Sunday, 13 July 2014

Secret Window (2004)

"I did those things so you didn't have to."

It's increasingly unusual to see Johnny Depp in a film where he's neither playing Captain Jack Sparrow nor being directed by Tim Burton. Here he is, though, on one of those Stephen King-penned thrillers that are, by sheer coincidence, making up an increasingly large proportion of the films I'm blogging.

It's a typical Stephen King thriller, right down to having a writer native to Maine as the hero, and it makes an excellent film with a superb twist. The interplay between Depp's dishevelled Morton Rainey and John Turturro's menacing hick, John Shooter, is disturbingly effective, as it has to be for the film to work.

I won't say anything about the twist, except to praise it in vague yet fulsome terms. But every storytelling beat is perfectly placed for this thriller to have maximum effect, as we should expect for a film based on King's work. There are nice touches; Depp's performance in general, of course, and the use of cigarettes (he's supposed to be giving up) to denote Morton's mood.

The twist is especially neat, especially as life increasingly mirrors the short story under dispute. This is a well executed, deeply satisfying and underappreciated film.

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