The Dark Half is a horror / thriller by George A. Romero, who we off course know from movies such as Creepshow and Dawn of the Dead. Like Creepshow, the Dark Half was also based on a book / story by Stephen King, who also wrote such stories as It, Carrie and Cujo (some titles that come to mind).
But off course, those of you who haven’t seen (or read) The Dark Half yet, are anxious to know a little bit more about this story, so I will lift a tiny bit of the curtain for you:
The main character of the film is called Thad Beaumont; he is a very successful writer. Thad, however, never chose to become a writer. No, something mysterious inside of him forces him to write and has been doing so ever since Thad was only a child.
When Thad was a little boy, he was suffering from intense pains and bird noises in his head and one day he just collapsed and was taken to a hospital by his mother. There, the doctors removed an eye, that was absorbed in Thad’s brain, but that had grown to full size.
Now, Thad is thirty years old, happily married, the proud father of twins, gives lectures at a school and writes books about a very violent character under the successful pseudonym of George Stark.
One day, however, a man comes to Thad and tries to blackmail him with going to the press and telling them about George Stark’s real identity. Thad then decides to ‘kill off’ George Stark by arranging a symbolical funeral for him.
After this funeral however, a series of murders starts taking place and Thad ends up to be the prime suspect, this is because Thad wrote the words ‘The sparrows are flying again’ on a piece of paper, while he was in some sort of trance and those exact words have been found by the police, written in blood, on the wall at one of the murder scenes.
It is then that Thad realizes that George Stark came back from the dead to take revenge for burying him.
There, that’s as far as I’m lifting that curtain I was talking about.
Although it might seem like I gave a lot of the plot away, I didn’t, because the entire story that I just wrote is just the beginning of it all, because the real suspense starts when George Stark comes back and starts his killing spree, but let’s take a look at the movie, shall we?
The first thing I have to mention is the story, that is off course very well written. Although, I wouldn’t expect anything less from such a talent like Stephen King. The most interesting part of the story is that this isn’t a ‘whodunnit’ or even a ‘whydunnit’, because it is obvious from the beginning that it is Thad Beaumont’s dark alter ego, George Stark, that is killing all those people and that he is doing it to take revenge for his funeral.
No, the interesting part of the story is to find out what the hell is going on, why and how George Stark became a living person all of a sudden and what his real motives are (for coming (back) to life that is). The least I can say, is that it will remain full of suspense until the ending.
Another very nice thing about the movie is the music, that was done by none less than Christopher Young and who really gave a beautiful score to the movie. The music sounds very dark and really adds something to the suspense, in stead of just being there for decoration.
Then, there’s the acting, which is very good. It kept me glued to my television screen for almost two hours, so I guess that makes it convincing enough. Especially Timothy Hutton is very nice. He really makes you believe that George and Thad are two different persons, while they are off course both played by him.
Finally, there’s the special-(make-up)effects by Tom Savini. Those, also, are very nice. It’s just too bad that the movie doesn’t have any real gore in it, so we could have seen some more of Tom Savini’s work.
The Dark Half is an entertaining horror / thriller with loads of suspense and a great story, that also has one minor disadvantage. After seeing the film once, you don’t want to see it again, because without the suspense of the story, there isn’t really a lot left to entertain you. It’s a great movie to rent, but it’s not worth buying…