D-Railed, rolls out steady on the rails, chugging along before switching gears and becoming something more involved than merely a robbery, as some critics noted it’s a bit of Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) however, missed an influx of Carnival of Souls (1962). All of this twisting and turning comes from director Dale Fabriker (Area 407 ) who brought two screenwriters to assist him, namely ones he worked with on previous projects, sadly they just mixed too many elements into one flick, but still they obtain distribution success with Uncork’d Entertainment.
On Halloween night, a bunch of people in Halloween costumes are milling around in a party mood at an old railway station with a few old steam trains lined up while to disembark. Meanwhile, a group of strangers gather together for what appears as special private party train with a 1920’s-themed murder mystery dinner aboard an old steam locomotive, in a jovial mood, The Conductor (Jack Betts) welcomes all among them Evelyn (Scott) quickly befriends precocious, young Abigail (Shae Smolik) & her unamused chaperone Antonia (Leticia LaBelle). While joining on the rail car singer Kathryn (Mia Christou) & her biographer Marcus (Daniel O’Reilly (Bedeviled )), dreamer Daisy (Brie Mattson) & flapper GiGi (Tonya Kay (Creep Van )) ruthless industrialist Asher (Anthony Jensen), and rude Clyde (Ben Hopkins). The evening gets started with The Host (Frank Lammers), a loud raucous individual, who welcomes the guests and introduces them one by one with vaguely revealing truths, before he’s finished a ‘murder’ takes place. However, something is not quite right about the entire matter, before know, a robbery in full swing and quickly followed by a train derailment. The survivors begin to piece together their situations when a new set of problems begin, some might survive others doomed from the get-go. It is from here the audience goes from a drama and murder mystery to full blast horror inspired tale of an underwater creature, though perhaps this beast, has more in common with the ferryman. As the group dwindles, they seek to reach a distant light, we find ourselves changing the scope of the story once more, and enter into a bit of Greek mythology of Sisyphus repeating a task forever as one person refuses to accept their fate and stuck in a looming purgatory. Oh, by the end, Manny (Lance Henriksen (Aliens )) the owner of the trains and yard helps tie up the loose ends of the story.
The primary problem of the film centers on the tone no reason why it constantly shifts mixing the genres, this could work frankly as straight horror, after all they incorporated the time to perfect a wonderful creature, which looks eerie similar to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. In the earlier portion some of the comical moments work, and its fairly amusing how the introductions occur, especially for anyone has ever attended a dinner theater event. They actually do encourage audience participation, so it nice to see the screenwriters, deliver an element of that into the movie. However, a tad too much occurs in the second act which causes the audience a slight headache, mainly due to the number of characters quickly associated and then trying to determine to who’s left after the crash and their relationships to each other, leaves one with confusion of who to root for now.
While some likely point to a script with flaws, and that leads to film errors, I rather look at what the actual problem truly lies, aside the mixing the genres so fast that story out-paces the film. It is well-known that in a horror movie, it includes a reference points to other genres, some romance, a comedic line to break tension, however, a filmmaker and writers need to know there limitations of budget constraints, and this movie relied heavily on CGI which lately in horror has had tremendous backlash, a simplified story with their creature likely a better route. Therefore, a rule to understand the budget, know the set or location options beforehand and write to their best attributes, let a real location speak volumes while immersing it in a world of terrifying horrors.
IMDb Rating: 3.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10