Train journeys are a time to consume media: books, podcasts and films are all great to settle into in order to ignore the passing world around you. On the other side, you can stare out the window and daydream wherever your mind leads you. This, at the heart of it, is the premise of The Girl on the Train. Rachel (Emily Blunt) stares each morning and evening at a house she knows nothing about and imagines the life the occupants share. This growing fascination takes a turn down a sinister path when it causes her to be plunged into a murder investigation. From here she is lead down a confusing path filled with strangers, enemies and ex-lovers.
The film, like any suspense thriller, is entertaining enough with the mystery of the movie being sufficient to hold the audiences attention. Of course, there are problems with the film. The plot is designed to build till the last moment, while simultaneously keeping the audience in the dark. The film attempts this by introducing various characters we should suspect, but this is where the movie starts to go off the rails. The supporting characters are not present enough to warrant suspicion of them. The leading example of this is Scott (Luke Evans), a main suspect, who seems to vanish from the film entirely in the last hour; completely lifting any doubt that the character is to blame. The film falters again with a generally slow start to the film, which is not exciting and even threatens to bore in parts. It is saturated with pointless and repetitive scenes. The plot also seems to cut at random to flashbacks of the murder victim in order to set up for the next suspect, with the details provided not crucial to the overall plot. The acting is the movie is quite good, with all the main characters being believable in their roles. There is, however, a lack of relatable characters. Rachel is an alcoholic, Scott is an emotional abuser and Megan (Haley Bennett), the murder victim, is constantly attempting affairs.
The film does end on a high point, with the last 30 minutes unveiling the truth in creative ways and then delivers on a solid ending. It is therefore a shame that the first 90 minutes is not the same standard as this dramatic end. If it were the film would have been a masterpiece, and could have up there with the modern thrillers like Gone Girl (2014) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009). This is not sadly the case though. The film in the end is an average thriller, likely to be forgotten in the coming years. It will always be an enjoyable enough watch, with the identity of the killer enough to keep the audience interested. Perhaps the film is best for when there is nothing else to do, like on a long train journey.