Main cast: Johnny Depp (Mort Rainey), John Turturro (John Shooter), Maria Bello (Amy Rainey), Timothy Hutton (Ted), Charles S Dutton (Ken Karsch), John Dunn Hill (Tom Greenleaf), and Len Cariou (Sheriff Dave Newsome)
Director: David Koepp
I have one big problem with this movie. I haven’t read Secret Window, Secret Garden, the Stephen King novella of which this movie is based on, but I can correctly guess the “surprise ending” ten minutes into the start of the movie. I spend the rest of this movie bored by the slow pace and waiting impatiently for the denouement to fall, a denouement that I correctly predict will happen.
Mort Rainey is not a happy man because he discovers his wife Amy cheating on him. Six months later, the Raineys are in the midst of a divorce. Mort’s problems get worse when a man, John Shooter, comes out of the blue to accuse Mort of plagiarizing his story. Shooter soon becomes increasingly violent when Mort fails to placate him and even murders a few of Mort’s acquaintances as well as Mort’s dog, and Mort realizes that he has to do something before Shooter destroys him completely.
I find that David Koepp’s direction and script telegraph his tricks very openly. I don’t even have to start looking for clues. The increasingly overused conventions of supernatural thrillers that appear since The Sixth Sense became a sleeper hit are present in this movie. Even the Hitchcock-like ending is predictable. It is a frustrating wait for this movie to reveal what I have already correctly guessed. The annoying Southern nasty hick stereotypes populating this movie don’t improve matters even a little.
While competently acted, Secret Window holds little surprises for me. It’s predictable, slow, and too dull for words.