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The Girl on the Train Movie Review (2016) | A Whodunit Thriller That Leaves you Guessing

The Girl on the Train is a whodunit mystery. Tate Taylor tries to keep the real murderer well under the wraps at all times in the girl on the train movie, trying to do ample justice to Paula Hawkins’s novel of the same name. However, in an attempt to cover up, and tie everything down to the story’s culminating point, he seems to be unknowingly rushing towards the ending. That leaves Tate Taylor’s work a tad impoverished for its grim theme. Characters of the movie don’t get a proper focus, and you kind of hate every one. Nevertheless, when you focus on its fine plot you realize that Paula Hawkins had weaved one hell of a tale, and for that you cannot praise her enough.

Characters in The Girl on the Train Movie

The Girl on the Train movie commences with a slow jerk, with overwhelming thoughts of Rachel portrayed brilliantly by Emily Blunt. I am pretty sure it would have sounded a bit different if the screenplay had zoomed in on her broody thoughts more than focusing on just the materialism. Her yearning to live someone else’s life, her vantage that sees a stranger’s rewarding world and tries to compare it with hers, her perceptive theories that try to write stories on already written pages, and her constant yammering and reasoning with herself in search for a direction were all literally shouting for better subtle and artful frames. Unfortunately Tate didn’t realize that.

still of emily blunt as Rachel in the girl on the train movie

We move on just like that speeding train without getting a hang of her emotional trauma. Then we see Tate introducing us to the second most crucial character, Megan portrayed by Haley Bennett. She is a perfect fit with a constant gloom that looms over her. She tries to display all phases of her life, the past, the present and an impending horrible future in her countenance. Her comportment is that of an intense indifference that lurks somewhere in the hollows of her eyes.

Other Characters

Anna played by Rebecca Ferguson on the other hand gets the least amount of focus. You don’t see her unfurling that well. Tom’s character portrayed by Justin Theroux seems most of the time absent. Edgar Ramirez creates Dr. Kamal Abdic as Megan’s shrink, and is a guy who basically listens to her, and given his profession, understands her troubling woes more than anyone else. Scott played by Luke Evans is simply a guy who ends up being cheated upon, and later lied to by Rachel. He doesn’t get a proper screen time. With such cameo kind of roles you feel like, it is the director and not the story that is basically trying to steer you towards the enigma.

The Inebriated Plot (Spoilers Ahead)

Rachel is an alcoholic, and she drinks so much that she has become amnesic. So much that she is in a constant wont of blacking out every day. It is then others who fill her in about her acts. That’s like a curse per se. She has been divorced by her husband, who has married Anna now and has a baby with her. Glimpses from the past haunt her, and it is hard for her to move on.

still of haley bennett as megan in the girl in the train movie

Megan is a gorgeous lady with a troubled past. She babysits Anna and Tom’s child, and lives a few blocks away from their house. But her backstory will bring tears to your eyes. I just wished her dismay to be captured better than what Tate showed us. She lives with Scott, the guy with the perfect body, but unfortunately she has been cheating on him.

In a series of fuming events, Megan disappears and nobody seems to know where she is. Rachel who had unknowingly bonded with her, (a one way) by simply staring at her life through the panes of a train ends up blacking out on the very night of her disappearance. And sadly she was the only one who could have guessed the culprit.

The movie is then her attempt to figure out who the real murderer is, and she doesn’t rule herself out as well.

You can pre-order the movie The Girl on the Train here:

Other Issues

The thing with crime drama is that it mostly revolves around characters. And each one demands irrefutable attention. But there is so little to the character development here that makes you hate each and every one of them. There is nothing relatable served to you, and that’s where the disconnect lies.

The timing of this movie is also one of those issues. It was released alongside Inferno, another movie that had belied memories to blame for, almost a same amnesic plot build up. The similarity is very uncanny.

still of Rebecca Ferguson as Anna the girl on the train movie

Another vexing fact is that Tate Taylor tries to confuse the viewers even more by showing glimpses from the past in constant running frames. Even though it’s a ballsy attempt at subtlety, trying to dislodge the timeline into dissonance, it sometimes becomes too much. As if trying to figure out what’s happening wasn’t enough!

The Final Verdict

A movie like The Girl on the Train needs a profound calm. Something that lets you think alongside the protagonist, or may be relate to her character, by understanding her.  Sadly that’s profusely missing. However, the movie still remains a very intriguing crime story that will leave you wanting to know what’s coming at every juncture.

Bottom-line is, The Girl on the Train movie could have become so much great, but it ends up becoming a mere adequacy instead.

