You already know that remakes of Rear Window are a dime-a-dozen. Even allusions to it are superfluous. If you need extra convincing, see the last post on this web-log, regarding Shia LaBeouf’s career, including the Re-Boof of Rear Window, called Disturbia. If you still need convincing that there are way too many versions of Rear Window out there, see here.
The problem with every Rear Window adaptation, update, re-imagining, etc., is that they still use the same formula: 1.) person looks out window. 2.) person spies on people. 3.) person suspects murder. 4.) person either finds out murder happened, or finds out murder didn’t happen and they were being paranoid.
For Bale’s version of Rear Window, entitled No Window, the tables are turned. Bale is the murderer. We know he is the murderer, because we watch him murder someone in the opening twenty minutes. Unlike the Hitchcock version, where Jimmy Stewart’s neighbor Lars Thorwald murders his bedridden wife off-camera and Stewart spends the rest of the film trying to determine if it really happened or not, Bale (as Thorwald) kills his ailing neighbor in what he sees as a noble decision. He has watched her aging, getting sicker and sicker, until he realizes that he must do the Good Samaritan gesture… by commiting an act of vigilante euthanasia. However, his noble act soon goes wrong when he begins to suspect that a neighbor saw him, or at least that a neighbor suspects him, and that he or she is out for revenge.
As his paranoia escalates and the signs begin to add up – including a dead dog in the courtyard and notes slipped under his door – Bale becomes increasingly certain that someone else with a view of his courtyard saw the murder, leaving him only one choice: eliminate everyone else. As he goes from apartment to apartment trying to determine which voyeur knows his secret, he gradually closes in on the one person as his antagonist: the wheelchair-bound retired photographer. As the walls close in on our reluctant murderer, he is driven to a series of increasingly desperate and dangerous decisions, with deadly consequences for all.