Based on a novel by Stephen King, The Dead Zone follows Johnny (Christopher Walken), a teacher who is head over heels in love with a woman he hopes to marry in due time. But things go wrong when Johnny gets involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident, putting Johnny in a coma. Five years later, Johnny awakes from his coma and discovers a supernatural gift within him. By touching the hand of another, Johnny can see into the future and gain a vision of the moment of their death. Johnny will begin questioning his new ability and if it is, in fact, a blessing or a curse.
The most enjoyable element of this film is our leading character, Johnny. Watching him deal with the life changes after being in a coma, plus learning about his new ability, gives the character vast range and depth which I feel modern films today can sometimes lack when it comes to thrillers.
Christopher Walken himself is also a unique individual as an actor, and I feel he is perfect for this film. We see Johnny asking in-depth questions, such as should people know how they die or if it’s better not to change the future. It’s not surprising why this film later launched a TV series which was also somewhat successful.
Another element of this film which I praise is the overall thrills and chills that this film offers. There is a significant amount of mystery here, and I am happy to say that I found this film somewhat unpredictable in regards to the outcomes both for our leading character and the people he encounters along the way.
The film’s chilling soundtrack is also something that hasn’t left me since watching this film on Bluray. For an older movie from the early ’80s, the transfer onto Bluray has been done wonderfully and comes recommended to any viewers who may be curious about watching a classic.
Overall, The Dead Zone is a great Stephen King novel brought to life, delivering good thrills and chills instead of just gross horror with blood and guts. I enjoyed the story here and its characters. I also praise its unpredictable plot and the resulting elements along the way. Christopher Walken was a great choice to play this lead role of a young man who discovers a new psychic gift or curse.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden