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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Train" has to be one of the most ridiculous movies ever. The script is
such a mess that you can't count the illogical moments and plot holes.
First of all it is an obvious "Hostel"-Ripoff... a group of wrestlers
goes to Russia for a wrestling contests and drops off for a party in a
Russian town which causes them to split with their group and miss their
train. From here on you can replace the hostel with a train and the
Snuff-fun with organ-reaping. Guess what, they get on a train after a
"nice" lady helps them since no one speaks English (of course) and they
don't know a word Russian (which helps when being in Russia) and soon
some real strange Russian guys turn up while one after the other of the
wrestlers goes missing. You get some pretty graphic torture-scenes,
mostly shot in the dark and with the typical modern gritty style but
the best part is.... exactly that makes no sense when you have a train
in your plot with doctors who harvest organs to sell. What we learn off
this movie is: - if you harvest organs, keep your victims alive while
doing it and pummel them with knuckle dusters and pee on them when
capturing them - when removing organs, just tear them out... eyes can
be ripped out with funny instruments in one move, hearts are best taken
out after sawing open the living victims chest and then looking for
treasures with your bare hands... oh yes, and the cut- off penis sure
also was of use for some one. - a grown males torn out eyes are best
transplanted to an 8year old boy. - Russian thugs are damn evil (partly
they look like Lord of the Rings Characters) and powerful... when your
heroine hides under the train they just push the train with their
incredible Russian power, just to get an axe into the torso for their
effort - When you are left in a Russian village, all your friends are
dead and a strange mass of people walks through the dark just follow
them - Russian thugs look like bears but move like cats, so you never
hear them crawling up behind you (about 10 times in the movie),
especially not when you are standing in the middle of an empty bridge.
- if you aim for modern horror audiences graphic torture and repeated
raw punches into womens faces seem to be some kind of recipe for
success - when you blow up a train on a bridge and leave a thug on the
rails, the part of the train you disconnected miraculously disappears
so the thug can be overrun by another train for dramatic effect - if
you are lost somewhere in the Russian hills in a country where you
cannot communicate... you just return home to the USA, so the lazy
director does not have to make up more ridiculous ideas. - if you want
to quit wrestling to be a doctor and you live through a gory nightmare
like this its just logical that you continue wrestling with a pretty
Russian new haircut
I have rarely seen a movie with so many plot-holes and idiotic situations while obviously having some budget and known actors (BTW... the parts where Thora Birch breaks out of heroine character and shows emotions are a mess) and being a totally calculated cash-off on the torture-porn hype. With movies like this you need your directors license revoked for a hundred reasons and its a shame that movies like "Train" are paid for while hundreds of good scripts will never be made into movies. Stay away, far away from this.
Torture porn is a really overused description, one that tends to be
slapped onto anything with a bit of blood and guts which the reviewer
didn't like very much. Hostel, for example, is nothing like it; it has
a storyline, characters, even a bit of subtext going on there. Real
porn is where the splatter has no reason to exist, there are no actual
characters, and no plot other than to get us from one splatter scene to
the next. Train is genuine torture porn.
Oh, sure, there is an attempt at a plot, but not one that makes any sense. Organ harvesters - on a train? Rumbling through the middle of nowhere, taking out bits of bodies by yanking at them until the connecting tissue snaps? Harvesting tongues, penises, and other not-exactly-transplantable organs? The whole movie is just an excuse to show some graphic, very nasty scenes of dismemberment, shot in leering close-up, and anything else - character, plot, dialogue - is perfunctory at best. The script feels like it was written on the back of a cigarette packet, no one behaves in a remotely sensible way - 'oh look, here's a locked door with copious blood-stains in front of it, let's find out what's behind it by STEPPING OUT OF A MOVING TRAIN AND SMASHING A WINDOW FROM THE OUTSIDE. What school do these kids go to, James Bond High School? Let me say again - I've got no objection to graphic splatter, so long as there's some point to it. If there's no worthwhile story, no reason for the gore to exist, you have porn. This movie, in other words. A nasty, degrading experience made by stupid people who probably think they're pushing some boundary or other. You're not, guys. You're just stringing together a bunch of random scenes of people being chopped up. Well done.
Just one thing before I go - what the hell happened to Thora Birch? Between this and Deadline (also unbelievably awful, though with less people having their skin cut off), is she aiming to be the new Cuba Gooding Jr or something? Please, Thora, fire your agent and start doing actual movies again. Pretty please?
Not exactly sure what I was expecting with this one. I figured, hey,
Thora Birch is in this, it can't be ALL bad. A bunch of American kids
traveling around in a train getting terrorized in some fashion...
sounds watchable. Unfortunately, I was not satisfied.
