Secret Window

Year: 2004
Director: David Koepp
Writer: David Koepp/Stephen King
Cast: Johnny Depp, Maria Bello, Tim Hutton
Having read the Stephen King novella, the twist wasn't a surprise for me, so it was up to director Koepp to find a new way of telling me the story.

Johnny Depp is Mort Rainey, a secluded writer recovering for a nasty divorce and trying to get to work on his latest novel, when a yokel (Turturro) turns up on the doorstep of his lakeside house accusing Rainey of stealing his story.

Shooter's action become more dangerous and eventually deadly as Mort tries to keep him at bay and collect the evidence that he wrote the story in question first. The trouble is, the deeper he digs, the more reason he has to doubt himself.

When the truth is revealed, it comes too slowly. It should have been a sharp gasping moment in the M Night Shyamalan style - that was the whole point of King's book - but Koepp rolls it out over a minute or so with smarmy but clever special effects and some of the impact is lost.

Brave and original however is the ending - the total opposite of the happy ending we expect from any American movie.

Depp shines as usual, and famous screenwriter and first time director Koepp injects many scenes with spine-tingling tension - cleverly so, considering the subject matter is apparently just a country bumpkin stalker. interesting to see Tim Hutton aging considerably, making you realise how long it's been since he was active as one of Hollywood's best supporting actors.

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