Netflix has just provided us this generation's answer to Scream 3 months ago

Netflix has just provided us this generation's answer to Scream

You will absolutely binge this entire series in one sitting.

Hollywood doesn't seem to know how to do satire anymore. Or at the very least, doesn't seem to want to try.


Before the endless Scary Movie sequels fed into Epic Movie, Date Movie, Disaster Movie, etc., we had an era of Hot Shots, or The Naked Gun, or Austin Powers.

Arguably the most recent decent entry in the genre was 2014's rom-com parody They Came Together starring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, and we're betting you've never even heard of that movie.

With the arrival and popularity of the new Scream movie, this could mark the return of the satire/parody genre, but the one thing to remember about the Scream movies is that they also knew to be scary.

And that is a lesson that has very obviously been learned by Netflix's new series The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window, a parody of the very popular murder-mystery genre that is at times very foolish and funny, but still remembers to have an actually interesting mystery at its core.


We met Anna (Kristen Bell), a woman living alone who loves nothing more than pouring an entire bottle of red wine into a single glass and mixing it with some medication. She also suffers from ombrophobia, or a fear of the rain (which is a real thing, we looked it up), which is directly linked to her Tragic Backstory TM.

When handsome new neighbour Neil (Tom Riley) moves in across the street, there is an immediate attraction, and Anna even forms a bond with his friendly young daughter Emma (Samsara Yett), and everything is going great until Anna meets Lisa (Shelley Hennig), Neil's flight steward girlfriend.

With nothing but time and wine on her hands, Anna does a little digging online, uncovering some potential dirt on Lisa, only to see her being violently murdered inside Neil's house one rainy night. She calls the police, but when they arrive, there is no evidence of Lisa's murder to be found. In fact, they say she safely travelled with her job earlier that day.


Are the years of heavy drinking mixed with strong medication finally snapping Anna's tenuous grasp on reality? Has the full psychological impact of her Tragic Backstory TM finally arrived, long overdue?

If none of this sounds particularly funny, that is because it isn't, and that's the point. Taking notes from The Girl on the Train, The Woman in the Window, The Flight Attendant, etc., Anna's murder mystery plot is exactly that: a mystery. It is only around that, and only at certain points, does director Michael Lehmann (Heathers, 40 Days and 40 Nights) fold in some incredibly funny moments.

The gravestone with a constantly changing epitaph ("There is no 'I' in 'Heaven'"), the running gag of Anna's near-prodigious artistic ability to paint some flowers, the sheer amount of smashed casserole dishes, the handyman who spends the entire series fixing one mailbox... at times, the show is very, very funny.

But much like Scream, it never loses sight of the type of story it is telling, and it is all anchored by an incredibly layered performance by the consistently under-appreciated Kristen Bell, who can go from realistically reacting to that Tragic Backstory TM to pulling off some high-end slapstick physical comedy with the blink of an eye.


Oh, and each episode is less than 30 minutes long, so you will absolutely binge this whole thing in one go.

If this is potentially the future of satire or parody, then bring it on.

All eight episodes of The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window are available to watch on Netflix from Friday, 28 January.

Clip via Netflix