GIRL AT THE WINDOW is a new horror-thriller from Australia. A so-called “Ozploitation” movie that should appeal to many genre fans. It’s not amazing, but still good. Read our full Girl at the Window movie review here!
GIRL AT THE WINDOW is a new Australian horror thriller. It’s a low-budget production in style more than the actual budget perhaps, but it works. There are some plot elements that didn’t sit exactly right with me. They simply felt too forced or “convenient”.
However, the cast and story in general have a lot going for them. Also, we’re leaning into the so-called “Ozploitation” niche, so while it’s not amazing, it is still good entertainment.
Continue reading our Girl at the Window movie review below.
Nothing new, but it works
Girl at the Window doesn’t really have a lot of innovation in terms of storyline or style. It’s an entertaining horror-thriller that features good performances from its cast and an entertaining plot. The kind where you’re supposed to wonder if you can trust the main protagonist. Or rather, their sanity.
It does work for the most part, but the ending does have elements that seem a bit far-fetched. I won’t get into it to avoid spoilers, but just expect that you might find it all a little too “nice and easy” at times.
In the lead roles as mother and daughter, we see Radha Mitchell and Ella Newton respectively. I can’t say anything bad about either. Of course, having just watched Radha Mitchell be awesome in Devil’s Workshop, this was a lot more laid back. Could’ve been cool to see some of that energy in this one.
However, that’s just not her character in Girl at the Window. Also, while both Ella Newton and Radha Mitchell work really well in this movie, you will need to put on your Ozploitation glasses to accept (or buy into) the more forced elements of the storyline.
What is Ozploitation?
Wondering what “Ozploitation” is? Well, you’re probably not alone, but the name for it does reveal it. All the “exploitation” movies tend to just lean into a certain race, gender, geography, or minority and make movies about and for this audience.
For Ozploitation, it’s Australia or Aussie which has been turned into “Oz” and combined with “Exploitation”. Essentially, Ozploitation are exploitations movies made in Australia.
However, these movies do also tend to be extremely stereotypical, so they can also come across as grossly offensive. Usually, it depends on who is making and participating in the movie.
Another, more famous, exploitation subgenre is “Blaxploitation” (or “Blackspoitation” as it comes from the words “black” and “exploitation”) which was awesome when focusing on Black Power in an empowering way. Much less so when the stereotypes took over for entertainment value.
From movies featuring the character “Foxy Brown” and “John Shaft” in the 1970s to movies from Spike Lee and John Singleton in the late 1980s and 1990s. One of the most recent is Alice (2022).
Examples of Ozploitation movies
Ozploitation movies also evolved quite a lot. They went from being brutal horror B movies in the 1970s and 1980s to some amazingly popular horror movies in this new century. One of the older and iconic Ozploitation movies that most will know is Mad Max (1979).
Well, all the Mad Max movies are Ozploitation really. Not that they are anywhere near being B-movie productions now. After being low-budget and very brutal (even crude) in style in the 1970s and 1980s, nothing much was made in the 1990s.
Then came the new century and Ozploitation movies are more popular than ever.
A movie like Wolf Creek (2005) wasn’t exactly billed as an Ozploitation movie but does belong in the subgenre. So does The Loved Ones (2009), which is another awesome horror movie. Other examples are Rogue (2007), Daybreakers (2010), Cargo (2017), Killing Ground (2018), Upgrade (2018), and Black Water: Abyss (2020).
Yes, as it turns out, I absolutely love the more recent Ozploitation movies whereas I’m not crazy about the older ones.
What can I say? I just like more focus on characters and plot than crazy B-movie slasher effects and crazy death counts. Oh well, to each their own, right?!
Watch Girl at the Window on VOD
Mark Hartley is the director of Girl at the Window. He also made the documentary Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008) so he definitely knows how to work with this particular Aussie subgenre. The screenplay was written by Terence Hammond and Nicolette Minster.
Girl at the Window is a “serial-killer-next-door thriller” and it does indeed offer plenty of kills, gore, and suspense (as promised in the press release). All of this should keep horror fans both hooked and happy. I wish they had utilized the cast better, but I cannot deny that I was well-entertained.
If you watch this movie for what it is, I think you’ll find yourself a very happy horror fan. Personally, it makes me want to watch Wolf Creek or The Loved Ones again, which is a good thing. But it would’ve been better if I could say Girl at the Window belongs in the same category as those two. It just doesn’t.
If we did half stars we would give it 2½. But we don’t so we’ll round it up to 3 stars as it’s better than 2.
Girl at the Window is on VOD and Digital Platforms from November 4, 2022.
Director: Mark Hartley
Writers: Terence Hammond & Nicolette Minster
Cast: Radha Mitchell, Ella Newton, James Mackay, Karis Oka, Vince Colosimo
In GIRL AT THE WINDOW, Amy (Ella Newton) and her mother (SILENT HILL’S Radha Mitchell) move to a new home. Amy sees weird activity – her neighbor comes and goes at strange hours and she hears screams. Is her new neighbor and her mother’s new love interest the serial killer that’s killing her classmates?