There are few Horror writers with as wide a fan base as Stephen King. Loved by many, King has written some of the most surreal, dark and occasionally twist laden stories of all time. When you get a decent King story and you pair it with one of Hollywood's golden boys, you expect success therefore. "Secret Window" is the outcome and whilst it's not quite as good as it could be, it is still fun enough and well acted, to keep people entertained throughout.
Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is a well known author who is going through a messy divorce. As if life isn't complicated enough, when Mississippi born John Shooter (John Turturro) arrives accusing Rainey of plagiarism, things begin to get even worse.
Everybody likes Johnny Depp. Most women adore the man and most men admire his acting talent. With a wide range of skills, Depp can switch from humorous to deep in a matter of seconds. In "Secret Window" he again shows this skill as the tormented Mort. Pushed around, occasionally violent, always disturbed and occasionally funny, Depp's character is a difficult one to play, yet he manages admirably. We witness a Johnny Depp masterclass and we should feel grateful for being allowed to experience it.
The story itself is also a pleasant enough experience. Not quite as good as some of King's other works, we are still given large numbers of clues to keep us guessing, and even when people predict events, for many the twist at the end is still a solid enough surprise.
Perhaps the one major flaw with "Secret Window" is the way certain routes aren't taken. The window never feels fully explored and certain potential mystic events aren't explained at the conclusion. In fact, the conclusion as a whole is a bit of a disappointment. After things come together and we find out the truth, you tend to expect a well constructed finale. Unfortunately though the last ten minutes feel like they die a slow death and you can't help but feel slightly disappointed when the end credits roll.
It's not the best Stephen King adaptation ever, and there are countless better films released every year, but "Secret Window" is still worth watching. Led by a brilliant performance by Johnny Depp, the story has enough going on in it to keep you hooked and entertained throughout. Good nighttime viewing, but if not for Depp it wouldn't be worth the effort.....