"Give me what I want and I will go away" demands the black-eyed, stocking-capped stranger Linoge (Colm Feore), who appears in a quiet island community on the verge of the worst storm in decades and brutally bludgeons an old lady to death. Tim Daly, the town sheriff and voice of reason and moral strength, locks up the quiet madman, but the deaths pile up as Linoge acts them out from his cell like a murderous mime pulling psychic strings. Stephen King, whose original teleplay is his best work for the screen since The Stand, transforms the sleepy burg into a Peyton Place of guilty secrets and criminal activity ripped from under a blanket of small town normality while the white-out of the snowstorm completely cuts them off from civilization. Director Craig R. Baxley nicely maintains an icy tension while the waiting game goes on, perhaps a little too long, before Linoge finally reveals "what he wants" and the drama turns into a struggle for man's soul in miniature. The more ambitious special effects and set pieces sometimes disappoint but are more than made up for in King's knack for turning the mundane into the macabre (the children's song "I'm a Little Teapot" has never sounded more sinister) and a few brilliantly realized sequences, the best of which occurs when townspeople are literally yanked out of existence while watching the storm. Storm of the Century is one of the most successful translations of King's brand of horror to the screen.