Reviewer's Rating 2 out of 5  
Secret Window (2004)
12aContains moderate violence and horror, and one use of strong language

Another dunderheaded adaptation of a Stephen King story, Secret Window could be the dullest of the schlockmeister's cinematic outings. Even Johnny Depp in quirk-overdrive can't save it, his slyly insincere performance eventually irritating as much as the sincerely stupid movie he's stuck in. John Turturro co-stars as a psycho Southern hick who insists Depp's writer "stole ma story". Writer-director David Koepp should hope someone equally loopy will come forward to claim credit for this mess.

It's just so obvious, relying on a narrative gimmick that's depressingly apparent within ten seconds of hearing Depp's angsty inner monologue. Lodged in a remote country hideaway, he's another of King's struggling scribes, dealing with writer's block and putting off signing the papers for his impending divorce. His name, Mort Rainey, gives a clue as to his outlook (dead rainy - please!) and we know once Turturro turns up that life is going to get grimmer. The latter at least comes to have a good excuse for being a caricature, although that doesn't excuse his rent-a-nutter actions, starting with the Fatal Attraction-style, über-eeevil act of offing Depp's dog.


Arson, murder and a silly accent follow, while Depp delivers a tick-filled performance trying to distract from the narrative nonsense. Such enjoyable showboating worked a treat in Pirates Of The Caribbean, but then it had Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio's smart script behind it. Here, Koepp delivers a flat, signposted script, with a non-existent fear-factor which he attempts to elevate by bursts of LOUD MUSIC. As Depp's character muses at one point, "That's just bad writing."

End Credits

Director: David Koepp

Writer: David Koepp

Stars: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton, Charles Dutton

Genre: Thriller

Length: 96 minutes

Cinema: 30 April 2004

Country: USA

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