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Emily Blunt plays Rachel Watson, a divorced woman who rides the train every day, which makes a stop in view of the house she used to live in, where her ex-husband still lives but with his new wife (a woman he cheated on with Rachel). Depressed by the reality of her life, she concentrates instead on a house down the street where she sees a young couple, and from the window of her train, creates a romanticized life for them in her head, giving them everything they need. One day though, her fantasy is crushed by something she sees in a tunnel, and the next day, the young woman in the house down the street has gone missing. Worse, the police begin to suspect Rachel is responsible.
Based on the Paula Hawkins book, The Girl on the Train is a thriller directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) and stars Blunt, Justin Theroux as her ex-husband, Rebecca Ferguson as his new wife and Haley Bennett as ‘Jess’, the missing woman. The story is complex, playing with Rachel’s frequent loss of memory from her bouts of drinking in the wake of her failed marriage. Finding solace in the idealized world of ‘Jess’ and ‘Jason’ (there names are actually Megan and Scott), she is shocked to see Jess in the tunnel with another man, which sends Rachel into further depression. Or worse. She learns too that the woman was also her ex-husband’s nanny.
The trailer is good but reveals far too much (including the fate of the missing woman), which is disappointing. We know going in, straight away, that Rachel is unreliable, and therefore takes a lot of the mystery out of what could be a great teaser. Still, there’s a lot here to like, including the invaluable Allison Janney as Officer Riley, who looks to have great presence. Bennet (just seen in Hardcore Henry) steams up the screen and really gives the trailer some sex appeal, while naturally, Blunt delivers big. The actress continues to prove she is one of this decades biggest talents, as she is gripping in this short clip, a woman traumatized by her past and facing yet a new nightmare.
The Girl on the Train opens October 7, 2016
Paula Hawkins (novel), Erin Cressida Wilson (adaptation)
Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux