Let me start this review by saying that I have never read the book, by A. J. Finn, that The Woman In The Window is based on. Apparently, if you have read it, the adaptation may be a bit of a letdown. But for those of us who are watching the film with fresh eyes, the opinion differs a lot.
As soon as I saw the trailer and the cast I was in. Amy Adams, Julianne Moore (After The Wedding), Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, and Jennifer Jason Leigh give you plenty of bang for your buck. So does the plot of this thriller/horror movie.
It centers around a woman called Anna who suffers from agoraphobia. Separated from her husband, she hasn't left her home in 10 months. Her only companions are a cat and a tenant, David, who lives in the basement. Even her therapist comes to her. So fuelled up with plenty of anti-anxiety meds and alcohol, Anna's life more or less revolves around watching her neighbours through her window. Hence the name The Woman In The Window.
When a new family moves in across the road, Anna reluctantly befriends the teenage son, Ethan Russell. And after a particularly stressful event, she also meets Jane Russell, the mum. However, it's when she witnesses Jane get murdered in her own home that things really begin to spiral. Because Jane Russell is not dead, in fact, she's very much alive as the detectives investigating Anna's claims have discovered. So is it all in Anna's head? Is she so out of her right mind that she hallucinated all of it?
And that's the clever bit of the movie. As a viewer you just don't know. There's enough to convince you that Anna saw what she saw but as the movie unfolds, the doubt creeps in…
Director Joe Wright has used some great techniques to keep you guessing all the way to the end. With plenty of jumps and a general eerie vibe, The Woman In The Window is definitely going for a Hitchcock feel. Great performances from all of the cast of course helps enormously.
Amy Adams as a traumatised woman endlessly confused and spiraling, to Gary Oldman as the frustrated and intimidating neighbour, to Brian Tyree Henry as a sympathetic detective, all give The Woman In The Window enough gravitas to draw you in and keep you hooked.
I really enjoyed it as a stand-alone movie. I can't compare it to the book, but rarely do great books fully translate to the big screen anyway! Just watch it to be entertained.