The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window: Review

The Woman In The House Across The street From The Girl In The Window official cover art

Wilson Freer, Reporter

       In January, I watched The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window. The Netflix original series, a parody of “The Woman in the Window” with many satirical elements, was released on Jan. 28. Kristen Bell stars as Anna Whitaker who is not only a struggling alcoholic, but also ombrophobic (fear of rain) and occasionally mixes wine with pills that make her see things. One night she is convinced that she witnesses a murder, and she undergoes a thrilling adventure to uncover what truly happened.

         The first thing I would like to say is that this woman had the most casserole dishes I have ever seen. In just eight short episodes, she manages to cook five casseroles and break at least three of them.

    One of the best, and most comedic lines of the show, is when Anna decides to take matters into her own hands and says to the audience via voiceover,  “To get to the bottom of something, sometimes you have to remind yourself that if you don’t risk anything, you risk everything. And the biggest risk you can take is to risk nothing. And if you risk nothing, what you’re really doing is risking not getting to the bottom of something. And if you don’t get to the bottom of something, you risk everything.”  This is just an example of the parody in the film, hinted at by its title.

     That being said, most of the jokes on this show were either right on target or totally fell flat. Whether that was intentional to try to add to the comedic element of the show or not, I still don’t know. Regardless, it was still easy to tell that it was filled with attempted humor.

     Another thing I liked about the show is Bell’s performance. She is a great actress and really committed to the role of Anna, which added a bit of seriousness to the story necessary to convey the mystery/suspense aspect of the show. I think that the big reveal at the end did make it hard to take seriously at all, but Bell stayed committed to the role no matter what.

     Regardless of the seriousness of the actors and plot, some things (even if they might’ve been jokes) were just plain cringey. It was hard to watch the story of her daughter dying, not because it was sad, but because of the absolute absurdity of the story: It was ‘take your daughter to work’ day, and Anna’s daughter went with her father (a psychiatrist for the FBI specializing in serial killers) to work and somehow got left in a room with a cannibal. It was just flat out hard to watch.

     SPOILERS AHEAD: The best part of this show was, hands down, the end of episode seven. In this episode, Anna is on the phone with her therapist (who also turns out to be her ex-husband) when she hears noises and sees “blood” coming from her attic. Anna reluctantly goes up and discovers that it was just red paint; however, she also finds out that someone has been living in her attic for a long time. After finding a pair of his gloves, Anna realizes that the person living there was actually her long time handyman Buell. After her therapist/ex-husband finds out it was Buell, he tells Anna to get out immediately because, surprise, Buell used to be a killer that Anna’s husband helped rehabilitate to stability. Anna looks out the window into the pouring rain and sees Buell slowly making his way over to the neighbor’s house with a hammer in hand. She has to run out of the attic and conquer her ombrophobia only to find that when she gets to the house, Buell is dead. 

     In the end, after many twists and turns, the killer is revealed. While the reveal was a definite play on the psychological thriller genre, it was definitely a disappointing ending to the show and I would’ve liked a somewhat different ending. Overall, I would definitely recommend this show to someone who likes  suspense and  dark humor and wants a fun mini series to keep them on the edge of their seat.