Synopsis: A successful writer in the midst of a painful divorce is stalked at his remote lake house by a would-be scribe who accuses him of plagiarism.
Based on the Novel Four Past Midnight: Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King, Secret Window, won’t leave you disappointed and I absolutely love the twist to the story line at the end! Starring the incredibly talented Johnny Depp as Mort Rainey, you can’t help but be pulled in from the very beginning. The way Johnny Depp really embraces and embodies the whole character, down to the smallest of mannerisms, makes him a true master of his craft, which few can match. It’s refreshing to see, given the pool of average within the genre of films I watch, and I am not sure, this film would have rated so well with me, if it wasn’t for his talent, given at least 60% of this film is comprised of scenes, with just Johnny Depp’s character Mort Rainey in them.
For the majority of Secret Window, the story follows Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp’s character) as he is tormented by John Shooter, (John Turturro) who believes Mort Rainey stole his story, Secret Garden, passing it off as his own. Mort Rainey deigns his claims, knowing he can prove it, given his was published before the date that John Shooter claims to have written it. John Shooter, gives him three days to prove it and wanting to make sure Mort Rainey, knows he mean ‘business’ kills his dog, as a warning. Knowing that John Shooter isn’t the normal ‘crazy’ he is used to dealing with, and the Police being of no real assistance, Mort enlists the ‘help’ of Ken Karsch (Charles S Dutton) who promises Mort, that he will scare John Shooter off, and Mort will never have to deal with him again. But Shooter isn’t so easy to find, especially when the only other person who Mort claims to have seen him, deigns seeing him, leaving the impression that he was scared into silence.
While Mort is dealing with Shooter, he is also going through a messy divorce, with his wife Amy Rainey (Maria Bello) who was caught cheating on him with Ted Milner (Timothy Hutton). Knowing Amy has a copy of the magazine, which can prove he wrote Secret Garden, not Shooter, he drives to retrieve it, watching as they leave, before driving back home. Things take a setback when Amy’s house is set on fire, leaving nothing but rubble and an empty shell. Rainey then contacts his publisher, who agrees to FedEx a copy to him overnight.
Meanwhile, John Shooter is getting impatient and goes out of his way to remind Mort he means business, threatening Mort’s ex wife indirectly and pushing Mort into covering up two murders, planting evidence that could convict him, if he didn’t. As time ticks on, Mort becomes more ‘unstable’ and Shooter continues to play his games. With less than a couple of hours to spare, Mort picks up the Magazine, determined to end this once for all. If nothing more, Shooter had proven to be a man of his word. If Mort proved he wrote Secret Garden before he did, then Shooter would leave Mort alone forever, and end himself, thinking himself if wrong, to be crazy. When Mort turns to where his story should have been, he finds the pages missing, cut out from the magazine. He goes inside and sits on the couch, somewhat destressed with what to do now, pushing him to a mental break…
The rest I won’t tell you, as I don’t want to spoil it, but Secret Window is a definite must watch for those who love a well thought out, detail ordinated, thriller. Everything from the sets to the locations, to the placement of low importance items have been carefully thought out and carried out. The Cinematography, and feel all tie in beautifully, and are continuous throughout. As a thriller, I would have to say that Secret Window is one of my favourites and I do recommend watching it.
Trailer courtesy of Movieclips Classic Trailers
Review was written by Sam Hain Winchester and is her honest view.
You can follow Sam online at