Dark Half (1993) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Although it lacks the creepy subtleties of Stephen King’s celebrated novel, George Romero’s underrated adaptation of The Dark Half ranks among the best films based on King’s fiction, with Romero taking care to honor King’s central theme while serving up some gruesome gore in the film’s much-criticized finale. Inspired by King’s own admission that he wrote several novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Dark Half explores the duality of a writer’s impulse, ranging from literary respectability to the viscerally cathartic thrills of exploitative pulp fiction.
Author and teacher Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) finds himself torn between those extremes when he "kills" his profitable, pseudonymous alter ego George Stark (the bestselling "dark half" to Thad’s light), who then assumes an evil, autonomous form (again played by Hutton) to lethally defend his role in Thad’s creative endeavors. Forced to wrestle with this evil manifestation of his own unformed twin, Thad must fight to protect his wife (Amy Madigan), their twin babies, and his own survival as an artist. Romero skillfully develops the twin/duality theme to explore the writer’s dilemma, and Hutton is outstanding in his dual roles, playing Stark (in subtly fiendish makeup) as a redneck rebel with a knack for slashing throats. Julie Harris adds class in a supporting role, and horror fans will relish Romero’s climactic showdown, in which swarms of sparrows seal Stark’s fate. It favors a pulp sensibility with clunky exposition to explain Stark’s existence, but The Dark Half is a laudable effort from everyone involved. —Jeff Shannon
Synopsis:A writer's fictional alter-ego wants to take over his life...at any price.
About Dark Half (1993)
Starring: Robert Joy, Royal Dano, Michael Rooker, William Cameron, Rutanya Alda, Rohn Thomas, Zachary Mott, Tom Mardirosian, Lamont Arnold, Timothy Hutton, Kent Broadhurst, Erik Jensen, Chelsea Field, David W. Butler, Julie Harris, Beth Grant, Larry John Meyers, Patrick Brannan, Glenn Colerider, Sarah Parker, Elizabeth Parker, John Ponzio, Molly Renfroe, Judy Grafe, John Machione, Christine Forrest, Nardi Novak, Curt DeBor, Drinda Lalumia, Amy Madigan
Runtime: 122 minutes
Director: George A. Romero
MPAA Rating: R