Terror Train (1980) - Horror, Thriller

Hohum Score



Three years after a prank that went terribly awry, the six college students responsible are targeted by a masked killer at a New Year's Eve party aboard a moving train.

IMDB: 5.9
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis
Length: 97 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 21 out of 118 found boring (17.79%)

One-line Reviews (86)

Atsmophere of this movie is boring, delivering nothing suspenseful, because you know who the killer is all the time.

However, encumbered by flat direction from Spottiswoode, a weak, cliché-ridden script from T.

Still, the final 20 minutes in which the killer - whose ultimate disguise is quite unpredictable - repeatedly stalks Curtis is rather effectively handled by debuting director Spottiswoode (who had edited Sam Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS [1971], among others)...

Another thing, this slick pic gets bonus points for featuring a young David Copperfield whose magic tricks in the film are sometimes more entertaining than the film itself!

While the plot is well known and always imitated, it serves for it's entertaining purpose and by the way justifies the killing spree.

Terror Train mixes relentless gloom, compelling mystery and good performances to achieve fairly decent results.

But in the rest of the movie, there is no suspense, no good acting ('cept Jamie Lee), dull and goofy sound effects.

Jamie Lee Curtis is wasted in a totally predictable slasher that takes place on a train bound with Halloween reveling co-eds.

Good cinematography finally establishes a creepy mood in the claustrophobic setting that is the train, lighting schemes ala Dario Argento start popping up, a very well realized scene where fraternity prick Bochner searches desperately for someone hiding in his compartment and a pulsating showdown between the killer and Curtis which is very brutal and suspenseful.

The spooky score serves to add to the tension, while good photography keeps the movie watchable - even in some of the overlong teen exposition scenes in which nothing happens.

The final battle between Curtis and the murderer is exciting and fairly violent.

The actors did a pretty good job I think, and the plot of the story was pretty intense.

The film is at least worth watching for Jamie Lee Curtis, who gives a sympathetic and layered performance, driven home by that signature scream of hers.

Actually the slow parts getting to most of the thrills were pretty eerie, just the thought of being on a train with a murderer I guess.

You get your pointless murders, your nasty shots (like the delayed-reaction decapitation scene and the nail-through-the-eye trick), you get your absolutely ludicrous scene of nudity, and you get your gimmick (David Copperfield the movie star?

Most people already knew who the killer was, but it was still pretty good especially the last scene with Jamie Lee Curtis and the killer, somewhat suspenseful.

Stylish but empty .

There are some genuinely suspenseful and creepy moments, my favourite is where Jamie Lee Curtis is on the bed and the killer appears at the window behind her.

" Most of the main characters engage in sexual banter that is both cliché and stilted.

anyone familiar with JLC movies will recognize even in the early years that mocking, sarcastic face thing she does to lighten the mood and provide the viewer with a more "realistic" feel; typically during intense or serious two-shots.

This film also boasts one of the most suspenseful chase sequences in the genre!

"Terror Train" is a competent looking slasher by director Roger Spottiswoode, but here we go again in the formulaic stakes, which isn't too bad because it's slickly done with a different and claustrophobic setting.

Though not a landmark effort in its genre, "Terror Train" mostly delivers the goods and is an engaging little film that surprisingly holds up rather well today.

Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable film, I recommend it to fans of slasher films.

Well, this was no Halloween or The Fog, but I liked it all the same, even if it is not as classic, professional, and suspenseful.

That alone makes the film worth watching--that and one of the most memorable final confrontations between heroine and killer in horror history.

While, the opening of the film was rather sleepy, there are a few intense builds ups and an explosive showdown between heroine and killer in the final third.

"Terror Train" apparently has a rep as a minor classic in the slasher genre, but after viewing this rather boring film last night I'm puzzled as to the reason why, exactly.

A couple of minor plot holes aside, the biggest thing that weighs against 'Terror Train' is a precredits scene that gives away the killer's identity; as such, the film lacks the mystery element of something like 'Friday the 13th', but it is a surprisingly gripping ride even with the murderer and his motivations very obvious from the get-go.

You get some pretty tense & suspenseful scenes involving the menacing killer & when i mean menacing, do i mean menacing-this killer was so creepy...

After several more (relatively bloodless, offscreen) kills, comes the predictable showdown between J.

However, for all the similarities between the two films, there is something to be said for "Terror Train" and its ability to tell a fun, engaging story.

As soon as the movie starts you know who the killer is but it is still worth watching.

Bland Slasher .

Simple enough, and sometimes simple plots are the best kinds of plots to go with, though the simplicity of Terror Train makes it seem dull and mediocre at times.

Kills are a little naff and mundane, Curtis looks fed up with the whole genre and it all ends abruptly and very lame.

Here's another Canadian horror film that just doesn't work because of how bland it is.

She is pitted here against a vengeful masked killer stalking her and a group of college friends responsible for a grisly prank gone awry, who set out on the rails three years later for the rousing costume party that encompasses the bulk of the action.

There's a boring opening scene involving a fraternity prank gone awry and it cements the evildoer here; I mean really!

That's all very well if you like that sorts of thing, however I found it to be an especially tedious form of padding that the film really didn't need.

how did Kenny manage to clean the toilet so quickly - confusing Johnson - after he killed his second victim?

Fairly suspenseful slasher film has decent acting and atmospheric settings.

