Secret Window


Directed by: David Koepp
Written by:David Koepp
Starring: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton, Charles S. Dutton
Released: April 8, 2004
Grade: B+

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl rocketed Johnny Depp into the spotlight and there are a lot of new fans who will be checking out his latest, Secret Window.  It’s a film which is typical of Depp – unconventional.  The trailers give it the appearance of a run-of-the-mill thriller but Secret Window does surprise.

What struck me most was its simplicity.  There are so many scenes in which we having Johnny Depp on screen in his log cabin and nothing else.  Boring it is not but rather, intriguing.  Depp plays writer Mort Rainey who recently separated from his wife Amy (Bello).  Working on his latest book, Rainey has retreated to an isolated cabin to clear his mind and put thoughts into words.

Knocking at his door one morning is a creepy man who identifies himself as John Shooter (Turturro).  Shooter accuses Rainey of stealing a story he once wrote called Secret Window.  Shooter says he wrote the story back in 1997 and produces a copy of his script to prove it.  Defending himself, Rainey claims he wrote the story back in 1995 where it was published in a magazine.  Shooter tells Rainey that he has 3 days to produce this magazine or else trouble will befall him...

I did enjoy the way writer/director David Koepp built the tension but was not fully satisfied about the ending.  A scruffy looking Johnny Depp gives a very good performance and I particularly enjoyed the little mannerisms he gave to his character.  It seems he’s always moving his neck, back and arms around. 

Secret Window is worth a trip to the cinema but if you want to see something even better on video, check out director David Koepp’s 1996 thriller, The Trigger Effect, with Elizabeth Shue and Kyle MacLachlan.  It wasn’t liked my many but I found it very interesting.