Check out the trailer of The Girl on the Train movie here:

Don’t Breathe Review (2016) | Tortuous and Perturbing Thriller

Don’t Breathe or The Blind Man will hear you! Fede Alvarez comes with a twisted tale of a twisted blind man who lives in a land of the deserted. Those blind eyes tell a story that people always read without knowing about what secrets house in that wretched house of his, until one day three robbers decide to plunder him of his riches. That’s when you see past the belied story of the man. That’s also when you discover how abominable it is.

don't breathe movie trio Money Alex and Rocky

The titular thriller justifies the theme of the movie perfectly. I found myself literally holding my breath to ensure the protagonist made it unfazed. What works terribly well for the movie is its plausibility quotient, the way the storyline unfolds by staying true to its roots, and how everything stays connected one by one with steps in the same ladder. All of it makes Don’t Breathe seem very tenable.

Direction of Don’t Breathe Movie

Fede Alvarez’s direction is simply top-notch. The way his camera moves along with him in the house will leave you with goose bumps. To top that all there are weird surprises at every corner and that’s what makes it both terrifying and thrilling. To see Stephen Lang pop up out of nowhere breaking those absent rooms with his presence, is outright criminal!

still of the Blind Man in Don't Breathe movie

You cannot overlook the music of Don’t Breathe either; superbly complementing the theme, racing down alongside the thrill! It instantly puts you in the right mood.

Plenty of Dope Thrills (Spoilers Gasping Ahead)

The fact that there are many points of culmination in Don’t Breathe will often oscillate you to and fro flinging you towards a surefire neurotic arrest. You will constantly find your heart in your mouth as you try to escape the nefarious blind man yourself thinking at the speed of light just like the unfortunate trapped souls.

That time where the characters grope in dark has been brilliantly shot. Their eyes are dilated as they scrabble to escape their misery in pitch darkness. To have lived something as awful as that is bound to tingle your spines. Also, it hasn’t been stretched which makes it even more delectable.

To ice the accursed Blind Man, we have a badass dog, a Rottweiler that comes at odd junctures, making things even more baleful. It brings that frightening steer in the tale and that fills the movie with even more horror.

still of don't breathe dog in dont breathe movie

It takes in the vanguard a dispensable character Money played by Daniel Zovatto of the It Follows fame, Rocky played by Jane Levy whom we saw in Evil Dead in the 2013 reboot, and Dylan Minnette as Alex of the Goosebumps movie as the thieves who choose the wrong house. Each one of them were superbly cast.

You can pre-order the movie from here:

Downsides

One huge thing about the movie is the weighing in on of its crime. The fact that the intruders were criminals themselves, technically you shouldn’t feel sorry for them rather deem everything as poetic justice. But when the real trepidation begins to trickle you realize murder beats them all. You can’t help but take sides.

Also, we have seen plenty of thrillers that skim the line of Don’t Breathe before. Except for the fact that the killer here is blind; if you take out this apparent crux, the movie stands strangely on the lines of what we have seen plenty of times before. If it weren’t for Fede’s brilliance, it would have failed to impress.

The Final Gavel

Don’t Breathe is edgy, thrilling and an exhilarating joyride into the crime vale where you are left at the mercy of a psychotic blind man. If you are a thriller aficionado, this movie is just for you.

Go ahead and watch this one!

Check out the trailer of Don’t Breathe movie here:

The Hateful Eight Review (2015)

The Hateful Eight is a thrilling crime carnage that crawls and feeds on utter suspense.

Quentin has a knack for making the awesome. Not only does he walk in with a dope gore crime drama in his baggage, but he directs the tale magnificently too.

Plot, strewn across three hours of engaging drama, entails six chapters akin to a book that have been well played by a stellar cast. With the front runner Quentin’s ace Samuel L. Jackson under the skin of Major Marquis Warren, and Kurt Russell as John Ruth, a.k.a The Hangman, to do us the honours in the form of bounty hunters, with the latter carrying a brutal plot alongside in cuffs, everyone is headed towards a chaotic world waiting at Minnie’s haberdashery. What is quite beautiful is the way the story unfolds. You almost feel like nothing’s wrong and yet everything is!

The theme is loosely based on blood law, where shooting a perpetrator is simply a form of justice nail and jackhammering it down is a perfect way to end it. But you need to understand if it’s a bandit landscape, killing or shooting without a conscience, without batting an eye, is an acceptable way of living.

Jennifer Jason Leigh is simply outstanding as Daisy Domergue. Tatum has basically a cameo of a role. Walton Goggins is exceptional. Demian Bichir’s short stint as Bob can’t be overlooked either. Both Madsen and Roth have done their bits nicely.

Ennio Morricone’s theme is addictive as he weaves a thrilling score to complement the tale. Sometimes fed in by awesome songs like Apple Blossom, Now you’re All Alone and There Won’t Be Many Coming Home, cut off superbly by Quentin frames, the end product turns out to be sheer delight.

