Review: The Woman in the Window

Michelle Jin, Staff Writer


Based on the popular 2018 novel by A.J Finn, The Woman in the Window released May 14, after undergoing many delays and reshoots. The film follows the agoraphobic Dr. Anna Fox, who lives with her cat and had just recently rented out her basement. Anna works as a child psychologist and has a therapist who visits her weekly. One day she believes that she witnesses a terrible murder while surveillancing her neighbors who just moved in. 

Anna also suffers from many other mental illnesses, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. These are represented through the film’s choice of colors and style. In the middle of the film she believes she has schizophrenia as well because she started seeing things that were not confirmed. She’s always second guessing the prescriptions given to her by her doctor, and she always has a wine glass within reach to take the meds with, despite being instructed not to do so. 

The use of color was very obvious to highlight emotions in different scenes, but it added a lot to the film overall. When Anna was sad, there would always be a blue undertone in the background, and when she was shocked or excited, pops of red and orange could be spotted. Color theory was used effectively. The lighting and set were done skillfully as it adds a certain atmosphere that made the setting seem claustrophobic and caved in. This added a lot of context reflecting on how Anna was feeling. There are also often internal emotions that are projected into the environment and surrounding of each character.  

The faults in the movie are almost unavoidable. The movie starts off with voice overs and flashbacks. Characters come in and out without much explanation, making it widely confusing. Without the background information and character build-up, the movie starts off expecting the viewers who have never read the book or heard of the movie before to know some information about the film. One character that lacks depth and background information is Anna’s tenant. Even though he’s one of the more important characters in the film, there isn’t much to his character. This film adaptation was accurate according to the book, with almost every plot and character included. Many scenes were over-dramaticized, making it kind of silly to look at. The acting overall was very frantic and artificial. Nothing really happens for most of the running time except for Anna walking around her spacious house drinking red wine and popping pills. 

The film is incomparable to the book in many ways, but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete waste of time. There was almost a plot twist every chapter that made me rethink the ending. This was one of the most satisfying parts of the book. The movie itself made the foreshadowing of the plot twist at the end too obvious, therefore spoiling the ending. Generally I didn’t enjoy the film as much as the book. This movie is worth watching for the cinematic effects, but as for the plot, I would recommend sticking with the book. The Woman in the Window isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s still worth a watch for the visuals and for the people that enjoyed the book.