Secret Window | The Sparrows are Flying Again?
Written: Mar 10, 2004
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:The film's biggest strength, is Johnny Depp's performance.
Cons:The film's biggest weakness, in turn, is Johnny Depp's overpowering rock star persona.
The Bottom Line: If you’re not a Depp fan, just save yourself some money and check out Romero’s adaptation of The Dark Half.
Secret Window is the latest effort from Hollywoods scriptwriter turned director, David Koepp. The film itself is based on Stephen King's short story reworking of the Dark Half, entitled Secret Window, Secret Garden. The fact that the stories are so similar only serves to further ground the story into extremely familiar territory. For a man who has proved to be a veritable fountain of creepy ideas, I must say King has shown a propensity to repeat himself these past few years. Even David Koepp seems well aware of, and poke fun at the alarming similarities to the Dark Half, as he has cast Timothy Hutton, the George Romero film versions George Stark, in a supporting role. But as time has proven again and again, third party screen adaptations of Kings work tend to be far better than ones he has had a hand in himself, so it cant really be that bad a film.
Or could it?
The film stars Johnny Depp, as Mort Raney - successful author and soon to be divorcee. Sporting a peroxide job similar to the orangutan orange abuses you see on the Hong Kong exchange students, Mort has holed himself up in his cabin retreat to distance himself from his pending marital split, and better focus on his writing at hand. Oddly enough, hes spending a lot more napping than working. Enter horrific hick, John Shooter (John Turturro, resembling the preacher from Poltergeist II: The Other Side) who accuses Mort of outright plagiarism, a transgression considered comparable to intellectual rape by many in the literary world. He tells Mort that he wants justice, and its up to him to take care of the matter. It doesnt help that Shooter seems slightly off his rocker, and Morts been guilty of plagiarism at least once in his past. Needless to say, Depp frantically tries to prove his innocence to the imposing redneck, before he does what scary pilgrims in horror films do best: kill stuff.
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