Secret Window – Rating 3 out of 5

Secret Window – Rating 3 out of 5

“Johnny Depp gets high off another acting challenge in this tricky adaptation of a Stephen King yarn. Although the mood is too sinister to allow for the mischief of his Pirates of the Caribbean turn, Depp still manages to embroider his role here with plenty of quirky business. He plays a writer, depressed and nearly divorced, who’s stuck in an isolated cabin (shades of The Shining) when a stranger (John Turturro) arrives, accusing him of plagiarism. Writer-director David Koepp (Stir of Echoes) does his best to make the rickety material compelling–he gets the maximum out of the cabin set, for instance–but the problems inherent in the King story eventually win out. The climactic scenes are particularly unpleasant, especially in contrast to the cleverness of Depp’s performance. A Philip Glass score adds class, but this one ultimately feels like a disappointment.”

There is plenty to like about this movie and the main part is Johnny Depp. He plays a writer who is on the verge of divorce and gets away from it all to try and work on his next great work. He seems to be having some trouble finding his muse since he spends plenty of time sleeping on the couch.

Depp plays the part of the disheveled and disorganized writer quite well. But as he shuns showering as he communes with nature he gets a strange visitor who claims Mr. Rainey (Depp) has stolen his story. He wants payback for having his story ideas taken away and used for profit. Rainey denies the claim and shrugs off the visits. Soon, Mr. Shooter becomes more forceful with his demands and explains he will get to the truth and expose Rainey. Rainey says he can prove the story is his and tries to dig up an old magazine with the original story.

Evil deeds begin to happen as Shooter tries to force Rainey to confess, dog’s die, people around him die and his divorce really goes off the rails.

Johnny Depp does a great job of being creepy. Like I said, perhaps the lack of showering enhances the image. The movie is a little quirky and has some plot holes, but if you play along it’s a fun movie. There is no great mystery to be solved here or some deep meaning to undercover, everything is pretty straight forward.

There blood and gore are kept pretty light which is good since we are dealing with a psychological thriller. It works pretty well and it’s a fun little yarn. The ending is a little overly cheesy but you go with what you have.

Not a bad adaptation from Stephen King, but since this is one of at least three movies about writer’s stuck in isolation (The Shining, 1408 and this, it might be time to pick a new theme. We all get it, don’t go out into the middle of nowhere and write a novel, that’s how people get hurt…)

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