Have you been watching the news lately on CNS there is some freaky stuff going on with the weather. The pyramids are growing ice caps and it’s snowing in the world deserts around the world. If those strange events aren’t enough to make you notice maybe the fact that there is a hurricane that seems to be getting worse heading right for Florida. I guess this is what happens when scientist attempt to play God.
Written by: David Abramowitz and Dennis A. Pratt
Starring: James Van Der Beek, Teri Polo, Treat Williams
“If you control the weather you control everything.”
The television miniseries has always been a home for the horror genre. Many a Stephen King and Dean Koontz novel have found their way into viewers homes over the course of the last decade this way. Television network NBC has once again embraced this format with their 2009 miniseries The Storm, though conventional genre fans might turn their nose in the air at the concept of a film about the government trying to control the weather, genre purists will see the event for what it truly is. The Storm is a great example of the classic mad scientist film, people trying to help other people only to cause even bigger problems in the long run.
The Storm has a lot of characters, being a miniseries this is to be expected. In this mix of characters you have the old standbys that most viewers would expect. There is the hot detective, the insane billionaire, the pregnant woman who has problems with her baby at the worst possible time, the scientist who can stop everything, the military general, and the former couple who are trying to work things out and of course the sexy news reporter. Each of these characters has their own subplots that play out while we watch a savage storm tearing up the city. Most of the disaster though is shown through other television broadcasts and word of mouth, for instance as a viewer you don’t get to see the icecaps forming on the pyramids it is only discussed. Since The Storm is a miniseries I can only really discuss the first part, so a lot of the characters aren’t fully fleshed out just yet although they are all introduced.
Billionaire Robert Terrell has invested a lot of money into a new project that will be able to control the weather. The device is explained as a large laser like scalpel that will essentially cut storm systems into smaller parts or even direct them in opposite directions. The device seems like a godsend that would help save millions of lives, imagine a world where hurricanes, tsunamis and tornados are able to be avoided. Mr. Terrell isn’t just happy with saving people however, really where is the money in that? Mr. Terrell also wants to get funding from the United States government by proving that his device could also work as a military weapon.
Mr. Terrell has two main men working for him Dr. Jonathan Kirk and his assistant Dr. Jack Hoffman. After the credits roll we are introduced to the three who are about to demonstrate the device by detouring a hurricane that is en route to Miami Florida. Dr. Kirk doesn’t think that they are ready for the demonstration and is very vocal about the effects of the device. Dr. Kirks assumptions are proved right however when the device suddenly causes a violent storm to occur at the device’s facility, a violent storm that causes the death of two employees.
After we witness this disaster we are introduced to Danni Nelson who works for CNS, which stands for Cable News Service. CNS is trying to find any leads on the bizarre weather patterns that are occurring all over the globe when news of the disaster at the research facility gets to her. Conveniently Danni already knows Dr. Kirk, the two of them went out a few times (this is a miniseries and there is a lot of this going on). As Danni tries to reach Dr. Kirk she finds that he is incredibly busy, after all he is trying to cover up the fact that he and his cohorts and boss are essentially playing God and attempting to control the weather. Mr. Terrell and Dr. Kirk don’t see eye to eye after Mr. Terrell tells him that they have another test to do, this time for funding from the government. After the slight altercation Dr. Kirk resigns leaving his assistant Dr. Hoffman in charge, what follows is another test which only seems to make the hurricane worse and in fact it’s causing disasters all over the world and causing the deaths of thousands of innocent people.
Being a television miniseries there are subplots everywhere all over The Storm. People are murdered in the cover up and people are set up. The drama is set up to peak just before every commercial break, and The Storm does pull it off rather effectively. The first episode doesn’t even really have a conclusion, instead the viewer watches in horror as a commercial airplane is caught inside of the “super storm” and starts to crash right before the words “to be continued” appear on the screen.
Since I have only seen the first episode of the miniseries I cant really go into all of the subplots and what they mean to the big picture, I will however state that the cast is very good with their parts. The suspense is perfectly built up to where the viewer would quickly get up during the commercial break and return to see what has happened. Since it is also a televised miniseries gore hounds are going to be pretty disappointed, the red stuff is only briefly seen on screen. The scene however where blood is spilled is done really effectively building up and building up until it finally happens.
The Storm also mainly takes place during a storm, well obviously. I really do feel sorry for a lot of the cast and the crew who had to spend hours in the “rain”. Seriously I do not think it stopped raining for the entire ninety minutes that I was watching, this could not have been easy on the cast and crew for the production.
The Storm isn’t a conventional genre piece like I said above but for fans of the old school mad scientist films it is a gift from network television, and there’s enough drama and subplots to keep those who aren’t into the genre interested.
The Storm (2009)