Choo-Choo, all aboard the murder express!
Someone used that in a review, right?
Tell me they did.
SOMEONE HAD TO HAVE.
Other than me, that is.
So many folks try to be Clever Dans but just come off as snarky or mean. It isn’t even that it’s clever, it’s just, I dunno.
Welcome to the second chapter of this budding lower tier franchise. I have to admit that I was very pleasantly surprised by the first one, which embraced the original but did its own thing in the end. I think the folks behind it suspected it was going to do reasonably well – and it was probably done very quickly with a very tight budget – because hey-ho, we have a sequel just a couple of months after the first was released.
Now that is ambitious.
Imagine if they tried to create a Murderverse and had all these interconnected murder movies with slashers that all joined forces against the Final Whomevers.
Clutch the butcher knife!
The first TT film was fun though, so hey, let’s dive into the next, shall we?
The sequel picks up a year after the events of the first film and finds one of the survivors being talked into taking part in a Terror Train reunion of sorts that is to take place on the very train where the murder spree had happened. The thought is that this will help her deal with her PTSD and face the demons of that horrifying night. The event was put together by the frat that had been involved in the previous train’s party with the thought of proving that the past was the past and was dead. What hadn’t been anticipated though was that things would be hijacked by an up and coming influencer obsessed with the murders and who has instructed her fans to join her on the trip. Enter several characters from the first film and a whole lot of faceless fans of the influencer and with all of them comes someone who also has a soft spot for murder, and a very sharp knife to go along with it.
The film is fast paced and pretty breezy with decent acting and entertaining set pieces. I appreciate that they tried to wrestle with issues like PTSD in the movie and do OK with that. Unlike the first one there isn’t enough new here to really keep the film in your mind much beyond the initial viewing. It has some fun kills, some cartoony characters, and a lot of callbacks to the first film, it just doesn’t have anyone or anything that sticks with you. I give them credit that they keep you guessing who the killer is until the end, and in retrospect it makes sense one you see the reveal. I wish they could have had a little time between movies to really sit and simmer on the first and come in and really go way over the top and up the stakes. I would wager we’ll see a third, and that’s fine, but they need to really sit and stew on things a bit to make it more memorable.
As it stands, it’s perfectly fine popcorn horror that is worth a look if you liked the first one and slasher films, but isn’t something you will revisit.
The script is mediocre, the direction is decent but workman-like, and the acting is sufficient. The music is serviceable but did make me laugh how much they leaned on parts of the melody from PHANTASM for it. There are a lot of lapses in logic but then, you didn’t come here for a taut thriller, you came for a slasher movie.
And you get it.
The kills are decent, though I question their logic when it’s all said and done, but they work.
Definitely worth a look but not at all as good as the first.
2.25 out of 5
Hey, go buy a book, this ain’t a library!