The Girl on the Train – A Thriller without the Thrills

By: Ali Habous

After the success of Fifty Shades of Grey and Gone Girl, it comes as no surprise to see another thriller based on a famous twisty novel landing in the theaters with the obvious hope of making tons of money.  Although watchable, The Girl on the Train is a big disappointment on many fronts, it is not as sexy as Fifty Shades (which was by no means a good movie), and not as interesting or thrilling as Gone Girl.  As you probably already know, this movie revolves around a broken and an alcoholic middle aged female who takes the train every day and keeps looking at her old house from the train’s window and feels a great deal of jealousy and remorse towards the lovely neighbors who reside in the house next to her old house, until one day she sees something that will spark the main turn of events behind the story.

I liked the cast; it is not so hard nowadays to cast some talented individuals in such roles because there are plenty of options out there.  Emily Blunt is convincing and true to the picture of an alcoholic depressed woman who lost everything that she ever wanted. She is the highlight of the film but unfortunately for her and the rest of the cast, there is not much to recommend beyond this point with the exception of the atmosphere of the film. The dark shady mood of the film serves the nature of the story well, and that is probably the only thing the director succeeded at with the inclusion of getting some good work out of his cast.

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Director Tate Taylor doesn’t seem to have a strong feel to twisty psychological thrillers like for example David Fincher (Gone Girl & The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and to make matters worse, even if Fincher directed this one, it wouldn’t have been a very good movie due to a very boring and predictable screenplay. The movie surprisingly lacks any kind of thrills or excitement, the first hour is mainly focused on a suffering alcoholic and then the filmmakers decide to play the mystery card in the second hour and sadly the wait is not worth it as the conclusion is mediocre and expected. The movie unfolds as a drama which unsuccessfully transforms into a mystery that doesn’t offer one thrilling moment. This is not a psychological thriller; it is more of a physiological downer.

The Girl on the Train is a thriller that, unlike the book doesn’t thrill or surprise. At best it’s a movie to be watched at 10 PM when nothing else is on, lulling you into a deep sleep. The Girl on the Train was just not worth the hype.

Rating: 5/10

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