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27
3.9 out of 5 stars
Train [DVD]
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2010
Bought this film on the sheer strength of Thora Birch being in it. I am not a fan of the recent horror genre which necessitates so much visual gore but I wanted to see what the makers had done which took this movie away from being a supposed remake of the old Jamie Lee Curtis slasher film Terror Train.

There is indeed no doubt that comparisons with Terror Train are hardly possible and this is simply a Hostel or SAW aboard a Train. The idea of a Train where transplants and surgery take place isn't a new one to me but I felt that, in places, the idea was well played out. I am simply not a fan of the graphic gore which seems to the producers to be totally necessary to the plot. Yes, there is likely to be such stuff going on but I find the idea of the imagination so much more thought provoking than seeing the events on screen.

Apart from Thora Birch I was not familiar with the other cast but I felt the characters were so secondary to the gore that most seemed unable to be fleshed out (pardon the pun). The only one who was even close to being a real character for me was the Train's Conductor, he was quietly menacing despite seeming to be the perfect Conductor to start with. And what of Thora, herself? As always she looked stunning, even with the bloody make up, and her gorgeous curves were unable to be hidden despite the clothes. She came across as very much the terrified girl but when she finally snapped and went on the attack I was thinking, "Go girl! Give them as good as you've got!" I look forward to her future films. Her recent ones have been heading in the somewhat gory and weird direction (Dark Corners was more weird but also had gore) and I wonder if she is now typecast in this genre (like Sarah Michelle Geller seems to be in the likes of The Return and The Grudge) but I am still a fan and will seek out the next film.

As for the film as a whole, if you like the genre of SAW, Hostel and the like then this is for you. If you have a weak stomach, maybe not. Personally it wasn't my cup of tea and yet Thora gains it the 3rd star as she did a great job in holding it all together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2012
Well, where to begin. I'm an avid horror fan - everything from haunted houses to gorefests, I'm there. I'd barely heard of this title but, having seen this crop up in some personal top ten lists, decided to give it a go.
Train finds it difficult to compete with other horror movies on any level. If you're a gore fan, the big set pieces aren't particularly well done and most of the "shocking" scenes we've seen a million times before. While I don't enjoy "torture porn" very much it doesn't bother me, and I can appreciate well done effects and the stamina needed to endure such scenes. There's one point where one of the main characters is dragged away from the train, presumably to meet a sticky end, and the camera cuts back to the passengers looking on (in what? Horror? Ambivalence?). Surely this is completely against the premise of such gory films? Why cut away before a scene that is supposedly part of the selling point of your movie? It seems strangely squeamish for a film which claims to compete with Hostel.
It is to be expected that character development will fall short in films such as these, but Train is on a whole other level. It is unclear whether the antagonists are masochistic and enjoy their work, or are simply following orders - indeed, apart from one woman and the conductor whose uniform is his identifier, all the "villains" fade into one insultingly stereotypical mess. One guy has an axe, so I suppose he stands out. The other passengers simply stand by, and don't even react to the horrors in which the protagonists find themselves. While I can see that this might be intentional to highlight the extremes to which people can turn a blind eye - and one scene in which Birch confronts them points to this - the film is so poorly written that these messages are pretty much lost. The background characters are cardboard cutouts whose entire purpose is to point and stare blankly. When it is revealed that many of them (and I apologize if this is a spoiler) are on the train to recieve organ transplants stolen from the american travellers, their ambivalence makes a lot more sense, but it still makes for dull viewing.
The main characters are also wasted: I found that I could not identify with the protagonists at all, nor did I particularly care what happened to them. None of them have convincing characteristics or behave realistically. For example, two dodgy men in stained vests approach Birch and ask for the group's passports, "to stop them from getting stolen". She complies! Who in their right mind would give up their passports to these people??
It is difficult to find anything good about Train. The story plods along in a predicable fashion, with very little tension or build up, and the scares are minimal. The gore - arguably the easiest part of the movie to pull off effectively - falls completely flat and fails to be either convincing or shocking. In my opinion it's best avoided, probably in favour of something like Martyrs, Hostel, Ichi the Killer or even Braindead if gore is your thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have seen the original Unrated version of this movie which is quite terrifying. I assumed with the FSK18 german rating it was uncut. Boy was I wrong. This movie is cut all over the place. I just don't understand how they can do this and get away with this. A bluray is to be watched in your own private home. I am not buying anymore German blu rays unless the box says Unrated , Or Uncut Director's cut. I was so disappointed with this. I live in the Usa and I collect horror blurays. Many titles are not available in the States so I buy many from the Uk and Germany. This is my last time being screwed by German censors.
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on 9 January 2013
For all of Hostel's accusations of excessive gore and cruelty, it's actually a rivettingly well-made tension thriller masquerading as a gore horror. The same claim couldn't be levelled at Train, which mines the same vein of 'fear the mysterious Eastern Europeans' horror but with less concern for plot.
When a group of gymnasts miss their connection due to a night of partying, they end up on an alternate train.
Unfortunately for them, this train is also being used by a bunch of nasty characters who don't have their best intentions at heart...
The cast are all decent, but all the usual horror movie tropes are here: suspiciously dodgy authority figures, leeringly ugly Eastern European villains that any sensible character would steer clear of, obvious 'don't go there!' moment of repeated stupidity...frankly Train takes the easy option of giving Americans yet another nationality to be afraid of. It's not going to be held up as a model of cultural and racial tolerance.
If Train has a saving grace it's in its simple gutsy brutality. The gore is, frankly, savage. The decently played characters are viciously brutalised in the most appalling ways, and the leads' fight for survival is given added tension as a result.
The film lasts longer and has a broader setting than expected, and although it slightly outstays its welcome it is well worth a viewing for dedicated gorehounds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2014
Makes Hostel look tame. Take it for what it is it's a good film. Had to hit the rewind more than once as the mutilation scenes were well over the top. Wife couldn't stand to see all the film as the gore was too much.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2010
A group of young amateur wrestlers and their coach board a train, only to find that a strange doctor is using the back carriage as a slice and dice room.
That's about it for the plot...

