The Woman in the Window Review

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The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window Review

Anna Fox (Amy Adams) is an agoraphobic child psychologist who finds herself keeping tabs on the picture perfect family across the street through the windows of her New York City brownstone. Her life is turned upside down when she inadvertently witnesses a brutal crime. Based on the gripping, best-selling novel adapted by Tracy Letts, shocking secrets are revealed and nothing and no one are what they seem in this suspenseful psychological thriller starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger, Wyatt Russell, Brian Tyree Henry, Tracy Letts, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Julianne Moore.

The Woman in the Window is currently yet another Top Ten entry on Netflix that pops up every time you switch on your TV. I finally sat down and took the time to watch it, not having read anything but the short description followed by the statement that this movie is suspenseful, as in full of suspense. And there is the rub. It just isn’t all that suspenseful. Sure you may wonder what happened to that agoraphobic woman, what tragic event made her that way, it’s all explained later.

Besides explaining everything, there is also a lot of “telegraphing” going on, the act of conveying information to the viewer either intentionally or unintentionally. The sweet young boy who comes to visit alone to bring a welcome gift, is he really that sweet, why would he come alone and who likes to be licked by a cat? Telegraphing bad guy while pretending to be sweet, gotcha.

The movie takes place exclusively inside the apartment and as such at least succeeds in establishing a tight atmosphere of being trapped, since we all (most of us) experienced prolonged confinement in the past year and in part still do, that atmosphere is less effective in creating suspense esp. since it’s irrelevant whether the woman leaves the apartment or not, we don’t care either way, it’s not the essential part of the movie.

What happened to her? Who is the killer? Does she have extended warranty on her Macbook?

Only the latter is left unanswered and if you are confined and break your Macbook, that is most likely the only question you care about. And rightly so. After having sat through a dull blend of puzzles that get solved for the viewer one by one I felt like I could have just watched Copycat or Rear Window and gotten more suspense and entertainment than by watching this copy and paste of things lifted from other peoples work.

Then I wondered, if it’s that obvious, why is no one saying anything and why is it people support this “writer”? It appears plenty has been said already on the subject of A. J. Finn aka Daniel Mallory and if you google both you find enough so you can make up your mind about this movie or the book even without having seen or read it. Even if you are inclined not to care about all the controversies around Mr. Mallory, if you are all indifferent to any of it, even then, there is no reason to watch a dull movie that takes all the suspense out of it by explaining everything.

Since we are explaining everything, here’s a little spoiler, as far as causality goes, we wouldn’t have a woman in the window were it not for her act of infidelity. This will influence the way either viewer group, betrayer or betrayed, will see the characters and the movie. People who have not experienced either side, well, they can’t possibly know and hopefully never will.

By the way, in what universe would the police bring the family/murder suspects into the apartment of the witness for interrogation? Twice!

Do yourself a favor, skip this one and watch Copycat and/or Rear Window, instead.

Good

  • None

Bad

  • Everything is explained
  • Obvious Telegraphing
  • Copycat
3

Bad

Alexander has been around the internet since some time (FidoNet anyone?) and has been an avid cineast for even longer, with over a decade of stage acting and almost two decades in the computer game business and over four decades of IT and entertainment media experience, which is to say, he watched countless movies and series and played way too many video games on too many platforms. He currently resides near Paris, France and has gotten back into writing, when he is not out fishing with his son.

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