The Dead Zone is easily one of the best novels by Stephen King.  It explores a region of the mind that is not frequently touched upon – psychic ability.  The Dead Zone tells the story of Johnny Smith, a school teacher, who gets into a car accident that sends him into a coma.  When he awakes, he discovers he has developed a great gift; when he touches people, he is able to see their past, present, and/or future.

When the police force asks him to get involved in finding a serial killer murdering women in his town, he has to decide if seeing the horrific crimes is worth it.

I probably watched this movie when I shouldn’t have, if we’re being honest.  It has been a film I’ve been excited to watch for a long time, being that I picked up the book about a year ago.

A little history on the book: it got me through a weird time in my life where I was trying to figure myself out.  I went to a comic book store by my house and found it sad and lonely in a used book bin for $1.  I grabbed it because I saw Stephen King’s name on it, but I didn’t expect it to be a book that was so memorable for me.

I blew through the book in about 2 days.  The story was entertaining, fun, a little creepy.  So of course, I thought I would give the film a shot.

I was looking for the film to be exactly like the book, so I was slightly disappointed when things weren’t going in order.  It was distracting for me, and I was so sad that they weren’t at the carnival (for those of you that have read the novel, you know what I’m talking about) during the film.  It’s a part of the novel that really stood out to me.

However, although I was thrown off at the differences between the novel and the film, I truly enjoyed Christopher Walken’s performance as Johnny.  I don’t think there could have been someone that would have played the part of such a sad man better than Walken did.  He made it so enjoyable that I would probably watch it again based on his performance alone.

Martin Sheen portrays a terrifying politician planning on taking over office as president, and his performance is wonderful as well.  It’s believable and all-around pretty disturbing.

Overall, I enjoyed the somber and sad story of Johnny Smith.  It’s one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King novel – it doesn’t overdo it on the unnecessary horror, jump scares, and gore.  It’s subtle and (mostly) realistic, keeping it creepy and a really entertaining film. So here’s my fun rating!

Story/Concept: 2
Direction/Style: 2
Scares: .5
Atmosphere: 2
Rewatchability: 1

TOTAL: 7.5/10

In terms of horror films, I typically enjoy something a little bit more “terrifying,” I guess.  However, the story behind this one really makes you think!

Until next time, my ghouls

Latest posts by Taylor Krauss (see all)
Taylor has been a horror fan for as long as she can remember, begging her parents to let her see The Exorcist at the tender age of just five years old. Since then, she has developed a lifelong obsession with all things strange, paranormal, and creepy. If you find her doing something other than watching a horror film, she’s probably raging as a dwarf barbarian playing Dungeons and Dragons (obsessively…it’s a problem), quoting Lord of the Rings incessantly, or trying to become Dana Scully.
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