Fight ClubThe Sixth SenseThe Usual SuspectsPrimal FearBasic InstinctWhat do these films have in common? They were all ripped off by Secret Window…
Not often do I see films I think are going to be supernatural thrillers. I went along as a close mate invited me on a cold Melbourne Saturday afternoon, and I thought it might be fun. But I was expecting to be scared, and to have to turn away my eyes at some points. Unfortunately, the trailer completely misrepresents this ‘thriller’, and makes the film more likely to succeed than it really should be.
Apart from blatantly ripping off a slew of recent high profile Hollywood hits, there isn’t much else on offer here. The cast is great – Johnny Depp is pretty good here, and Charles Dutton, although underutilised, is one of my favourite actors. Maria Bello has something about her, and what can I say about John Turturro? He is just super, and at times he steals this film from his extremely well-regarded lead co-star. His entrance is superb, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that his first line became a much quoted quote, asked at trivia nights for all eternity. His delivery is just that good.
The plot is kinda shaky, and seems a little disjointed to me – a bit in two halves. The ‘twists’ are about as twisty as a not-twisty, straight-cut, untwistable, twist-less thing. I saw this film coming from a mile away. The frights? Well, I’m a wuss, as previously disclosed, and I wasn’t scared at any stage. The tired techniques of age-old masters of the genre are well-(ab)used, and seem to have come from ‘Thrillers 101’ at the local community college.
It looks good. That’s about all there is to say for it. A shame really, as Depp’s ‘Pirates’ performance brought him long-overdue accolades, and to follow it with this smacks of a poor choice. If you were really bored one night, and in the video shop, and Secret Window was on half-price rental, consider renting it. But make sure you take it back on time – you don’t want to get caught paying more than a few bucks to watch this.Rating: