Secret Window Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The picture was filmed in 2004 based on Stephen King’s story “Hidden Window, Hidden Garden”. According to critics, this is one of the most successful adaptations of the writer’s works.

What is Secret Window about?

Mort Rainey is a writer who until recently considered himself absolutely happy, because his career was going uphill, and in his personal life everything was going very well. However, now for about six months he has been living alone in a huge house, communicating only with a dog, since his wife left and decided to divorce him. Mort’s gift for writing is gone, inspiration has not visited for a long time – so he sits at the computer all day, unable to write a single new line or sleeps.

And suddenly a stranger appears in Rainey’s life, accusing the writer of plagiarism. The man shows his manuscript with a work, one-to-one matching the story of Mort, published once in one of the magazines. A man who calls himself Cockney Shooter pursues the hero, kills his dog, sets fire to the house where Rainey’s wife lives with her new chosen one. And all due to the fact that the writer does not recognize the fact of stealing the idea, because Mort clearly remembers that he himself wrote and published the story two years earlier than the stranger.

Rainey takes action – hires a detective. The specialist must justify him and protect him from Shooter, who is suspected of killing two more people. However, the evidence found by the detective turns out to be corrupted, and all the investigations that Mort conducts in parallel, unexpectedly lead him to himself. In reality, it turns out that there is no Shooter, and the writer, suffering from a split personality, ends up killing his wife and her lover.

Meaning of the movie Secret Window

Spectators expecting blood-chilling scenes from a mystical thriller will be disappointed. There are no fantastic transformations associated with the window in the picture, as you might think from reading the title. In the house of the protagonist there are no secret windows that allow you to gain psychic abilities or see something unusual or strange. The atmosphere of mystery and fear is emphasized only by the remote area in which Mort’s house is located – loneliness and helplessness emanates from deserted landscapes. The musical accompaniment pumps up anxiety, making the viewer’s heart beat faster in anticipation of new plot twists – and this is much more interesting than the bloody scenes.

Starting to observe the extraordinary ups and downs of life of the protagonist, the viewer generally forgets about the title of the film, being carried away by the experiences of the weak-willed but likeable writer. Empathizing with Mort, thriller lovers take a long time to notice the ominous changes taking place in the depressive loser. From a downtrodden poor fellow in a tattered robe, he gradually turns into a prudent cold-blooded deceiver – and these transformations are very difficult to trace.

A lot of little things, obvious only to an attentive observer, suggest that the main idea of ​​the picture is not terrible murders and fires, but the tragedy of one person living in his own, fictional, and not real world. And this gradual immersion into a parallel reality, which lovers of mysticism observe through the eyes of the protagonist, is the most terrible reality.

The events knocking Mort out of the usual calm rut of hermit life make not only the writer, but also the viewer think. Mystery follows mystery, the tangle of mysterious incidents grows like a snowball. Logic and common sense are lost – so the hero is forced to look into the darkest depths of his subconscious, dragging observers there as well. And when the truth is revealed, it becomes scary not because life is full of dangers, but because games with the human psyche can end in such a monstrous disaster.

The meaning of the ending Secret window

The ending of the picture dots the i’s, revealing to the viewer the real scale of the disaster that has occurred. The writer, who killed both his wife and his lover, easily escapes punishment, lying to the police without a twinge of conscience. Although the picture does not show how Mort disposes of the corpses, the viewer will guess for himself, as the camera eloquently shows thickets of corn planted in a secluded place behind the house. After all, in the story that became a stumbling block between Mort and Shooter, a man kills his wife, digs in the garden and plants corn in this place.

This is exactly what Rainey did, but he is no longer the depressive bummer that the viewer met at the beginning of the tape. The writer’s personality splits in two, just as his house falls apart at the end of the film. But before that, the viewer manages to understand the idea behind the title – only through a secret window in Mort’s house can one see these sinister corn bushes hiding a dark secret. The fate of the crazy writer in the end remains unknown, nothing is said about it, so it remains only to fantasize and guess what fate awaits the unfortunate. Involuntarily, the audience wonders if there is some secret window in their life that reveals the unsightly sides of the personality or disgusting actions born of distorted reality.

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