The Dead Zone (1983) - Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Hohum Score



A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic ability.

IMDB: 7.2
Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams
Length: 103 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 12 out of 211 found boring (5.68%)

One-line Reviews (123)

The Dead Zone is a perfect example of how a Stephen King adaptation should be: chilling, suspenseful, very well made and acted, and even emotional at times.

Screenplay writing follows some strict rules and to maintain the entertainment factor of the movie, it should be restricted to an acceptable cliché no wonder why so many adaptation do not closely follow the original books.

Acting aside, everything else was perhaps what people would say you should expect from an "80's film" - slow pace and underwhelming direction, I disagree.

Some interesting and intelligent sub-plots (murder investigation) felt hurried and rather contrived - it was like it was concentrating and building more towards the final act instead.

The story delivery coupled with unusual camera angles and a relatively engaging and unpredictable story holds up well.

Folks who love the more outré and gruesome horror of King and Cronenbergs' other works may be surprised - pleasantly or not - at the more serious and mature nature of this story, which is absorbing every step of the way.

There is a great amount of mystery here and I am happy to say that I found this film rather unpredictable in regards to the outcomes both for our leading character and the people he encounters along the way.

Gripping and eerie, it's the King-Cronenberg collaboration to renew your confidence in holding out great expectations of such partnerships, throw in a cast of substantial depth and enough suspense, super-naturalism, horror and heroism to fulfil the promise.

The Dead Zone is a solid supernatural drama thriller that I enjoyed but the slightly slow pace means I probably wouldn't want to see it again & to be honest I prefer films with a bit more incident.

The film is not particularly scary, but it is extremely suspenseful, and seeing Martin Sheen as an evil Presidential candidate may be hard to take for his "West Wing" fans.

As a result, Cronenberg's film now seems bland and unimaginative.

There's the nurse with the saucer eyes whose daughter is in unexpected danger.

Almost certainly based to some extent on real-life psychic Peter Hurkos, Dead Zone shows the master, King, taking an already well known premise to a new and thrilling conclusion.

This part of the film is almost indescribably grim, gripping and suspenseful.

Blighted by visions of death, Walken is coldly compelling and chilling in his role.

None of the characters are developed beyond the superficial, the plot is predictable, the direction ugly, and the acting, with the exception of Christopher Walken, pretty cringe worthy.

Overall, this film delivers a great thrilling story.

The problem is that it's just not very Cronenbergesque, and being "Deprave" Cronenberg's first mainstream Hollywood movie, and coming hot off his provocative and mind blowing 'Videodrome', many people regard it as some kind of sell out.

This is an entertaining, and also touching film, that has lots of captivating scenes.

"The climax and denouement are fairly predictable.

)Stephen King's imaginative paranormal scenario of perceiving fate-altering 'dead-zones' is most intriguing, and the power of this film is transmitted directly thru Walken's (and Cronenberg's) ability to portray Smith's psychic-visions as akin to a profoundly-painful malady or psychosis (i.

An Excellent,Suspenseful Stephen King Adaptation From David Cronenberg With a Brilliant Performance From Christopher Walken.

Chris Walken's stunning dialogue technique has never been displayed as finely as here.

Walken's relationship with Brooke Adams is thoroughly involving and moving and the final minutes are extremely suspenseful.

The great directors Brian De Palma and Stanley Kubrick managed to turn King's often plodding narrative into a gripping visual spectacle.

Not the best story in the world, but then the book would probably flesh out more details and such that would have made the plot more entertaining.

Thriller from the Stephen King bestseller, adapted by Jeffrey Boam and directed by David Cronenberg, and full of first-rate actors, is pitched over-the-top; while it doesn't attempt anything too strenuous, such as morphing into a political allegory, the film achieves most of its 'scary' effects through noise and a kind of grim, bug-eyed intensity that becomes tiresome.

Christopher Walken really becomes the heart and soul of the movie, delivering one of his best performances and helping to make this supernatural story believable and thrilling.

