants, he'll wipe them out. Like­wise, to dwell on their concession, to “make thy­self over wise,” is to invite mental torment. Better to chalk up their loss to some unknown event in the white out.

The ancillary advice is, (Eccl. 7:17) “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?” Some other­wise decent towns­folk dabbled in some unsavory sin in their past, which now results in their untimely demise. And even all round good people can die by acting foolishly in the face of a major storm.

Production Values

” (1999) is a three-part mini-series directed by Craig R. Baxley. Each part is about 1½ hours long and contains mini-fade points to accommodate commercials—or any other kind of break. Stephen King wrote the screen­play from scratch; it's not a literary adaptation. Colm Feore plays the inscrutable villain to the hilt. Tim Daly distinguishes him­self as Mike Anderson, the besieged town constable. Jeffrey DeMunn and Casey Siemaszkois play the town manager and Hatch, Mike's side­kick, respectively.

One should not think of the movie as overly long. It really would take the town three whole nights to come to terms with the stranger's demands. And it takes an audience about four hours to let the necessity of conceding to them sink in—they're so horrific. We couldn't be properly horrified if we didn't agree with the town on some level.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for intense thematic elements and violence/gore. The editing was sublime and the tension unrelenting. The mood was cinematically dark, and CGI took its turn at some magic. It moved at a steady pace.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

“Storm” succeeds at horror by tapping into our dark fears that there's a remote possibility we could some day be forced to do some­thing utterly abhorrent. A group of Jews is hiding from the Nazis on the floor above them as a mother covers her whimpering infant's mouth. After the Nazis leave, the child is still. The Yankees occupied some of the southern states until they ratified the thirteenth amendment. Some persecuted refugees make a break for freedom despite expected abuse along the way. We let our children take vaccinations to protect the group, though there's a tiny possibility they could produce serious side effects. For the sake of the party, we vote for a candidate we can't stand. Some decisions are worse than others, but they're all bad. Our one consolation is the worst are rare enough to perhaps skip our generation. In that case we can go home thanking our lucky stars it was only a movie. I don't recommend taking a date with­out being intimately familiar with her past.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quotations from the Authorized King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print, software.

Cameron, Bill. Lost Dog. Copyright © 2007 by Bill Cameron. Eugene, OR: Coffee Black Press, 2007. Print.