The Dark Half - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dark Half Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2007
Overlong, nonsensical horror flick wastes a good cast on twaddle. On top of everything else the ending is very weak. Julie Harris' screen time amounts to about five minutes.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2013
Every narrative writer is faced with a predicament in how to navigate the conclusion of his story. Shall he embrace the optimistic side of his personality with a love-conquers-all finale or shall he trek down the nihilistic path? In the brooding 'The Dark Half', the devalued Timothy Hutton stunningly plays both Thad and George in quaking dual performances. George is a frightening Southern gent who is endowed with a gallows sense of humor ("What's going on here?" "A murder. You want some?"). Any collaboration between George Romero and Stephen King is a plausible reason for rejoice among horror fans and like their anthology picture 'Creepshow', 'The Dark Half' is a rakish, darkly funny thriller that rummages through philosophical quandaries around the physical manifestation of one's inner demons and a writer's dependent relationship with his material. Even though Romero utilizes Thad's twin babies as child-in-danger plights, it doesn't nosedive into exploitation. The sparrow attack is a tad heavy-handed and needlessly gore-drenched, but the rest of 'The Dark Half' is a spooky showcase for the versatile talents of Hutton.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
I loved this horror movie based on a King novel, the story is sort of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or one of those classics, but in a modern setting. Like many of King's stories, it's about a writer too. I loved it.
Super Reviewer
½ November 17, 2009
I really loved this, it was a great mystery. It's a really good Stephen King adaption that gets down the creep factor of the novel. While it doesn't have the best cast, it does have a great overall plot and characters. George A. Romero's style is not as present as usual, which I think is a real testament to his talent. It is more Stephen King's style and way of storytelling, which is really respectful. Sometimes being true to the story is more beneficial for the overall movie, rather than getting that directorial stamp in.
Super Reviewer
March 28, 2010
a dark thriller with very strong performances!!!
Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2007
Great, very scary and unique!! One of the finest Stephen King adaptations. It's also one of George Romero's most under-appreciated works. The two of them have collaborated on many occasions to produce nothing but good things, but this takes it to a new level. Romero is known for casting unknowns for his leads. This time he went against the grain. He used the amazing Timothy Hutton. Hutton, in a dual role, plays both mild-mannered Thad Beaumont and mean bastard George Stark. But when he's Stark, he really comes to life. He's both cool and creepy. The sparrows are also a crucial part of the overall eeriness of the movie.
Super Reviewer
½ July 17, 2009
The Dark Half starts in '1968' where a young boy named Thadeus Beaumont (Patrick Brannan) has recently begun writing novels but is also suffering from some strange side-effects, he collapses outside his home & is taken to Hospital where Doctors discover that he has a deformed embryo growing inside of him... Jump '23 Years Later' & things are going great for Thadeus (Timothy Hutton), he has a wife Elizabeth (Amy Madigan) & two young babies plus a prestigious teaching job at a university. However, one day a man named Fred Clawson (Robert Joy) attempts to blackmail Thadeus when he discovers that Thadeus writes trashy novels under the pen-name George Stark. Instead of giving into Freds demands Thadeus decides to kill off George by going public, but not everyone his happy about the untimely demise of George Stark least of all George himself who will go to murderous lengths to make sure he stays alive, even if it means other's don't...

Executive produced, written & directed by George A. Romero I can't say that The Dark Half is a bad film because it clearly isn't but at the same time I can't but say I was disappointed. The script by Romero was based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King & is a fairly absorbing & engaging tale but didn't totally satisfy. For a start things are never explained, what is George Stark? How was he created? There are some vague suggestions such as the opening scenes of the brain tumour which is never mentioned or touched upon again throughout the remainder of the film to more supernatural reasoning such as Thad's alter-ego & literal dark half coming to life. Some may like this vagueness but personally I didn't think it did the film any favours & what's with the Sparrows? The character's are decent & it's well written for what it is but when I consider that Romero wrote the mighty Dead films which all included fantastic subtle social commentary superbly mixed together with wonderful horror & gore I couldn't help but feel something was missing in The Dark Half by comparison.

