Having found his wife of ten years sleeping with another man one night at a local motel, novelist Morton Rainey (Johnny Depp) shuts himself away at his remote cabin with the intention of finishing his latest book and putting his impending divorce out of his mind. We recommend you to first read our movie review and then watch Secret Window if you think it’s a movie you’ll enjoy. Time passes, his wife claims the couple’s dream home with her new partner and Morton still hasn’t finished his book.
One day out of the blue, a knock at the door wakes Rainey from his afternoon slumber, standing at the door is a strange looking man calling himself John Shooter (John Turturro). The angry and agitated stranger claims that Morten stole his story and promptly leaves his original manuscript as proof. At first, the successful writer dismissed the man as another nut – something that goes with the territory when you’re a successful writer – but after reading a few pages, it becomes clear that, line for line, the stranger’s book matches his. Confused, Rainey looks into when both stories were originally written, while the stranger takes it upon himself to harass the famous writer to a point where his, and other lives are threatened…….. and taken.
Another Stephen King adaptation, another good watch. Admittedly I haven’t read this particular novel, but my guess is it worked better than this movie. Secret Window has been released on DVD and online for a couple of weeks now, so I think it’s fairly safe to reveal the fact that there is a twist which affects the plot significantly. And this is where the major problem lies – it cheapens the film, and more importantly, things would have worked better if it would have continued in the direction it was going.I won’t give away any more, except to say that I was actually quite enjoying what was unfolding on screen, Secret Window was turning into a half decent thriller, until, well, you know…
So if I was enjoying the film, then there must be some positives, right? Indeed. Amidst the muddle you’ll find some creepy moments as Depp’s character finds himself alone in the cabin, a decent amount of tension is built up throughout, and the impressive cast all put in decent performances. Of course we are used to Depp putting in solid stints these days, and again he impresses here, even though he plays a character who comes across as rather stupid, and goofy even though his life is in danger. I’m sure the twist is an integral part of the story in the book as well as here in the movie, it’s shame then that the story was going on perfectly well without it!
The commentary by writer/director David Koepp is well worth a listen as the enthusiastic filmmaker provides plenty of interesting insight into the making of the film. The three featurettes are in fact one long documentary (totalling just over an hour) with a play all option, and as you may know, this is the kind of thing I like to watch online. Although this isn’t the best example of a making of documentary , it does provide all sorts of interesting interviews and clips from the full movie itself. Four deleted scenes, a selection of animated storyboards and a load of trailers, which nicely, are presented in anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 5.1 sound, round out the set of extras.
Secret Window isn’t a bad watch, it’s certainly worth a watching, but perhaps online free. The DVD itself on the other hand is very impressive. You choose.