The Woman in the Window needs to step outside and get a reality check on what a successful psychological thriller should be
The Woman in the Window is a 2021 psychological thriller released on the Netflix platform, and it has a myriad of stars, such as, Amy Adams, Wyatt Russell, Gary Oldman, Julianna Moore and Fred Hechinger. It was a highly anticipated film by myself, which was initially due for release back in 2019, but went through a number of rewrites and re-editing due to poor test screenings. I am an avid fan of psychological thrillers, and with a cast like this, how could I go wrong.
The story centres around a woman called Anna Fox (Amy Adams), who suffers from agoraphobia and is incapable to leaving her house. She is literally The Woman in the Window! This was brought on by the breakdown of her marriage to her estranged husband (Anthony Mackie) and their daughter, which led to her being suicidal and being on medication to try and keep her sane.
One day whilst looking out of her window, she witnesses what she believes to be the murder of her new neighbour who have just moved in across the road from her. This leads of a lot of conspiracies and twists that should have us on the edge of our seats.
I know this may seem like a generic plot for this type of a movie, but what had me intrigued was the cast and the way in which it was this was written and directed, much in a style of Alfred Hitchcock movies, of which I am a huge fan.
The movie consists of very few characters, such as, the main character, the neighbours, the tenant, and the detectives. That’s pretty much it. Each character has a good amount to do in the film, however no one performance stands out amongst the others. I have to admit that I was expecting much more from this class of actors. I was curious to see how Fred Hechinger (Playing Ethan Russell), would fair when surrounded by such amazing actors, and I must say that I was not impressed with him at all. I found his acting unconvincing and I could not take him seriously.
Even Wyatt Russel (David Winter), was a massive let down, fresh of his role in the Marvel series “The Falcon and the Winter Solider”. His arc in the film was very predictable and not compelling at all. Amy Adams does her best to convey a person very much distressed and confused, not knowing one day from the other, but even her performance could not save this movie. Notice how I have not spoken on the great Gary Oldman or Julianna Moore? Well, that is because their characters were very much flat and uninspiring. I felt very let down by everyone and their characters in the film.
I did not enjoy this movie at all. I thought that it was poorly executed, the acting was bland, and the many twists were very much predictable. Although I kept up with the movie, if you are not paying attention, it is easy to get confused in regard to what was happening at the time. The acting from Fred Hechinger was deplorable and the characters were not believable.
I can truly understand why this has taken so long to get released and why this was sold to Netflix instead of holding out for a cinematic release. If this is the better version of what was shown at the test screening originally, I dread to think of what it was that they were shown.
Related: If you are looking for a great psychological thriller on Netflix, try ‘Run’ – full review here
I think what disappoints me the most is that with such a stellar cast, the movie was lacklustre. The director, Joe Wright, has actually directed some very good movies, such as “Atonement” and one of my all-time favourites, “Hanna”. I am aware that this movie is an adaptation from the 2018 novel of the same name, written by A.J.Finn, and usually if I watch a novel-to-film adaptation, I then go and read the book after, but I have no intention of doing that. This movie has rid me of the need or want to do so.
As you can tell, my enjoyment of this movie was of the lowest level.
As far as movies on Netflix goes, this is one of the better ones, which is not saying a lot at all. I was very disappointed and let down by this movie and unfortunately, I would not recommend it to anyone. There are so many other movies of this genre out there which you would get so much more enjoyment from. I can see where they have tried to bring in elements of a Hitchcock type of thriller, but it has just not worked. The screenplay is poor and the acting leaves a lot to be desired. Sadly, I could see the potential in this movie, alas, I feel the talent and potential has been wasted.
See the Official Trailer here