A few of the tricks look like they were done with "movie magic" instead of real time, but they're very entertaining nonetheless.

Drake, keeps the absorbing story moving along at a snappy pace, builds a good deal of tension and spooky atmosphere, makes excellent use of the novel and claustrophobic train setting, and stages the rousing climactic chase set piece with skill and flair.

As of now, 2006, I'm sure it's dull for contemporary standards.

I'll grant that "Terror Train" has an original setting and a few decent set pieces but the finished product was slow moving, filled with annoying characters and wasn't terribly gory or scary, even by 1980 standards.

Stylish but empty, wholly predictable horror about a killer targeting a fraternity during a reunion/ costume party aboard a train speeding through the snowy Canadian wilderness.

The presence of Jamie Lee Curtis at the height of her genre dominance adds immeasurably to the enduring impact of this affair, and as always she proves to be an engaging and resourceful heroine.

Even if the clever surprises this thriller has in store don't resonate quite as strongly today as they did during its original theatrical run, these reels have held up remarkably well, and while it's debatable whether or not we have a bonafide classic on our hands here, Terror Train most assuredly succeeds as an entertaining offering that deserves its legacy.

The ending is too predictable as well, since the beginning of this movie gives away who the killer is.

The scene where that guy was looking through the room trying to find the killer kept me on the edge of my seat!

She was bland, irrational and uninteresting.

While, the film only goes for about 90 minutes, it does feel longer because of some long dry spells of dull chin-wag and tedious fooling around.

It proved to be effective in working up the suspense and heating up the climax towards the end, when the flashes of brilliance made-up for some of the slower patches that were evident earlier on.

The story of a killer boarding a charter train that a fraternity rents for a night of partying has potential, but the cast is dreary and wasted.

The novelty value of that alone makes the film worth watching.

The basic plot structure is given a clear roadmap in the first 15 minutes: horrible victim of practical joke, party, mass murder, etc., etc..What makes this film worth watching is how the little details end up looking so silly 25 years later.

Pacing is a little slow, and it takes the killer a little while to get warmed up after his first couple of killings.

The results are a film that is relatively classy when compared to others at its time, but at the same time, feels slightly formulaic.

From the eerie John Alcott photography to the entertaining characters (Jamie Lee always brings a smile to my face and livens up the film), this slasher film is miles above the other '80s slasher films.

Good costumes and setting, boring characters.

Sadly, because of her trite label as the "Scream Queen," I believe she never reached her full potential.

Routine and mediocre 80's slasher with an overload of clichés and tedious moments, and only a small amount of neat gimmicks to make up for its flaws.

Plus, the film does fall into the slasher cannon of the time, so it is fairly predictable and really offers nothing new.

In the end, it is up to creepy conjurer David Copperfield (as, unsurprisingly, a creepy conjuror performing at the party) to supply the only genuinely entertaining moments in this otherwise forgettable affair: his amazing magical skills and displays of sheer showmanship regularly punctuate the tedium, narrowly preventing the film from being a complete waste of time.

There are many intense moments as well with the killer and Curtis' character, really memorable scenes.

Whether it's the killer's creepy Groucho mask or the suspense-packed sequence in which a victim searches for the murderer in his train compartment, TERROR TRAIN is top-notch stuff which, while derivative of HALLOWEEN, still manages to feel fresh and entertaining unlike the later slashers that came in the mid '80s and rehashed tired formulas over and over.

Worth watching for the camp value .

Rating: Average but entertaining .

I liked the very cool and unexpected twists this movie had though, and even though sometimes the characters were annoying, they were nicely done and they commingled with the type of atmosphere the film had perfectly.

This is probably the most obscure of Jamie Lee Curtis' horror movies, not exactly easy to find, but even though there is quite the cheese, it's thrilling and refreshing, compared to the dreck you find around today (most of them remakes).

Despite a fine pedigree, with direction by Roger Spottiswoode and cinematography from John Alcott, this extremely muddled, non-scary slasher flick is awfully thin and incredibly dull.

John Alcott's stunning cinematography works wonders with the cramped confines of the train and offers several striking shots of the bleak wintry Canadian landscape.

The story already starts with a giant cliché, when a new year fraternity-joke goes unexpectedly wrong, resulting in a traumatizing experience for the victim.

It feels more like a drama and can be very slow.

Thankfully Roger Spottiwoode's debut has a lot more to offer than just intriguing promotion, it was actually one of the better flicks of the peak period.

With a good gimmick, an exciting finale, an appealing cast and snappy editing this film manages to always be entertaining.

The whole mid-section is very uninteresting, though, and the wretched red herrings completely miss their effect.

The kills are mostly uninspired, relatively bloodless and the characters either boring, ugly or unlikable (apart from our leading heroine Ms. Curtis).

The first hour is rather slow and padded at times, though things do pick up in the last half hour.

Even if you are not a fan, it's still a good waste of time.

The silent-killer stuff still felt fresh this early on and although we're pretty certain who's under the various masks (more on that in a second), there's still an intriguing mystery, as no one knows whom he's actually disguised as.

To expect too much quality out of this is pointless.

Well, this is obvious, predictable and a rather slow moving slasher.

I'm sorry, but Halloween and Halloween II bore me to tears.

There are some stereotypical college partying scenes and generic characters, but Terror Train is very entertaining.