The Dark Half was made in 1991 but sat on the shelf for a couple of years because of the collapse of Orion Pictures & when it did finally see the inside of theatres it did nothing at the box-office. Somewhat surprisingly The Dark Half was one of only two film Romero directed in the 90's with the other being Two Evil eyes (1990) & he only directed half of that, it wasn't for another 9 years before he made another film with Bruiser (2000) which seemed a long time... He does an OK job here but the film drags in places & there isn't a great deal of style or gore, there's an exposed brain, a few splashes of blood & a fairly gory scene at the end in which someone has the flesh picked off their bones by Sparrows.

I was absolutely astonished to discover that The Dark Half had a supposed budget of $15,000,000, where on earth did the money go? There are no big name actors, no big action scenes, no explosions, no car chases, no big special effect scenes apart from some computer generated Sparrows, no exotic locations & nothing that would suggest that 15 big ones had been spent on it. Was this film part of the reason why Orion went bankrupt? Was this the reason why Romero didn't work again in the horror genre for 9 long years? Romero's latest film Land of the Dead (2005) only had a budget of $15,000,000 & The Dark Half was made 15 years prior, this is not a 15 million film that's for sure. The acting was OK but no one stands out, it's all rather bland & forgettable. $15,000,000? I just can't believe it, maybe I'm wrong, maybe all the money ended up on screen but I simply didn't see it. We give films a certain amount of slack for being low budget so there's no reason we can't criticise a big budget film when it fails to deliver.

The Dark Half is a decent horror film of that there is no doubt but with $15,000,000 in his back pocket & a string of absolute horror classics behind him I can't help but feel disappointed by The Dark Half, a real wasted opportunity. Worth a watch but nothing spectacular.
Super Reviewer
April 26, 2007
A very decent King adaptation, Romero does some interesting work here.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2007
A very typical Stephen King storyline, in that it was original and totally bizarre.

A watchable film, but not one of his best.
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2007
As a young boy (Patrick Brannan), Thad Beaumont is been hiring or smelling things are not supposed to be there. One day before he goes to school, Thad falls down and it seems like he had a panic attack. Doctors discover on the back on Thad's skull, he has a still living fetus in the back of his head. The fetus have a eye, nostril's and a small cavity. The Doctors have destroyed the living fetus. Years later... Thad (Oscar-Winner:Timothy Hutton) has become a writer but not as successful as he should have been. Thad has a wife (Amy Madigan) and two baby twins (Sarah & Elizabeth Parker). One day going to work, a sleazy con-man (Robert Joy) discovers his alter ego in writing trash novels by the name of George Stark. When the con-man wants money, Thad decides to kill off his alter ego. When Thad kills his alter ego, it was a success. But one dark night, his alter ego George Stark turns to life and killing the ones, who helped Thad to kill Stark. Stark is slowly stalking Thad and his family until Thad will write another novel for Stark to stay alive.

