Old 03-10-2004, 11:33 PM
Reviews: Secret Window

JoBlo's 6/10 review of SECRET WINDOW can be found here: http://www.joblo.com/secretwindow.htm

And what did you think of the movie? Add your comments below.


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Old 03-14-2004, 03:01 PM
I give this movie an 8/10

Very suspensful. I saw it on Friday March 12th then on Sunday March 14th. I encourage everyone to see it.

This movie kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole show. And I know JoBlo did not like the ending but I did.
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Old 03-14-2004, 05:49 PM

I give this movie an 8.5/10

The movie was suspenseful, and it kept your attention. Johnny Depp has yet again done an amazing job.

I highly recommend it
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Old 03-14-2004, 06:05 PM
No spoilers:

The very first time I saw the trailer for Secret Window, I jokingly whispered to my dad (who was with me) what I bet would be the ending. He said he was thinking the same thing. Today I saw the movie without my dad, but I'm going to call him tonight and tell him that we were right all along!

Time for a rant. I HATE HOW EVERY THRILLER NOWADAYS TRIES TO SURPRISE THE AUDIENCE WITH THE SAME DAMN ENDING! It's no longer a surprise, okay?! I'm not the only one who thinks this either. As soon as it happened, most of the people in the theater loudly groaned, and several even walked out at that very moment. This twist has certainly become a cliche recently, what with a dozen or so movies using it in the past 5 years alone. Just stop! No more twist endings! And if you are going to use one, come up with one of your own! One that isn't being used in every other movie! It worked the first time I saw it because, well, I'd never seen it done before. It also worked the second time because that particular movie did a good job of hiding it. This one didn't, and neither did any of the other thousand (or what feels like a thousand) movies that used it recently. Enough!

The movie wasn't even interesting before it happened either. It was obviously trying to be creepy, but it wasn't working at all. There was no atmosphere, every single thing that happened that was supposed to shock you had already been used up to death in a billion other movies, and the pacing was horrible. Some situations in the movie were like something straight out of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" Yea, the Nickelodeon show. For kids.

The only saving grace of the movie was the acting. Johnny Depp is always good though, and John Turturro is, along with Steve Buscemi, the #1 scene stealer in the business. You could cast these guys in any movie and they'd make something good out of their roles. So they were good. That's no surprise at all. The same could be said for the ending. But I already went over that.

I can't recommend this movie to anyone but the most HARDCORE fans of Johnny Depp and/or John Turturro. Otherwise, this movie is up in the running for being the most predictable movie I've ever seen. No exaggeration there. It's also lame and corny. And not in the campy "so bad it's good" kind either. Just the kind that makes you wonder what was going through the minds of the studio execs who decided that financing this movie was a good idea.

A generous 4/10.
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Old 03-15-2004, 09:30 AM
Secret Window

I enjoyed Depp's acting (as always) and I feel Charles S. Dutton never truly gets the credit he deserves since he consistantly proves his acting chops.


What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said in the other reviews? I used to believe that Stephen King had a modicum of originality (i.e. It, The Shining, The Stand, even *gulp* The Langoliers) but each new movie that is produced from his work gets more and more redundent. I once believed that Goosebumps was just a dumbed down version of Stephen King's genius but over the course of the last decade Mr. King's work has begun blurring the lines.

I felt that the film was ultimately forgettable and sadly predictable. The fact that the trailers for the film give the impression of something supernatural occuring was another slap in the face AS THIS FILM IS NOT SUPERNATURAL IN ANY WAY! It was just mundane and tired.

The last five or so minutes, while not terribly original, were a bit refreshing and I cherish the fact that this wasn't another Sleepwalkers.

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Old 03-15-2004, 05:07 PM
I found Secret Window to be a good suspense/thriller film with a good performance by the talented Johnny Depp.

I'm a huge Stephen King fan, and was looking forward to seeing this movie adaptation of his short story (which I'm currently reading at the moment). I wasn't disappointed, had some genuinely creepy moments, especially in the scenes with John Turturro.

