The Dark Half

A disappointing though not uninteresting adaptation by George A. Romero (the Dead trilogy, Martin, Monkey Shines) of a Stephen King novel about a writer (Timothy Hutton) whose alternate pseudonymous writing personality assumes flesh when he tries to phase it out. The Jekyll and Hyde theme has been a central concern of Romero’s in the past, but its exploration here produces little of the moral and metaphysical tension found in the writer-director’s best work. Neither the characters nor the echoes (including special effects) of Hitchcock’s The Birds convey the necessary conviction, and one sadly wonders if after the undeserved box-office failure of his Monkey Shines Romero cares much about his work. It’s a genuine pity, because this movie holds plenty of promise around its edgesincluding an interesting but underdeveloped character played by Julie Harris. With Amy Madigan and Michael Rooker. (JR)

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