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The Dark Half (1993)

R  |   |  Horror, Mystery  |  23 April 1993 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 10,870 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 61 critic

A writer's fictional alter-ego wants to take over his life...at any price.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Thad Beaumont / George Stark
...
Liz Beaumont
...
...
Reggie Delesseps
...
Kent Broadhurst ...
Mike Donaldson
...
Shayla Beaumont
...
Miriam Cowley
...
Rick Cowley
Larry John Meyers ...
Dr. Pritchard
Patrick Brannan ...
Young Thad Beaumont
...
Digger Holt
Glenn Colerider ...
Homer Gamache
Sarah Parker ...
Wendy Beaumont / William Beaumont
Elizabeth Parker ...
Wendy Beaumont / William Beaumont
Edit

Storyline

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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There are very good reasons to be afraid of the dark. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La mitad siniestra  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$9,579,068 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the prologue of this Stephen King adaptation, Thad Beaumont wants to become a writer and is shown writing stories. The title of his first typewritten story is "Here There Be Tygers", which is also the real title of the first short story King wrote in his career. The story can be found in King's "Skeleton Crew" anthology. See more »

Goofs

When Stark opens his straight razor to threaten Marian in her apartment, the sound effect is that of a switch blade opening. A straight razor opening would make no sound at all. See more »

Quotes

Thad Beaumont: [teaching] Most of us keep that inner-being lock up, hidden away. A fiction writer doesn't have to do that. He doesn't have to hide it. He doesn't have to keep it from anything. He can let it out, bring it out into the open. Let it live, let it breathe. Hell, he can let it party - give it the car keys, let it ride!
Male Student: Yes!
See more »

Connections

Features Mister Ed (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Are You Lonesome To-night?
By Roy Turk & Lou Handman
Performed by Elvis Presley
Courtesy of the RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A film that deserves far more than it's given credit for
28 March 2006 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

Somewhere in the dark recesses of over-fluffed and processed Stephen King movie adaptations, there lies this jewel of a film: "The Dark Half."

After having it watched it about three times, I'm still quite at a loss as to why this movie has been, more or less, forgotten or simply passed over by the horror movie community. Not only is it a fairly neat adaptation of a great King novel, but it's also directed and written by a true horror movie icon: the one and only George Romero. Isn't this the kind of "team-up" that fans would, under normal circumstances, go absolutely bananas over? I know that I did.

Anyway ... the movie is about a writer, Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton), whose past - quite literally - comes back to haunt him. As a young man, he wrote pulpy crime novels (that I can only imagine were directly inspired by Richard Stark's hardboiled, master thief, Parker) that sold well ... though his literary yearnings tended to veer toward a much less marketable direction. We learn that when he was writing those pulps, his personality suffered. He drank, yelled at his wife, probably slept around, too. Having successfully exorcised that particular demon, when we meet him, Beaumont has a couple kids and an office at some New England university, teaching - you guessed it - creative writing. But when the bodies of folks close to him (i.e.: his agent, biographer) begin cropping up, the small-town police fun finger is pointed at Beaumont. But ... there's a much more sinister twist in this jet-black yarn. We learn that Beaumont indeed has a "dark half."

The direction is perfect, the writing is perfect, the acting is perfect. What more do you want in a film? I'm not exactly certain what King's response was to this film ... I've heard rumors that if he's not directly involved in the production process, he generally scoffs at the final film product. (For example ... he's all but urinated on all the goodness that was Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of "The Shining," which not only marked a substantial turning point in horror cinema, but it's also one of my personal favorites.) Then again ... from what I understand to be true of King and Romero both ... they're friends. Hell, they made "Creepshow" together ... which is another favorite of mine, though I'm more than just a little bit guilty about it.

"The Dark Half" also does one hell of a job at creating a genuinely creepy atmosphere. And who could listen to "Are You Lonesome Tonight" again the same way ... after hearing its soft melodies during a particularly uncomfortable dream sequence?

All of this, compounded with the fact that Timothy Hutton is a damned fine actor (albeit sinfully unknown by most these days) ... makes "The Dark Half" an explosively well made horror/thriller. The proverbial mind meld of King and Romero made "Creepshow" an instant cult classic. So, I ask again ... why was "The Dark Half" a blink-or-you'll-miss-it flop? Maybe these horror titans just can't share the same marquee, anymore.

I dunno.


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