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Originally aired as a miniseries on ABC, Stephen King's Storm Of The Century has an interesting story to tell and takes a long time to tell it. Too long, really, at more than four hours, but for those up to the task, there's enough going on to recommend it. As an island community off the coast of Maine prepares for the snowstorm to end all snowstorms, a mysterious stranger (Colm Feore) shows up and kills an elderly woman, hypnotically inciting others to commit murder and suicide, revealing long-kept town secrets, and otherwise making a nuisance of himself, throughout it all leaving one message: "Give me what I want and I'll go away." That it takes nearly three hours to find out what Feore wants is Storm's biggest problem: It's only so long before that oft-repeated message transforms itself from frighteningly cryptic to something of a punchline. Still, Craig R. Baxley's stylish direction, some fine ensemble acting from Timothy Daly and others (including teen dream Jeremy Jordan), and especially Feore's chilly performance keep things generally interesting. As a villain, Feore's character seems (at times too much) like a cross between Hannibal Lecter and the demon from The Exorcist, but by the time Storm arrives at its conclusion, it's become clear that King is going less for shocks than a Twilight Zone-style morality play in supernatural form. His careful setup really pays off in the relentlessly bleak final hour, but whether it's a story that needed to take longer to tell than Lawrence Of Arabia or Fitzcarraldo is another issue entirely.


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