Directed by George A. Romero (Bruiser, Land of the Dead, Two Evil Eyes) has made an effected supernatural thriller. This is one of Romero's best work as a filmmaker. Hutton is extraordinary good in his dual roles. Micheal Rooker as the dedicated cop-Alan Pangborn gives a solid performance. The film was filmed in 1991 and released in 1993, due of Orion Pictures is now a deceased distributor. This film is based on a novel by Stephen King. King did write in another name for several years as Richard Bachman. This is a very good film that is sadly underrated. Don't miss this one.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2007
I can't believe George A. Romero directed this, save for the effects at the end.
Super Reviewer
½ December 3, 2006
Romero's second adaptation of a Stephen King novel (Creepshow was the first), and soon to be followed with From A Buick 8, The Dark Half explores a theme very close to King's heart: the writing rocess and the effect it has on readers, and consequently oneself.
Hutton plays a writer normally proud of his integrity, writing novels that receive critical appeal but little revenue, so he ghost-writes some action trash in order to make a fast buck. This is, of course, a Faustian pact, as Hutton soon finds himself cornerned by a guy onto his case. When a series of murders occur, he seems a likely candidate.
However, as with most King, the misdeeds are actually supernatural, carried out by an alter ego borne of said ghost-writing, and the assumed anger of the material. The theme is dealt with well to begin with, but hastily enters typical slasher territory, and even borrows a great deal from other, superior works, such as:
Tenebrae: writer influences/creates straight razor-wielding nutjob;
The Birds: avians as portents of doom, gathering gradually with Hutton's breakdown;
Misery/The Shining: writer's work seals own fate;
the work of David Lynch: killer is in fact a 50s bad-ass, his approach signified by inoffensive pop/rock & roll.
Not perfect by any means, but entertaining if one is willing to suspend sufficient disbelief. Hutton's Stark make-up is sensational.
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2010
A creepy well-made and acted supernatural thriller, based of a novel by Stephen King. About a successful writer superbly played by Timothy Hutton who decides to separate himself from his notorious nom de plume, when he is threatened with exposure, he announces the death of his alter ego, which causes his evil "Dark Half" to come to life, and go on a killing spree, making sure that all clues point to Hutton, making him the prime suspect. Fine direction by genre veteran George A. Romero, with some good suspense, and solid supporting performances from Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker, Julie Harris, Robert Joy and Chelsea Field. But the film belongs to Hutton in a very impressive dual turn as the passive writer and his murderous alter ego, who is almost unrecognizable with his cat-like walk, southern accent that is dead on, and slick back hair. A interesting and entertaining film. Highly Recommended.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2007
"The Dark Half" is a decent 90's horror flick that is interesting and well directed directed by George Romero BUT he wasted the oportunity to make it better;. iit is too long, sometimes boring and I stayed expecting more.
There's a decent amount of gore, suspense is well crafted, an effective score and regular acting.
Nothing great.
Super Reviewer
½ June 24, 2009
I've seen some pretty awful horror movies in my time, sometimes they don't even scare me they just put me too sleep. But this one is one of the better horror films I've seen lately. The Dark Half stars Timothy Hutton as Thadeus Beaumont who under his pen name George Stark writes horrific murder mysteries novels that shoot him to the top of the bestseller's list and make him know far and wide as the master of horror.But when Thad wants to break away form his other half he stages a mock funeral of George Stark so he can go out on his own, but soon enough the people who helped put George in the grave are suddenly dying left and right and the police have Thad pinned as the prime suspect, as the bodies continue to rise the possibility of Thad committing the murders are becoming less and less likely. Now Thad has only one shot to clear his name but how can he do it when everybody believes he's the killer? The Dark Half is a menacing and increasingly creepy horror mystery that will have you guessing and wondering until the credits roll, it's an amazingly well made film that's basked in mind blowing special effects, dark tones and eerie music that make you jump at the slightest noise. It's a movies that you will want to watch over and over again.
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2007
A nice attempt.
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2007
Piss poor adaptation of Stephen King
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2006
Loved it!
½ September 15, 2014
This is my absolute favorite Stephen King movie adaptation. I have watched this repeatedly and it never gets old. I just realized on this last viewing that Romero is the director on the movie and that just adds one more reason to love it.
February 9, 2010
the dark half starts in 1958 where thadous beaumont is sent to a hospitial for having strange seizures no one knows why then it goes present to present 1991 which we meet thad as an adult played by timothy hutton (the falcon and the snowman and tv's leverage) is now a teacher and a book writter one thing thad does not know is that he has an alter ego named george stark which george is a bookwritter of a different style and genre of books because thad's books didnt do very well on the store shelves so after thad and his wife liz played by amy madigan (uncle buck) go get their photo taken at a fake tombstone/grave of george stark things start to happen they all think it is fred clawson palyed by robert joy (tv's CSI:miami hills have eyes and land of the dead) but they find his corpse at his home so then it comes a who dunit picture but it is is still one of george romero's greatest horror film works of the 90's and with stephen king which the dark half is based on a book with the same name by stephen king highly recommended for any horror fan a great horror gem of it's time very unknown film though of king's film adaptions highly recommended very well done and disturbing film good job romero.
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