the fresh films reviews

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The Dark Half (1993)

George A. Romero



Den andre siden

117 minutes

Declan Baldwin
Screenwriter (based on the novel by Stephen King):
George A. Romero

Cast includes:

Thad Beaumont/George Stark Timothy Hutton
Liz Beaumont Amy Madigan
Young Thad Beaumont Patrick Brannan
Fred Clawson Robert Joy
Digger Holt Royal Dano -
Alan Pangborn Michael Rooker
Annie Pangborn Chelsea Field -



Stephen King returned to familiar territory and motifs in his 1989 novel "The Dark Half" about a writer who kills off his successful nom de plume George Stark after a reader connects the dots and tries to blackmail him. The premise was largely based on King's own experience from when his pen name Richard Bachman was outed by a bookstore clerk in the mid-80s. And this film adaptation by George A. Romero borrows at least as heavily from its predecessors as King did with his novel: a writer and his evil alter ego (The Shining), people coming inexplicably back to life after being buried (Pet Sematary), and greaser-style apparitions from the 1960s reappearing in vintage muscle cars (Sometimes They Come Back). That's not to say that this amalgam of familiar King concepts couldn't be made to work and feel fresh again, but Romero is quite a bit off that mark. Although there is potential in the Thad Beaumont/George Stark connection and Tim Hutton does well with distinguishing them, Romero fails in creating any sort of suspense to accompany the mystery. All his murder/horror segments are telegraphed by being overstylized they are so genre-bound that they never go past your sensory organs and reach your gut. And although the film's basic mystery may keep you fascinated despite the lack of suspense, the conclusion will most likely leave you intellectually underwhelmed. The Dark Half was filmed in 1990-91, but delayed for two years due to Orion Pictures' financial troubles at the time.

Re-reviewed: Copyright 06.10.2021 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright 17.06.1996 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang