Secret Window [2004]

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Johnny Depp gets high off another acting challenge in this tricky adaptation of a Stephen King yarn. Although the mood is too sinister to allow for the mischief of his Pirates of the Caribbean turn, Depp still manages to embroider his role here with plenty of quirky business. He plays a writer, depressed and nearly divorced, who's stuck in an isolated cabin (shades of The Shining) when a stranger (John Turturro) arrives, accusing him of plagiarism. Writer-director David Koepp (Stir of Echoes) does his best to make the rickety material compelling--he gets the maximum out of the cabin set, for instance--but the problems inherent in the King story eventually win out. The climactic scenes are particularly unpleasant, especially in contrast to the cleverness of Depp's performance. A Philip Glass score adds class, but this one ultimately feels like a disappointment. --Robert Horton

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