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The Secret Window

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In his 1999 film, Stir of Echoes, director David Koepp used the simple set-up of a man who becomes increasingly unhinged when he believes his house has been the site of a murder to create a compact and fairly effective thriller. Koepp's new film, Secret Window, covers similar turf: Writer Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp), stewing with writer's block in an isolated cabin, grows convinced that a curious stranger, Shooter (John Turturro), is trying to kill him. But Window is a sad pastiche of a dozen other thrillers (the film is adapted from a Stephen King short story) that simply treads narrative water until the inevitable "twist." Before the twist is one sort of bad movie -- the ham-and-cheese fest where Depp channels a hundred smirks and quirks as "a writer" and Turturro drops in from Tennessee Williams dinner theater. And if you haven't already guessed the outcome before the second reel -- or you're simply too weary to shift out of your seat -- be warned that the post-twist Window delivers another grade of "bad" where suddenly nothing you've seen before now makes a lick of sense. Two cameras

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