Nightmares & Dreamscapes: The End of the Whole Mess (TV)

Nightmares & Dreamscapes: The End of the Whole Mess (TV)
A not-so-mad scientist destroys all humanity.
Updated: 06-22-2006

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is the premise behind The End of the Whole Mess, the episode of Nightmares & Dreamscapes which is set to air on TNT on July 19. It is based on a short story by Stephen King, but the only horror elements are those that deal with the infinite and dangerous possibilities of human error.


Bobby Fornoy (Henry Thomas) has been brilliant since birth. A genuine genius, always thinking, inventing, concocting and plotting, Bobby finally realizes his potential when he comes up with a way to end all violence, and hence war, in the world. Aggression and hatred and replaced with kindness, peace and love. But at what price?


We see the devastating consequences of Bobby's "good intentions" through the camera lens of his brother, Howie (Ron Livingston) — a documentary filmmaker who finds the focus of the story even as his world and his family crumble all around him.


Thomas and Livingston are both excellent actors and neither of them takes a wrong step here — they do a job of making the sibling elements believable, and stay admirably true to character.


The End of the Whole Mess is directed by Mikael Salomon (TNT's Salem's Lot), and the teleplay is by Lawrence D. Cohen (the original Carrie, and It). Both of those filmmakers have solid credentials in the horror genre, but even they cannot make this story suspenseful or scary. Granted, it is not a "horror" genre story, but not all of King's work is — for instance, Stand By Me isn't horror but the film version had plenty of nail-biting suspense and scary elements. The End of the Whole Mess is reasonably interesting, but not very entertaining.


TNT's tagline is "We know drama," and sure enough: The End of the Whole Mess is dramatic.


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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson

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