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Secret Window movie

Secret Window is a 2004 American psychological thriller film starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro. It was written and directed by David Koepp, based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King, featuring a musical score by Philip Glass and Geoff Zanelli. The story appeared in King's 1990 collection Four Past Midnight. The film was released on March 12, 2004, by Columbia Pictures; it was a moderate box office success and received mixed reviews from critics.


After catching his wife Amy having an affair with their friend Ted, mystery writer Mort Rainey retreats to his cabin at Tashmore Lake in upstate New York, while Amy stays in their marital home. Six months later, Mort, depressed and suffering from writer's block, has delayed finalizing the divorce.

One day, a man named John Shooter arrives at the cabin and accuses Mort of plagiarizing his short story, "Sowing Season". Upon reading Shooter's manuscript, Mort discovers it is virtually identical to his own story, "Secret Window", except for the ending. The following day, Mort, who once plagiarized another author's story, tells Shooter that his story was published in a mystery magazine two years before Shooter's, invalidating his plagiarism claim. Shooter demands proof and warns Mort against contacting the police. That night, Mort's dog, Chico, is found dead outside the cabin, along with a note from Shooter giving Mort three days to provide proof.

Mort reports the incident to Sheriff Newsome. Mort drives to his and Amy's house intending to retrieve a copy of the magazine but leaves because Ted and Amy are there. Mort instead hires private investigator Ken Karsch, who stakes out the cabin and speaks to Tom Greenleaf, a local resident who may have seen Shooter and Mort talking together. At the cabin, Shooter appears and demands that Mort revise his story's ending to Shooter's version, where the protagonist kills his wife. When an arson fire destroys Amy and Mort's house, and presumably the magazine, Mort reveals to the police that he has an enemy.

Karsch tells Mort that he suspects Shooter has threatened Greenleaf after Greenleaf claimed he never saw Mort and Shooter talking together. Mort and Karsch agree to confront Shooter but first choose to meet up with Greenleaf at the local diner the next morning. Arriving late, Mort discovers that neither Karsch nor Greenleaf showed up at the diner. On his way back, Mort encounters Ted at a gas station where Ted demands Mort sign the divorce papers. Believing Shooter is in Ted's employ, Mort refuses, taunts Ted, and leaves.

Later, Shooter summons Mort to a meeting place; when he arrives, Mort finds Karsch and Greenleaf dead inside Greenleaf's truck and passes out at the sight. When he recovers Shooter tells Mort he killed the two men because they had "interfered" in his business, and warns Mort he has deliberately implicated him in the two men's murders (having used Mort's axe and screwdriver as the murder weapons) and implies Mort should dispose of the bodies. Mort agrees to meet Shooter at his cabin to show him the magazine containing his story, which is supposed to arrive that day, having been sent overnight by his literary agent. Mort later retrieves his tools and then pushes Greenleaf's truck with both bodies still in it off a steep cliff into a water-filled quarry where it sinks.

Mort retrieves the package containing the magazine from the post office but finds that it has already been opened with the pages containing his story ripped out. At Mort's cabin, Mort sees Shooter's hat and puts it on and begins speaking to himself, trying to make sense of the events. Frustrated and in denial, Mort throws an object at the wall and is surprised to see a growing crack fracture the cabin in half. Looking in the mirror, he's startled to see the back of his head reflected instead. Mort realizes that Shooter is a figment of his imagination, a character brought to life through Mort's undetected dissociative identity disorder, unwittingly created to cope and carry out malevolent tasks that Mort cannot do - like killing Chico, Greenleaf and Karsch, as well as burning down their home. That persona now takes full control of Mort.

Amy arrives at the cabin, finding it ransacked and sees the word "SHOOTER" carved repeatedly on the walls and furniture. Mort appears, speaking and acting as Shooter, wearing his hat. Amy realizes the name "Shooter" represents Mort's desire to "SHOOT HER". He chases Amy and stabs her in the ankle. Ted, looking for Amy, arrives and is ambushed by Mort, who smashes his face with a shovel. Amy watches helplessly as Mort bludgeons Ted with the shovel, while reciting the ending of "Sowing Season". He then murders Amy offscreen.

Months later, Mort has recovered from his writer's block and his passion for life returns. He is feared and shunned in town because of the rumors about the missing people associated with him. Sheriff Newsome arrives and tells Mort that he is the prime suspect in the supposed murders. He warns him that the bodies will eventually be found and he will be caught, then says he is no longer welcome in town. Mort passively dismisses the threat and tells Newsome that the ending to his new story is "perfect". It is implied that Amy and Ted's bodies are buried under the corn growing in Mort's garden, allowing Mort to slowly destroy any evidence of their murders. (In an alternative ending cut for home media their bodies are shown under the earth.)