train poster

Train (2008)

train poster

In Europe, a group of American college athletes unknowingly board a train that will become one deadly ride.

Not to be confused with the (much better) film Midnight Meat Train which starred Bradley Cooper and was released in the same year, comes the Thora Birch starring Train. The basic plot goes a little something like this. In Eastern Europe, a group of American college athletes unknowingly board a train that will become one deadly ride. The students are participating in a wrestling championship; they include Todd (Derek Magyer) and his girlfriend Alex (Thora Birch), Sheldon (Kavan Reece), Claire (Gloria Votsis), and young assistant coach Willy (Gideon Emery). After a hard match, they sneak away from their hotel to an underground club. However, the next morning, they return too late for their train to Odessa. Waiting for them and pissed off is Coach Harris (Todd Jensen) who has stayed behind to wait for them. When they board their train, it is not quite the train they were hoping to catch.


Train is pretty much Hostel & Turistas (Paradise Lost to us UK viewers) combined, but not done as well. The main thing Train has going for it would be the graphic violence. It had to be heavily cut just to get an ‘R‘ rating, but even so there are some moments here that aren’t too far away from the gore seen in films such as Martyrs & Frontiers. I don’t really like the phrase ‘torture porn‘ which gets banded around by a lot of people for pretty much every film with a bit of bloodshed. That being said, if there was a movie that deserved that title, then Train may be it. There is so much brutality on display here, and to be honest there really doesn’t seem to be a point to it the majority of times.


Thora Birch was great in American Beauty. I even quite liked her in The Hole. However, whilst she may give the best acting performance on show here, there wasn’t really much competition. The bad guys are laughable for the most part, and it honestly felt like every rip-off horror cliché in the book was used here. Poor acting, poor story, full of plot holes and ridiculous characters and character choices. Such a shame, because visually the film looked great, especially the torture scenes. The opening shot was basically the end to Martyrs, which if any one has seen would I’m sure agree that was pushing the boundaries of visceral brutality. I thought this film was really going to kick on from this great beginning, but sadly it was all downhill.

Train bad guys

The actual ‘reveal‘ as to why the bad guys are doing this to our college group just becomes pointless and raises so many questions. Not in a good way either. I don’t like to spoil any film I review, so I’ll just say that this is basically a really poor version of Hostel on a train. And the journey our American friends go on to survive this train ride. The worst part is left until the end though, with one of the most unsatisfying and plot hole-ridden endings I think I have seen.

Train 3

Not a lot to really recommend to you good people this time sadly. I liked the lengths the film went to as far as the violent scenes go. They really pushed the boat out, and you will be treated to people being skinned alive, spinal cords getting severed, eyes removed and much, much more if you decide to check this out. Sadly though, if you have seen films like Hostel, Saw, Turistas & Wolf Creek, then you have seen Train. All we get here is a rip off of those style of films, with a much worse story and average acting. I have seen worse films though, so if you do like that style of movie and can handle some violence (or actively seek out graphically violent films like I know some people do!) then Train may be a good way to pass 90 minutes or so. Just leave your brain at the door and prepare to laugh as our protagonists make dumb choice after dumb choice.

4 stars


  1. How did you feel about Midnight Meat Train? I did not enjoy it. Boring production values, boring editing, poor script, poor execution of script, and I would lean towards saying bad acting, but bad acting is sometimes the product of environment with the presentation being out of the hands of the actors.


    1. I liked it to be honest. Not perfect by any means, and the ending was a little weird, but overall I thought it deserved better than being dumped in the midnight dollar theatres it ended up in.


    1. Yeah, not one I would recommend I’m afraid. As much as I would love to just review good films, I have to try and seek out some hidden gems somewhere. This wasnt one of them sadly :)

      Cheers Garry!


  2. Wasn’t this supposed to be a remake of Terror Train from the Eighties with Jamie Lee Curtis. It seems like it was called that, but the title changed at the last minute. I think I’ll pass on this one. It sounds dreadful. Nice review.


  3. That trailer wasn’t half bad. Shame to hear the movie sucks though. After American Beauty, I thought Thora Birch was going to be the next big thing, but now she seems stuck in DTV hell. Speaking of Martyrs though, that film blew my mind completely.


    1. Worth a watch Ryan if you ever see it on tv or very cheap on dvd. Just not one I would recommend highly, where as Martyrs as you say is something I will tell everyone about! Hope it blew your mind in a good way! Not an easy watch though…….

