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Overall Rating
3.79

Awesome: 19.61%
Worth A Look52.94%
Just Average: 17.65%
Pretty Crappy: 6.86%
Sucks: 2.94%

7 reviews, 60 user ratings


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Joy Ride
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by MP Bartley

"Less than you want, more than you'd expect"
3 stars

Truck drivers in America must really hate the movies. Every time they're featured in a film it's usually as a psychotically dangerous killer. And so the trend continues in 'Joyride' (or 'Roadkill' as it's known in Europe)which takes elements from 'Duel', 'Breakdown', 'The Hitcher', 'Jeepers Creepers' and even 'Deliverance' to effective, occasionally inspired, effect.

Paul Walker plays Lewis, a student about to fly home for the holidays. Until he receives a call from good friend/unrequited love Venna (Leelee Sobieweski). She's also off home and has broke up with her boyfriend. Hormones overcome Lewis, who decides to trade in his plane tickets and buy a car instead so he can pick up Venna.

En route to Venna he receives word that his older brother Fuller (Steve Zahn) has fallen foul of the law and is currently languishing in jail. Brotherly duty overcoming convenience, Lewis goes further out of the way to bail out Fuller and take him home. To show his gratitude and alleviate the boredom of a long trip home, Fuller installs a cb radio in Lewis's car and proceeds to wind up local truckers, chiefly one going by the moniker Rusty Nail (an uncredited Ted Levine).

Lewis puts on an alarmingly bad womans voice and poses as Candy Cane, luring Rusty Nail to a nearby motel where the two brothers are staying. Once there, they decide to exact revenge on an obnoxious fellow guest by giving his room number as Candy Canes. Of course this leads to trouble, as the next morning the man is found on the highway with his jaw ripped off and Rusty Nail evidently still pissed off at the brothers...

It's a protracted build-up that takes a while to kick into top gear. Once it does however, director John Dahl has great fun playing guessing games with the brothers and the audience. Trucks roar past Lewis' tin can of a car with no-one really sure which one is being driven by Rusty Nail. This builds up to a priceless moment where Rusty Nail decides to reveal himself.

Dahl also plays against cliche leaving the brutal attack on the motel man to the imagination. Whereas directors with less subtlety would have gone with over the top sound effects and sharp shocks, Dahl plays it out in near silence as the brothers listen uncomfortably through the wall at the banging and talking they can only hear faintly.

It's not all this good though. Too often it falls back onto the old 'run-stop for breath-there he is!- run' narrative to propel the story along. And for a trucker, Rusty Nail has almost supernatural powers at times, seemingly able to track the boys down at will and cover for any eventuality. However the action trots along nicely at a steady pace, ensuring boredom never sets in. And it thankfully avoids that great plague of modern horror: irony. It's never knowing, and it never winks at the audience, choosing to play its scares open and true.

This is helped by a good, solid cast. Levine manages to creep out just with his voice, and Walker cements his leading man credentials with another solid performance. Sobieweski also comes off well, giving an assured and resourceful perfromance that never comes across as a cliched screaming teen. Zahn, however is having the most fun here. He's a likeable blabbermouth that manages to get into trouble more often than not, but still retains sympathy from the audience. Together the three leads manage to give that rare thing in a horror: credibility. They never ruin the tension with inane jokes (Zahn does provide laughs but it's mainly to get our guards down for the next scare) and when running scared, seem genuine. The only time their relationship falls into cliche is when Dahl makes a half-hearted effort to suggest a love triangle between them. He wisely avoids this and instead ends with a terrific room switch trick taken from 'The Silence Of The Lambs'

Ok, so it was in no way original, and wasn't as good as other reviews led me to believe. Maybe I was feeling generous but for a teen horror flick it made a good enough mark on me and had enough high points to get the thumbs up.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4629&reviewer=293
originally posted: 05/14/02 08:34:23
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User Comments

