On first impressions, little Australian horror/thriller Girl at the Window was a real schlocky piece of work. However, as the film progressed, it started to grow on me. Ella Newton and Radha Mitchell lead the film as daughter and mother, who of course have an obscene amount of friction. With heavy shades of Disturbia and those classic glossy 2000s horror vibes, Girl at the Window manages to pull off a properly campy tone.
The Clockwork Killer has been on a six month hiatus, but now the mysterious murderer returns… In a shocking sequence, a man is shot in the face, while the female gets nabbed and taken away in an extra creepy van. This killer’s M.O. gives only a three-day turn around before calling in about the body’s tortured remains. Amy (Newton) thinks her neighbor could actually be The Clockwork Killer. She begins taking notes in very melodramatic fashion as to the neighbor’s van coming and going, practically timed to each of the murders as they occur.
Despite her meticulous note-taking and likable persona, Amy is gaslit by nearly everyone in her life. Her mother, Barbara (Mitchell), refuses to acknowledge that anything she mentions could possibly be true. Her hunky teacher, Mr. Coleman (James MacKay, Dynasty), wants Amy to reassess her outlook—“write how you used to write.” Amy’s father recently died, and now Barbara is dating Chris, that shady neighbor. Amy’s best friend won’t even believe that Chris is The Clockwork Killer! Spying on Chris becomes an obsession to Amy, much to my amusement.
Girl at the Window isn’t some action-packed epic, but it does have some nasty moments of nasty glee. Eyeballs are torn from their sockets, and the eventual epic showdown with the killer is worth its weight in gore. Even when it feels almost soap operatic in style, the movie always maintains a fun and breakneck speed. Super stylized camera angles always seem over-exaggerated, feeling foreign to the budget. What really throws the tone all over the place is the comically off score track that accompanies nearly every action. I loved enough other things about Girl at the Window to swill consider it very worthy of a recommend.
Look out for the Girl at the Window when it comes to video on demand and digital on Friday, November 4th.