Train (2009)

Genre(s): Horror
Lions Gate || R - 94 minutes - $26.98 || November 17, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-11-06


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Gideon Raff
Writer(s): Gideon Raff (written by)
Cast: Thora Birch


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Train is brutal. No, not brutal as in scary as hell, I almost crapped my pants kind of way, but brutal in that it is even worse than some of the worse torture-porn films that has come out over the years.

The formula is quite simple: Get a semi-recognizable C-list actress to star in a low-budget horror film with no plot and scenes that were more disgusting than scary. Yeah, I realize I’m asking too much for a horror film to actually scary me... In this outing, the ridiculous plot begins when part of a wrestling team misses their train to Odessa during a tournament run in Eastern Europe (Warning Sign #1) but thanks to an “attractive” woman (Warning Sign #2), they find another train and are on their way. It doesn’t take long for things to go wrong when they offer up their passports for safe keeping from thieves (Blatant Warning Sign #3) to two unsavory thugs.

Soon, they are each in grave danger when we discover that the back of the train houses a torture room where human organs are harvested and in another compartment is a clean room where surgery can be performed. I tell ya, those Eastern European serial killers are certainly innovative, making torture mobile, efficient and clairvoyant (how else would they know a wrestling team would need a ride?).

Let me make this clear, Train is trash. I have my issues with torture-porn in general thanks in large part to the Saw sequels (I actually found the original to be a good true horror-thriller) that set out just to find new ways to kill a person and disregard any semblance of a script with real scares being supplanted with utter disgust. Train offers nothing new and is one long, pardon the pun, train wreck with questionable acting from the Americans, stereotypical caricatures of the Eastern Europeans and a plot that is so stupid, I had a rough time getting through the entire flick.

There are times the low-budget horror film can succeed; Saw was one of those before being watered down with the endless number of sequels. And even recently, Lions Gate (the home video distributor for this movie) released The Children, which was a well done flick.

And then there’s the cast. You got 20 unknown actors and actress and then that one person who you see on the cover and wonder, “Wow, so THAT’S what happened to them.” I like Thora Birch since her coming out party in 1999’s American Beauty, but Ghost World withstanding, she’s had several ho-hum and direct-to-video releases and Train continues that resume.

Saying to skip Train would be an understatement, but avoid this horror film like the plague. I know you’ll see it on Wal-Mart’s bargain shelf for $5 one day, but keep on moving.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only feature is a Behind the Scenes (13:56) featurette. Not like we needed a commentary, so the less the merrier. The featurette just has interviews with the cast and crew explaining the complicated plot intermingled with footage from the film.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The “movie” is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio and this video transfer is littered with the usual pixilation one would expect from a low-budget horror movie like this. Even for a dark film, the black levels aren’t too great either. Since it is torture-porn, I’m sure the director just wanted to emulate the style of Hostel or Saw, and failed miserably.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is effective enough, but hardly anything great. The dialogue was easy to understand and the roar of the train as it whips by is pretty strong and made my subwoofer go crazy. However, the audio could’ve been distributed on the channels better as certain parts seemed too heavy during some sections.



.::OVERALL::.

Train is yet another terrible low-budget horror film that came out of the Saw craze which began in 2004. Obviously these kinds of movies were made for direct-to-video but I think this wasn’t even worthy as a TV movie...