I couldn't take this film seriously, the acting is superficial at best with Birch looking almost bored as scream queen, there is very little emotion to her. And the bad guys look and feel fresh from an adult pantomime they are so over the top.
It's generic script steals directly from films like 'Hostel' in order to keep the juice running.

If you just HAVE to see people being hung with hooks, having eyes pulled out, legs sawn off and spines chipped by hammer and nail, I'd recommend 'Wolf Creek' , 'Frontiers' or 'Midnight Meat Train'. If you really want to see a stale imitation, dreadfully managed and utterly pointless I would recommend this.

I'm hoping that this brand of drama (if you can call it horror) is running the end of it's course. It's for gore hounds only, not scary, not intense (because the character development is so bad you just don't care about what happens to them). Poor script and all leading up to a predictably poor ending.

This was a wasted opportunity for something that could have been okay, if only I couldn't imagine the director pleasuring himself whilst filming, in order to prove himself in the ranks of Eli Roth.
This film is only for people who get off on watching torture porn, fancy Thora Birch or like trains.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2014
Pretty much. Truly stomach churning violence and graphic gore galore in a bloody, brutal shocker that never lets up. And this is cut?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2014
this is a great film for people who like gore ,right from the start it gets you interested and continues throughout the film
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on 19 May 2015
Having just bought this film and not knowing what to expect i was pleasantly surprised in the film which i enjoyed and the surprise ending where the last person standing got a great revenge on the people aboard the train a film i would recommend for a weekend night in
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on 19 November 2013
If you like gore this is for you. Particularly if you enjoyed Hostel and similar titles. It's a little too graphic at times (for me) but true gore fans will love it.
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