      Cheers for stopping by dude :)


        1. Well if your bored for 90 minutes, whilst you could do a lot better, if your feeling up for some grisly blood and guts, with some torture thrown in then you could also do worse.

          And thats good about Martyrs :) Very good. Every one should see and enjoy it :P


        1. Hard to say, worst Ive seen recently would be either be The Woman or The Devil Inside. BUT then there is stuff like Cannibal Holocaust & Serbian Film which are just gut wrenchingly horrible with no soul or redeeming features!

          You have any?


        2. Nothing that springs to mind. I am not a huge watcher of horror. And the ones I watch are generally iconic stuff that is on the 1001 (that I tend to absolutely love). I have never been able to bring myself to watch Serbian Film (there was a massive censorship kerfuffle over that film out here) or films like that.


        3. It’s easier to name great horror films, which is good when someone who isnt a fan of the genre wants something to watch, and there is potentially something amazing out there which could change there whole outlook on the genre.

          I think its like Human Centipede. The frenzy and furore over them makes people wither want to see them or not see them. If you dont like horror or extreme cinema then I maybe wouldnt bother. Nothing good exists inside A Serbian Film :) Where is it your from buddy? Here in the UK we have so many censorship issues sadly.


        4. I’m in Australia. We have had a few recently. One of the Human Centipede films was one of them. What is the reaction to censorship over there? Here it is generally outrage that censorship takes place at all. Which I think is absolutely the right response. So many brilliant works of literature and film have been censored or banned in the past, and we should learn from that.

          What is the attraction for you in watching extreme cinema?


        5. Over here its pretty bad. They banned Human Centipede 2 totally, yet we get over stuff no problem. Its always an issue.

          I think my attraction would be about pushing boundaries, and seeing what mine are. Although whilst I fell in love with cinema because of Casino/Goodfellas/Godfather etc which some people still class as very violent films, every now and again something horrific and brutal comes along, which is also an amazing story. I Saw The Devil, Oldboy, Martyrs, all insanely violent, but some of the best films and storytelling Ive ever seen.


        6. I think they had to make these really minor cuts to Human Centipede 2 here (like < 1m minute or something).

          The situation here is helped (in terms of being anti-censorship) by the fact that Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, our two most iconic film critics (actually our only truly iconic critics) are fiercely anti-censorship and are able to get that sentiment out there quite well.

          I sort of get what you are saying there. Those films that initially push boundaries and comfort levels can turn out to be really formative ones.


        7. We just get films banned completely. Not many, but a few.

          Sometimes its good to push a boundary, and its worth it when you find a good one,like the ones I listed above. What would you say is your favourite horror movie, if you have one that is?


        8. Favourite is tough. Would say perhaps Halloween, just from The Shining. Also A Nightmare on Elm Street and An American Werewolf in London. Herzog’s Nosferatu for a rather more artistic horror film. Then it also depends on how far you stretch the genre. I love Jaws, but I wouldn’t quite call it horror.

          So in summary, Halloween. What are some of yours?


        9. The Shining for sure!! Mine then start to head into the more extreme side of the genre, with the foreign masterpieces I mentioned earlier. Big fan of Halloween too. I have never seen an Elm Street movie, just never really appealed. Maybe I should, just so I no longer have to tell people Ive never seen one! :)


        10. Without knowing your tastes too well, I definitely recommend the first Nightmare on Elm Street film. Think it is interesting in the way it combines elements of slasher films with more supernatural elements.

          Do you have any hot tips of horror flicks I probably haven’t seen, but should check out?


        11. I want to watch it just so I have it chalked off, so to speak. I feel its something I should really have seen.

          As for tips, as you say its tricky really. I mean, I have my A-Z on the homepage or the tag cloud, so stuff with an 8 or 9 out of 10 and if you dont recognise the title might be a way of pointing you in the direction.

          You ok with subtitled films? I know so many lazy people that hate them and get stuff dubbed! :)


        12. I shudder at the mere mention of dubbed films, can’t handle them. Absolutely no troubles with subtitles.

          Will hit your site and take a look at some of 9s and 10s, see what is on there that I haven’t heard of and looks cool.


        13. Thats good to hear, dubbed movies ruin people. Most of the 9s and 10s are guest reviews doing IMDB top movies, which is why they are rated high, but I think I have a few horrors at 8 out of ten. I Saw The Devil & Oldboy both got 9 I believe, then some cracking french ones at 8. Hope you find something that tempts you!


  4. Excellent work here, my friend. While I had no expectations for this – it was a total let down. Good to get the warning out here so people don’t waste their time and money : )


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