Secret Window is Entertaining and Mind-Probing

By
April 8, 2004

Mills College Weekly

Stephen King novels do not interest me. Stephen King novels
interpreted through film really do not interest me (nor do they
often interest Stephen King readers). However, Johnny Depp sweeps
viewers off their feet with his underrated ability to engage an
audience in Secret Window. Director David Koepp’s shot choices make
an otherwise cliched thriller artistically appealing, and you may
just find yourself ensnared by the film in spite of yourself.

The plot is simple enough on the outside, with a psychologically
twisted chewy middle. Johnny Depp is Morton Rainy, a popular
science fiction novelist in upstate New York. A divorcee who
refuses to sign the papers he still struggles with depression
everyday (and some hostility perhaps?). Then one creepy afternoon,
a Tennessee chicken farmer arrives at his doorstep claiming that
Rainy plagiarized his story and that he has three days to prove him
wrong “or something bad’ll happen.” Let the sinister going-ons
begin! Dead pets, mysterious noises and unexplained happenings.

Meanwhile, we get Johnny Depp’s impressive and highly comical
acting, and some unique shots to spice up an otherwise commonplace
thriller flick. Pay attention, in particular, to the shot that
opens the film. In one shot it takes you across a foggy lake,
around the side of a pleasant log cabin, up into a secret window,
through a warm room with rich detail, down the stairs, and then
straight through a mirror where the live action of the film begins.
It is an incredible shot. And it’s not the only unique camera angle
and shot selection in the piece.

But what will make this film better than the other Stephen
King-like thrillers out there is the story itself. All those
Stephen King readers out there, don’t you dare ruin it for your
friends. I shall try not to, but will only end by saying: this is
an entertaining, mind-probing film with very appealing acting from
everyone and an ending that’s worth the wait.


Secret Window is Entertaining and Mind-Probing was published on April 8, 2004 in Arts & Entertainment

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