by Chris Hlad
It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and the calendar is counting down to Halloween. What better way to get ready for Samhain than a scary movie? The answer to that question is nothing. Nothing sets the mood for the season as well as a good, scary movie, and I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at the latest Dale Fabrigar film / Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions, “D-Railed.”
Normally, horror movies are color by number affairs and predictable. That’s okay if the movies are done right. Sometimes it’s fun (yes, fun) to sit back and watch a brainless teen walk into the woods alone. Or into that house everybody says to stay away from. Or have random sex which is always a death sentence.
Sometimes it’s fun to watch a horror movie that challenges the mind. The one’s that aren’t so, so predictable — which is where I’d categorize this movie. Sort of.
Is it possible to see a movie that provokes thought while at the same time being, dare I say, campy, while being fun and scary too? Rare, but yes. That’s where I’d put “D-Railed,” an early Halloween treat.
In the first act, we are introduced to a colorful cast of characters who board a Murder Mystery Train, hoping to have a good meal, adult beverages, and a mystery to solve. At least that was the plan.
As the cast of the Murder Mystery Train are introduced, and the minds of the passengers are somehow read and made public, something bad happens and the dinner theater body count starts. And it only goes off the rails from there. Literally.
The tension builds, the remaining cast are left to fend for themselves against a mystery creature with razor-sharp claws, and the real body count rises and…
I will tell you that the final act is where the questions are raised. What is right? What is wrong. Do we chase death or does death chase us? That’s up to the cast and ultimately the audience to decide.
This is a movie with brains, blood, and rich characters that makes you question everything you’re watching. But most importantly, it’s fun! It’s a movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and that’s why it works. Sure, there may have been a few hiccups during production that caused some minor flaws in the film, but for a movie that was filmed in twelve days between two locations, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, it wasn’t a distraction. During the screening, people jumped, screamed, laughed, and at the end applauded. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
With its train setting, characters battling each other and a swamp creature, I think this film falls into its own genre. Agatha Creature, if you will. (Yes, I am going to copyright this term).
Indulge in this Halloween treat. You won’t be sorry.
Film Title: D-Railed
Synopsis: When a train derails into the river, its surviving passengers are faced with a grim challenge… die in the wreckage or face the unknown that awaits them in the murky waters below.