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The Dark Half



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

A Stephen King story, adapted and directed by George A. Romero, about a writer (Timothy Hutton) with a Jekyll and Hyde problem: his pseudonym, under which he writes best-selling trash novels, comes to life when publicly "killed off." He then starts killing off everybody associated with his literary death.

SEX/NUDITY 0 - None.

VIOLENCE/GORE 9 - Since this is a George A. Romero film, there's gore galore, oodles of blood and plenty of violence: the malefactor enjoys slashing his victims' throats with a razor, and we see every murder in bloody detail. One victim has a delicate part of his anatomy cut off and shoved in his mouth; we see his shadow on the wall. One is beaten to death with his own artificial leg. Another is literally flayed and picked to death by a very large and scary flock of sparrows; we see, in detail, the various stages of dismemberment. One character drives a pencil through his hand, then peers through the resulting hole. There are nine very graphic deaths in all. There are also explicit scenes of an open-skull surgery, complete with a brain tumor which possesses a blinking eye and a tooth. The camera lingers on assorted oozing wounds. There's even one scene of torture, where a man pokes at a woman's facial wounds.

PROFANITY 6 - 15 F-words and lots of anatomical and sexual references. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - The supernatural, split-personalities, deceit, blackmail, murder.

MESSAGE - We all possess a dark side. We have to stand up to it and fight it.

Special Keywords: S0 - V9 - P6 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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