Punch Drunk DVDs: 'The Girl on the Train', 'Ouija: Origin of Evil', 'Keeping up with the Joneses', And More!


Adapted form the best selling mystery novel, The Girl on the Train focuses on Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt), an alcoholic obsessed with the idealic couple she watches through the window of her daily train rides. Of course, one day she witnesses something horrible happen between the couple. As the only witness, she becomes wrapped up in a complicated web of conflicting stories, potentially suggesting she’s responsible for murder.

We Said: “Fortunately, the film's operatic twist and bloody finale give us just enough of the trashy thrills we should have had all along. It's worth noting that the cast seem to be having more fun at this time, too; a welcome respite from all that dour seriousness. Blunt is excellent throughout, adding what dimension she can to Rachel mostly through the pain and weariness splashed across her splotchy face. […] Maybe what The Girl On the Train needed was a steadier hand guiding it; someone more familiar with dark material. Obviously you think of the tight control David Fincher had over Gone Girl and can't help but wonder what he could have done to keep this train from derailing so badly.” Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Set in the late 1960’s, this brilliant horror prequel sees the Zanders, a family of faux-psychic performers, accidentally invite malevolent spirits into their home through the incorporation of the titular spirit board into their act. Violent, supernatural horrors plague the family as their youngest daughter befriends the evil entities.

We Said: “Origin of Evil does have a few flaws. It relies on a handful of genre tropes, and it’s probably a bit too long (it runs close to two hours.) As a prequel to Ouija, though, this film is clearly a massive step up. You don’t need to have seen the original to enjoy Origin of Evil, but if you have, you’ll probably appreciate how well this movie handles its central concept compared to its predecessor. The original was a toy commercial and a teen-slasher. This new prequel is an intense, supernatural, and (perhaps most important) fun scary movie that pulls out all the stops. Ouija: Origin of Evil is a true horror highlight.” Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Gaffneys' (Zach Galifinakis and Isla Fisher’s) lives are interrupted by the arrival of new neighbors, whose stunning looks are matched only by the worldly sophistication of their lives. Tim Jones (John Hamm) is an accomplished travel writer whose hobbies include blowing glass, and his wife, Natalie (Gal Gadot) , is a social media consultant, cooking blogger and heroine to Sri Lankan orphans. The Gaffneys soon find themselves in the center of a storm of international espionage that gives them a breathtaking glimpse of life outside their cul-de-sac.

We Said: “Naturally. Each predictable gag is dished out with the cadence of a TV sitcom waiting for its laugh track, joined by cheap, sunny lighting and archaic score. [...] Keeping Up with the Joneses comes from a long line of domestic comedies that contrast far-out genre elements with middle-class suburban malaise. […] For Hamm this is not the kind of lead role we hoped to see him in following Mad Men. He can do better, and so can Gadot and Fisher whose best scenes all involve them in some form of lingerie. Granted, I'm not complaining about any of that but they are capable of and deserving of more than this.” Rating: 2 out of 5