12/18/10 chaotik tom Absolutly brilliant! Loved every minute! A must see! 5 stars
4/11/09 Dane Youssef Finally! A worthwhile teen thriller! If "Duel" or "Jeepers Creepers" had actually worked! 5 stars
2/01/09 Pankaj Saksena It was a regular American Highway Thriller... but the ending was real confusing 3 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
8/13/08 PAUL SHORTT ITS EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE AND GETS GREAT MILEAGE ON AND OFF THE HIGHWAY 3 stars
10/19/07 Total Crap Brutal. The ending was confusing and there should've been a sequel by now. 4 stars
3/27/07 Stanley Thai A suspensful thriller that doesn't insult your intelligence. 4 stars
1/27/07 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 4 stars
7/12/06 Agent Sands No Last Seduction or Kill Me Again, but it passes. 4 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Suspense thriller with all the fun of a road movie 4 stars
6/17/05 Indrid Cold A surprisingly good thriller. This will become one of those forgotten gems. 4 stars
6/20/04 Dick Logan one of the worst films ever made!! Script and acting were pitiful!! 1 stars
6/14/04 Dr. Lecter A nerve-racking little gem of a thriller 4 stars
6/02/04 R.W. Welch Mad trucker flick strains credulity but is still fun. Neatly directed. 4 stars
3/20/04 mans0n really entertaining throughout 4 stars
12/11/03 Jaron more awesome than scary... 4 stars
12/06/03 Micheal One of the greatest thrillers i've probably ever saw! 5 stars
11/03/03 American Slasher Goddess One of the best on the road thrillers in a long time. 4 stars
9/30/03 Samuel Justus A decent little horror film! 4 stars
9/17/03 HUGH not scary not anything 1 stars
9/15/03 Charles Tatum Well done, I could watch Sobieski's Leelees all day long 4 stars
9/13/03 J An addrelidine rush! 4 stars
8/12/03 adrian true funny, scary, likable characters 5 stars
6/19/03 Jenny Tullwartz Unspeakable horror, roadtrip cliches, lame acting, dumb teens - this flick has it all! 3 stars
5/27/03 Scott Howard I Loved it !!! 5 stars
4/25/03 mr. Pink One of the best entertainig and exciting edge-of-your-seat thrillers of the last 5 years 5 stars
3/10/03 me GREAT 5 stars
3/08/03 Jack Sommersby A high-voltage, unnerving thriller. Dahl's command of the medium is admirable. 4 stars
1/23/03 Lisa Blundell A very scary, hide-your-face-behind-a-pillow movie. Very humorous too!! 5 stars
10/07/02 rita WHAT HAPPENED IN THE END?????!!!?? I DONT GET IT 4 stars
10/05/02 John McNew A more effective chiller than 2001 summer's "The Others" 4 stars
9/08/02 gary roberts I really didnt get the end... what happened? anyone care to explain? thanks 4 stars
8/04/02 KMG DID ANYONE UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED IN THE END? WAS THE ICEMAN THE KILLER?OR THE FAT FUCK? 4 stars
8/02/02 Matthew Smith gripping from start to finish, a seat gliching thriller 4 stars
7/24/02 palaboy101 Reminded me of "Jeepers Creepers". You must see it on DVD... 4 alternate endings! 4 stars
6/17/02 Film Dude No Andrew, THIS MOVIE DID NOT HAVE CHEAP FUCKING THRILLS AND OVER-DONE ENDING. MORON. 4 stars
4/18/02 OH BILLY!!!!!!!!!!!! its awsome 5 stars
3/30/02 Film Guy Great Movie. not like other horror movies 5 stars
3/22/02 Andrew Carden Cheap Thrills, Average Performances, Over-Done Ending...Pretty Average Film. 3 stars
3/22/02 The Bomb 69 most thriller films have stupid characters, this one was real and the ending was awesome!! 5 stars
3/19/02 Spyguy2 Makes "The Hitcher" look like Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"...avoid at all costs. Trust me. 1 stars
3/14/02 NWO4LIFE Entertaining and thrilling, but it played it a little too safe. One of them should've died. 4 stars
3/05/02 Jenny Tullwartz Unspeakable horror, roadtrip cliches, lame acting, dumb teens - this flick has it all! 3 stars
12/24/01 ryan starts out good but quickly turns into crap 2 stars
12/14/01 Flora(szflora@matavnet.hu) I love this movie!Steve and Paul are very sexy!:)) 5 stars
12/02/01 natasha very good worth the time 5 stars
11/28/01 Kelly i'm buyin the video just for that beautiful scene of Paul Walkers ASS! 5 stars
11/21/01 daniboy very enjoyable. scary enough. steve zahn is funny as hell 5 stars
11/01/01 Gay Tooth Fairy lots of fun. Ted Levine has a great villain voice. 4 stars
11/01/01 pipeman Great fun. It deserved to do better at the box office. Look for this movie and see it. 5 stars
10/21/01 Greyjack Very good flick.Steve Zahn kicked ass again. The guy's got two solid movies out this month. 4 stars
10/17/01 Sarah Regelin Awesome movie, it was soo scary Paul Walker is so good looking 5 stars
10/14/01 Schmidty72 100 times better than Jeepers Creepers. If you like "Duel", then you'll like this flick. 4 stars
10/14/01 Geebo A fun movie, very entertaining. 5 stars
10/13/01 specialK good stuff - have to suspend reality for some scenes 4 stars
10/12/01 Black Sheep Eric Snider said it exactly. Unusually level-headed, w/laughs and scares. & Paul Walker =^) 5 stars
10/11/01 Connor Dueck suspensful as hell. if only all new thrillers could be this good 4 stars
10/10/01 masin wolliams VERY SIMPLE AND EASY TO SWALLOW PLOT, LOOKS LIKE A MADE FOR TV MOVIE. MINDLESS BUT FUN 3 stars
10/09/01 GIBBO A great romp - more funny than suspenseful - but a great movie all the same. 4 stars
10/07/01 Chuck and Fran All the characters reactions in the movie were believable. Comparable to "Duel" by Spielber 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Oct-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Jul-2002


Directed by
  John Dahl

Written by
  Clay Tarver
  Jeffrey Abrams

Cast
  Leelee Sobieski
  Steve Zahn
  Matthew Kimbrough
  Brien Varady
  Paul Walker
  Jim Beaver



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