The Dark Half Reviews
(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
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.