The Dead Zone (1983) Movie Review

The Dead Zone (1983) Poster

The Dead Zone (1983)

1983 | R | Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi
103 minutes / 1h 43min

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The Dead Zone Plot Synopsis:

Johnny Smith wakes from a coma due to a car accident, only to find he has lost five years of his life, and yet gained psychic powers. Foreseeing the future appears to be a 'gift' at first, but ends up causing problems...

The Dead Zone (1983) Review

The Dead Zone (1983) is an American science fiction thriller-horror film that is based on Stephen King’s 1979 novel of the same name. The 103-minute movie was shot Whitevale, Ontario, Canada; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada; Stouffville, Ontario, Canada and Orono, Ontario, Canada. The Dead Zone had an estimated budget of $10 million and grossed over $20 million at the box office. Canadian film director David Cronenberg (The Fly (1986), eXistenZ (1999), Eastern Promises (2007), A History of Violence (2005)) did a spectacular job executing this movie about a school teacher who wakes up from a coma to discover that he has psychic powers. The Dead Zone contains bloody violence, implies sexual intimacy, brief nudity, bad language, suspense and intense scenes.

The Dead Zone revolves around Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken - Catch Me If You Can (2002), Wedding Crashers (2005), The Deer Hunter (1978), Man on Fire (2004)) who has everything (high school teacher, girlfriend, etc.) going for him life until one fatal night. His girlfriend Sarah (Brooke Adams - Days of Heaven (1978), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Gas, Food Lodging (1992)) is head over heel for Johnny. Johnny was involved in a terrible accident one night while driving and that accident changed his life. He woke up five years later from being in a coma only to learn that the girl of dreams (Sarah) moved on and now had a husband and child. Johnny is not physically the same as before the accident because his legs were injured during the crash which makes him incapacitated. Johnny did not take long to discover that he has psychic abilities that allow him to predict disasters that people who are close to him are about to encounter.

Johnny does not think his new power/ability is a gift but thinks of it as a curse instead and sinks deeper and deeper into depression. He does not like all of the visions he is having and decides to relocate and become a tutor who works from home but his plans does not go as smoothly as he planned. Sheriff Bannerman (Tom Skerritt - Alien (1979), Top Gun (1986), Picket Fences (1992), Ted (2012)) asked Johnny to help him on a serial killer case that he cannot seem to solve. The creepiness in the town escalated and so did the strange events after Sheriff Bannerman asked Johnny to help him. THE NEXT SENTENCE MIGHT BE A MAJOR SPOILER: Johnny shook a young politician hand and saw that the man will be President of the United States and will launch a cataclysm that could potentially destroy humanity.

The Dead Zone was an exquisite 80’s watch that I enjoyed today and thought it was done exceptionally well for an older movie. There are not much older movies that I enjoy today, so this is one that I have to add to my list of recommendations for sci-fi horror fans. Viewers should be advised that you have to have a strong stomach to see the appalling graphic images of distortions and metamorphoses of the flesh. The actors performances, sound, screenplay, special effects and cinematography was excellent.

  • The Dead Zone Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 8
  • Overall Score: 7.81
  • IMDB: 7.2
  • MetaCritic: 6.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 9.0

About The Dead Zone 1983

Title: The Dead Zone
Year: 1983
Runtime: 103 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi
Score: 4 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3.9/5 stars from 52,587 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 52,587
MPAA Rating: R
The Dead Zone Cast Starring: Christopher Walken, Tom Skerritt, Martin Sheen, Anthony Zerbe, Nicholas Campbell, Jackie Burroughs, Hardee T. Lineham, William B. Davis, Barry Flatman, Peter Dvorsky, Ken Pogue, David Rigby, Sean Sullivan, Leslie Carlson, Géza Kovács, Jack Messinger, Chapelle Jaffe, Géza Kovács, Brooke Adams, Ramon Estevez, Colleen Dewhurst, Claude Rae, James Bearden, Julie-Ann Heathwood, Raffi Tchalikian, Gordon Jocelyn, Seirge LeBlanc, Bill Copeland, Vera Winiauski, Joe Kapnaiko
The Dead Zone Writers: Jeffrey Boam, Stephen King
The Dead Zone Director: David Cronenberg
Production: Paramount Pictures
Language: English, Russian
Country: USA, Canada