Movie Review: Frat Boys and Sorority Girls party to death on “Terror Train” remake

Remaking the Jamie Lee Curtis horror canon pays off. So taking another shot at “Terror Train,” which the Queen of Screams filmed back in 1980, isn’t a bad idea.

Not improving on a nut-with-a-knife thriller that wasn’t all that to start with is.

Our heroine, Alana, played by Robyn Alomar this time, gives us a shocked, moving and very human reaction to the site of her best friend’s corpse, making her realize this frat party chartered train ride has a murderer on board.

But there isn’t much more that recommends this listless, generally lifeless remake.

Alana’s a med student mixed up with frat boys (Matias Garrido, Corteon Moore etc) who use her to play a particularly cruel prank. When Halloween rolls around and she and her sorority sisters (Emma Elle Paterson, Romy Meltman) join in on the frat’s party on rails, that opening scene prank comes back to stab people in the ass. Or other vulnerable body parts.

There’s drinking and pranking and hooking up and on-board entertainment — Tim Rozon gives a creepy vibe to the hired magician on board. And there is “staff” utterly unequipped to deal with this “no cell service” emergency. Nadine Bhabha is a not-nearly-overwhelmed-enough porter.

Bodies pile up and the blood will flow.

Who will still be around for their final destination? Who is doing the killing? Who’s in on it? Who figures it out first?

The slack pacing and perfunctory ways the killings are staged by director Philip Gagnon mean that the only real question is “Who will care?”

Rating: TV-MA, bloody violence, sexual situations, profanity

Cast: Robyn Alomar, Emma Elle Paterson, Matias Garrido, Nadine Bhabha, Mary Walsh, Romy Meltman, Corteon Moore, and Tim Rozon

Credits: Directed by Philip Gagnon, scripted by Ian Carpenter and Aaron Martin, based on the 1980 film scripted by Judith Rascoe and T.Y. Drake. A Tubi streaming release.

Running time: 1:30

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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