Featured Posts

Sep 24, 2010

30 dAyS oF cRaZy: Secret Window

What is it about writers and insanity?  There are lots of famous ones, and there are plenty of famous fictional ones.  Mort Rainey might not be all that famous, but Stephen King is pretty familiar with the concept of nutty authors, as is Johnny Depp.  Steve Miller of Cinema Steve gets inside Mort's head.

Stay tuned throughout September for nuttiness an
d zaniness of all varieties - click here for the full lineup, and click here for prior entries.

Secret Window (2004)
Starring: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, and Maria Bello
Director: David Koepp
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Mort Rainey (Depp) is a novelist on the verge of a burn-out when his life gets even worse: A maniac (Turturro) accuses him of plagiarising a story he wrote, and begins an ever-increasing campaign of violence and terror against Mort and those closest to him.


Based on a short story by Stephen King, "Secret Window" features a number of themes related to the darker side of the basically lonely professional life that every writer leads... and if one is familiar with those themes and how they've played out in King's works, where this movie ultimately goes is very predictable.

However, the cast is made up of competent actors--Depp once again shows what an excellent actor he is, and Turturro was downright frightening in most of his scenes--the script is well done, and the director clearly knows how to use all the tools in his bag of tricks to keep the suspense up.

Even if I realized early on that I was watching yet another movie about a crazy writer being stalked by himself, through a twisted part of his broken mind that has taken over, Koepp delivered a film that kept me watching due to nicely staged scenes and by managing to provide enough twists to keep me wondering if I was wrong about my assumptions. The script was also well enough written that I cared about the characters. I didn't want Johnny Depp's beleaguered writer to be a maniac, because
I liked him, and I certainly didn't want Maria Bello to end up in a shallow grave. It's one of those rare mystery movies where there really is no mystery if you've seen enough of them, but it is still well-crafted enough to make it worthwhile.

And it could be that this film was predictable to me because I've seen so many horror, mystery, and suspense films. Maybe viewers who haven't watched quite as many movies, or are as familiar with Stephen King's Package of Repeated Themes and Stereotypes would be taken aback by the "shocking twist ending."

Tomorrow: The Lightning Bug keeps Falling Down.


4 people have chosen wisely: on "30 dAyS oF cRaZy: Secret Window"

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Bonjour! Fletch...
I have to agree with every word that the writer here have written about the film "Secret Window"...Because I have watched this film twice.

"Even if I realized early on that I was watching yet another movie about a crazy writer being stalked by himself, through a twisted part of his broken mind that has taken over...
...I cared about the characters. I didn't want Johnny Depp's beleaguered writer to be a maniac, because I liked him, and I certainly didn't want Maria Bello to end up in a shallow grave. It's one of those rare mystery movies where there really is no mystery if you've seen enough of them, but it is still well-crafted enough to make it worthwhile...."



All I can say is the writer, have summed-up my feelings exactly, and placed my feelings in that proverbial...(No "pun" intended) nutshell!...Especially, when it comes to his "accurate" description of this Stephan King's vehicle. (film)

Merci, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Oops! I meant to type...Stephen King.

Dane Canales said...

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Regards,
Dane Canales

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