The Dead Zone ★★★★

The main thing that Cronenberg excels with more than anything is humanity. Even at his most out there and bizarre, his films always seem to care about the people who inhabit them. Films like "The Fly" and "A History of Violence" show this off perfectly, but one like "The Dead Zone" is one that's a lot easier to digest after a single viewing vs having to take long thoughts after one of those or any of his full on horror films.

What makes it work beyond an engaging premise and central lead character is that it plays to the strengths of its source material origination, playing out like Cronenberg is telling the story to the viewer the same way a parent would tell a ghost story to their children around Halloween.

Having him go much more subtle is something I wasn't expecting, but was presently surprised by how well it worked. Managed to make the overall mood and feel all the better, backed as well to an incredibly chilling and atmospheric score by the late Michael Kamen.

If you're looking to get into Cronenberg's filmography but are afraid to hop into his more.....out there pieces, I'd say this is a great starting point. Has a good amount of his trademarks (eerie mood, interesting way of depicting violence, and romance), but doesn't go too far ahead to be alienating to those still unsure about him.

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