March 12, 2004
||Thiller, Stephen King
||Quick-cut title splash, "From
the Writer of..."
||Delete key, poker, ax, Molotov
cocktail, rock, paper, scissors, shovel
|"In a world where..."
"...a window into another world. But some windows
should never be opened."
||10% (Horror, computer use, Slinky)
Before I checked the credits for Secret Window, I knew Stephen King had a
hand in the story. A horror movie with a novelist as the main character was
a dead giveaway. Obviously, after the failure at the box office of the previously
reviewed Dreamcatcher, the King name does not have the cachet it used to.
Johnny Depp plays a novelist who lives in a remote mountain cabin.
He is paid a visit by an Amish-Italian fellow named Shooter (or is
he?) who claims Depp stole his story. Depp has never met Mr. Shooter
before, but sure enough, the novels match word for word.
Charles Dutton tells Depp that Shooter may not just be some random
nut and when Depp asks who he is; Charles Dutton replies ominously, “You
don’t want to know.”
Standard horror fare follows with people looking around scared wielding
various ineffectual weapons. Girlfriends screaming as Amish Italians
break windows. Of course, since it is a King story we get a supernatural
twist as well with a door rattling and shaking like some unearthly
beast is behind it.
Johnny Depp fends off the
funny hat with
Despite the creepiness of the trailer, I laughed a lot. The Shooter
character, played by John Turturro, has a funny accent and wears
a funny hat. It is hard to be menacing with a funny hat. He has some
humorous dialog as well.
When he says “I want you to fix my ending,” that reminds
me of a comedy skit. One where the music and direction makes you
assume it is a scary scene, but instead it is about a mundane topic
like making a sandwich.
The other Turturro line that had me chuckling happens when Depp
says, “He calls himself Shooter.” Turturro says, “Maybe
my name’s not Shooter.” I just picture his next line
being “My name is Mokimbo, Lord of Amazon!”
After the voice-over says “Some windows should never be opened,” Depp
goes and opens a door. I know they are trying to connect the words
with the image here, but a door is not a window. Either the movie
should be called Secret Door, or Depp should be opening a window.
Or maybe I am just drawing a conclusion the creators did not intend.
gonna getcha with my lazy eye.
The suspense and direction of the trailer overcome the couple
of goofy lines, but I am concerned the Shooter character will not
be a convincing villain.
An obvious weapon for someone who lives in a remote mountain cabin
would be a gun. Of course, guns make horror movies less entertaining.
In Secret Window, we have axes, log pokers, rocks and shovels. Guns
just put holes in people, shovels put dents. Dents while less deadly
are more gruesome.
Conclusion on trailer: The trailer entertains
with suspense and a laugh, if you have the same sense of humor that
I have. Depp
well and so does Charles Dutton as his editor.
Conclusion on movie: I am not convinced that Turturro was
a good choice as a villain. At least they should not have given him
a funny accent and hat. Nevertheless, there are enough positives
in the trailer to make this movie worth seeing.
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