Movie Reviews

'Secret Window' Movie Review (2004)

Secret Window Movie ReviewAfter the blockbuster hit, Pirates of the Caribbean it will be no surprise if Secret Window will be at the top of the box-office charts as people will flock to see Johnny Depp one more time on the big screen after his inspiring performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. Hell, I was chomping at the bit to see him act again, unfortunately while his acting remains superb the story falls flat.

People have been trying for years now to turn out a Stephen King adaptation and make it work on the big screen and while there have been a couple success stories such as Shawshank Redemption and Green Mile it is becoming quite obvious that the master of horror on paper may only be suited for the big screen in a moderation.

The difference between the successful adaptations I mentioned and movies such as Secret Window is that those others are more character driven stories while stories such as Secret Window are great on paper because of the mysterious webs they weave, which is hard to translate to film.

Although the story keeps extremely close to King's novella Secret Window, Secret Garden from his collection of four short stories, Four Past Midnight, it falls short as the plot twist at the end is too easily recognizable before it is revealed, leaving a feeling of "Ho-hum" once the audience is officially made aware.

It is also unfortunate that the movie was not better because it is perfectly cast and perfectly played by all involved. While director/screenwriter David Koepp has written a "good" adaptation of the novel and included excellent dialogue for his characters to read it is almost impossible to achieve that sense of surprise that the story calls for.

Johnny Depp is, once again, fantastic as the tormented Mort Rainey as he is able to bring his character to life and deliver several lines throughout the film in such a way that only Depp can read them. Also, John Turtorro was an excellent choice as the nutty outsider, John Shooter, giving the story just what it needed from its resident psycho, but acting wasn't able to save this one.

After reading Secret Window, Secret Garden I immediately started to see just how the ending of this film would play out on the big screen and it didn't stray far from what I imagined leaving me satisfied to the point where I knew Koepp did all he could do with the plot twist, but I was still unsatisfied with the overall conclusion.

If you want to see some great acting and are a Depp fan you will not be disappointed, but as far as the movie goes you won't be running to the theaters to see it again.

GRADE: C+
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