OCTOBER 10, 2007
The first review I ever wrote for Bloody Disgusting was for Dark Ride. They already had one, but the movie angered me so much (it was the first time I seriously considered walking out of a horror movie in my life) I felt I had to put my thoughts down. Ever since, I’ve pretty much gone out of my way to trash the movie, and I was beginning to think perhaps it wasn’t all deserved. Was it THAT bad? Since I was purposely re-watching 31 oft-mentioned/requested horror movies, it was the perfect opportunity to find out.
Well luckily for my ‘cred’, yes, it IS that bad. In fact the movie probably bored me even more this time, as the two things I enjoyed about it (the opening, and the killer’s getup) were now old news, leaving its plethora of flaws all the more apparent.
The biggest problem with the film is that it starts off as a typical teen slasher, with stereotype characters (all of whom, including the Final Girl, are incredibly annoying on a level rarely seen in any movie, let alone a slasher), and then randomly switches gears for the final 10 minutes, attempting to make the film work as some sort of tragic psychological thriller. All it really does is make an awful movie worse. The least it could offer is consistency.
Director Craig Singer seemingly has no idea how to stage a film either, constantly tossing in idiotic camera tricks and “stylish” montages to pad the film out. There’s a nonsensical time lapse sequence of the kids in the van, playing, of all things, paddy-cake (???), no less than TWO scenes of Jamie Lyn Sigler facing camera as the background rotates around her, etc. There’s also a total lack of setup to some of the chase scenes – the film will suddenly cut from one character to another, who is just as suddenly being spotted and then chased by the killer. It’s never quite clear where everyone is in relation to one another (how big IS this goddamn ride, anyway?), and as a result, there’s zero tension or suspense. Then again, when you consider that the movie is about a group of kids stopping off in New Jersey as they travel from California to New Orleans, it’s not really that much of a surprise that geography isn’t one of its strong suits.
The movie also features an incredibly annoying “film geek” character, who rattles off quotes and trivia about vastly superior films in pretty much every other scene. Apparently he has never seen The Funhouse, but worse, he actually gets mad when people don’t understand/care about the history of Midnight Cowboy’s MPAA rating. Christ, I’m a movie nerd, and even I wanted to smack this guy after 5 minutes. He succeeds only in being the MOST annoying character of the 6, which is saying something.
Also, like in Halloween Night, the movie takes up like 20 minutes of its running time by having a few of the characters play an overly elaborate and idiotic prank on their friends. It requires a lot of chance and coincidence to work, which makes you wonder why they bothered at all. Like everything else in the film, it’s useless and annoying.
If you notice, there’s no Amazon link (though there might be an auto-hotlink one on the title - can't help that!). It’s not an oversight. I won't go out of my way to make this charmless piece of shit easier to obtain. This thing is an insult to slasher movies and to horror movies in general, and no amount of “We were INTENTIONALLY making the characters/plot silly!” excuses will work on me. Both this and Hatchet attempted to make a modern film that would feel at home with early 80s slashers, one succeeded almost flawlessly, the other failed not just miserably, but insultingly.
What say you?