The Dark Half Reviews
March 31, 2012
During the 1980's and early 1990's, there were several George A. Romero and Stephen King collaborations, Creepshow being the most successful of the bunch. These projects weren't always the best the two men had to offer, but they were fun and inventive. The Dark Half was not only the final film of Romero's to be shot in Pittsburgh, but also the final project that King and Romero ever collaborated on. While Stephen King had little to no impact on the movie itself, George A. Romero wrote his screenplay using as much of King's original novel as possible. A couple of character changes were made, as was the ending, but it more or less translated well from book to screen, being one of the better King adaptations, in my opinion. Probably the best thing about the movie is Timothy Hutton's performance as George Stark. He's quite effective in both roles, but it's Stark where he really gets to stretch and be a pretty nasty character. Michael Rooker is also surprisingly down-to-earth in his role as a small town sheriff with a strong moral fiber. Amy Madigan also does some good work as Thad's wife, trying her best to remain strong for her husband, even when he's accused of murder. In the long run, these performances are what really drive the movie and make it worth watching, more so than the special effects or the story.
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.
August 17, 2014
Awesome. The slow bits are few and far between, considering the length of this movie. Every single moment is worth the final death scene.
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.
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.
October 15, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
(1991) The Dark Half
Based on the Stephen King novel centering on the Timothy Hutton character as Thad Beaumont making a big hit by going under the pseudo name George Stark the other name he goes by upon writing the popular horror-like books character. And then things takes a turn for the worst when he gets blackmailed by a sleazy person who found out that Beaumont is really Stark.
The film was interesting on the first half but we're left with many un answered questions as the film progresses such as what does Stark has to gain upon killing off some of it's victims, and why is there a lack of proper police incompetence police procedures. Also, viewers are unable to grasp or make sense how George Stark came to be a real person since he's originally supposed to be a part of Beaumont's brain, at least that's what it looked like from the beginning.
2 out of 4 stars
August 24, 2013
George Romero has directed some pretty interesting films that do not have the word "dead" in the title, and even though it falters mostly in the second act, I would still count "The Dark Half" as one of them. There are a lot of interesting ideas here courtesy of the Stephen King novel that this is based on, and Romero translates them well to the film with his smart screenplay. Some work better than others, however.
The idea of an alter-ego being born out of one twin being absorbed by the other one during gestation is fascinating and leads to a ghastly and memorable opening to the picture, but the ever-present sparrows being a symbol of transporting one's soul to the next life seems silly and unconvincing. It's a mixed bag, as is the film itself.
The second half drags, and the whole thing feels about a half hour longer that it really needed to be. Timothy Hutton is generic and genial enough to portray a sympathetic lead character, but he doesn't have what it takes to play that alter ego of George Stark convincingly. The death scenes here that require him to be pure evil do not carry much weight. However, Michael Rooker is quite good in a supporting role. I'm fairly certain that the film would have been a lot better had him and Hutton switched roles. Rooker definitely has what it takes to be menacing.
The film itself is beautifully shot by Romero, but the story isn't involving enough to hold your interest. The book was solid, but as a movie, "The Dark Half" shows a lot of promise early on but there's not enough to sustain it for the entire run time. You simply cannot fault the director, but a lot of the novel's weightier themes are definitely lost in translation.
July 26, 2013
This Stephen King and George Romero collaboration is not awful, but not good either.
September 24, 2009
A good story by Stephen King.
I liked the movie. For a moment you might think it is something similar to A beautiful Mind but with the movie progress it turns out something different.
May 27, 2013
Not in the same league as "The Shining" or "Misery" when it comes to King adaptations, but it does stand alongside some of the second tier adaptations, like "Needful Things" or "It". The story is essentially King making a thriller out of his own pseudonym, Richard Bachman. In this story a successful writer of trashy pulp, Timothy Hutton, reveals his true identity and announces the end his writing career as George Stark, instead writing more important of stories. The problem is that the vicious main character from the Stark novels has come to life and begin terrorizing everyone in Hutton's life. The story has an interesting premiss and Hutton give an earnest performance, but what amounts to an evil twin story almost automatically (outside of maybe "Dead Ringers") enters the land of campiness, which this film does not escape. I'm a huge Romero fan and there are quite a few regulars from the Romero stock company involved in the film, which helps, but it's not the best from either Romero or King. The film does get big kudos for some nice gory practical effects. I'm always giddy with excitement to see practical special effects versus just about every film nowadays over using CGI instead.
April 9, 2013
Interesting, but bad effects and predictable.
February 2, 2013
i got 1 hour 12 minutes into it hoping for anything to actually happen.
December 7, 2012
The Dark Half
Synopsis: 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 whi...
Starring: Timothy Hutton
Directed by: George A. Romero
November 23, 2012
It's been years since I've read the book, but as I recall, this seems to be a page by page match.
November 16, 2012
One of the Better Stephen King adaptations! A creepy horror/thriller with a thrilling ending.
|Noah Abraham G.||
October 20, 2012
"The Dark Half" isn't as scary as it could be, but it makes up for that by being consistently interesting. Some aspects don't work, but it's an entertaining, well-acted and pretty intriguing motion picture.
November 12, 2012
The problem here is that King's book doesn't make a whole lot of sense... as such, the film - which stays true to the source material - also comes up a bit short. Still, it has some wonderful setpieces and Timothy Hutton gives the performance of his career. Romero's dark humor is also very much in evidence.
February 23, 2010
Rec by Dannyrovira. Thank you!
October 8, 2012
Maybe this was great when it came out, but I watched it right after reading the book and I found it awful.
September 5, 2012
This is one of George A. Romero's best work as a filmmaker and his most adult as well. It is faithfully adapated from the Stephen King novel, which Romero also wrote the screenplay. Hutton is terrific in a dual role performance. Which Hutton also appear in another King adapation years later in a supporting role "Secret Window". The premise is a good one. It has solid supporting performances by Madigan and Rooker. Joy is a good in his bit-part as a sleazy hustler, who knows Hutton's character secret. Which Joy worked with Romero in a memorable supporting role in "Land of the Dead". Harris is amusing as Hutton's only friend. The movie slows down a bit towards the second half. But it gets back on its feet with a thrilling, suspenseful, third act. Hutton is certainly darkly humourous as his dangerous alter ego George Stark, who becomes real somehow. This needs to be rediscover, i think "The Dark Half" is a sadly forgotten horror fantasy thriller that got lost, when it was first released. I loved this movie. One of the underrated horror movies of the 1990's and one of the best.