06th Aug2019

‘D-Railed’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Lance Henriksen, Frank Lammers, Tonya Kay, Jack Betts, Everette Wallin, Shae Smolik, Daniel O’Reilly, Gregg Christie, Leticia LaBelle, Giovannie Espiritu, Val McAdoo, Carter Scott, Marvin Ryan, Brie Mattson, Anthony Jensen | Written by Everette Wallin, Suzanne DeLaurentiis, Dale Fabrigar | Directed by Dale Fabrigar

D-Railed-poster

Written by Everette Wallin, Suzanne DeLaurentiis and Dale Fabrigar and directed by Fabrigar, D-Railed is a mystery set on a train that crashes into a river. The sinking train isn’t the only thing for the survivors to worry about though, because there’s a monster in the murky depths who wants some dinner, too. It’s a murder mystery on a train… but with a difference and some added horror to pump up the tension a bit.

This one intrigued me because the whole plot sounded so crazy to me, like a bunch of ideas all tossed into one movie. The problem with throwing so many things at the wall though, is that they don’t always stick. Did the ideas stick here? Well, let’s take a look shall we?

The characters, in their murder mystery costumes, due to being on their way to a party before the crash, add this campy feeling to the film. The whole thing feels strange because of the costume design. It almost fools you into thinking it’s set in the 20s until you remember that these people are just nerds on their way to a mystery dinner. There’s murder on board the train, there’s a monstrous creature stalking the men and women on board, the train is sinking and the characters are trying to decide how to survive. Do they stay put, do they try to get out and brave the depths? It’s almost like three or four plots in one, but I have to admit that it becomes messy and a touch overly-silly because of that.

The good thing is, though… D-Railed doesn’t seem to be taking itself seriously, it doesn’t seem to rely on any attempt to be an intense and serious horror film, and that is definitely a positive aspect. The campiness I mentioned earlier is a good thing, along with the over-the-top performances, the variety of characters and the practical effects, it all creates a fun and easy-going horror movie that was both hit and miss for me at various times.

There’s enough blood and gore here to keep horror fans happy, and plenty of interesting twists and turns in the story to keep things interesting, but the lack of originality and often anorexic script took it down a few notches too. I thought the creature itself was well-designed and those scenes, the scenes with the characters in terror as the creature is trying to rip them from their safety, were the strongest and most enjoyable. At its best moments, this is a thoroughly exciting film, at its worst, it is too busy and a little haphazard, making it more frustrating than anything else. It’s a mixed bag, for sure.

The cast do a fine job, and it was cool to see Lance Henriksen (Aliens) here, an actor who can be very enjoyable. He stood out to me because I previously knew him from various titles in his vast filmography, but I also enjoyed Carter Scott (State of Affairs), Shae Smolik (The Hatred) and Frank Lammers (Black Book). There are some fun characters here and that really does say it all, this movie is FUN, it doesn’t do anything that you’ll necessarily remember in a few weeks, and it didn’t blow me away in any way, but I did enjoy it, I didn’t regret having a chance to watch it, and I thought it exceeded my expectations.

A large cast of interesting characters, a creature from the deep dark waters, murder, mayhem and mystery. That’s what D-Railed is selling, and it delivers in many ways. It really is a lot of fun much of the time, and can’t be accused of not going all-out on being a bloody and action-packed story.

D-Railed is out on DVD and Digital now, from Uncork’d Entertainment.

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