For those of you following Popcorn Cinema Show’s movie reviews you probably already know I’m a horror fan. In particular I love a good Stephen King story but I also like the work of director George A. Romero. Well I’m in for a treat as the film I’m taking a look at here combines the two. However just before I become too carried away there might be a problem. The Dark Half (1993) has just been released on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment. That’s usually a sign of poor picture quality but fingers crossed that’s not the case here. So without further ado here’s my The Dark Half blu-ray review.
- The Dark Half (1993)
- Genre: Horror
- Directed by George A. Romero
- Story by Stephen King
- UK Rating 18
- Discs: 2 (Blu-ray & DVD)
- Released By Eureka Entertainment
- Blu-ray Released: 14 October 2019
As a schoolboy Thad Beaumont suffers from a strange affliction. It results in him hearing the sound of birds. He also has a passion for writing. However when he collapses whilst waiting for the school bus doctors find a strange type of tumour located in his head. Years later Thad is married with two children, he’s also the author of some hugely successful novels that some may consider low brow. For this reason he pens them under the name of George Stark.
Following a visit by a man threatening to expose Thad Beaumont as the real author, Thad decides to go public and in doing so kills off George Stark. However killing George Stark is about to create a whole host of problems as it appears George doesn’t want to go quietly.
Style / Direction
The films directed by George A. Romero and his skill and craft show. This all ends up resulting in a bit of masterpiece.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Christopher Young.
Acting / Characters
The acting all feels very real and that really does help to bring this Stephen King story to life. Timothy Hutton stars as Thad Beaumont, a man with a dark half. He plays these roles exceptionally well.
- Timothy Hutton as Thad Beaumont and George Stark
- Amy Madigan as Liz Beaumont
- Michael Rooker as Sheriff Alan Pangborn
- Julie Harris as Reggie Delesseps
- Robert Joy as Fred Clawson
- Chelsea Field as Annie Pangborn
- Royal Dano as Digger Holt
- Rutanya Alda as Miriam Cowley
- Beth Grant as Shayla Beaumont
- Kent Broadhurst as Mike Donaldson
- Tom Mardirosian as Rick Cowley
- Glenn Colerider as Homer Gamache
Conclusion: The Dark Half (1993) Film Review
Stephen King / George A. Romero story and film are quite simply fabulous. I really loved the story and the way in which Romero brings it to life on the big screen. I highly recommend watching this excellent horror story and/or reading King’s novel The Dark Half.
If you enjoyed my The Dark Half blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:
Conclusion: The Dark Half Blu-ray Review
You’ve probably worked out that I love this film right? If only I could say the same for this Eureka Entertainment Blu-ray/DVD release. All of the same issues I’ve had with Eureka’s previous output remain with this release. Put simply they release whatever film they can obtain the rights regardless of picture quality. They certainly have no intention of restoring the film up to an acceptable level unlike the likes of Arrow Video, Powerhouse Films or Second Sight Films. In the main those companies seem to genuinely care about the films they release and their potential customers, movie lovers!
With that out of the way let me turn my attention squarely to The Dark Half. Let’s get one thing straight it’s more than watchable but for someone upgrading to Blu-ray I think we all deserve a nice clean print. Sadly that’s simply not the case here. There are marks throughout the film’s two hours that are more than a little annoying. Overall the image is pretty sharp and with a basic restoration I believe this could have been an outstanding release.
Eureka seem to a have a deal to release a lot of MGM films which does put them somewhat at a disadvantage. That’s because MGM don’t seem to care about restoring any of their back catalogue. They instead seem to rely on the company releasing the film on to Blu-ray to choose whether or not to do their own restoration work.
Blu-ray should mean a film has been restored and is worthy upgrade over any previous versions released. Unfortunately companies such as MGM and Eureka Entertainment risk losing sales due to their laziness or unwillingness to spend money restoring a film and delivering a product movie fans deserve.
Should You Buy It?
That’s a tough one, I guess I’d say yes it’s probably better than any previous version simply because of the increased resolution. At the time of writing you could pick it up for less than £13 which includes both Blu-ray and DVD. That said I’m still hoping another company will pick this title up in the future such as Arrow and give it a fully restoration. In the meantime this Eureka release does come with an outstanding set of extras. They include an interesting making of feature and a Jonathan Ross presented look at George A. Romero’s film history.
- George A. Romero: Son Of The Incredibly Strange Film Show (38 mins)
- The Sparrows Are Flying Again (36 mins)
- Deleted Scenes
- Original Storyboards
- TV Spot
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible Sleeve
Popcorn Cinema Rating: The Dark Half (1993)
MOVIE RATING: MUST SEE
BLU-RAY RATING: AVERAGE
EXTRAS: VERY GOOD
Amazon UK Links
The Dark Half (1993) blu-ray is out now (Blu-ray/DVD).
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The Dark Half (1993) Film Trailer
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not representative of the blu-ray version
That concludes The Dark Half blu-ray review, I’m aiming to review more horror movies soon. What’s next? Check back soon…
Summary: The Dark Half (1993) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: The Dark Half (1993)
Movie description: Based on a Stephen King story
Duration: 121 mins
Author: Stephen King
Director(s): George A. Romero
Actor(s): Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker, Julie Harris
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
A fabulous movie version of a great Stephen King story
- Stephen King Story
- Directed by George A. Romero
- Good Set of Extra Features
- Average Picture Quality