Masters of horror Stephen King (The Shining) and George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead) have created a "gripping, creepy, frightening" (L.A. Reader) film that "thrills, shocks and works us over" (Los Angeles Times)! F... more »eaturing an "intelligent screenplay and first-rate cast" (The New York Times), including OscarĀ(r) winner* Timothy Hutton, The DarkHalf will keep you captivated to the chilling end. Horror writer Thad Beaumont (Hutton) hopes to distance himself from his murder novels and from George Stark, the name he has used to anonymously author them. To achieve this, he cooks up a murder of his own: a publicity stunt that should lay Stark to rest forever. But when the people around him are found gruesomely slainand his own fingerprints dot the crime scenesBeaumont is dumbfounded until he learns that Stark has taken on a life of his own and begun a gruesome quest for vengeance! *1980: Supporting Actor, Ordinary People« less
Aimee S. (Ariadnae) from SCOTTOWN, OH Reviewed on 11/21/2008...
This is a good film, and a rare one in that it stays fairly true to the Stephen King novel of the same name. Timothy Hutton does a great job in his dual roles. A recommended film.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
It's Only Half Good.
tvtv3 | Sorento, IL United States | 12/04/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE DARK HALF is about a famous writer, Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton), who has been writing very successful thrillers under a different name, George Stark. When a little weasle from out of town threatens to blackmail Beaumont and blow his cover, he decides to let the world know that there is no George Stark and that he has been writing the best-selling books all along. But, what if there really is a George Stark? And what if George Stark wasn't totally real, but a part of Thad that was cut away a long time ago? And what if that George Stark came to life and starting killing people like the characters in his books do? That pretty much sums up the plot of THE DARK HALF. The movie ends in a climatic battle of the wills between Thad and George.The film contains some pretty decent acting, especially by Timothy Hutton who plays both Beumont and Stark. The directing is done by horror master George Romero and is almost faultless. Nevertheless, more so because of a lackluster script than anything else, the movie never reaches it's full potential. The movie has a great premise, an interesting plot, and begins as an enthralling thriller. However, about a third of the way through, things start to loosen up and fall apart. The mood changes and instead of an enthralling thriller, the movie feels more like a semi-suspenseful dark comedy. In the last act, the movie picks up steam again, but not enough to overcome the shortcomings of the second act. It's not a film I would recommend to buy, but it's a great movie to rent."
Good, but not Great Adaptation
Ryan Costantino | Nowhere, Special | 08/22/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Dark Half is my favorite Stephen King book and so naturally I wanted the movie to be just as good. Unfortunately I can't say that it is, although the film is somewhat true to the book. However, what comes across as eerie, creepy, or cool in the book comes across as silly and corny for much of the movie. The surgery scene, for example, where "George" is incised from Thad's head is hilarious if you haven't read the book, what with the eyeball staring out, almost as if it's saying "Feed Me"! In the book it was pretty darn scary. Performance wise, Timothy Hutton is right on, either as Thad Beaumont or George Stark. and the story is, like I said, pretty true to the book. But even the presence of the sparrows is laughable, again, if you haven't read the book. Now when I saw this I did have flashbacks to the actual reading of the book, and there were some genuine chills. But the book slays the movie any old day. Bottom line, if you're a serious Stephen King fan and you have to have everything with his name on it, go ahead and buy this movie. Or if you loved the book and want the film adaptation buy it as well. But if you're an occasional Stephen King fan or if you haven't read the book first, stay the hell away from this movie. I have to give George Romero credit for sticking with key elements of the book in his script, and some pretty good direction. But what scares in a book, in the mind's eye, doesn't necessarily translate to the silver screen!"
yzh1 | New York | 01/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"well done movie. i liked the lines alot (like george stark by the fireplace saying "you're disturbing my peaceful frame of mind" and when thad is talking to davidson the reporter "yes i'll forgive you. but i dont think george will. as a matter of fact...". the acting for the dual role was also done well. the twin babies were really good with the appropriate expressions showing up at times. I only didnt like the ending. theres no explanation why the birds took george, as he appeared to be winning. it was just an unlikely way to end, and disappointing, as if god had just stepped in and said "OK enough of george-outta the pool" the hero didnt win the battle"
Underrated adaptation from Romero
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 06/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stephen King's The Dark Half is one of the few big screen adaptations of his work to actually be pretty good. Zombie meister George Romero adapted King's tale, which features Timothy Hutton as a writer attempting to put an end to his popular, horror writing, pen name alter ego, but gets a big surprise instead. Soon enough, he's literally struggling with himself while trying to protect his family, all concluding in one of the most memorable endings you'll ever see in a big screen King adaptation. While it may be longer than it had to have been, Romero successfully weaves a film that does King's work justice while also putting a bit of his own spin on it at the same time. The gore and makeup effects are very well done as well, and the cast, which also includes Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker, Julie Harris, and Robert Joy (who would be in Romero's Land of the Dead a little over a decade later) also take memorable turns, but it's Hutton who shines above the rest in one of the best performances of his entire career. All in all, The Dark Half is not only an underrated King adaptation, but it's one of Romero's most underrated films as well, and regardless of you being a fan of either or both horror maestros, The Dark Half is definitely worth a look."
Stephanie Yamamoto | Everett, WA United States | 07/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film had a pretty good idea behind it, but should've been better planned. Basically, you can't anylize this movie or you'll end up frustrated.Tim Hutton does a great job, and he's pretty darn cute, so he makes up for the poor plot."