THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (2016) 3 Stars out of 5
Although it is not a genre that I particularly care for, I went to see THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (2016). Written by Paula Hawkins, the psychological thriller-killer whodunit is sufficiently creepy. There are enough Rod Serling, “Twilight Zone” twists and turns to keep you guessing. But the formula is pretty common. One disappearance. One murder. Who, what, where and why?
Over six million copies of the book have been sold in the United States alone. Thus, there is a sufficient fan base to ensure a good opening week. The adapted screenplay is written by Erin Crescida Wilson. Members of the audience that I spoke with after the screening seemed to compare THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN to the successful film, GONE GIRL (2014) Both films first started out as novels. But in the case of GONE GIRL, both the book and the adapted screenplay were written by Gillian Flynn. Flynn’s script went on to be nominated for an Oscar. I doubt that Wilson will be so honored.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN has a small but strong cast of 20. Emily Blunt is the star of the film which is directed by Tate Taylor. She will certainly be considered for an Academy Award nomination. The cinematography, editing and musical score also caught my attention. The unfolding story, not so much. The dramatic hype currently found in the advertising of this film, is exactly that — “hype”. The movie was just okay. But, you probably have to have the appetite for a thriller that doesn’t always thrill. Frankly, while I thought it moved kind of slow, fans of this genre and especially the book, should be happy.