Teens Can Probably Watch The Woman in the Window, But Be Aware of These 5 Things

Everett Collection / Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

After several delays, the thriller The Woman in the Window is finally out, streaming on Netflix from May 14. The movie, based on a book of the same name, follows Anna (played by Amy Adams), a woman struggling with agoraphobia after suffering a major trauma. She becomes obsessed with watching her neighbours, and when she believes she witnesses a brutal crime, she tries to report it, only to discover that everything she thought she knew was a lie.

It’s an R-rated thriller, which should give a pretty good indication of what to expect and who should be watching. Many teenagers will probably be fine watching it, but you should definitely be aware of the psychological horror and bouts of violence scattered throughout. If any of the topics below are sensitive ones for your family, be aware before deciding whether or not to stream the movie.

  1. Violence is present early on. The main plot is set into motion when Anna witnesses a gruesome murder from her window. The actual stabbing isn’t shown (given that the identity of the killer is part of the plot), but viewers can clearly see the victim and the bloody aftermath. The violence continues throughout the movie, typical of a thriller. Another bloody stabbing occurs near the end of the movie, complete with the detail of blood pooling on the floor, although the actual act is cut away from at the last moment. The aftermath of a fatal fall is also shown.
  2. The main character uses drugs and alcohol. Anna is an agoraphobic who can’t leave her house, fascinated with her neighbours across the street to the point of obsession, and it’s clear from the start that she’s struggling. She’s seen mixing her prescription meds with heavy drinking, resulting in several hazy, paranoid, semi-lucid moments, and the possible hallucinatory side effects of her medications also play a role in the story.
  3. There’s a traumatic flashback to a deadly car crash. Anna’s agoraphobia stems from a car crash, and about two-thirds of the way into the movie, there’s a flashback to the actual accident. It’s not outright gory, but the characters’ injuries (both fatal and non-fatal) are shown, and it’s an emotionally traumatic scene.
  4. There are mentions of stalking. At one point, Anna is sent a picture of herself sleeping inside her own apartment. Eventually, she learns that the villain of the story has been developing a history of stalking, breaking and entering, and murder. It’s not that different from many other thrillers, but for someone who finds these sorts of plots upsetting for one reason or another, it’s worth knowing about in advance.
  5. There are mentions of suicidal thoughts. Near the end, the villain tells Anna, “You don’t even want to live anymore – you haven’t wanted to live for a long time” as they attempt to drown Anna. She doesn’t deny it, and it’s suggested throughout the movie that the guilt she carries from her traumatic past has left her with these self-destructive or even suicidal thoughts. As with anything involving suicide, care should be taken on an individual basis.
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