If my comment title hasn't tipped you off yet, you're in for an hour and a half of equal parts torture porn and survival horror. There's nothing new here and no worth while twists to raise this movie above (or even up to the level of) many similar genre pictures. It seems to meas if all the horror directors have tired of setting their pictures in the rural south, invariably populated with crazed backwoods cannibals and have instead focused on semi-fictional demonic visions of Eastern Europe populated by depraved butchers for hire. The acting is flat and the characters are so unlikeable (not to mention the lack of definition or development) you just can't muster any emotional ties. You won't even find yourself rooting for the bad guy here... you just won't care.
There is one facet of the movie that does seem to shine though. Love it or hate it, the gore in this film is so over the top and just down right rotten and visceral that it will produce a response. The camera does not flinch away... ever. I guess we're all just too complacent as horror fans these days. Gore like this used to be able to carry a film on the merits of the blood spilled alone, as the super bloody extreme cinema was relatively rare, often found only in hard core Asian productions. Now, every movie you watch seems to be teeming with so much of it that we as fans are beginning to demand more than just a slasher guts fest.
There are so many cool horror movies out there that invest their time and effort in delivering more in terms of originality. Unless you're curious, I would seek out something with more depth.
Oh my god, i don't know where to start. You finish this movie and you feel empty. Feel like someone stole you an hour and a half and gave nothing in return. I - as a matter of fact - feel angry. Have you seen Hostel or Touristas? Then there's literally NOTHING that will surprise you in this pile of crap. The filmmakers should be sued for plagiarism. All of the characters are two dimensional, underwritten, unlikable and act stupid as hell. One time they have one of the villains on the floor, he's slow like a freaking drugged mule that fell into a swamp, there's FOUR of our "heroes" (ok, two of them kinda disabled), plenty of tools around and what do they do? Run away. That's right, leave those two and yell terrified "there's no time!". I laughed out loud in disbelief. I've seen it before, but never, EVER, executed that badly before. In that moment i gave up rooting anybody. Just die, please, all of you. End this farce. Honorable mention: use of stock sounds. Gave me more laughter. That's how you identify quality movie. Use the most generic stock sounds.
When Hostel was released I found it to be an interesting twist on the
likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Hills Have Eyes, playing on the
fear of being outside one's normal environment, but exchanging the
backwoods for Eastern Europe. Even back then, however, I noted the
American-centricity of the film.
Since then we have had Hostel II, Turistas (known as Paradise Lost here in the UK), and now we have Train- another in this unfortunate sub genre that shouldn't be called Torture Porn, but rather "Don't be Leavin' America!" Because yet again those poor beautiful Abercrombie And Fitch mannequins are under threat by Eastern Euopeans who want to take their organs.
A film I recently enjoyed was Saw VI. Yes- seriously. The sixth part in a series of horror films and it still felt fresher than this film. Why? Probably because it quite cleverly, highlighted the brutality inherent in the medical insurance system of care in the US, and selfishness of banks practically handing out risky loans that has led us to this economic crisis. This was a horror film brave enough to assess America's own problems.
In contrast films such as Train are contemptuous of all things non- American. It makes me wonder about the the directors of these movies- did they take their middle-American rite-of-passage trip to Europe as students- backpack around? At what point did they decide to cinematically urinate on the countries they visited? The film itself is bland, feels cheap and thinks revealing a character's pierced nipples counts as character development. Thora Birch looks annoyed at having signed on- I'm pretty sure there are moments her face screams "I was once in American Beauty." And let's be grateful this film was about Eastern Europeans stealing organs, because if it was about bottling charisma or likability, no one would have died.
Yes, hit the villain once, lay him out and instead of grabbing one of
many weapons he used to torture and mutilate your dearest friend, run
away and abandon the living.
This movie is really weak. It's basically a less creative version of Hostel and Touristas that takes place on a train in the Ukraine or Czech Republic...basically the edge of Europe. Most the acting is pretty lousy and a couple of the "college" athlete characters look over 30 years old pushing 40. Even if you like slasher films, it's no fun when victims borderline volunteer to be tortured and mutilated.
Thora Birch must not have read the script or they really needed the money. I suspect Gideon Raff is another one of these talentless Europeans that the American film studios will finance simply because he's European and will charm them with an accent then deliver absolute failure.
Avoid this movie, it's a prime example as to why so many people are just stealing movies rather than renting or buying them. If we're to pay for crap like this then at the very least give us some nudity that's actually worth looking at.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning
** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
A group of young American athletes head to Germany to compete in a grappling competition, with mixed success. However, a mix up at the railway station compromises their trip home, leaving them stranded...until a mysterious woman offers them all a trip back on her luxury carriage. They are struck by the hospitality...only to find as the journey progresses, they are on a train of psychopaths who want their organs and will stop at nothing to get them.