Tarantino’s head is a cruel world. Bullets and gore are his favorite props. But it’s never confined to that. He always has a unique story to tell, which makes for a great movie watching experience. You can almost sway to the Tarantino rhythm as he prolongs frames for emphasis. But sometimes you do wish some editing to take over and snip off some unwanted bits quickly and be over with. What the movie misses on is gut-wrenching tension that used to be the crux of Quentin’s earlier works.

Another downside of The Hateful Eight is at times you feel everything enacted. There is a fluency missing in the flick that fails to connect every act. With a screenplay that appears being ‘read’ and crispy lines that fail to mingle with others, for a touch of the innate, it seems more of a theatrical put-on act. It is only by the time you reach Chapter Four that you begin enjoying the flick truly, for it is then when sham paves way for clarity and things become more dramatic.

However, leave out the above minute details and The Hateful Eight is still a gorgeous criminal entertainer that speaks only of brilliance. Go watch! Tarantinites shouldn’t miss it for the world!

Crimson Peak Review (2015)

A great story that gets lost in its crimson muck.

Crimson Peak fails to cash in on its stellar cast. We have Hiddleston, Chastain, Wasikowska, and Del Toro’s golden goose Hunnam, doing the honours through their brilliant acting. We have got the horror pro Toro in the vanguard running the reels. Still, what goes wrong?

Twenty minutes into the movie and you are suddenly hit by a disgusting rock of indifference. You don’t want to watch it any further, because things aren’t exactly exciting or frantic for that to matter. The introduction of the characters to the tale is sour. The score hobbles from the mysterious violin to occasional piano notes without imparting it a proper depth. It struggles with its ghost without any explanations.

Edith played by Mia sways expressionless and sometimes distant in her period attire. Thomas and Edith chemistry doesn’t ignite sparks either, and you begin to wonder how mediocre love could be. The latter was supposed to be deliberate. However, it all looked too dramatic to be true which, I believe, Toro could have worked upon more.

But then comes the first crime, and suddenly you are handed over a purpose in crimson gore. There is blood and a secret that Hiddleston eyes hide, and you begin doubting the Sharpes at once. Jessica Chastain is brilliant as Lucille Sharpe, but not good enough. She is shadowed mostly for a considerable amount of time before she shows her true colors. Hunnam is lost in a role that could have used some more gravity. But poor editing literally chops him off.

Ghosts in the movie like Edith’s manuscript’s characters are metaphorical and were depicted nicely. It would be foolish for people to turn in to watch this flick assuming it to be of horror genre. It was more like crime.

Some of the bits in the movie were great to watch. The story was holed up gorgeously, waiting quietly to unfold itself into a marvelous thriller, which it did halfway. The blood, the deaths and the stabbings were brutal but brilliantly depicted. Screenplay wasn’t exactly great, but some of the lines used in the movie were really the alerting kind. Watch out for Lucille’s lines on love in the end where she describes love to be twisted.

What turned me off big time was how this movie could have become more. There was supposed to be poetry in the flick’s crimson clay. The house that breathed of a dreadful past and bled tears of red every night. It all died down in a jiffy on a quick revelation, which was just sad. There wasn’t much tension building in the flick that would compel you to bite your fingernails, which was also another crucial factor amiss.

Recommend it for the story alone.

Run All Night Review (2015)

Run All Night is a pleasant surprise.

Having made above average movies like Orphan, Unknown and Non-Stop, Jaume Collet-Serra comes with yet another flick that gets down straight to business – kicking ass, taking names and shooting bullets. Run All Night, despite its forgettable title, manages to stick to its name. You witness events that occur in a single night. Packed in with exceptional performances by the cast, this movie literally breathes on its constantly moving storyline.

Run all night comes with a surprisingly good story taken on the vanguard by great actors like Liam Neeson and Ed Harris. The direction of the movie could have gone better, since there were a lot of useless filler frames that Jaume used to connect scenes. Some of them were really unrelated. Also the frames in the movie skipped so fast that it sometimes became hard to follow up. Incessant movement of the cameras made it hard to focus and taking in the gravity of the situation became really daunting.

Joel Kinnaman as Mike too was a big disappointment. All he did in the movie was act tough, and walk around expressionless. Poor casting choice there, I would say. Also, what is with the poster of the movie? So bland and meaningless!

Melodramatic bits of the story aren’t that great and look more animated than real like the conversation between Mike and Jimmy in the car. Screenplay is hence just okay.  As we reach the end, things become a bit clichéd and predictable. It took me back to ‘Road to Perdition’ for a while.

SPOILERS

There is one great face-off scene between the two protagonists in a restaurant where Jimmy urges Shawn to spare Mike. Shawn is pissed beyond limit to let Mike off easily and resents him with a wrathful threat. It looked pretty badass. Also, Jimmy’s backfiring act when he barges in Shawn’s place looked pretty dope too.

Overall the movie was above average. If it weren’t for shaky cameras and really fast paced storytelling this movie could have slipped into the bag of the greats.