The only thing is that Stephen King usually makes a cameo in all of the movies that are based on his books, unfortunately he wasn't in this one.


Last edited by Heavenley; 03-15-2004 at 05:09 PM..
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Old 03-16-2004, 04:43 PM
Good film

I've been writing reviews all day and I'm just tired of them, so I'm just going to summarize what I thought about it.

-Likeable characters

-too much comic relief
-much too similar to The Dark Half

Secret Window- 7/10
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Old 03-17-2004, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by Heavenley

The only thing is that Stephen King usually makes a cameo in all of the movies that are based on his books, unfortunately he wasn't in this one.

7.5/10 [/B]
***minor spoilers****

I love his cameos, too!!

I found this movie very suspenseful; Johnny does a great job with this role (don't really like to see him as a psycho though) I thought the ending was OK, not as bad as some think, not great though. John Turturro was great!!! overall I give it a 7/10 - could have been alot better.
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Old 03-17-2004, 04:38 PM
I hate to be gushing Depp because everyone has but he's the only reason this movie is any good.


I don't think there is anyone hotter in Hollywood right now than Johnny Depp. What impresses me so much about the man is doesn't exactly seem to pick the movie he wants to film. But rather he seems to pick the characters he wants to play. Over the last few years he decided to star in average films. Maybe this is because he believed in characters like Jack Sparrow, Agent Sands, and now Mort Rainer in the film Secret Window.

Johnny Depp is a writer not only obvioiusly suffering from writer's block but also going through a bitter divorce. The story gets rolling with a man named John Shooter(played by John Turturro) accusing Depp's character Mort of stealing his story. The man starts threatening Mort, hurting his dog and eventually burning his ex-wife's house. This, of course, the wife Amy(Maria Bello) and her new lover Ted(Timothy Hutton) into the picture, and this is where the film is really at its peak. We start learning more about Mort's life and watch how this man was affected and is still being affected by his wife's unfaithfulness to him. The film's major twist was fairly predictable, but I think viewers less familiar with Stephen King might not agree with me.

So all in all the film is typical King. Suspenseful at the beginning, losing steam towards the end, and then a surprisingly tense ending. So what holds this film together? The same man who made Pirates of the Carribbean, Sleepy Hollow, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico watchable. He is funny, dramatic, scared, and just plain psycho in this film. He takes a fairly interesting character and makes him the strength of the film. Mort says in this film, "Its all about the ending and this one is perfect." I'd disagree with him....at least when it comes to this film. Its all about Depp's performance and this one is pretty much perfect. (But what else is new?)
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Old 03-17-2004, 07:27 PM
I liked the movie. I am a huge Johnny Depp fan..HUGE fan...ok obsessed.

I liked it alot. I mean by no means did I think it was his best. The movie was so so. The plot was cool but reminded me too much of Fight Club...insomniac psychitzo is actually awake when he believes he is sleeping. His alter ego comes out and does the dirty work for him.

But I liked it. And I would reccommend it for any Johnny Fans because he looks so fuckign gorgeous. Did I mention he is in every scene. Though I do think the movie could have used more nude scenes.
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Old 03-20-2004, 04:51 PM
Secret Window

I saw this movie the night it came out (with acouple friends) because i thought it would be totally awesome. i agree that there were some dull moments that could have been fixed, but there was alot of excitment too.

The basic storyline of the movie was mort (johnny) made up a fictional character in his head so that he would remind him to fix the ending to one of hos stories. That the ending was the most important part of a book. Well i think the writers of secret window screwed their ending up. I didn't like the fact that the main character was actually a psycho person. I lik n e movie johnny depp is in tho.

So i give it a 8.5/10
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Old 03-21-2004, 04:23 PM
Good movie.

