Secret Window Reviews
It was based on the novel, though the original title makes more sense than this film. Maybe they wanted to avert the spoiler. But I don't think it would have affected much, because the twist comes at the final segment. The tale of a writer who is in the middle of divorce and now living alone is the lake house got threatened by a stranger, because according to him he stole his story. Followed by many unpleasant events, how he gets out of the trouble told in the next half.
Feels just an okay kind. Though Johnny Depp was good. The suspense was good, particularly in the first half, but later it comes falling down. The second half was average, the twist was not interesting enough. After some point, you might predict it, but the point is it was too familiar. I especially did not like the finale, it was like not in detail. Still a watchable film, because of the actor and for decently made. So I think worth a watch if you keep a low expectation.
Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is a stressed and depressed writer hiding in a secluded cabin to "working" while avoiding his impending divorce. Mort is surprised when John Shooter (John Turturro), a Mississippi dairy farmer suddenly confronts him and accuses him of plagiarism. Mort dismisses the man until it becomes clear that Shooter's threats are genuine.
Johnny Depp is convincing as an author who's circling the drain, wasting his time on the couch instead of writing, basically washed up and very bitter about his failed marriage. He makes for an interesting protagonist because just when you think it can't get any worse for him, it does. John Turturro is truly awesome as John Shooter, who comes out of the blue one day with some accusations of plagiarism. He comes off as really creepy when he asks not for money, but for a technical compensation. It's something to do with the story itself. I won't say any more. Turturro looks and sounds threatening in a creepy, offbeat way that gets you hooked.
The problem is in the way the characters' reactions are written. Everyone is taking this news of death threats and impending violence like it's accusations of witchcraft. The town sheriff doesn't seem very concerned after things start to escalate, Mort's wife Amy (Maria Bello) doesn't even try to be cautious even when things are clearly spinning out of control. When threatened with death you still never sense that she realizes how dire the situation is. Mort even hires a bodyguard who treats the whole thing like it's a joke. All of these low-key responses take away a lot of the tension. It's too bad because it builds up tremendously whenever Mort and John are on-screen.
There are some good parts here and there in "Secret Window". I liked the ending so overall it's an ok thriller. It's not great but worth taking a look to see if it will be your thing. (On Dvd, February 28, 2013)