The Woman in the Window neatly wrapped up its central mystery but left some questions unanswered. We break down those remaining questions.
The Woman in the Window is an old-fashioned thriller that leaves its audience with a number of unanswered questions. The movie centers around the key mystery of Jane Russell’s, Aka Katie, identity and subsequent disappearance. The questions surrounding Katie may be solved by The Woman in the Window‘s ending, but many remain.
The Netflix movie follows the agoraphobic Dr. Anna Fox (Amy Adams), who spends her days locked inside and spying on her neighbors. Anna begins to take interest in her new neighbors the Russells. Upon watching them, she witnesses Jane’s murder. But due to the fact that her heavy drinking and medicating causes hallucinations, no one believes what she saw. Anna begins to question her reality and has to fight to prove what she witnessed was real.
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The Woman in the Window does an adequate job of tying up the majority of its mysteries, but not all of them. However, a number are left unanswered — some loose ends are intentional, and others are not. Let’s take a look at every unanswered question that The Woman in the Window poses.
What Caused Anna’s Agoraphobia?
Anna was placed on a number of different medications after a suicide attempt prior to the events of the movie. Her alcohol abuse was likely a direct result of the depression she had been feeling in that dark time. After the reveal that Ed (Anthony Mackie) and Olivia had died in a car crash, Anna’s alcohol abuse and previous suicide attempt make sense — she couldn’t bear what happened and didn’t want to live without them. The alcohol was her coping mechanism for life without her family. But what about her agoraphobia? The book clearly explains that her agoraphobia is a direct result of what happened after Ed and Olivia’s deaths. After their car crashed in the snow, Ed and Olivia were killed. Anna survived and was stranded in the snow for two days until she was found. Because of that, she was terrified to go outside again. The movie likely just grouped in Anna’s agoraphobia with her alcohol abuse, assuming that the audience would just understand her affliction was a result of Ed and Olivia’s deaths. But it’s unclear why the movie didn’t take a few extra moments to expand upon the details of the car crash. Perhaps it was simply easier to explain this on a page instead of a movie, but an explicit explanation of the origin of Anna’s agoraphobia would have greatly benefitted the movie.
What Happened to Allistar and Jane Russell?
Allistar Russell (Gary Oldman) and the real Jane (Jennifer Jason Leigh) are the biggest enigmas in The Woman in the Window. Right off the bat, it’s clear something isn’t right with the pair. When Anna meets Katie (Julianne Moore), she automatically assumes she is Jane Russell. The majority of those film’s conflict boils down to mistaken identity. But instead of calmly explaining that, the Russells gaslight Anna and try to convince her she’s crazy. While Jane’s role is minimal in the film, Allistar continues to pop up on occasion and takes the opportunity to intimidate Anna whenever he can. The movie eventually reveals the reason for this intimidation is because their son Ethan is a killer, and the Russells desperately try to cover that up. They try to push down his murderous instinct, but Ethan ends up killing Katie within the events of the film. Ethan, of course, is killed by Anna in the final act of the film. Since he’s dead, someone in The Woman in the Window will have to pay for Ethan’s crimes. Those people will likely be Jane and Allistar. They might be considered accountable in some way, given that they tried to cover up Ethan’s crimes in the past. But the movie ends without revisiting the Russell family, despite a police officer informing Anna that they were taken in for questioning and Jane was spilling everything about Ethan. The Woman in the Window keeps audiences wondering how those characters will be held accountable and what will happen next to them.
Why Did David Lie to the Police?
At the end of The Woman in the Window, David (Wyatt Russell) reveals he slept with Katie earlier in the events of the movie. Anna starts going to the police with her claims that one of her neighbors was murdered, so they come to the house and begin questioning her. David returns home and denies knowing anything about what Anna saw. David worked for the Russells in the film, so he was intimately familiar with the family. He knows them well and could have deduced that, perhaps, the woman Anna saw was Katie. But he chooses not to help Anna, letting her look crazy in front of the police. David could have easily cleared this up, so why didn’t he? The movie offers a few explanations — he was angry at Anna for opening his mail or he didn’t want the police to dig into his past and see that he skipped out on bail. But David dies before ever offering up his own explanation on why he did it.
What Happens to Anna Next?
The final moments in the Netflix original movie show that Anna is finally cured of her agoraphobia. She spends some time in the hospital following her altercation with Ethan, which seems to be a turning point for her. Following her hospital stay, Anna decides to sell her home and move on with her life. Anna looks healthier than she had at any point in the movie, which indicates that she likely gave up drinking and found the right mix of medications, or may even be healthy enough to be off them altogether. The movie closes out with Anna taking her cat Punch into a taxi and seemingly moving to a new location. But where is she going? Anna doesn’t seem to have any friends, and the movie never mentioned her having any family outside of Olivia and Ed. The Woman in the Window doesn’t give any hints to what is next for Anna, because it wants the audience to see that Anna has a world of possibility at her fingertips. For the first time in the story, she finally seems at peace.
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