Acting: 10/10

Direction: 8/10

Music Score: 7/10

Script: 9/10

Effects: 8/10

Movie: 7.5/10
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Old 04-15-2004, 07:48 AM



--Johnny Depp gets yet another chance to sink his teeth into a meaty role in this film, and takes the opportunity above and beyond what any other actor in his generation would've been able to do. Depp personifies his role of Mort, conveying many stages of his character. When Mort is arguing with himself over thoughts and actions, Depp has the most fun and takes his performance to the limit without it ever being stupid or unintentionally funny.

--This is quite a scary movie. There is a lot of intensity in the scenes where Depp is searching his house for his crazy foe, and some great camera-work on the death scenes. In fact, most of the kills are off-screen, which can be a good or bad thing, but the aftermath gore is usually shown - the scene where two particular main characters are found (think car, and screwdriver) is particularly shocking. Like "The Blair Witch Project", "Secret Window" is also a reminder that subtle things can scare us - in this case it's a black hat sitting on a desk, or the blue mist resting on a lake.

--It's refreshing to see a horror movie in this generation that doesn't strictly follow the rules of 'the two leads live and the killer is discovered'. "Secret Window" is definitely a twist-in-the-end movie, and while the twist isn't really all that original, it is very entertaining to see the film take such a different path. It's also quite a creepy twist and allows the film to go to levels it otherwise wouldn't have had the guts to go.

--I'm not a fan of David Koepp's recent screenwriting efforts. "Spider-Man" was a terrific film, but I thought "Panic Room" and "Stir of Echoes" were very boring films with the help of visual flair to stop them being completely disastrous. Koepp works with Stephen King's book here and does a genuinely good adaptation. I loved the way the film presented a book-to-film idea, and I thought that a horror writer's own story coming true was an original and intriguing concept. I remember once coming up with a similar idea, but that was before I knew about King's book or Koepp's film. Koepp also directs the movie and the visual flair creeps in, as well as the aforementioned subtle cinematography tricks and some very well filmed fantasy sequences ensure this "Window" is a well-directed one.


--"Secret Window" is anything majorly original. The twist-in-the-end is your standard "Fight Club" two-people-in-one-body scenario, and the scares themselves are generally "What Lies Beneath" or "Signs" material. Though the unoriginality doesn't take much away from the movie in terms of enjoyment, it become a lot more apparent when I was discussing the movie with a friend later.

--The split personality twist as mentioned in my last point, isn't all that clear to the viewer. It's a cool idea that Mort would only be this way until his book is finished and the ending played out as it should, but it's not very logical. If you have this disorder, it doesn't just go away because you want it to. Mort is clearly totally insane and that wouldn't just go away because he kills his wife.


8/10 - A solid and underrated chiller, with Depp giving a strong performance and Koepp coming back to form in terms of writing and direction. Don't keep this window secret, recommend it and enjoy it!


Fight Club (10/10)
Identity (9/10)
Panic Room (5/10)
Stir of Echoes (4/10)
What Lies Beneath (8/10)
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Old 04-18-2004, 05:11 PM
Few months before its released I was excited to see the film. But after some so and so reviews I decided to not expect a fantastic movie but expect a good one, and thats what I got.

Johnny Depp is a brilliant actor, just effortlessly moving around in each scene, making you interested in his character and the movie. His timing was perfect, his comedy was natural and his drama was intriguing. John Turturro was in good form as Mr Shooter though he said "You stole my story" one two many times.

The direction was David Koepp was well done. From his camera moving up the stairs, his angles on the lake etc. He handled some of the dark scenes well, the darkest and scariest was when the screw driver was in the dogs neck. Everyone in my cinema gasped.

On the bad side of things, the lost some of it in the mid part of the film. The film wasn't as suspenseful as I hoped, but the film did however manage to pick itself up in the last 30 minutes of the film.

The ending I could see 25 minutes into the film, and though it was predictable I quite enjoyed the ending. Could've been more original, but nonetheless quite enjoying.

Overall this is a enjoyable flick, with another great performance by Johnny Depp.

