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Friday, December 3, 2010

My review of Terror Train

The boys
and girls
of Sigma Phi,

Some will live.

Some will die.

This is now my 6th Jamie Lee Scream Queen film (lets see, Halloween 1,2,4 Prom Night, and now this. never mind, it's my 5th Jamie Lee Scream queen film) I agree withe very critic who gave this a positive review: you could do worse.

Acting/Characters: It could have been worse. it could have been a lot better too. Jamie Lee plays the same character that she played in Halloween and Prom Night just with a different name. The rest of the characters are just what every other knife fodder slasher teen is in the other films. But I feel that,surprisingly, these kids did just a tiny bit better than the kids in the other slashers. Nothing award winning (maybe Teen Choice Award winning but everyone with even half a brain knows that they aren't real awards anyway). Jamie Lee obviously had the most character. Boy, she can scream. You know, one thing that I have noticed is that no matter how old Jamie Lee is when doing a film, she sounds exactly the same. Her voice that is. I bet the second she started talking as a young child she sounded like she does now. I'm rambling on a random tangent but yeah, it could have been worse. 4/10

Plot: If Alien taught us one thing about Horror Films is that a claustrophobic setting is always a plus. There are few more claustrophobic settings than a train. I liked that a lot. Other than that, it was the same thing as every other slasher: masked killer stalking and killing teens until only Jamie Lee is left. If I hadn't seen so many films like that I might have enjoyed the plot a bit more. But I also noticed that this film had a Dr. Loomis sort of character. Not someone who was desperately looking for the deranged killer but rather an adult who is really the only person who really knows what is going on and has more brains than all of the teens combined. I also liked the ending a bit more than I did with the other slasher films. The identity of the killer isn't something that this film tries to hide, but it still manages to get in a few twists that you didn't see coming. So, at least this film tried. 6/10

Screenplay: well, this is like the rest of the movie, it could have been a lot worse. It could have been like every other slasher film out there. In many ways it was, but the screenplay found a few ways to be a bit better than the rest of the slashers. It was still decently generic. 4/10

Likableness: you know, I wasn't rolling my eyes as much as I normally do during a slasher film which is always nice. But that isn't to say I didn't roll my eyes. there were certainly moments where I did. But overall, I must agree with he critics: you could do worse. A lot worse. It was decently entertaining and I must give it credit for that. 5/10

Final Score: 19/40 47% (M)


TRIVIA TIME: 1. The idea for Terror Train came from a dream that Daniel Grodnikhad. One weekend night after seeing the films Halloween and Silver Streak, Dan woke up and said to his wife, "What do you think about putting Halloween on a train? His wife answered, "That's terrible. He jotted down "Terrible Train" on a piece of paper on his nightstand. In the morning he changed the title to TERROR TRAIN, wrote up 22 pages, and made a deal on it with Sandy Howard's company at 3 in the afternoon.

2. Jamie Lee Curtis shot this film back to back with the similarly themed slasher film Prom Night in late 1979. Both films were shot in Canada; Prom Night in Toronto and Terror Train in Montreal.

3. The film's German title is 'Monster im Nacht-Express', which translates to 'Monster on the Night Express Train'.

4. 'Derek MacKinnon' who played Kenny also played ten other characters, making it eleven in total.

5. Filmed aboard actual train cars that were converted to allow space for large camera equipment for the production.

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