30 November 2014

THE DARK HALF

THE DARK HALF

German Title:
Stephen King's Stark - The Dark Half

USA, 1993
Director: George A. Romero

8/10








Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name,
horror legend George A. Romero created one of the most interesting, yet still most underrated movies of his career, following Thad Beaumont, respectable but unsuccessful writer of cerebral fiction whose pseudonym George Stark (much more successful 'writer' of brutal crime novels) suddenly becomes a physical entity and starts to threaten his and his family's life...


It might be not as impressive as Romero's zombie films, not as incredible as other King adaptations like "The Shining" or "Misery", but compared to most of Romero's post-"Day of the Dead" work, it's still simply awesome. "The Dark Half" is not just a damn great adaptation of a damn great novel (one of my personal King favorites), it's also a very well directed horror-thriller, packed with great scares, ace kills, fantastic actors and a superb early 90s atmosphere that strongly resembles films like "The Guardian" or "The Hands That Rocks the Cradle".

Timothy Hutton is pitch-perfect in the double role, delivering a sympathetic goodie and a super-violent, super-fascinating baddie who starts to look creepier and creepier in evey single scene, thanks to the fact that his entity quickly starts to decay. There's also many other fine performances by Amy Madigan, Julie Harris and the great Michael Rooker, best known for his performance in the 80s classic "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer".


Aside from being flawlessly directed, it's also a very well photographed (Tony Pierce-Roberts, "Underworld"), very well lit movie (love the scene in the corridor with the red and blue lights) with a brilliantly effective soundtrack by musical genius Christopher Young ("Hellraiser II", "Elm Street 2", "Sinister"),
excellent gore & makeup effects, as well as many unforgettably striking scenes, like the opening with the fetus in Beaumont's brain, the slightly Hitchcockian bird attacks, or the dream sequence with the porcelain faces, as well as the creepy use of Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome Tonight?".


It's a shame how forgotten and overlooked "The Dark Half" is. Not only has it been a box office bomb, thanks to the fact that it was shot in 1990/1991, but not released until 1993 due to the bankruptcy of Orion Pictures, no, it seems to be really forgotten! Talk with horror fans about Romero or King and you will notice that none of them ever mentions this movie. Why? I have no idea. "The Dark Half" is a fabulous movie and I could watch it over and over again.

Wiki ~ Imdb

8 comments:

  1. One of my favorite movies. One of my favorite Stephen King books to. The movie does the book justice just a few changes. I have always felt this was an underrated film, in my belief anyways. Great write it, and I have watched it over and over again and it never fails to entertain me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent film, excellent book - both highly underrated, both never fail to entertain me too :)

      Delete
  2. AGREED! It is criminally underrated, I would go so far to say, because I have always loved the story and the book. Romero's execution of it was perfect, and it's actually pretty odd that horror fans seem to ignore it because it does have awesome effects like the ones you mentioned. Timothy Hutton is indeed perfect in the role and I think he is what really makes the movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's as underrated as Hutton who's one of the most overlooked actors of the last 40 years. Romero was the perfect director for this adaptation. It's a shame he didn't do any other King adaptations after TDH.

      Delete
  3. Always thought this was an excellent film. It was one of my favorite King books so I was very happy with the movie translation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't argue with that, Daniel. Superb adaptation of a superb book!

      Delete
  4. I'm in with all of you - saw it in the theater opening day and loved it. I actually have only seen it one time since - thinking it might be time to watch again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally! It's great adaptation and not dated at all.

      Delete

Total Pageviews

:-)

:-)