Blu-ray Review: The Dark Half

I, for one, believe that humans aren’t born intrinsically good or evil. Whilst nature obviously plays some part, nurture has a much bigger influence on defining the kind of person we become. Our entire life can be determined by a handful of important decisions. Or one cruel twist of fate. George A. Romero played with this idea in his 1993 film The Dark Half, which is a tale of two halves.

Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) is the renowned author of the kind of highbrow literature no one reads. However, under the alias of George Stark he’s the bestselling author of pulpy crime novels. When he’s threatened with exposure, he decides it’s the perfect opportunity to retire the pseudonym. Unfortunately for Thad, his creation has now intention on bowing out; beginning a campaign of terror against his friends and family.

The Dark Half is an arresting thriller about a man unable to break free of his worst traits. Romero has great fun with the character of Stark, encouraging Hutton to play up to the role, making him into an almost pantomime villain. However, that doesn’t mean for a second that the murders aren’t brutal. The Dark Half is an entertaining romp, driven by a full-blooded lead performance.

Special features:

  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray (with a progressive encode on the DVD)
  • LPCM audio (uncompressed on the Blu-ray) and 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio options
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio commentary with Writer/Director George A. Romero
  • George A. Romero episode of Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show [38 mins] – documentary on the director originally aired on UK television in 1989
  • The Sparrows Are Flying Again! The Making of ‘The Dark Half’ [36mins] – Retrospective with George A. Romero, special make-up effects creators Everett Burrell and John Vulich, visual effects supervisor Kevin Kutchaver, actor Robert Joy, editor Pasquale Buba and more!
  • Deleted Scenes
  • A selection of Behind-the-scenes and archival video material
  • Original Storyboards
  • TV spot
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve
  • Limited Edition Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Simon Ward
  • Limited Edition O-card Slipcase

The Dark Half is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Classics on 14 October.

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