"The Woman in the Window," starring Amy Adams, was released on Netflix on Friday. Despite poor reviews from critics, the movie was ranked #1 on the Netflix streaming platform for days after its release.
The psychological thriller directed by Joe Wright might not deliver the intensity and suspense of other films in the same genre, but the plot is nothing short of honest. It follows the main character's struggle to become aware of her trauma and confront it. It also pays homage to a blend of Alfred Hitchcock movies, particularly influenced by "Rear Window."
Adams plays an agoraphobe, struggling to navigate new anxiety medication, who people-watches from her townhouse in New York. Instead of a pair of binoculars, Adams is equipped with a camera and cell phone. She bears witness to a murder of her neighbor and new friend one evening after drinking and taking her prescriptions.
With law enforcement and neighbors telling her she was hallucinating and a woman claiming to be the very-much-alive victim, Adams' character struggles to distinguish her reality from her blurred memories of the night.
Some of the criticisms of this film are definitely the predictability (if you have seen the movie "Psycho," it’s a bit of a spoiler) as well as never feeling like you can truly figure out what is going on. This takes away from the effectiveness when the movie does come to its climatic point.
Those who love Hitchcock might find something to appreciate in this movie, though. The shots of Adams are inspired by his most famous films, spinning camera techniques similar to the ones used in "Vertigo" and, of course, characters based off those in "Rear Window" and "Psycho."
However, it’s hard to ask the generation of Netflix viewers to have seen and understand all of these references and allusions to movies that were released in the 1950s. For this reason among others, they really contributed to the movie being less than a success.