The mystery thriller has remained one of Hollywood’s most popular subgenres for so long because it’s easy to hook audiences with a high concept whodunnit, one that’s designed to leave them guessing who the real culprit is right up until the frenetic conclusion of the third act.
Of course, it helps a great deal if the movie in question possesses real thrills, which is where The Girl on the Train often stumbled. In fact, it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that Emily Blunt’s fantastic performance is the only thing that elevates the otherwise middling proceedings above outright banality.
Which is a shame, because Tate Taylor is a solid pair of hands behind the camera, while the supporting ensemble features the talented Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, Hayley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Alison Janney, Lisa Kudrow and Edgar Ramirez. But, you’ve seen this narrative play out before, and you’ve seen it play out a whole lot better.
The Girl on the Train did nab $173 million at the box office on a $40 million budget, but it’s all a bit flat in execution. Undeterred, Netflix subscribers have propelled it up the most-watched list as per FlixPatrol, where it currently sits comfortably on the charts, with one eye on rising higher as we head into the weekend.