A medieval reenactment troupe find it increasingly difficult to keep their family-like group together, with pressure from local law enforcement, interest from entertainment agents and a growing sense of delusion from their leader.
When Thad Beaumont was a child, he had an operation to remove a tumour from his brain. during the operation, it was discovered that far from being a tumor, the growth was a twin brother of Thad's that never developed. Years later, Thad is a successful author, writing his serious books under his own name, and his pulp money-makers under the pseudonum "George Stark". When blackmailed by someone who has discovered his secret, Thad publically "buries" George Stark. From that point on, Thad increasingly becomes the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
George Romero didn't translate King's book to the letter when he made this screenplay; perhaps for the better because his version is an equally interesting take.
Starring Timothy Hutton as a famous pulp novelist writing under the name of George Stark, the main character works; Thad Beaumont is clumsy, intelligent and quite the family man. Married to Amy Madigan and a father of twins.
When someone threatens to expose Thad for the pulp writer he is, Beaumont decides to let the world know he is George Stark. Good call you'd think, but George disagrees.
Thad's friends and family become the target of a guy going by the name of "George Stark". Like the characters in the books he has a taste for underground killings and a flair for rock 'n' roll one liners.
As the killings continue, Thad becomes entangled in an investigation directed at him.
This material is at fist glance unknown territory for George Romero, having spend too much time writing dialogue for zombie victims. Sure, Martin and Monkey Shines were proof the man could write a good script, but "the dark half" is as clever in its writing as it is to the point.
Add to that a wonderful score by Christopher Young (you haven't lived until you've heard the main theme, reprized at full glory in the end credits) The American DVD is full screen, the European (UK) has the widescreen, so avoid that US edition.
Dark Half is an inventive thriller that relies very much on the steps of belief (it builds the fiction, which few horror films do).
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