On November 18th Scream Factory is putting out two George Romero horror films that are not Dead movies. The first one is Monkey Shines, see my previous review for that one; the second is The Dark Half, George Romero’s second horror film for Orion which was shelved for two years before it saw release. I honestly think this review is my first time seeing the film, let’s take a look:
The Dark Half (Click the title to order)
Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) is a writer who wrote several popular books under the pseudonym George Stark (Also Timothy Hutton). When a man threatens to reveal his pen name, Thad decides to come clean publicly and end George Stark. They have a photo shoot with a mock grave stone to kill off and bury George, only to have the pen name come to life, pull himself out of his grave, and begin framing Thad for a series of murders.
Sounds pretty cool right? It doesn’t come off so well in The Dark Half. The story is overly convoluted, with too many elements that require long explanations for what should be a pretty simple premise. The script is remarkably flat with scene after scene too on-the-nose exposition (I felt worst for Michael Rooker whose whole role is just to show up and inform Thad what’s happening in the rest of the film). The movie also manages to give away a lot of its plot twists early on so watching The Dark Half becomes an exercise of sitting for two hours waiting for the characters to figure out what you already know.
Similarly to Monkey Shines, Scream Factory went over and above to put in a lot of extras. It’s a wonderful touch since so many horror titles get dumped on disc with maybe at most a trailer for extras. The picture image is hi def but doesn’t appear to have had much cleaning up done. There are grain flaws and some rough patches throughout. It’s not terrible and unless you’re really looking for it, you might not even notice.
The cover has the poster art and the flipside is just shots from the film and is not reversible.
- NEW Audio Commentary with Writer/Director George A. Romero
- NEW The Sparrows Are Flying Again!: The Making of “The Dark Half” – An all-new retrospective with Writer/Director George A. Romero, Producer Declan Baldwin, Actors Michael Rooker, Robert Joy, Rutanya Alda and John Amplas, Composer Christopher Young, Special Make-Up Effects Creators John Vulich and Everett Burrell, Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin Kutchaver, Second Unit Director Tom Dubensky and Editor Pasquale Buba (36 Minutes)
- Deleted Scenes
- Animated Storyboards for the original ending
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage – Special Effects and On the Set
- Vintage “Making of THE DARK HALF” plus additional interview clips
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spot
- Still Gallery
1080p Hi-Def widescreen 1.78:1
DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo
English-only Audio & Subtitles
Original Release: 1993
Runtime: 122 minutes
Story: B / So Stephen King it’s almost a ciche.
Presentation quality: B / Not as refined as some of their other titles.
Scare factor: C / The tension is a bit of a flop.
Gore Factor: C+ / Not much and sloppily done.
Repeat view-ability: D / I found it a bit of a bore but fans will be happy to have it on Blu.
Adam Ruhl is a writer and life long Cinephile. He is the Executive
Cinema Editor of Pop Culture Beast’s Austin branch; covering festivals,
conventions, and new releases. When not filing reports, Adam can be
found stalking Alamo Drafthouse Programmers for leads on upcoming
DrafthouseFilms titles. Adam once blocked Harry Knowles entrance to a
theater until he was given extra tickets to a Roman Polanski movie.