"You Can Leave This Window Closed"
What You Need To Know:
Depp’s character acts in ways that make no sense to the audience. The ending sheds some light on his strange behavior, but it stretches the boundaries of believability too far. The movie’s ending is also strongly derivative of FIGHT CLUB and another Stephen King adaptation, THE SHINING. There is a steady stream of foul words in the movie, as well as some gory, suspenseful violence. There is also no indication that any kind of spiritual world exists, leaving the characters chained to the ground but free to pursue life as they please. Perhaps that has something to do with them all seeming so miserable. SECRET WINDOW gives audiences little for their investment.
(H, LLL, VV, S, A, D, M) Muddled but ultimately humanist worldview in which man is all that matters in the world; 27 obscenities and 8 profanities; dead dog is uncovered under tarp, two men are found dead in car with blood splattered on window, car with dead men is pushed off of cliff, man burns down house, woman is pulled out of window and pushed onto a rock, woman’s ankle knifed, man hit with shovel, and miscellaneous scenes with suspense; an adulterous couple is caught in a motel room by the woman’s husband – they are under the sheets but only talking, and the husband makes many references to the wife’s adultery; no nudity; character drinks whiskey and smokes cigarettes; and, man is disrespectful of maid and admits to plagiarizing a story early in his writing career.
SECRET WINDOW is a tepid thriller based on a Stephen King novella. It is about writer Mort Rainey, played by Johnny Depp, who lives in New England and is unsuccessfully coping with a separation from his wife while also being stalked by a mad man, played by John Turturro.
John Shooter (Turturro’s character), with his limp, slow Southern accent, and wide brimmed hat, accuses Rainey of plagiarizing his story, which Rainey claims was impossible since he published the story before Shooter wrote it. Regardless of Rainey’s reasoning, Shooter’s actions become increasingly frightening. First, he kills Rainey’s dog, then burns down his house, then kills two of his acquaintances. Rainey first suspects that his wife’s boyfriend hired Shooter to terrorize him, but the ending diverges from any guess so logical.
Depp’s character, Rainey, often acts in ways that make no sense to the audience. For instance, it is not clear why he would care so much about this lunatic if he knows that he did not plagiarize the story. The ending sheds some light on Rainey’s strange behavior, but it stretches the boundaries of believability a little too far. The movie’s ending is also strongly derivative of two others – FIGHT CLUB and another Stephen King adaptation, THE SHINING.
SECRET WINDOW loafs at an almost serene pace until the end, when both the plot and violence spin out of control. It fails to build much suspense because the twists are predictable. There is no indication that any kind of spiritual world exists, leaving the characters chained to the ground but free to pursue life as they please. Perhaps that has something to do with them all seeming so miserable. Timothy Hutton, as the boyfriend of Rainey’s wife, is especially good at raising the audience’s ire. Overall, SECRET WINDOW is undercooked and will give the audience little for a two-hour investment.