In final word,if you love genre films,David Cronenberg,Stephen King or Christopher Walken,I highly suggest you see The Dead Zone,an excellent,suspenseful film that is Cronenberg,King and Walken at their best.

There are some jolts and suspense as we wait for Walken to grasp someone's hand in order to get a startling vision, thus making the film somewhat predictable.

Especially from the mid-70's until the late 80's, he made some of the most unbelievably fascinating and original movies there are to find out there.

His powers bring him into contact with an elusive serial killer, a withdrawn young child and, ultimately, a megalomaniacal grass-roots politician (Martin Sheen, in a riveting performance) bent on absolute power.

And yet, as said, this is a solid and absorbing thriller with a continuously unsettling atmosphere, multiple genuine shock effects and mesmerizing acting performances.

Christopher Walken is thoroughly convincing in his performance here: very likable and, at the same time, frighteningly intense.

This movie may not be typical fare from David Cronenberg, but it is one of his most straightforward and entertaining films.

The movie is genuinely suspenseful, resulting in an ending which is both surprising and inevitable.

But I enjoyed it 200%.

Interesting psycho thriller with a brilliant Christopher Walken performance but dull second act.

Christian metaphor of the chosen one laying down his life to save the world - even though the predictable, typically American take on this includes assassinating the evil one.

Finely made and greatly entertaining .

"The Dead Zone" is an intriguing psychological thriller, and because of this setting, which is quite unique for King, cinematic techniques are able to convey more than the original written word.

Gripping and intelligent.

Uninteresting with a lack of intrigue .

The question is less in the 'how' than the 'what', how he got the power is pointless; the key is to know what to do with it.

I'll just repeat that The Dead Zone was very enjoyable viewing.

Cronenberg meets Stephen King=enjoyable film adaptation .

In the beginning from the 70s to mid 80s there were well made suspenseful thrillers/horrormovies like Carrie, Shining, Cujo, Salem's Lot and this one.

I found it instead rather humorous, more than mildly entertaining.

It's every bit as enjoyable as "The Shining" as a movie, it's just based on an inferior model.

I found the movie, sad in places, at times exciting and also thought provoking.

"The Dead Zone" is a bland adaptation of a Stephen King novel.

It isn't gut wrenching stuff (visually speaking) we've come to expect by Cronenberg, but still he nails down a well drawn up and gripping drama/thriller.

Chilly, compelling, Stephen King adaptation .

The most enjoyable element of this film is our leading character, Johnny.

One of the most stunning adaptations of a Stephen King novel with Christopher Walken absolutely brilliant as tortured coma victim Johnny Smith, that's what.

However, The Dead Zone is a great movie that is thrilling as well as crafty in terms of its intensity of story and an enthralling plot that is mesmerizing and captivating.

Suspenseful and fascinating film.

"The Dead Zone", adapted from a Stephen King's novel, is a riveting thriller based on a simple premise : a teacher wakes up after five years of a long Coma, and finds himself gifted with a mysterious psychic ability to see the future, the past, and an unseen present.

The Dead Zone is an excellent and suspenseful Stephen King that combines terrific direction,an amazing performances from Christopher Walken and a superb cast,a tight well-written script and a powerful film score that makes The Dead Zone a great film and David Cronenberg,Stephen King and Christopher Walken at their best.

There's some intense psychic visions suffered by Johnny as seen in flashbacks which are well staged.

The savior-like ending that precipitates world history is brilliant and mind blowing.

Stellar cast includes the always-intense Walken, who becomes almost a reclusive freak as his clairvoyance gains notoriety, husky-voiced Brooke Adams as his pre-accident girlfriend and a top-drawer supporting cast that includes Martin Sheen as a megalomaniacal presidential candidate, Anthony Zerbe, Herbert Lom, Tom Skerritt and Colleen Dewhurst.

It has the Christ figure of Johnny Smith at the center of it whose character is compelling and layered enough to make the film itself compelling.

