REVIEWS Peter Walkden

The film begins with the introduction of Amy (Ella Newton) and her mother (Radha Mitchell), who have just moved into a new home in Victoria, Australia. As Amy unpacks, audiences will learn that she is dealing with a tragic past involving her father’s death. We also understand from newspaper clippings used for packing that a serial killer is on the loose.

Six months later, Amy still struggles to move forward and even has nightmares and dreams of her father’s accident. Despite this, she attempts to move forward with life. Her mother has also started a romance with the next-door neighbour, Chris (Vince Colosimo), which Amy isn’t overly fond of. One evening, while Amy is in her bedroom, she notices some strange activity from Chris across the road. Not thinking much of it, she takes some notes and moves on. However, the more Amy looks out her window at night, the more she feels something strange is going on. Amy becomes even more alert when she hears of “The Clockwork Killer” resurfacing, murdering many young women within the area.

Girl in the Window is best described as a thriller with some moments of drama. The film gets straight into its mystery vibes as it doesn’t take long for Amy to grow suspicious. As for the positives, the main mystery is a fun premise and viewers who enjoy seeing on-screen kills will also be pleased (Scream, anyone?). My desire to know the outcome and secrets to the mysteries was what had my biggest investment. Those who love twists and big reveals will certainly have some fun here, but I found it far too predictable, and many elements surrounding the reveal only left me with more questions. The final showdown, while somewhat brief, is still entertaining.

The filming style here is brilliant. Everything looks great; it’s clear, simple to follow and suits the vibes of a mystery thriller. Sound effects are also used effectively throughout the film, which helps the tone and mood. However, while I feel there’s plenty to admire, I’m also the bearer of some bad news.

The score was a major distraction for me, mostly because it feels like it just never stops. Even in a scene of simple discussions, the chances are that there’s music floating around it. Many scenes are impacted by distracting, unfitting, or overbearing music. This was easily one of the biggest issues I had with the film. Dialogue is questionable, and sadly, many moments sound like a wooden, cliche soap opera (and again, the music doesn’t help).

Overall, while entering familiar territory when it comes to thrillers, the film still successfully sets up a fun mystery. Visually, the film is pleasing, sharp, clear, and a great fit to suit the themes on-screen. However, while carrying a few pleasing aspects, it is also highly predictable in its outcomes. It includes one of the most painful soundtracks I’ve heard in some time, which was a major distraction whether it was overbearing or just unsuitable. Lines of dialogue can sometimes feel wooden and clunky too. As an Australian film, there are some great elements here to enjoy and it still packs some fun thrills and entertainment. Those who love violent kills will find joy in this film too. Available in Australian Cinemas from August 18th!