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Secret Window review + poll

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Did you like Secret Window?
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Joined: 01 Jan 1970
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 2:08 am    Post subject: Secret Window review + poll Reply with quote

I consider myself a fan of Stephen King's work. I've ready many of his earliest stories, but as the years went by, something about his writing didn't appeal to me as much as it did when I first started reading his tales of terror and the unknown. It was during that period when "Four Past Midnight" was released, and in that book of short stories is where we find "Secret Window, Secret Garden," which is now a film starring current it-actor Johnny Depp and John Turturro and adapted and directed by David Koepp. I hadn't read the story when it was originally published, so I was going in not sure what exactly to expect. Those who have read the short story know what happens, but the ending of the film is much different from the original material, as I was informed by a friend of mine, and avid King reader.

Johnny Depp portrays author Mort Rainey, a writer more inclined to nap on his couch than actually work on his next book. Rainey, sporting a rat's nest of dirty-blond locks and a tattered bathrobe, lives in a rustic cabin with his dog Chico while going through a divorce with his wife, played by Maria Bello.

When a mysterious stranger named John Shooter comes to his door (John Turturro) claiming that Rainey stole his story, a story that was written and published many years before Shooter's version, and wants him to fix the ending. Rainey writes him off as an obsessed whack-o, but events soon take place that show Shooter is not someone to be taken lightly. Murder and arson are just two ways that Shooter threatens Rainey into doing what he wants.

If you've read the story before, you know the secret behind John Shooter, and the movie doesn't do too much to hide that from you. There's a red herring in the guise of Rainey's soon-to-be ex-wife's boyfriend, played by Timothy Hutton, but when the "reveal" takes place, it's a bit anti-climactic and any suspense created throughout the film is dropped at that point. I was hoping they were going to do something very different with what they were hinting at, but it just wasn't the case this time.

The acting was good, as you can expect in a film which features Depp, Turturro and Charles Dutton. Depp's portayal of the quickly unraveling author is worth the admission alone, and Turturro's Shooter makes for a quietly terrifying villain who will do what it takes to get his ending.

Not a bad film by any means, but not a great film either. It's worth checking out for the quality of the acting, and the story does keep you involved, even though the ending is a bit telegraphed early on in the film.

Final Score:
*** out of *****
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