September 27, 2023

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11 Movies Parodied By Netflix’s ‘The Woman In The House’

The Girl on the Train, The Others, and even Rear Window are spoofed by the Netflix show.

Netflix’s The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window is an incredible spoof on murder mysteries, primarily those featuring amateur female detectives battling personal demons and psychiatric issues.


It follows a grieving and divorced mother who spends her days sitting on her sofa with a humongous glass of wine and staring out her window. During one of her drinking and gawking sessions, she sees a woman getting murdered in the house across the street. Since no one is ready to believe her, she takes it upon herself to unmask the truth.

As its mouthful title suggests, it’s a parody of the plethora of female-centric mystery shows and movies whose names include “The Woman” or “The Girl.”

Here’s a list of the movies that it references or parodies unabashedly.


The Woman in the Window


This 2021 psychological thriller provides the primary template to The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window for its parody. The movie’s protagonist is Anna Fox, a wine-guzzling agoraphobic child psychologist who spends her days by observing what her neighbors are up to. A new family moves across the street, and she befriends the wife/mother, Jane. A few days later, Anna witnesses Jane’s apparent murder through her window and calls the police, and like the Netflix show, the police don’t believe her, and the new family, too, denies Jane’s existence. The show’s story uncannily parallels the movie’s story. The latter turned out to be a grave disappointment despite featuring a stellar cast of Oscar winners.


The Girl on the Train

Universal Pictures

This 2016 “girl”-centered psychological thriller featured Emily Blunt as Rachel Watson, a woman experiencing a broken marriage and alcoholism, who becomes obsessed with a particular couple living in a house that she sees while riding the Hudson Line of New York. A few days later, she thinks she has witnessed the female of the couple getting murdered, but no one believes her, and she has to do her own investigation. 


Sharp Objects


This 2018 HBO miniseries was based on a novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, who brought us Gone Girl (that spawned a genre of psychological thrillers centered on troubled “girls” who are unreliable narrators). Sharp Objects also sees Amy Adams as a reporter who has alcoholism and psychiatric illness. She returns to her hometown to investigate the murders of two young girls. It has a shocking reveal just like The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window.


Final Analysis

Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

In The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window’s fourth episode, Anna visits a lighthouse to investigate the death of her neighbor’s daughter’s teacher, who had fell to her death from the lighthouse. To some viewers this whole sequence must’ve evoked the climax of the 1992 thriller Final Analysis — starring Richard Gere and Kim Basinger — that takes place atop a lighthouse.


The Others

Dimension Films / ©Dimension Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

The Others is a 2001 gothic psychological horror movie starring Nicole Kidman. The scene in the first episode of The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window, where Anna sees her daughter playing on the floor only to be reminded that her daughter is pushing up the daisies, bears an uncanny resemblance to a scene in The Others where Nicole Kidman’s character sees her own daughter playing on the floor only to realize that it’s the ghost of her dead girl. 


The Lady Vanishes

MGM/Criterion Collection

Based on a 1936 novel, The Lady Vanishes is a renowned mystery thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock that brought him worldwide glory. An English damsel traveling across Europe by train discovers that her co-passenger, an old lady, has disappeared, and to her annoyance, her other co-passengers and the train staff firmly deny the presence of an old lady. She embarks on an amateur investigation with a plebeian and witty gentleman as her ally. Soon they find themselves entangled in a web of a conspiracy that’s more menacing and complex than it appears. 


The Bad Seed

Warner Bros. Pictures

This 1956 psychological thriller was based on a play of the same name that itself was based on a novel of the same name. Rhoda Penmark is an 8-year-old chirpy girl who comes under suspicion when her mother notices that people tend to die under mysterious circumstances when she is around. The big reveal in The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window is straight from this movie.


The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Buena Vista Pictures / ©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

In The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window, Anna often interacts with a burly handyman who is seen doing jobs for various houses on Anna’s street. This burly but benign handyman in Anna’s neighborhood is most likely taken from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle where Ernie Hudson plays a mentally challenged gardener who knows what the nanny is up to. Also loads of gaslighting in the movie.



Buena Vista Pictures / ©Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

This 2005 mystery psychological thriller is The Lady Vanishes set in a flight with the disappearing act being done by the daughter of the protagonist (Jodie Foster). Just like the last moments of The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window, the flight crew and other co-passengers claim that the mother was traveling alone. Then the mother starts her own investigation to clear matters.


Rear Window

Courtesy Everett Collection

The OG (or at least the epitome) of the genre of films where a home-confined protagonist sits in front of their window and spies on their neighbors. One of Alfred Hitchcock’s most revered masterpieces, it features two superstars from its time, James Stewart and Grace Kelly. It follows a photographer who is confined to his apartment because of a fractured leg and now spends time spying on his neighbors with his camera lens through the rear window of his apartment. During one such voyeuristic session, he witnesses the murder of a woman and becomes obsessed with catching the murderer. 



MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

Another OG! This 1944 movie’s name is literally used to describe manipulating someone into questioning their own sanity. This psychological thriller follows a newlywed couple where the wife starts feeling that she’s descending into insanity as she keeps “misplacing” things and “hallucinating.” She also notices that every day the gaslights dim for certain hours and then brighten again, but her husband doesn’t believe her. A handsome inspector of the Scotland Yard helps the wife find out the reason. This movie also boasts of a stellar cast comprising Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Charles Boyer, and Angela Lansbury (in her film debut).