The Dead Zone (1983)
Not your typical Stephen King adaptation nor your typical David Cronenberg picture, The Dead Zone is a contemplative and in many ways unobtrusive thriller about a young man who falls into a coma and wakes up with an inexplicable ability to foretell future experiences for people he comes into physical contact with. Christopher Walken's intense, stylized performance makes this film mannered and captivating at the same time. But it's all in Cronenberg's vision, of course – he utilizes the story's somewhat outlandish, lurching drama to effect. It goes hand-in-hand with the Walken character's gradual alienation from the society he once thrived and believed in. The Dead Zone is a dark and at times chilling account which exhibits little hope for humanity... except for with the help of another Messiah figure, of course. Even if this is a constantly engaging movie with wonderful production values and pyrotechnic effects that have stood the test of time well, it nevertheless lacks the necessary nerve to save it from coming off as a little bit underwhelming.