Secret Window (2004)
Directed by David Koepp
Johnny Depp …. Mort Rainey
John Turturro …. John Shooter
Maria Bello …. Amy Rainey
Timothy Hutton …. Ted Milner
Charles S. Dutton …. Ken Karsch
A Review written by Snuggably_Wonkable [WARNING: HEAVY SPOILERS!]
‘The only true enemy you have is yourself…’ This quote is especially true for Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp), a middle-aged man in the middle of a divorce. Mr. Rainey is an established author, who, still fretting from the heartbreak from his wife’s disloyalty and angered at the ‘other’ man, is about to live his worst nightmare.
In the movie Secret Window, based on the story by Steven King, Mort Rainey is one day, out of the blue, confronted with a man calling himself John Shooter (John Turturro), who claims that his story had been stolen by Mort. Now, normally “When two writers come up with the same story, its all about who wrote the words first?”-Mort Rainey. But in this case, Shooter doesn’t want to get involved with a lawyer or the police, he wants it to be between just the two of them, making sure to get the point across that there shouldn’t be anyone else involved.
Mort, thinking this is just some nut; tries to ignore the threats that are being made, but cannot ignore the fact that the stories are nearly identical. His self-confidence is somewhat boosted, however, since it is obvious that since he got it published and hadn’t ever seen Shooter before, that the positions are reversed and it should be him who is complaining about plagiarism.
But just incase, he hires detective.
From there, things really begin to spiral out of control. He finds notes, his dog killed with a screwdriver being the weapon, a dead detective, a burnt down house, and a truck filled with two freshly dead bodies.
At first, Mort is suspecting that his soon to be Ex-Wife Amy Rainey’s (Maria Bello) boyfriend is the man causing the shots, since Mort hasn’t yet signed the papers to finalize the divorce. However, soon this is apparent that this is not so, for the evidence is startlingly pointing to something entirely different that what anyone would have suspected.
Mr. Rainey had published the story in question, called Secret Window, in a magazine before John Shooter claims he wrote it. So therefore, he has to retrieve the magazine just to make Shooter leave and never come back. But when he picks up the magazine, he finds that his story has been carefully cut out of it. Mort finds this incredibly strange and not good at all.
So do the people watching this wonderful movie. Now, this mind boggles the audience watching it, since you are just starting to realize that perhaps there is something more to the picture than what you had first thought. This would be the correct assumption, since there is indeed much more…
The evidence has added up. The murders using his tools from the tool shed, His dog killed with his screwdriver, last seen with the murder victims, keys missing and found in his open car, bruises mysteriously vanishing…It all points down to just one person, and it is most certainly is not a country hick…
It is Mort.
When he walks inside and is seeing things, such as his back when he stares into a mirror, and even more bizarre yet is he is talking to a walking, talking image of himself. This image is convincing Mort that what he has just found out is very much true and that John Shooter had never even existed.
And so, the persuasive twin places a hat in the real Mort’s hands…the hat that Shooter always wears.
Now Amy, his nearly Ex-Wife, has been worried about Mort throughout this entire movie. And she just wants to get the Divorce papers signed so that the arguments will just stop and everything will be done with. So when she drives up to Mort’s secluded house on Tashmore Lake, She doesn’t know what she’s getting into.
And neither does her boyfriend, Ted Milner (Timothy Hutton), who goes after her after having a run in with an angry and suspicious Mort Rainey the other day.
Mort…or Shooter as he has now become, hides while Amy wanders around the chaotic house. She cant help but notice the fact that the word ‘Shooter’ is carved into many surfaces around the house, and so when she starts up the stairs, calling for her soon-to-be Ex-Husband, she finds another word engraved on the wall next to an open door.
“SHOOT” Then Mort comes out from behind the door, revealing yet another word carved there… “HER”
Naturally she is freaked out and is backing away, wondering what was going and why. But when Mort makes his first action by attacking her with a rusty screwdriver and driving it into the heel of her foot, she is painfully aware.
The chase leads outside where she stumbles and hits her head on a rock. Dazed and hurting, she pleads for Mort to snap out of it, for he is approaching her with a shovel. And this is when Ted pulls in, calling for his future-wife after noticing everything in a disarray.
She calls him to warn him, but things don’t goes as planned, since when he comes out of the porch door, he gets the flat of the shovel in his face, successfully incapacitating him. And then of course, incapacitating him forever by a few sharp jabs at him with the point of the metal.
Screaming agony and horror of the situation, Mrs. Rainey soon follows her boyfriend into the land of the dead, and then both buried in Amy’s cherished garden below a Window she had dubbed a Secret Window.
This movie has a shocking ending and a brilliant performance from all of the actors and actresses. The music is appropriately dramatic and suspenseful at the right times, though there isn’t a soundtrack to go with the movie. It follows the book relatively well and though the ending isn’t the same, any fans of Johnny Depp with enjoy this wonderful Physiological Thriller.