Train probably forwent it's right to a cinema release on these shores for appearing so generic and predictable. Take a typical bunch of obnoxious American teens (the only one I could make out of any of them being Thora Birch) place them in a plot eerily similar to Hostel and then, add the even more common denominator today of being a typical 'torture porn' flick where the emphasis is far more on blood and gore than genuine scares. And indeed, the film never achieves anything resembling a claustrophobic air of tension or terror, just a stumbling stutter from one clunky set up to the next. Not surprising, given the plot line is so far fetched and implausible from the off set. Nonetheless, it could have managed as a genuinely creepy and atmospheric film...but by selling out and being just another of the many bottom of the barrel 'torture porn' flicks that you could forget about as easy as that. **
I probably should have known this was going to be, or at least akin to
being, "torture porn", or the gratuitous slicing and dicing of people
without any of the suspense, but I didn't expect this low-rent movie
starring Thora Birch to be just so unpleasant, in its style and mood
and its delivery. It doesn't help that the cast mostly looks like the
understudies of other actors (that one guy is a dead ringer for Denis
Leary, another one for European Cameron Diaz) and none of them can act
very well (Birch, of course, being a master thespian of under-acting if
that's possible). But any moment that a suspenseful walking/creeping
around should work it doesn't, and any moment that we're supposed to be
icked or frightened by the next gashing-out of blood is just stupid in
It also doesn't help at all that the logic is twisted; there's a train that kidnaps unwitting people into using their bodies on the black market, okay, I'll bite, maybe it's like Taken on a Train (ho-ho). Even then there's little thought put into it; they're organ-removers basically- a little like the people in Hostel only providing a "service" albeit extremely criminal and psychopathic and with some of the usual big galuts in tandem. But what about what's usually done with organ removing and transplanting like, I don't know, a CLEAN ROOM! It's one thing to be evil East-Euro organ removers, it's another thing to be incompetent while doing it.
Also, the ending is one of the lamest in modern cinematic memory, even if it's straight-to-video. There's little to recommend about it except for a few (unintentional) laughs early on before the Olympic team gets on the train and parties down at an overly-red-lit nightclub.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Okay this movie certainly won't win any awards or make Thora Birch a
star again, but this movie is quite fun and okay, although the premise
is unbelievably stupid and way too far fetched. This is one of the few
slasher movies that have came out in recent years that isn't a remake,
although this is what started out as a remake to 1980's Jamie Lee
Curtis slasher "Terror Train" kinda morphed into it's own movie.
The plot = A group of teens (the usual 20-30 something cast), who are on the school wrestling team, miss they're train to Odessa, after a local woman helps them by leading them to another train that's heading to the same location, as soon as they board the train they started getting picked off one by one, by a mad doctor whose using them are live organ donors.
Come on I mean okay maybe internal organs can be used, but how can tongues and penises be used again, that is just stupid, and the fact that everyone else on the train just sits there doing nothing while these teens are being chased and hacked to pieces extreme stupidness of the lead characters and flaws in the script that cause bizarre situations, I mean talk about leave your brain at the door. This just feels like Hostel part 3 and has absolutely no intelligence whatsoever to it, but it does have some great gore and chilling death scenes.
All in all, I gave this movie a 4 because of the gore and great death scenes, other than that this movie has nothing going for it, and it's also sad to see someone as talented as Thora Birch just going through the motions in this it seems as though she has given up.
Americans go on a train in Europe that ends up being their last ride.
That's this film summed up in one sentence, one boring sentence that actually is more entertaining than the film. This is Hostel meets Turistas on a train. How many times have we seen good-looking Americans (ugly ones never travel) that somehow get caught up in some sick plot about killing for for money, organ harvesting, teaching lessons, etc. These films seem like ANTI-TRAVEL ads, if you leave the states, you're going to die.
The film doesn't bother with a plot, it simply needs to get characters for the slaughter in specific locations so bad guys can do harmful things to them. Films like these are basically an excuse to showcase gore, just like a film such as 2012 is made to showcase special effects. So how do you judge a film that is simply about cutting people up? You judge it on how well they accomplish that, how creative it can be and if it made you squirm. Does Train do any of these things?
Well, characters are beaten, urinated on, cut open, stabbed, castrated, etc. So there is no real creativity going on here. People are simply chained up and then cut open for the most part. Train manages to fall into the horror clichés that have plagued the genre like a sickness. Let's take a look:
1. Characters have a chance to escape, but don't? Check. 2. Characters have a weapon, drop it and leave it instead of using it? Check. 3. Characters give away passports/I.D. to strangers in other country just because? Check. 4. Characters go back to save someone who cannot be saved? Check. 5. Characters have opportunity to kill attacker, but instead choose to simply injure then run away? CHECK.
This film had me rolling my eyes so much I hurt my eyeballs.
Train is a flick you can miss, it adds nothing to the genre in terms of suspense, thrills, gore, entertainment, anything. It will anger you, frustrate you, cause you to rip your hair out. All these things and more!!!!
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