Terror Train

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 12


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,422
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Movie Info

During a New Year's party aboard a moving train, a college fraternity begins losing members and collecting corpses. It would seem that after being the victim of a cruel hazing prank by the aforementioned frat, a mentally fragile student arrives in costume to take his revenge upon the lot. Features a loud performance by Jamie Lee Curtis, and David Copperfield appears as a magician, of all things.

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Critic Reviews for Terror Train

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for Terror Train

  • Oct 10, 2014
    Claustrophobic settings are perfect to induce anxiety because the feeling of no escape slowly creeps in. 'Terror Train' is a senselessly amateurish affair and not an iota of originality springs from the locomotive-bound milieu. Naturally, the slice-and-dice victims are members of a sex-starved fraternity and as per usual, the bloodshed is supposedly vengeance for a particularly cruel prank (a pledge is almost coerced into necrophilia). To say that the cloak-and-dagger Agatha Christie mystery is completely telegraphed is putting it mildly. Anyone who can't determine the killer's identity must be hopelessly naïve. The high-key lighting on the cabin corridors sullies most of Roger Spottiswoode's forays into scare tactics until the lights finally dim in the taut final half-hour. I wouldn't be astonished to learn that a ghost director was hired for this section because the film drastically improves with a volcanic chase between Jamie Lee Curtis and the killer (the murderer creepily wriggling down a window behind a nearly unconscious Curtis is spectacular). The only other point of interest and sparkling showmanship is David Copperfield brandishing some magician tricks such as a cigarette penetrating a quarter. This could've easily been transmogrified into a Cameron Crowe coming-of-age story about embarking on the last laps of college and how relationships were forged or splintered during the intervening years. The slothfully paced 'Terror Train' is surprisingly scant on gore but it doesn't equalize with rip-roaring intensity (although a hide-and-seek scene inside Doc Manley's (Hart Bochner) reclusive compartment is heart-palpitating). On a sidenote, a lizard costume-adorned casualty with a booze bottle embedded in his mouth looks like he accidentally died of alcohol poisoning.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Nov 03, 2012
    One of the better slasher films I've seen that immediately followed 'Halloween'. Like that film this also stars Curtis and she is ok here, although her hysteria can get a bit annoying as the film progresses. Johnson is actually the main draw here and brings a bit of class to the role of the train conductor who cottons on to the fact that things are a little odd during the party. The kills are mostly done off camera and we just see the results of the slaughter. Even so Spottiswoode has fun building up the tension and makes the whole thing more entertaining by having the killer change party costumes throughout. Also the identity of the killer is kept in some doubt for most of the film, even though Copperfield seems to be having fun conjuring up lots of red herrings as the mysterious magician (that no-one remembers hiring) on board the train.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 26, 2011
    The story is predictable from the get-go and isn't fresh, but the movie is well-crafted for its genre and manages to build suspense.
    Matt P Super Reviewer
  • Jan 13, 2011
    Mediocre slasher from the 80's. Interesting setting for a slasher film having it unfold onboard a train, but that's about the only bit of originality about it. The kills themselves are mostly gore-free and tame, and the killers' big reveal is predictable. The best moments are of David Copperfield's tricks during his cameo appearence.
    Lee ? Super Reviewer

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