Brian De Palma's "Sisters" faced a similar problem, its tale of "evil twins" now a cliché absorbed by everything from "Sesame Street" to "Baywatch".

The Dead Zone is an amazing film that was the first and only time that Cronenberg and King collaborated on a film and but it was worth it because the movie is effective from beginning to end giving viewers a dark psychological Thriller,a tragic character driven Drama,a powerful Mystery and an intense Horror film all in one.

by no means a coveted 'gift'), compelling the audience to strongly root for him (and even empathize to a large-degree).

However, this particular movie leaves out so much detail that it is hard to follow.

I don't know, if "The Dead Zone" is thrilling to first time viewers, too, since the plot leaps a little, being a series of episodes rather than one continuous story.

And the scenes are easily predictable.

Script asks too few questions about such an intriguing subject, and gives absolutely no answers.

It's very slow paced, which I can respect in a thriller, the problem being that this movie is not suspenseful or thrilling in any way.

It's far from the Canadian's best, but The Dead Zone is finely made and greatly entertaining.

The ending of The Dead Zone is terrific,intense,tragic and surprising and is a fitting conclusion to the film.

After all, you have Walken in a performance that few others could do, with his little moments of enraged outbursts quite entertaining (i.

In the course of the film, which at times is perhaps more episodic than straightforward (no pun intended with Johnny's condition), he reluctantly assists a murder investigation, sees the future of a lonely boy he's tutoring, and then has the darkest premonition when in contact with a shady senator (Martin Sheen), leading him to an unexpected fate.

If the character had stuck with the "hunt for the serial killer" aspect, for the entire movie, it would've been more compelling, and would probably have made the movie a classic.

We are in for some very exciting times with an extremely intelligent uncivilized populace.

The film certainly engages & it's fairly absorbing as well & the time passed quickly while I was watching it.

It seems to never change tone or mood, staying at the same level of dull stagnancy.

This is a very good and thrilling film.

The book of course has more detail and characters, but the book's characters are boring.

This film is very suspenseful and intense in asking the question what if a human being were to have psychic powers and was able to see the future and change a person's outcome and the movie answers those questions with the greatest of ease giving viewers a film that is like Twilight Zone.

This is where the plot gets a little dull, I would have liked to see Johnny solving more crimes, and the idea of the serial killer hunt was very appealing.

In terms of cliché, screenplay almost followed the rules for the first 30 minutes but after that, movie enters into an static and rather boring state which lasts for almost 40 minutes.

It's absolutely hilarious as he parodies those intense moments when he grabs someone's hand and goes into a visionary trance.

A somber, downbeat film with an unhappy and reluctant hero, The Dead Zone is compelling and definitely recommended.

I also praise its unpredictable plot and the resulting elements along the way.

All in all, a very enjoyable experience, with nice cameos by other Cronenberg regulars like Les Carlson, Peter Dvorsky, and Herbert Lom playing a psychiatrist, reversing the role that he had in so many of the Pink Panther films.

This movie is engrossing from start to finish, and one of the best things about it is that it seems like it's in two parts.

The later-scenario regarding drastic-actions Smith feels he must undertake, to avert nuclear-holocaust = is absolutely edge-of-your-seat thrilling!

It will keep most mystery movie buffs on the edge of their seats for nearly two hours.

The story is fashioned in a somewhat given style of King's, in that it starts out with a real, solidly founded and actually compelling dramatic situation and then turn the screws with a darker, supernatural.

An intelligently paced and very well-acted film, The Dead Zone is also full of unpredictable plot developments.

Walken's performance really lets you into Johnny's isolated world and gives you the story from his perspective, which is what makes the film so enjoyable.

"The Dead Zone" is a riveting movie based on the Stephen King novel of the same title.

The Dead Zone is not a scary movie by any means, but it is an intriguing and sometimes emotional film, thanks mostly impart to Walken's strong performance.

