The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window

Anna (Kristen Bell) is a woman who has reached her limit: depressed and addicted to alcohol to overcome the pain of losing her daughter, eaten by a cannibal serial killer. Her little girl had in fact gone with her father (Michael Ealy), an FBI profiler, on “take your daughter to work” day and, in a moment of distraction, she was left alone in the same room with a notorious killer. In her desperation, accompanied by the breakup with her husband, after three years of alcohol and psychopharmaceuticals, Anna begins to obsess over the lives of others, and in particular that of her new neighbor, Neil (Tom Riley), a widower with a dependent child. Between states of hallucination and moments of deep depression, Anna will soon have to get up from her chair and in a short time will be involved in murders and extortion attempts, a whirlwind of events in which the limit between what is true and false – and between thriller and irony – it becomes more and more labile.
Already the description of the plot of this Netflix miniseries, produced by Will Ferrell (directly from Saturday Night Live), leaves the reader in a state of confusion. This is perhaps the most distinctive feature of The Woman in the House Opposite the Girl from the Window, a title that many will bring to mind a cathartic question: “How do I pray?”
The long title immediately places us in an inquisitorial state and only a few elements – not entirely accessible – allow us, at first glance, to guess that what we are about to see is a parody. However, there are some clues: the first is the presence of Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Veronica Mars), who here proves to be able to support even more refined operations than in the past, thanks to an acting that – together with other factors – has a specific purpose: to constantly deceive the viewer, never to make the dimension of parody and irony perceptible.
Herein lies the genius of the miniseries: the long title refers, in the story, to a thriller novel that the protagonist is reading, thus making it possible to identify a meta-narrative path which, to a careful eye, will also result from the very refined mix of genres that the series of Ferrell realizes.
The story mimics the classic thriller, with elements of suspense constantly reminiscent of Hitchcock, from the idea of an observer immobilized at home – due to psychological problems, reminiscent of Jeff’s (James Stewart) physical ones in Rear Window. And at the same time it is a psychological thriller, in which the protagonist’s mental confusion extends to the viewer’s despair, with a clever game between what the protagonist knows (or thinks she knows) and what the viewer sees (or thinks she sees). It is a crime, where the intervention of the police is always imperceptibly parodied, and there are even elements of horror, in the hallucinatory visions of Anna and in the presence of a disturbing man, the handyman Buell (Cameron Britton), whose delay mental constantly makes you think of the killers of the best American horror tradition.

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