The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, originally titled ‘The Woman in the House’ is a dark thriller, bordering on a parody of traditional mystery psychological thrillers. It was released on Netflix in early 2022. Hannah Walton-Hughes discusses this binge-worthy TV series.
There are some shows that you cannot stop watching. With only eight episodes, each just under half an hour long, The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window makes it very easy to click ‘continue watching’ and not leave your screen until you have found out whodunnit!
I struggled to warm to her personality
The series follows the dark and tragic story of Anna (played by Kristen Bell), a woman living with the overwhelming grief of losing her daughter in the most disturbing of ways. Without her husband, Anna turns to drink, and allows herself to be enveloped in her own misery. And it is exactly these factors that prevent anyone from believing her when she sees (through her window), the mysterious women next door fighting for her life, a stab wound visible in her neck.
Whilst Anna is naturally a very sympathetic character, I struggled to warm to her personality. She is quite one-dimensional and irritating at times. I wanted her to solve the mystery, whilst also wishing for a slightly more engaging protagonist.
We desperately want to like and trust him, but something keeps standing in our way
The characterisation of Neil, the handsome new neighbour, who moves into the house opposite Anna with his daughter, is, in my opinion, the best of the series. As viewers, we desperately want to like and trust him, but something keeps standing in our way. There is far more to him than his charming smile.
This series is littered with creepy and suspicious characters, jump scares, and plot twists, including the main reveal in the last episode, which is both disturbing and remarkably believable, when you look back over the clues.
I would not label The Woman as a significantly mature show, but I would advise you to think carefully before watching it if moderate gore and a rather lengthy sex scene would make you squirm. Of course, it is always possible to skip these scenes, but I felt that the series could have worked better with slightly less of the explicit elements.
A stand-out feature of this series is the incredible filming and sound that illustrates the story. From the spooky zooming in on Anna’s dark loft, and the rustling shadow that is fleetingly shown there, to the sound effects building tension during Anna’s psychotic moments, the story would not have been half as unsettling without these superb techniques.
It leaves everything very much open-ended
Possibly the most questionable and controversial element of this series, for me, is its ending. It is hard to say much without giving away any spoilers, but it leaves everything very much open-ended, and not in the most effective way. It left me rather confused as to its meaning. Whether it was done this way to indicate that another series is looming, is very ambiguous.
Overall, this is a very impressive and gripping series, which I would strongly recommend. It will not take up much of your time and has a twist which will undoubtedly stay with you. Just bear in mind the content warning and the mildly frustrating ending.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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