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Amy Holden Jones
Jamie Lee Curtis,
Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion where they get killed off one by one by the monstrous surviving members of a family massacre years earlier for trespassing on their living grounds.
Vincent Van Patten,
Slightly traumatized and painfully shy Angela Baker is sent away to summer camp with her cousin. Not long after Angela's arrival, things start to go horribly wrong for anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions.
A college fraternity prank goes wrong and a student ends up in the mental asylum. Three years later, it's graduation time, and the members of the fraternity decide to have a costume party aboard a train trip to celebrate their graduation. Unknowingly to them, a killer has slipped aboard, killing them off one by one, disguised in the costumes of the victims. Written by
Of the slasher films that Jamie Lee Curtis would appear in after the masterful Halloween (1978), Terror Train is truly the best. It's also one of the better genre entries of the early '80s.
College students hold a costume party on a train, only to have a masked stranger come aboard with murder on their mind. But is this murderer really a stranger?
As slasher films go, Terror Train really has a lot going for it. The claustrophobic setting is an ideal place for suspense and it works! The direction is compact and nicely done, making great use of the rather creepy-looking masks that the killer wears. This film also boasts one of the most suspenseful chase sequences in the genre! The cinematography is slickly-well done. The music score is unique and beautiful (especially Alana's theme, heard mostly in the beginning of the end credits).
The cast is also in good form. Jamie Lee is good as her likable heroine self. Handsome Hart Bochner does well as the two-faced frat leader. Veteran actor Ben Johnson is a welcomed addition as the train conductor. Even David Copperfield manages to be a little menacing in his role as a mysterious magician.
All together Terror Train does well, making for a good slasher-thriller with a few tricks up its sleeves. Definitely a highlight among 80's slasher films.
*** 1/2 out of ****
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