The psychological thriller has tension and drama but falls short of necessary suspense.
The new movie by Pride and Prejudice and The Darkest Hour director Joe Wright stars Amy Adamas as Anna, a child psychologist with agoraphobia that has been cooped up in her New York brownstone for god knows how long. She lives her days drinking wine and taking her prescription medications; her therapist (actor and screenwriter of this film Tracy Letts) constantly visits her. Suddenly, a new family moves across from her house, and she can’t help but spy on them. So there is a mystery, why is Anna in this sad, hazy state, and who are these people? Anna shortly meets the teenage boy and his mom, played by Julianne Moore. There’s a weirdness surrounding the father (Gary Oldman), and it seems that this might be an interesting tale.
The movie is based on a novel by the same name, and it’s heavily inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The visuals and imagery add to the sense of confusion, and the constant moving camera shots represent the dizziness that this character is living in. Voiceovers of her talking to her absent husband and father (Anthony Mackie) of their daughter let the audience know there’s a lot we still don’t know about her. For a psychological thriller, it sort of ticks all the boxes. As entertainment though, it’s pretty flat. This is one of those cases where not even the star power cast was enough to keep the story engaging. Don’t get me wrong, they do really fine, stellar performances, but the clichés surrounding them do nothing to aid the big reveals.