By Carol Ellis.
Jody has been invited on a trip to an exclusive ski resort, organised by the beautiful and confident Wolf twins, Cal and Sasha. She barely knows them, or the rest of the party, which includes the wealthy twins’ classmates, Drew and Ellen, waspish Chris, and clumsy joker, Billy, but she quickly perceives that every one of the friends has a crush on one of the others. Including, before long, Jody, who is attracted to handsome-but-moody, Drew. To add to the tension, Leahna, Drew’s flighty ex-girlfriend, turns up at the resort, and no one, except Cal, is happy to see her.
On the first night, Jody realises she can see straight into Leahna’s cabin through the window by her bed, and unintentionally sees a fight between Leahna and a mystery visitor. The following day, Jody has an accident, badly spraining her ankle. Confined to bed whilst everyone else is out partying, Jody is bored. She starts watching Leahna through the window and observes another interaction between her and the unidentified visitor, followed by strange movements inside and outside the cabin. A mysterious red stain appears on the wall, which shortly afterwards disappears. Jody is convinced she has witnessed a murder, and when the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the snow, it seems her fears for Leahna have been confirmed. But when Jody hears someone lurking outside her door and listening in on her phone calls, she realises that she is in danger too: the murderer knows what she has seen, and now wants to take Jody out of the picture.
Until Jody witnesses the murder, which is about half way through, The Window resembles a teen-soap, mainly concerned with the romantic interests of its main characters. It entertains on this level, but it doesn’t really offer any horror until Jody realises she has been drugged and, therefore, that the perpetrator must be one of her party. The finale is effective in its surprise revelation of the murderer, but it is not a particularly satisfying denouement. The sense of peril is short-lived; Jody is rescued far too easily. Loose ends are neatly and quickly tied up, leaving the reader feeling that The Window was over before it ever really got started. It’s enjoyable enough while it lasts, but easily forgettable.
After a slow start, the second half of this PH entry offers up thrills rather than horror, with its slow and subtle build up of tension. Nevertheless, it does ‘thriller’ well, conveying Jody’s sense of isolation and vulnerability effectively, and earning The Window a reasonable fear factor rating of…