Tuesday 18th January 2022

Secret Window (12A)
Directed by: David Koepp
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

Film adaptations of Stephen King novels have been hit and miss in the past, or more accurately, mostly miss. However, with David Koepp behind this one and Johnny Depp in front of the camera, perhaps we can expect more.

"Is there a guy behind me wearing a stupid hat?"
"Is there a guy behind me wearing a stupid hat?"

Depp continues his trend of taking on strange acting roles in this film, playing unhappy novelist Mort Rainey, who is in the middle of a divorce after catching his wife of ten years cheating on him. A successful writer of horror stories, Rainey spends his days napping on the sofa of his log cabin and writing his latest bestseller.

He is both surprised and disturbed, therefore, when a stranger from Mississippi, played by John Turturro (O Brother Where Art Thou?) arrives at his front door and accuses Rainey of stealing one of his stories. It soon becomes clear that the stranger poses a serious threat, not only to Rainey, but also to his family and friends.

David Koepp has written screenplays for films as diverse as Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible, Jurassic Park and Spiderman, but has enjoyed less success behind the camera. However, here he has managed to come up with the goods both as a screenwriter and a director. He manages to make the viewer feel edgy and uncomfortable, without giving away what is about to happen or when something is going to go wrong, and while one senses a twist coming, it is certainly not given away before the director intends.

This film is extremely hard to pigeonhole. As you would expect from a Stephen King story, it certainly has a horror/thriller element to it, but it would be unfair to place it in the same category as It or The Shining. Having said that, it's not quite a typical psychological thriller either. However, taken on its own terms, Secret Window is very watchable and one of the more interesting releases of the past few weeks.

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Length: 96 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 30th April 2004

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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