Successful author Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) discovers that his wife Amy (Maria Bello) has been having an affair with a man named Ted (Timothy Hutton) and suffers a psychotic breakdown. Mort now secludes himself in the rural town of Tashmore Lake in an isolated cabin. Now a recluse broken down man suffering from writers block, Mort spends hours looking at a blank page and delaying the final stages of his divorce. Is as if life couldn’t get any more complicated, Mort is confronted by a mysterious Mississippi dairy farmer John Shooter (John Turturro) who is accusing Mort of plagiarism from his manuscript “Sowing Season”. To Mort’s surprise the manuscript is the exact same as his story “Secret Window” except the ending has been changed. As Mort investigates deeper into the accusation we begin to see cracks in the recluse writer. With his ex-wife constantly harassing him, her new found lover snooping around, how long can our protagonist stand before his mask of sanity slips off?
Mort Rainey is a grief stricken man that has alienated himself from the world. However it seems being a faithful husband and a once successful writer has got him kicked out of his own home where his unfaithful wife and boyfriend stay. What was once his beautiful home and stunning wife is now tainted. Living so far away from civilisation, Mort’s safe haven becomes a confinement of his inner madness which eventually turns against him. His only companion is his Australian Cattle Dog Chico and trivial arguments with his own subconscious. As our traumatised writer Mort pushes for answers, holes begin to appear in his story of this dairy farmer John Shooter. Questions are answered with more questions and people dying. Mort slowly begins to lose his grip of reality and we begin to realise that Secret Window is a film of self-discovery of the inner demon within.
A psychological thriller and mystery, Secret Window is a narrative that follows Mort into a journey of question and more questions. We begin an emotional bond with Mort but as we gradually see Mort slowly delve into madness, we begin to see a brilliant transformation from a sympathetic character to a lunatic. We slowly unravel that this hermit shy writer has deeper murderous rage within and sometimes some windows should just be left closed and hidden. Secret Window spawns such raw and suspense atmosphere that truly does pay homage to the psychological thriller and mystery genre.