The Girl on the Train (R)

Drama 80 min. July 4, 2014
By Aaron Hillis
Actually, there are two girls in this skimpily budgeted, suspenseless neo-noir. One is an indelible, golden-curled memory from a Holocaust survivor's remembrance of a concentration camp–bound train, as filmed by NYC documentarian Danny Hart (Henry Ian Cusick of TV's Lost). The other is the blandly secretive Lexi (Nicki Aycox), a poor man's femme fatale, who becomes the hangdog romantic Danny's obsession when he meets her on the upstate commute to interview the old Jewish man. In parallel time cuts, the film slips between the on-camera WWII anecdote, Danny's pathetic courtship of a woman playing him for a mark, and his later interrogation by a gruff detective (Avatar's Stephen Lang) after being duct-taped to a hotel room chair with a corpse nearby. Ostensibly boned up on screenwriting books that insist all dialogue should "pop," writer-director Larry Brand (a direct-to-video thriller stalwart, co-writer of the eighth Halloween, and onetime assistant to Orson Welles) smothers his anticlimactic script in excessively florid repartee about love, alternative universes, unreliable storytellers and their gullible listeners. "I haven't quite figured out if you're a victim or a suspect," the cop grouses, but there's no bite to the criminality, the motives, the acting, or filmmaking to make us care.
Larry Brand Henry Ian Cusick, Nicki Aycox, Stephen Lang, Charles Aitken, James Biberi, Waltrudis Buck, Maria Chinappi, John Fugelsang, Nathalie Lyon Larry Brand Monterey Media

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