The Dead Zone (1983)


The movie The Dead Zone (1983) is a supernatural thriller film directed by David Cronenberg, based on the novel by Stephen King. The movie follows the story of Johnny Smith, a schoolteacher who has a car accident after a ride on a roller coaster. He wakes up from a coma five years later and discovers that he has gained the ability to see aspects of people’s lives through physical contact. Johnny helps Sheriff George Bannerman with a series of murders and discovers that deputy Frank Dodd is the killer. Dodd commits suicide before Bannerman can arrest him, and Dodd’s mother shoots Johnny before being killed by Bannerman. Johnny moves to a different town and lives a more isolated life as he grows physically weaker due to his psychic abilities. Johnny tutors children and is hired by the wealthy Roger Stuart to tutor his son, Chris. Through Stuart, Johnny meets Greg Stillson, a superficially charismatic third-party candidate for the United States Senate, for whom Sarah and her husband, Walt, volunteer. Johnny receives a vision of Chris and two other boys drowning in a local pond during an ice hockey game. He implores Stuart to change his plans, but he refuses and fires Johnny. At a political rally, Johnny shakes Stillson’s hand and has a vision of Stillson as President ordering a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the USSR. Johnny seeks out Dr. Sam Weizak’s advice and leaves Sarah a letter, telling her that what he is about to do will cost him his life, but is a worthwhile sacrifice. Sarah and her family attend a rally for Stillson. Johnny also sneaks in with a rifle; he shoots at Stillson but misses. In the ensuing commotion, Stillson grabs Sarah’s baby and holds him as a human shield, which a photographer captures on film. Before Johnny can fire again, he is shot by Stillson’s bodyguard. Johnny touches Stillson’s hand and foresees that, after the photograph is published, Stillson’s career ends and he commits suicide, thus averting the nuclear attack. Johnny lies dying as Sarah embraces him and tells him that she loves him.


  • Christopher Walken as Johnny Smith
  • Brooke Adams as Sarah Bracknell
  • Tom Skerritt as Sheriff Bannerman
  • Herbert Lom as Dr. Sam Weizak
  • Anthony Zerbe as Roger Stuart
  • Colleen Dewhurst as Henrietta Dodd


  • The movie The Dead Zone (1983) was critically acclaimed and is considered one of the best adaptations of Stephen King’s work.
  • The film was shot in and around Toronto, Canada, standing in for the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine.
  • David Cronenberg, known for his body horror films, took a more restrained approach with The Dead Zone, focusing on the psychological and emotional aspects of the story.
  • The film explores themes of fate, free will, and the moral implications of knowing the future.



Last updated byAnonymous on November 1, 2023