Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Dead Zone

"The Dead Zone" (1983, David Cronenberg, Dino De Laurentiis Company, Lorimar Film Entertainment) is an adaptation of a Stephen King story.

Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) is a schoolteacher in the small American town of Castle Rock. After spending the day with his girlfriend and colleague, Sarah (Brooke Adams), he declines her offer to spend the night at her place and drives home in a storm. He is involved in a terrible accident and ends up in a coma.

Five years later Johnny awakes not only to find that Sarah has married another, but also that his coma has caused Johnny to develop certain psychic abilities. He reluctantly helps the local police with some cases, but his abilities lead him to more and more trouble. Johnny decides to try to use his powers to stop a huge catastrophe, but he may not live to tell the tale...

A relatively slow moving film, that remains engrossing regardless of its pace. Walken brings the role to life in his usual characteristic and intense manner. More of a thriller than a horror, the film manages to make you almost forget entirely that you're watching a film about supernatural abilities: it seems so matter of fact and normal. It's also quite true to the source material and feels like its made by a master, despite being more mainstream than Cronenberg's usual films.

Poor Johnny gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop in this film. Poor guy.

[Image: Dino De Laurentiis Company, et al]