When people think George Romero, they think zombies. That’s certainly fair enough considering nearly all modern depictions of zombies are derivative of his Night trilogy (which remains superior to virtually all of these copycats). However, the unfortunate side effect of this reputation is that some of Romero’s work tends to go forgotten. And The Dark Half is no exception.
Adapted from a novel of the same name written by Stephen King, The Dark Half follows Thad Beaumont, a writer who moonlights as gritty thriller novelist George Stark to pay the bills. Eventually found out by a would-be blackmailer, Beaumont decides to come clean and have a symbolic burial for his pseudonym. But it isn’t long before the grave is found empty and people connected to the mock funeral start turning up dead, leaving Beaumont as the prime suspect.
Despite mixed reviews, this movie has a lot going for it. Timothy Hutton does a great job playing both the hero and villain, switching between the two convincingly for the entirety of the film. The story also remains refreshingly original (I honestly can’t think of another full-length doppelganger horror movie off the top of my head) and is quite well executed in terms of its pacing and tension.
So, if a unique horror concept mixed with thriller elements sounds interesting to you, give this one a try. I think you’ll have a good time.