Secret Window

Johnny Depp in decent Stephen King pic

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OPENED APRIL 30, CERT 15, 96 MINS

Depp here extends his run of eccentric, quizzical scene-stealers as Mort Rainey. He’s a reclusive, best-selling author holed up in an isolated cabin, wrestling with writer’s block and a messy divorce. Step forward hillbilly stalker John Shooter (John Turturro), claiming Rainey has plagiarised his story and demanding satisfaction?shoving a screwdriver through Rainey’s dog, burning down his house, and targeting his wife to make his point until Rainey, too, loses the plot.

Another King “writer’s nightmare” (see also Misery, The Dark Half), Secret Window also explores the trauma of divorce as Rainey sits mumbling bitterly outside his old home, bellowing at his wife’s new lover (Dark Half star Timothy Hutton), slowly falling apart at the seams. Director David Koepp, who delivered uneasy chills in Stir of Echoes, botches the shocks here, but lets you feel the paranoid loneliness of Rainey’s cabin and, with his committed cast, creates a minor but satisfying gothic psychodrama.

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