A strangely segmented film that does at least end on its highest note, The Dead Zone is about the least Cronenbergian Cronenberg that I have ever seen. Quite whether there is room for him to stamp his body horror mark on this story is doubtful, but it's still a strangely uninvolving and stop-start film that only really comes to life when Martin Sheen's bastard of a politician makes an appearance.
An odd direction for Cronenberg but a great re-telling of how overcoming trauma can be completely life changing & possibly the best of King's stories committed to celluloid other than The Mist. Walken is PERFECT. Genuine, emotional & at times disturbing, he plays Johnny with such gravitas that's it's hard to fathom if he's really acting with his interactions. Tom Skeritt also stands out as the sympathetic lawman. A.
***1/2. I remember well the cinema and the seat I sat on back in 1984 when I first saw this film and I could have sworn yesterday that The DEAD ZONE was a blockbuster filled with fury and colours. How wrong was I ! The DEAD ZONE is a piece of chamber music filmed in a snowy country with a Christopher WALKEN managing to persuade us that what's happening to him is just bad luck. Nothing else. Highly recommended.
I actually wanted to give two stars. One for Christopher Walken and one for Mr. Walkens hair. But at minute 84 I had to stop watching the movie, since its ridiculousness couldn't be washed over by a great actor any longer. Though I actually live Cronenberg, this movie didn't seem to work at all. Very wooden or too melodramatic acting by almost all the cast. Weird story lines. Overuse of dramatic music. Schade!
Already a Classic film...Maybe one of the best translation from a book to the celluloid of one S.K story and the first "non-visceral sci-fi" film from the canadian director...fitting perfectly in the "Psychic trilogy" together with "The Brood" and "Scanners". Great main roles for Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen. Curious at the same time that prophetic to see a Walken reciting fragments of "Sleepy Hollow"...
Good thriller from Croneberg's golden age. Walken puts in a great and nuanced performance with brittle sensitivity and doomed intensity. Sheen musters up some genuine menace and craziness worthy a latter-day Nic Cage. Cronenberg's direction is decent considering the sometimes haphazard and disjointed script which reads more like a collection of situations rather than a focused story and character arc.
The score is really intrusive: any scene involving Walken and Adams is given a swooning, tonally jarring orchestral treatment. The plot is given a rather episodic, fragmented treatment and no one seems to be all that invested in the material except Walken. Also how many Cronenberg flicks end with stage-bound assassinations? I'm counting three at least, with this the worst among them.