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Old 04-19-2004, 06:41 PM
An Above Average Horror/Thriller With An Outstanding Performance by the One and Only Johnny Depp

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Johnny Deppís new film Secret Window since I first seen the trailer for it. Johnny Depp who to me has always been one of my favorite actors, never really got noticed or credit before last yearís Box Office Smash Hit Pirates of the Caribbean. Well this is technically Deppís first film since Pirates so he has reeled in a new audience for his films. So, on Friday night, after my painfully long night at Blockbuster, Jen picked me up and we went to eat, and then went to the 11:10pm showing of Secret Window.

Secret Window is about a divorced writer named Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp). The movie begins on a depressing note where Mort finds out that his wife Amy (Maria Bello) is cheating on him. The movie than flashes forward a few months when Mr. Rainey is living all alone in the woods. A weird man named Mr. Shooter (John Turturro) shows up and accuses him of plagiarism. Mr. Rainey believes the allegations to be false but is now being stalked by this Mr. Shooter. Then things start to occur and itís up the Mr. Rainey to stop this before him and his ex-wife become harmed.

Another terrific performance by Johnny Depp is the main reason to see the film. Johnny Depp again proves to be one of my all time favorite actors. His acting is flawless; he delivers yet again another terrific character. What I like about Depp is that he always plays a different weird character in every film he is in and to top it off every character he portrays is likable. So Bravo Mr. Depp on another great performance for your resume. I also really liked John Turturro who nailed the southern stalker role. He was very creepy and his character was very believable. You donít want to mess with Mr. Shooter believe me. Maria Bello does another good job and can add this good film to her resume along with her great performance in The Cooler. Timothy Hutton who played the boyfriend Tim was also good as the a**hole character. I really did not like him and I felt the anger the Deppís character Mort had towards him. The cast of this film was right on target.

Secret Window was based on a Stephen King book entitled Secret Window, Secret Garden. The movie was drafted into a screenplay by writer/director David Koepp who wrote many great films including Panic Room, Stir of Echoes, and even the original Jurassic Park. I donít read many books so I donít really know if the book is like the movie. I know that the movie did have great dialog and a good story. The script wasnít on the completely original side, which I donít know if that is because he stayed loyal to the book but the script was very well done. It was a very well written piece in my opinion.

David Koepp who again wrote many screenplays but has only directed three films in which only one of them I have seen. David Koepp did a good job on the film, there are some really great locations in which this film was shot. The cabin in the woods was very creepy and I liked that the main character lived in this small town. There were also some pretty cool camera angles in the film along with some really suspenseful scenes. I have no problem what so ever with David Koeppís work on the film, he wrote and directed a good thriller.

In conclusion, I liked the film but not as much as I wanted to and the reason for that is because I watched the film and didnít find the film to be a laugh out loud comedy in like the rest of the theater thought it was. My fellow moviegoers must have been watching a different movie because to me the film had a few chuckles here and there but the audience at times was in hysterics like we were watching Austin Powers or some other laugh out loud comedy. So because of this occurring, I had a hard time really trying to concentrate on the film while people were laughing like a bunch of buffoons behind me. I still really enjoyed the film nonetheless; it had great performances, a good story, and a pretty decent ending. I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good horror/thriller film and doesnít like stupid horror films like Freddy vs. Jason or stuff like that because this isnít for you. This is more along the lines of a movie like Identity although Identity is a bit better; Secret Window is still worth checking out. I think Deppís performance is worth the price of admission alone but you get his performance along with a good story and a decent ending with Secret Window. My final rating is an 8/10.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:59 AM
the first thing i noticed about Secret Window was that the film looked great visually and was excellently directed. there are some really nice tracking shots and great use of the main set of the house (which also looks great). there are also some decent CG moments thrown in there. the acting is also very good, Depp delivers another great performance and all the supporting actors are also great and make their characters believable. the story was very entertaining despite it being very predictable although i really did like the ending

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Old 08-23-2005, 04:50 PM
It was just okay...6/10...7 tops..but after seeing the similar in twist but yet incredibly stupid Hide & Seek, I developed a better appreciation for Secret WIndow as to how to do this type of thing right.
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