Scream Factory gives horror fans the first ever Blu-ray release of George A. Romero’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dark Half.” There are a number of movies I somehow missed seeing in my younger years and this was one of them. I went into it with an open mind and really wanted to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I found it to be somewhat tedious and slow-going.
Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) has made a living writing murder novels under the pseudonym George Stark. He decides to expose the truth to the world after he is threatened with blackmail by a man who discovered his alter ego. The writer participates in a publicity stunt that kills off Stark and leaves the character buried in a grave. Soon after, the people who encouraged Thad to reveal his secret turn up brutally slain. Is he committing the crimes or is someone else seeking revenge on those who ended Stark's literary killing spree?
“The Dark Half” is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1). The video quality is clean and provides a great viewing experience. The drawback is that the limitations of the special effects are evident with such a clear picture. The practical makeup and gore effects still look great and make you long for the days before CGI.
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround mix plunges home audiences into the disturbing psyche of Timothy Hutton’s character. You’ll find yourself swatting in the air as hundreds of bird wings flap around you. The musical score and dialogue are well-balanced, audible, and easy on the ears.
“The Dark Half” is rated R for violence and language. There are some truly gory scenes to be found and a lot of blood gets splashed around onscreen. The movie still feels tame in comparison to what we’re served up today.
It's hard for me to report my disappointment with "The Dark Half" with so much talent and effort put into its creation. Timothy Hutton does a good job transitioning between his two personalities, but still goes overboard in his performances. The outcome of Romero’s work is underwhelming in this case. However, you can tell his heart and soul were in the right place. George A. Romero and Stephen King enthusiasts will still find the Blu-ray upgrade an essential addition to their home entertainment libraries thanks to loads of bonus material and its digital restoration.
"The Dark Half" is available now on Blu-ray.