THE WOMAN IN THE WALL on Paramount+ / Showtime is a thriller mini-series in six parts. Inspired by brutal real events that took place in Ireland. Read our full The Woman in the Wall series review here!

The Woman in the Wall is a new thriller mini-series on Paramount+ and Showtime. It has a story that plays out in Ireland and is based on the brutal events that took place in the infamous Magdalene Laundries. The series has six very strong episodes.

Also, there’s a murder mystery at the heart of the story. One that also deals with babies that die or are given up for adoption without the knowledge of their mothers. This is a BBC co-production and the series already aired on the BBC in August 2023.

Continue reading our The Woman in the Wall series review below. The series premieres on January 19 on Paramount+ and January 21 on Showtime.

A murder-mystery turns true crime

The story begins when Lorna Brady (Ruth Wilson) wakes up in a strange situation. She has yet again been sleepwalking, and now she wakes to find a corpse in her home. Lorna has no idea who the woman is, how her corpse got there, or if she’s responsible for her demise.

She panics – as most would do – and then decides to do something most would not do; Hide the body of this strange woman in the wall. Hence the title of this series.

Lorna had a brutal life and is barely functioning. Depriving herself of sleep, to avoid more sleepwalking issues, does not help. Quite the opposite. As a survivor of the infamous Magdalene Laundries, Lorna is essentially suffering from PTSD.

Several murders and crimes of the past

Along with her sleepwalking, she is tormented by flashbacks of her time there. We also get to see what she experienced there and hear from other victims of the laundries. This is part of collecting stories to build a case against the Church.

When Detective Colman Akande (Daryl McCormack) arrives in the small town from Dublin, to investigate a seemingly unrelated murder of a priest, he quickly finds himself getting involved in Lorna’s search for answers to long-buried secrets of Ireland.

The story in The Woman in the Wall ends up covering both several present-day murder investigations and the crimes of the past. All of which are, of course, somehow connected.

The Woman in the Wall – Review | Thriller Mini-series

Based on real events

If you know anything about the Magdalene Laundries of Ireland, then you won’t be surprised by what you learn in The Woman in the Wall. Or maybe you will, as we hear several personal accounts of what the young women (girls, really) experienced.

Being forced to do manual labor simply for being a girl that someone decided was “bad” seems crazy. However, the story we see in this series begins in the 1980s. The Magdalene Laundries didn’t effectively shut down until 1996.

It baffles the mind and angers me. Also, it yet again makes me loathe organized religion that always punishes women first – and the most!

All the big parts of this story are essentially true crime. These things have since been exposed, and the Catholic Church has been forced to deal with it. Not nearly as much as they should have though. And I love that we get to see how angry these women are.

Broken? Yes, to a fairly large degree. But getting over it includes getting angry at those who hurt you, and understanding that you were never at fault. You were simply born female in a place that punished this. Period!

Watch The Woman in the Wall on Paramount+ / Showtime

The Woman in the Wall was created and written by Joe Murtagh (American Animals, Calm with Horses starring Barry Keoghan). The directors include Rachna Suri (The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself) and Harry Wootliff (Deep Water).

It was a BBC and Motive Pictures for Showtime co-production and has all the quality you’d expect of a series produced by these two television icons. Creator Joe Murtagh and star of the series Ruth Wilson are among the executive producers.

The Woman in the Wall is not an easy series to watch. It deals with very dark events that took place in Ireland and have only recently been dealt with in some form. Still, the story is important and this series on its own is intense and binge-worthy.

The streaming debut of The Woman in the Wall is on Paramount+ on January 19, 2024. The premiere “on air” is on Showtime on January 21, 2024 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Details

Creator: Joe Murtagh
Directors: Harry Wootliff, Rachna Suri
Cast: Ruth Wilson, Daryl McCormack, Simon Delaney, Philippa Dunne, Mark Huberman, Hilda Fay, Frances Tomelty, Dermot Crowley, Abby Fitz, Caoimhe Farren

Plot

Lorna Brady wakes one morning to find a corpse in her house with no idea who the dead woman is. She doubts herself, because she has long suffered from extreme bouts of sleepwalking.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard