Proof that not all films derived from Stephen King's books need be intellectually banal and cinematically dull. Romero's movie centres on Thad Beaumont (Hutton), a small-town author and creative-writing tutor, who, threatened with exposure, decides to kill off his literary doppelgänger, crime novelist George Stark. Soon afterwards, Thad's friends and colleagues start meeting violent deaths, apparently at the hands of the late Stark. Thad's wife Liz (Madigan) is frightened for the children, but although the local lawman (Rooker) is sympathetic, he refuses to believe that Thad's fictional alter ego is the razor wielding culprit. It's a strong conceit, but precisely how it's linked to a feather-brained subplot about the black-outs and aural hallucinations Thad suffered as a child remains obscure. This one-paced psychological horror movie delivers its share of visual shocks, but relies mainly on a controlled build-up of tension.