The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone
The Dead Zone

Movie Details

The Dead Zone
Director-David Cronenberg
Cast-Christopher Walken Brooke Adams Tom Skerritt
Movie type- Sci-fi/Thriller
Producers-Dino De Laurentiis
Release date 21 st October 1983
IMDB Rating-7.2
Duration-1 Hour43 Minutes


The Dead Zone -Trailer


The dead zone is surprisingly calm and subdued. Especially considering that it is a David Cronenberg production from the 1980s, i.e. from the time of his most spectacular science fiction films.

Just eight months earlier, Videodrome had premiered , a grim combination of technothriller and body horror about the pernicious influence of television, famous for its extensive special effects.

Meanwhile, The Dead Zone is more of a psychological drama with a clear theme of unrequited love. The main character, although he is a clairvoyant and can influence the course of history, the most important thing is how he deals with loneliness and the situation in which he finds himself.

Doctors, journalists and policemen see him as a local attraction, and he just wants to have peace and quiet and start a family with his beloved by his side. Although the film contains elements of both crime and horror, what comes to the fore is the drama of an individual who is separated from normal life by a supernatural ability. In this respect, the Dead Zone is very close to the famous Mucha .

Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) wakes up from a five-year coma caused by a car accident. His doctor, Dr. Weizak (Herbert Lom), informs him that he will have to undergo long rehabilitation before he can walk again. During this time, he will have something to think about because his parents tell him that he has lost his job at school and that his girlfriend, Sarah (Brooke Adams), has already gotten married. At first, Johnny is devastated by the amount of bad news, but he still tries to recover.

When he accidentally touches the nurse’s hand, he sees a fire in her house, where a little girl is trapped in the flames. The vision turns out to be true and the child is saved, and Johnny, against his will, becomes a local hero. He is visited by Sheriff Bannerman (Tom Skerritt) and asks for help in searching for a serial killer, but Smith consistently wants to be left alone and refuses. However, after reflection, he decides to cooperate with the police, realizing that his gift of clairvoyance can save someone’s life.

The film has gained popularity over the years for two reasons. First of all, it is primarily a solid drama of an individual focused on the inner life of the hero. Johnny is a typical Cronenbergian protagonist: he stands out from the rest of society and does not feel fully a part of it, even if he wanted to.

He is a sensitive individualist marked by a stigma, which he becomes obsessed with, distracting him from normal life. Secondly, Johnny is played by Christopher Walken. With his physiognomy, mobility and characteristic voice, he can movingly convey all the hero’s states, from confusion and anger to cordiality. Although known for his acting prowess, in the film

The Dead Zone his performance is subdued and adapted to the character of an introvert who only gives vent to his emotions as a last resort. The film was released in 1983, just five years after Walken’s Oscar-winning performance in Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter , so audiences at the time knew what a good dramatic actor he was. Today, when he has roles in Batman Returns , Pulp Fiction , Army of God and Catch Me If You Can , it is even more interesting to watch him younger in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel .

The Dead Zone is primarily a psychological drama, which – paradoxically – is more in line with Cronenberg’s latest films, which has moved away from body horror in favor of an intimate study of the individual. However, in the 1980s, the director was associated mainly with special effects and gore. And although there was always a deeper thought behind them, it was their moving form that earned them their nicknameguru of gore.

Meanwhile, in the film The Dead Zone , both Johnny’s recovery and his visions are presented quite conservatively, and the only bloody shot lasts a few seconds and will not raise the blood pressure for today’s viewers. Therefore, people who associate Cronenberg only with horror films will be disappointed. However, considering his last six films, it is hard not to notice that it is psychological drama that interests him the most.

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