... and yes I know it's from Stephen King's original material, but after you watch the entire thing it seems cinematically borrowed from a movie from five years before. SPOILERS SPOILERS (I REALLY MEAN IT!) SPOILERS! It seems so much borrowed that I almost titled my review "Fright Club", but then I figured anybody who saw the title and saw the first fifteen minutes of the film would guess the ending.
Johnny Depp plays mystery writer Mort Rainey, living in his bathrobe in a house in the middle of nowhere, seemingly horribly resentful about a housekeeper whom he employed in the first place, working at odd hours, sleeping at even odder ones. Then a knock on the door. There is John Turturro, a composite of every weirdo he has ever played as John Shooter, dressed like a Mississippi preacher straight out of American Gothic, with a southern accent to match. And Shooter is angry. He claims that Rainey stole his story and he wants payback. Rainey doesn't take this guy seriously, and figures he is one of the many crackpots that minor celebrities like himself have to deal with every once in awhile. The guy leaves, but leaves his allegedly purloined story behind. Rainey ends up reading it and recognizes it as a near duplicate of his own "The Secret Window".
The complicating factors? Rainey has plagiarized one time in his career in the past. Also, Rainey is not happy about his impending divorce. He keeps putting off signing the divorce papers although he and his wife have worked out the property settlement. Plus, his wife left him for a lowlife (Timothy Hutton as Ted) who is obviously interested in Mort's soon to be ex partly because of her looks, partly because of the settlement she gets in the divorce. Materialistic Ted is so obvious that you feel Rainey's soon to be ex is not only not very loyal, but not very bright.
Well it turns out Shooter is aptly named, although guns are not really his thing. The violence this demanding man commits quickly escalates from first killing Rainey's dog, to torching Rainey's former home now occupied by his wife, to murder. But how could this one man, seemingly not that bright, manage to run circles around Rainey and all he employs to find out who Shooter really is and where he is from? He must have a source of inside information. Is it his wife? Ted? The guy he plagiarized years ago? Somebody else? Watch and find out.
Honorable mention has to go to Charles S. Dutton as the P.I. Rainey turns to for insight and protection from this guy. Len Cariou plays the seemingly useless small town sheriff where Rainey lives. I said seemingly.
The suspense builds superbly on this one with a score that really adds to the mood. I would probably give this one a nine if not for the ending that seems somewhat borrowed and definitely blue.
Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Mort Rainey is a successful writer going through a rather unfriendly divorce from his wife of ten years, Amy. Alone and bitter in his cabin, he continues to work on his writing when a stranger named John Shooter shows up on his doorstep, claiming Rainey stole his story. Mort says he can prove the story belongs to him and not Shooter, but while Mort digs around for the magazine which published the story in question years ago, things begin to happen around Shooter. Mort's dog dies, people begin to die, and his divorce proceedings with Amy continue to get uglier. It seems that Shooter has Mort over a barrel, but perhaps Mort has his own ideas on how to resolve all the problems that plague him lately.
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March 12, 2014 at 03:37 AM