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Secret Window Review

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by Phil Hinton Jun 1, 2004 at 12:00 AM

    Secret Window Review
    Stephen King's short story “Secret Window, Secret Garden” is adapted for the screen by writer/Director David Koepp and unlike recent King adaptations; he manages to produce a tense thriller that is slick and well paced. The story opens with a confrontation between writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) and his wife Amy (Maria Bello) who he finds in bed with her lover (Timothy Hutton) in a local Motel. The story then moves forward 6 months and we find that Mort is living in his isolated cabin in upstate New York, alone with just his dog as company. He is trying to write his latest book but has only managed 5 lines and is suffering from the dread writers block. During his isolation he is napping on the couch more often and his work is suffering, until there is a knock on the door and the creepy John Shooter (John Turturro) who claims that Rainey has stolen his short story and he wants to sort things out. At first Shooter goes quietly, giving Rainey a chance to prove him wrong, but before long Rainey finds himself in danger as Shooter begins to terrorise him more. After killing the dog Rainey enlists the help of an old friend and detective and finds that his life is once more involving his ex-wife and the Boyfriend much to Rainey's displeasure.

    Koepp who is a friend and collaborator with David Fincher, brings to the screen many of Finchers trademark camera moves and cinematography which heightens the drama and intensity of the story unfolding before us. The many twists and turns are well disguised with clever dialogue and excellent performances, especially from Depp and Turturro. Depp brings realism to Rainey's plight and Turturro is just downright frightening as Shooter. The ending is spread over the last 15 minutes of the film and may not sit well with many, but it is certainly the logical conclusion of the story. The direction and pacing are also very good and “Secret Window” never outstays it's welcome.