If there’s one unpopular movie set that needs to get bigger, ironically, it’s the movies set on trains. It’s a unique setting that only a few movies are able to achieve greatly because it takes great skill to shoot in all the confined compartments and tankers full of passengers and travelers and compared to movies about cars or planes, trains are sorely lacking.
With the new version of High-speed train the public should be reminded of certain films that take place on trains. There have been a ton of classics that use the framework well like The general (1926) and Strangers on a train (1951), but here are some more recent examples of films that are off to a good start!
“Bullet Train” (2022)
brad pittthe latest action movie, High-speed trainfollows several assassins aboard a fast-moving train who begin interfering in each other’s missions as they realize they’re here for the same purpose, retrieving a special briefcase.
The movie is full of a ton of thrilling action and charismatic performances that give the movie a fun and lively feel. The film’s intentions don’t go beyond anything but simply entertaining the audience, and the film certainly succeeds in that department by being a self-aware action comedy.
“The Darjeeling Limited” (2007)
Unfortunately, The Darjeeling Limited is one of the writer/director’s least popular films Wes Anderson. However, it’s a great movie about a trio of brothers who set off on a journey across India to try to find a connection with each other after their father’s death.
The train in this movie is like a character in its own right, it plays a very important role in the story and even the movie is named after the train itself. The great production really brings the film to life and adds so much cultural flair to the environment. There are lots of eye-catching colors and accessories, and Anderson’s signature gimmick makes the train and all the other locations in this film look very dynamic and stylish.
snowdrops tells the story of the distant future where the last remaining survivors board the Snowpiercer, a train that circumnavigates the globe and protects its inhabitants from the outside world. Earth is now an apocalyptic, frozen wasteland due to a failed experiment that killed most of the planet.
The fascinating aspect of Snowpiecer is how it portrays class differences. Higher on the train, more people enjoy luxuries and perks, but lower on the train, people are treated like peasants and suffer due to the train’s stacked wealth system. Each new behavior of the train feels like its own new world that our characters discover as they pass through the rooms.
‘Compartment No. 6’ (2021)
Compartment no. 6 tells the story of two strangers who have to share a cramped compartment on a train, as they both embark on a long journey to the same destination. The film has great writing and performances which greatly help the tone of the film. This film revolves around the human interactions of the two characters and creates such a joyful and authentic story to watch.
The way the film uses its setting is also fantastic. There’s excellent camera blocking and placement, and while there’s limited space, the film really made the most of it. The way the actors moved and interacted with the environment and the coordination of the camera really conveyed that authentic feeling of being cramped on that train.
“Train to Busan” (2016)
Train to Busan is one of the most acclaimed south korean horror movies of all time, following a group of passengers boarding a high-speed train to Busan, who soon have to deal with a zombie outbreak. Jhe movie is considered one of the best zombie movies of recent years, in a genre that most viewers agree is dying out.
The film’s unique horror setting is extremely tense as the confined area of the train creates many problems for the characters, as there is not much room to escape. The zombies in this film are also fast and vicious, which adds even more intensity.
“Before Sunrise” (1995)
The first in Richard Linklaterit is before the trilogy tells the story of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) on his way to Vienna, meets Céline (Julie Delpy) who returns to Paris. After they start talking and getting along, Jesse convinces Celine to get off the train with him at his stop in Vienna and explore the city together as his flight back to America doesn’t leave until the next morning.
Although not entirely on the slopes, before sunrise still has one of the most iconic segments of a train for moviegoers, in a scene that spans 20 minutes of the movie. Similar to compartment Name.6; Before Sunrise (and the trilogy as a whole), focuses on the dynamic and relationship between the two main characters and touches on the human experience during their short time together.
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