Worth watching just for the final 20 minutes.

Although his output is undeniably prolific, I've always found King's work, for the most part, formulaic and lacking originality, and many of the big screen adaptations fair far worse.

And the worsening of Johnny's state indicates that the weight of these sufferings and this pain is getting heavier and more unbearable on his shoulders.

but it is very enjoyable in that nobody could really sit there and laugh at it and predict everything going on.

Intense, Haunting & Terribly Sad .

The film delivers in all aspects, with a fascinating story, an, as usual for Cronenberg, greatly menacing atmosphere, and a brilliant leading performance by Christopher Walken.

I would say a movie adaptation should be a more entertaining version of the original script.

A simple yet involving plot is made positively intense thanks to an awesome performance by Christopher Walken,plus fine supporting work from Martin Sheen and Brooke Adams.

In short, it's an efficient, engaging movie delivering just enough for the supernatural crowd as well as those looking for a drama with believable, sympathetic characters (some of them anyway).

Adapted from the ponderous King novel, Cronenburg manages to filter out the superfluous waffle (too often present in Mr King's work) and give us a straight-down-the-line story with a couple of great twists and a satisfyingly intelligent ending.

Add Chris Walken near the top of his game, and the results should be fairly predictable - either an esoteric morasse of horror-poetry illustrated by Walken's incredible physical expressiveness, or powerful, disturbing and smart film.

It's a compelling tale with some great sequences of suspense and the occasional good jolt.

Rather than serving up a shocking, roller-coaster King blockbuster in the vein of Brian De Palma's CARRIE (1976), Cronenberg crafts an eerie, highly effective thriller light years removed from his own, more self-indulgent projects.

An absorbing Cronenberg film .

And it's not just Adams, the way the old doctor calmly accepted the discovery of Johnny's ability as if he found a new soda brand rather than a mind blowing super human power, the way Mrs Dodd died when being shot or Johnny's mother "having a stroke" and later "dying" was the kind of performance you'd expect from community theater at best, and it was standing in contrast to Walken's own performance which was in my opinion pretty decent.

Indeed, the movie strikes by its simplicity, from a basic but intriguing plot device, it opens the door to a series of episodes where the only noticeable evolution is Johnny's state of health, worsening as his power gets more important.

His horror stories are always too formulaic to bring them to the screen and deliver a fine and original genre movie, although there are the obvious exceptions, this being one of them.

As far fetched as the movie's plot seems it is all made compelling by Walken's fabulous performance.

The movie was very engrossing and kept you riveted right up until the end.

Stephen King again delivers, with excellent performances by Chris Walken, Anthony Zerbe, Tome Skerrit, Martin Sheen, Brooke Adams, Herbert Lom and Nicholas Campbell, with an intriguing cameo by Colleen Dewhurst.

The whole films strikes with an interesting concept, but unfortunately it is executed very poorly, and the whole idea becomes very mediocre and uninteresting.

The movie does embark on the journey very lazily with predictable dialogue and sub-par chemistry between Adams and Walken (who otherwise is glorious in this movie), throwing in a lame self-fulfilling line just before the accident (something in the mold of "Watch how your driving").

In creating by far and away the best adaptation of a Stephen King novel, Cronenberg delivers and incredibly engrossing (and un-gross!

The acting is great(this may be the best performance by Walken), for all in this(even the kids), with Sheen as a stand-out with his intense portrayal of a Senator candidate.

The film starts well with interest easily being held by the discovery and consequences of the gift, however the middle section of the film is very slow and loses sight of the story - almost no mention is made of the gift and the focus is on Walken's relationship and withdrawal from others, this is a big change from the first half of solved crimes etc.Once this is past we have the ice-skating incident and the introduction of the "main" storyline of Martin Sheen's nasty politician.

An intriguing movie with a surprise twist at the film's climax.

The Dead Zone confiscates your mind for its full runtime leading you on an enjoyable and unpredictable excursion right through the closing credits.