3-3.5. An engaging explication on the nature of seeing, especially in a horror context. It nods to Hitchcock thrillers like 'North by Northwest' and (especially) 'Rear Window', but fits Carpenter's singular devotion to invasion as a theme. It also doesn't go TOO hard at the phallic women thing, even with the protag's 'masculine' eye, which grants her the drive to see through the man watching her.
Often feels like the film De Palma never made, but fissures of blatant societal negligence, injustice, and horror are often sewn-in via perpetual suspense as only Carpenter... There are also moments of unexpected hilarity. Lauren Hutton absolutely slays. Masterpiece.
Carpenter fans, seek this one out: a rare TV movie that serves as a dynamic B-side to Halloween. It doesn't have CinemaScope or a Carpenter score, but it's got his most Hawksian heroine, a fine jump scare, some nice nods to Hitchcock, a positively portrayed openly gay woman (on TV in 1978!), and a knowing way of contrasting a stalker thriller with everyday unwanted male attention. A hidden gem of his classic period.
A little corny, especially with Lauren Hutton's constant one-liners. But it's notable for the Carpenter elements. There's the mysterious outside evil attacking a person or group of people barricaded inside a building, and a lot of the visual elements appear have been practice for Halloween.