Monday, October 28, 2013

10 Days of Stephen King: The Dead Zone

Welcome to day 7 of the 10 days of Stephen King and on this very special day we shall enter a place called the Dead Zone. Based on King's 1979 novel and directed by David Cronenberg The Dead Zone focuses on Johnny Smith a young teacher played in this film by the one and only Christopher Walken, who after a horrible accident falls into a coma for many years. When he finally awakens he has a psychic ability that gives him the power to see the past, the present, and the future just by coming in contact with an object or even person. this power will change the course of his life.

 If you had no idea this film was based on a King book at first glance this would seem like a Cronenberg original. It has the weirdness of one of his stories like Scanners or his remake of The Fly. But many other aspects as well, strong and weak. Which if you know any Cronenberg film is the beautiful and eerie score by Howard Shore, who the director has worked with many times before.  I personally think most Cronenberg films from his past suffered with his films always ending on a mute point or as if the movie should keep going but that's just me.

The film starts off a bit slow but it works for the viewer to get to know Johnny before the accident and to get to see what kind of person he was. thus we can see exactly how the accident and his newfound abilities have affected him. within the film are almost a collection of stories from Johnny's life after his gets the powers. It's all one story but they seem very distant and unconnected at times. At one point he uses his powers to aid the police in finding a vicious serial killer. which i think is the best story and the most engaging.

When Walken's Smith finally starts to try and live a normal life by tutoring some kids and getting back to his love of teaching his abilities force him to intervene in others lives for better or worse. they're all great stories but sometimes the pacing can seem a bit slow. Even with the slow pacing Walken never lets you down with his humble and captivating presence. You would think no one could steal the scene until we meet Martin Sheen's smooth talking politician. Another great performance from him as well. Actually the film is filled with great performances all around even if you don't know their names or even seen them in anything else. it's a good watch, I wouldn't necessarily call it scary but it has some very creepy and  eerie moments within it.

Overall I give the film a 8/10. Have fun entering The Dead Zone  

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