The Dark Half (1993) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: George Romero
Producers: Declan Baldwin
Writers: George Romero
Date Released: April 23, 1993
Timothy Hutton as Thad Beaumont and George Stark
Amy Madigan as Liz Beaumont
Michael Rooker as Sheriff Alan Pangborn
Julie Harris as Reggie Delesseps
Robert Joy as Fred Clawson
Royal Dano as Digger Holt
Rutanya Alda as Miriam Cowley
Tom Mardirosian as Rick Cowley
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about an author who, at a very young age, was discovered to have an undeveloped twin in his head. In his adult life, Thad Beaumont had been a successful author under the pseudonym of George Stark writing a different genre. When someone discovered that Thad and George are one and the same, Thad decided to kill off the identity of George. But his twin managed to physically manifest into George and use the personality of one of the characters in the book. He starts killing people and made a deal with Thad to make him materialize permanently in this world by writing about him. It is up to Thad to stop his evil twin and clear his name from the killings once and for all.
The opening scene included a very gory depiction of an undeveloped twin living inside the brain with eyeballs and teeth. It further escalates into a physical manifestation with disintegrating skin and bleeding face. There are also a lot of bloody kills in this movie including pencil stabs. At some points, there were also a few jump scares. But the longest and most notable sequence was when George was attacked by the birds. It showed how the birds entered through the shelf right until the pecking part and what’s left of his skeleton was taken away to a hole in the sky.
The Grave Review
The best part of this movie is Timothy Hutton’s brilliant performance as Thad and George. With completely different personalities and different looks, Hutton was able to portray the characters well. There can even be a time when audiences would think that Thad and George were played by 2 different actors. Michael Rooker as Alan Pangborn was also good but not enough screen time.
Aside from the acting, this story from Stephen King about a manifestation of an unborn twin enveloped in an alter ego is already an interesting concept in itself.
The only problem is the lack of explanation about how the alter ego manifested. It’s a bit confusing that a villainous character suddenly appeared out of nowhere and starts a killing spree. It was also not explained where the sparrows come from or the hole in the sky where the skeletal remains were carried.
For more than 2 hours running time, the movie failed to explain what happened to Thad after George was gone. There were many questions left unanswered such as if Alan Pangborn was already convinced that Thad was innocent or if Thad was able to explain how everything happened.
The shocking opening sequence complete with the moving eyeballs in the brain was a bit overhyped in the sense that the development of the other twin was not further explained. The huge time jump of 23 years in the movie failed to explore more about Thad’s childhood and mental capacity to manifest his evil twin.
As with any Stephen King adaptation, the ending was abrupt, showing the scene where George’s skeleton was taken away by birds to a closing hole in the sky.
Overall, this movie is recommended for fans of Stephen King and those interested in evil alter egos.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Dark Half (1993) three graves out of five graves.
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