The Dark Half….could’ve been darker.
April 23, 1993
George A Romero
Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker
2.5 out of 5 Dark and scary source material did not translate well into the video realm
Being that two of my favorite people who were ever associated with the scary and macabre have their names on this movie, I was more than a little bit giddy to watch The Dark Half one late October night with a glass of chardonnay, or rather a bottle. Now that you know a little about my taste in horror…and my drinking habits, you will understand my disappointment in this movie. The Dark Half is directed by George A Romero and penned by Stephen King, I was expecting something ground breaking like Dawn of the Dead or as haunting as The Pet Sematary novel. But alas, no dice.
The movie begins with our protagonist, Thad Beaumont, giving a lecture on the intricacies of writing, being that he is an accomplished writer he has a full auditorium. When class is over, a dingy looking hoodlum approaches from the back, he proceeds to ask for an autograph for a novel that Beaumont has written under his secret pen name George Stark. The riff raff proceeds to try to blackmail Beaumont, telling everyone about his alter ego would affect his book sales on both ends, because the material that he is writing is vastly different and far more violent under his alias. Beaumont takes control of the situation and decides to tell the world of his alias on his own terms during a major magazine interview. When people involved in the article begin to die gruesomely, the sheriff of Beaumont’s home town grows suspicious Will they figure out “who-dunnit” in time before the killer reaches Beaumont and his family. Most likely.
The acting was very good, especially Rooker as the small town Sheriff, I must give credit where it is due. The acting was the only thing that made this movie bearable. The action was very slow to pick up, the death scenes and gore were surprisingly short for a Romero movie. The story did have its good moments, but for how heavily King’s writing is based on details, its adaptation did it no justice. It felt like Lifetime Network decided to dip its feet in the horror scene. Packed with more melodrama than you can shake a stick at. The development of characters was absent and the plot line seemed kind of sped up to fit the movies running time.
This is a film you should avoid watching, I find myself wanting to read the novel it was based on, because the story has awesome potential in the realm of literature.