Critic Reviews



Based on 17 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The Dark Half is an exceptionally entertaining film of its kind. Only Stanley Kubrick has ever adapted a King novel (The Shining) in such a way that the ending remains as satisfyingly spooky as the beginning.
San Francisco Chronicle
The Dark Half is another retelling of the Jekyll and Hyde story, but King and Romero fail to work out the premise of the story. [23 Apr 1993, p.C3]
The writer's desk intriguingly becomes a gladitorial arena for warring manifestations of the same personality in The Dark Half, George A. Romero's adaptation of Stephen King's 1989 bestseller, a classic Jekyll-and-Hyde story.
It's an uncommonly mature and intelligent chiller, particularly in a period when the genre has devolved into wisecracking fiends and empty special effects showcases.
Now this is a terrific premise for a thriller, and director George Romero (The Night of the Living Dead) sets it up with skill and style. Unfortunately, the film's biggest disappointment is that it doesn't develop its preternatural opening theme.
For a while, The Dark Half is a compelling study, in chiller guise, of an artist wrestling with his creative demons. But Stark is a real terror only in the shadows. When he emerges, all we see is Hutton — in a showy makeup job — struggling to change his wimp image.
The most frightening thing about this movie is that King and Romero actually thought it was scary.
Romero does his best to streamline the flabby storyline and gets some extraordinarily subtle performances from a great cast, but King's malformed original keeps hobbling the film.
Romero's film starts out well and clearly benefits from some higher-on-the-line elements, ranging from the cast to the cinematography of Tony Pierce-Roberts (A Room With a View, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge). But like too many King transfers to the screen, it falls apart in the last reel.
The Dark Half never really comes to life, even in Romero's capable hands, this seemingly surefire story ends up stillborn.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for The Dark Half (1993) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews