I’m currently in the home stretch of my annual tradition of watching 31 horror movies in 31 days. During this month I generally try to do things that are a little lesser known and that I feel deserve a wider audience occasionally scattering a few favorites throughout. So imagine my surprise when I find out Tubi remade what in my opinion is a horror classic that just so happens to be in my all-time top 20 as well. For a lifelong horror fan like myself, Tubi is a dream come true streaming a collection of genre titles I grew up watching over and over so you would think they have an idea of what a horror fan expects. So the question is, were they able to do the original Terror Train (1980) justice?
Three years after a prank gone wrong sends a student to a mental asylum Alana (Robyn Alomar) and a rambunctious group of college seniors hop on board a party train for what should be a fun Halloween night. As the night progresses, what first gets brushed aside as harmless pranks slowly turns into victim after victim falling prey to an unknown killer. In a trainful of costumed partygoers (and a creepy ass magician) everyone is a suspect. With phone reception getting spotty and a killer closing in, Alana is in a race against the clock to find the killer before she becomes the next victim.
Generally, I’m not big on remakes but being a fan of the original I had high hopes going into this one. Now with most remakes, you usually get a fresh approach and some new ideas thrown in but Philippe Gagnon didn’t stray too far from the original story with this one. Aside from a few small changes this movie more or less mirrors the original with the exception of it taking place on Halloween instead of New Year and for me it just didn’t have the same charm as the 1980 version. Although interesting at times the way it played out was predictable and the characters themselves were insanely irritating. I found it really difficult to care about the protagonist like I did with Jamie Lee Curtis and the majority of the time I was rooting for the killer. This really just felt like a dressed-up but watered-down version of what was already out there. Don’t get me wrong, the original wasn’t any award-winning work or cinematic marvel either but this one just couldn’t hold my attention and I found myself constantly checking how much time was left.
That being said, that’s just my opinion and you don’t have to take my word for it. Gagnon has done something here that I never have and that’s make a movie so cheers to him. Every film has its fans and I’m sure this will have some out there but I’m unfortunately not one of them.
You can draw your own opinion though and experience it for yourself. Terror Train is streaming on Tubi now.