Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Train Wreck of Cliche

I’m going to first come right out and say that Train sucked. It was exactly what people were saying it was: Hostel on a train but stupider, which I couldn’t believe. If you want to know why this movie sucked I could give you a laundry list of reasons that include: bad acting, improbable actions, overuse of gore to the point of stupidity, stupid characters, bad establishing shots, horrible CGI, a plot that goes all over the place, American stereotypes, European stereotypes and my favorite… overuse of stock sound effects. That’s what I want to talk about.

If anybody knows me, I enjoy hearing some stock movie cliché sound effects here and there, especially if the movie is a comedy. The use of them is sort of a tribute to the Hollywood studio and most of the time the sound effects are muffled over other sound effects or it’s slightly brought down. However, Train does something different because this movie is trying to be a serious horror movie similar to Saw or Hostel, so when I hear one of these sound effects… loud and abrupt as hell… it takes me right out of the movie. The funniest thing is, it didn’t seem like a mistake because they do it not once but twice and thrice. I sat back in my seat and I laughed my ass off because I couldn’t believe what I heard. It was awful.

The first time I almost chocked on my Coke with laughter was when the main heroine, presumably, sees the fat maniac jump out of the burning train window while on fire, to his death on the side of the bridge. What made it funny? He screamed, as loud as you can be, one of the most cliché movie screams called The Howie Scream. It had replay value. I had to make sure that I wasn’t having audio hallucination but I wasn’t. They really went that route.

Below is what the Howie Scream sounds like in a rather funny compilation.

For movie fanatics like me you are familiar with the Wilhelm Scream, which is probably one of the most infamous Hollywood screams in movie history. Right before the fat guy gets run over by a train in the very end of the movie he lets out a shrieking, over the top dub of the Wilhelm Scream.

Below, you can hear the Wilhelm Scream.

This next one, I can’t really remember where in the movie I saw it but I’m sure it had to do with that fat guy again. There is a stock sound effect called Insane Tantrum, which sounds like somebody screaming while being tortured. Since I can’t remember what scene it was all I can do is remember my initial reaction to hearing that sound effect louder than anything else in the movie. It resulted in a swift facepalm to the face.

To listen to Insane Tantrum, click here.

I just find it funny that Train had so many problems with it but the problem that stood out to me was the overuse of stock sound effects. I believe this movie wanted to be serious because it certainly felt that way, so why would you have those sound effects in there and make them louder than ever? Most films, if they have them, are hidden in the background subtly but not this movie, this movie bring them right out in front. If you are wondering why I am nagging so much on this aspect of the film it’s because it’s the only thing that I will ever remember from it and it left a bad taste in my mouth. The film is not just a terrible movie; it’s an exercise in cliché as well.


the jaded viewer said...

I live tweeted while I watched this....so bad....so so bad.

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