“Secret Window”

By Karina Brown

-In the trailer for “Secret Window,” critics claim Johnny Depp’s performance is the best of his career. However, there is a major gap between Depp’s previous movies and his current film — the essential quality of a well carried out plot.

The critics are saying this is his best performance because he was able to star in a movie that involved a predictable and implausible storyline, yet still kept audiences intrigued.

Mort Rainey (Depp) struggles with the idea of moving on in life since his painful split with wife Amy (Maria Bello). Rainey is sloppy, bitter and not only suffering from heartache, but writer’s block as well. However, his true problems don’t come about until John Shooter (John Turturro), a mysterious man from Mississippi, shows up and accuses him of plagiarism.

Rainey is bewildered by these accusations and asks Shooter to leave him alone. However, Shooter raises the stakes and becomes a frightening threat to Rainey and his loved ones. It’s all fun and games until a loved dog gets stabbed with a screwdriver.

In every Stephen King film, the main character is going to experience abnormalities which can irk the normal audience member. It’s expected to see various bloody murders in repulsive, yet creative, manners.

Director David Koepp captivates the audience by throwing curve balls at them but then forgets to clean it up in the end. It leaves the audience thinking, “How is it possible for someone to murder at least three people and dump a car with your personal belongings into a shallow bay without ever being caught or even questioned?”

The movie actually starts off on a good foot. The cinematography, characters and internal monologue are all intriguing. But what appeared to be a very honest film in the beginning rapidly changed to commercial Hollywood.

It seems Koepp was so concerned with thrilling the audience that he threw character development and sequence right out the “secret” window and settled for cheesy horror. Perhaps instead of focusing on a twist or surprise in the end like so many movies today, Koepp could have let us in on the actual events and let suspense run its course.

It’s the little ideas like these that make the film less believable and, therefore, less scary. Because Depp can pull off odd and unpredictable characters, we are able to sit through this film and actually remain frightened.

Could this be Johnny Depp’s best film? Well, let’s just say if there’s anything that keeps “Secret Window” from being painful, it’s him.