Viewers are enjoying Netflix’s thriller parodyThe Woman in the House Across the Street from the Woman in the Window – but what films are the hit series referencing?
Since its release on 29 January, the Kristen Bell show has remained in the streamer’s Top 10. On Wednesday (2 February), The Woman in the House reached its fourth day at No 1.
Bell plays Anna, a painter who has become a recluse and alcoholic following a personal tragedy.
After befriending her new neighbor and his young daughter across the street, she witnesses what she believes to be a murder through their window and endeavors to find out the truth.
Although some viewers initially forgot, The Woman in the House is not a real thriller but a parody of the films that have recently come out of the genre. So which movies are being lampooned in Netflix’s latest hit?
The Woman in the Window
This is probably the most obvious reference on the list. The Woman in the House shares many tropes with Netflix’s 2021 flop The Woman in the Window. First and foremost, both protagonists are called Anna. The film – which was critically slated – starred Amy Adams as a child psychologist rendered agoraphobic after suffering a tragedy. Likewise, Bell’s Anna develops a debilitating case of ombrophobia (a fear of the rain) after the loss of her family de ella.
In both films, the protagonists are seen talking to the ghosts of their dead families.
as in The Woman in the WindowBell’s Anna believes she sees a murder happen in the window of the house across the street only to have everybody tell her that the alleged victim is still alive.
The Girl on the Train
There are numerous moments throughout The Woman in the House which cast Emily Blunt’s 2016 film. While alcoholism in thrillers is certainly not exclusive to The Girl on the Train (Adams’s protagonist in The Woman in the Window also drains bottles of wine), substance abuse is a focal point of the film.
In The Girl on the TrainBlunt’s character becomes an increasingly unreliable narrator as she sips vodka from a water bottle throughout the day. Woman in the House hammers home Anna’s drinking problem as she’s seen drinking comically large glasses of wine and keeping the corks in an overflowing bowl.
There’s also the fact that Anna becomes romantically attracted to the supposed murderer, similar to how Blunt’s character is interested in the husband (Luke Evans) of a missing girl (Haley Bennett).
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It seems almost sacrilegious to compare The Woman in the House with Rear Windowbut the similarities are evident – if only because the films that the series is lampooning are themselves heavily inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock classic.
Like Hitchcock’s Jeff (James Stewart), Anna sees what she believes to be a murder in her neighbour’s apartment and becomes obsessed with solving the mystery. The many shots of Anna looking out from her sofa into the windows of the house across the street are references to the filming style of Rear Window.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Throughout The Woman in the House, Anna has numerous interactions with a kind handyman who has a seemingly endless list of jobs to do on her street. The character trope of an innocent and burly man has been used in many films. The reference in The Woman in the Househowever, seems to echo the 1992 thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradlein which Ernie Hudson plays a kindly gardener able to see through the wholesome act of the film’s villain, Rebecca de Mornay’s Peyton Flanders.
Ironically, copy cat is another film that The Woman in the House borrows from. Sigourney Weaver stars as a criminal profiler named Helen Hudson, who becomes agoraphobic after being attacked by a serial killer.
Part of The Woman in the House‘s fourth episode takes place by a lighthouse, where apparent flashbacks show Neil (Tom Riley) chaperoning a field trip for his daughter’s class. There, he passionately kisses his daughter’s teacher de ella, before she mysteriously plummets to her death de ella. The seaside location of the scene calls to mind the 1992 thriller Final Analysisstarring Richard Gere and Kim Basinger – the climax of which unfolds at a lighthouse.
It’s none other than psychological thriller legend Glenn Close who closes out the first season of The Woman in the House. The star appears in the show’s final moments as a mysterious woman who boards Anna’s plane to New York.
Close’s character tells Anna that she’s heading to the city “for business”, but it’s not long before Anna discovers her new plane buddy dead in the plane’s toilet. When Anna tries to alert the flight attendant, however, it seems the body has vanished. Although Close’s cameo in the series doesn’t exactly reference the actor’s classic 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction, the mere sight of the actor brings the film to mind.
In the final scene of the show, we see Anna desperately trying to tell the plane crew that Glenn Close’s character is dead in the bathroom. But not only has the body disappeared, the flight attendant also tells Anna that no one has sat next to her for the whole flight… The scene sets up a premise almost identical to the 2005 film flight plan, which starred Jodie Foster as a mum on a plane. When she wakes up to find her six-year-old daughter missing, she’s told that her child de ella simply does n’t exist.
‘The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window’ is available to watch on Netflix