Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crap After Dark: Dark Ride

It's all about the pacing, people!  This After Dark Horrorfest film is certainly rife with possibility.  It has some cliches, granted, but it seems like it could be interesting.  The plot involves a bunch of young adult idiots going off to party in a place that they shouldn't.  Naturally, a killer shows up and, well, kills people.  After all, the killer must kill again- thank you, Luigi Cozzi.  Unfortunately, this movie does not add anything new to this played-out premise.  In fact, it actually subtracts a bit from it.  This is de-evolutionary film-making at its worst!  The film does have a couple minor stars in it, which helps it a bit.  To see why this film goes so wrong with such a simple premise, read on...
Our heroes go on a road trip, figuring that they can save money. They have some back-story, but who really cares?
In Horror Cliche #4,385, the owner of a Gas Station shows up, says something creepy and never appears again.  Keep that one alive, After Dark films.  How else will Michael Berryman get work?
The gang ends up at the Dark Ride aka the spook house.  Most of them act like assholes.  Meanwhile, a killer- from the opening- breaks out of a mental ward.  Ruh roh.
After about an hour, all of this builds up to...a fake-out death.  Our Final Girl is still mad at one of the guys and made up an elaborate scam.  What about the killer?
He eventually starts, you know, being relevant and wipes out the cast in pretty quick succession.  This is what happens when you waste an hour on set-up!
The Final Girl tries to make the emotional most out of this scenario, but the audience is long past caring.  Can a silly and ultimately-pointless plot twist save it?
No, no it can't.  The End.
Who Edited this movie?  I wanted to give this movie a passing grade, but I just can't.  The premise- fine.  It's nothing special, but these films tend to be somewhat stock.  The acting- fine.  Again, not great.  Nobody was that annoying and they all played their parts fine.  The hitchhiker was over-doing it a bit for my taste though.  As I mentioned, the Pacing is what kills this movie.  Were any of these characters interesting enough to merit this much build-up and development?  No.  Was this plot so interesting that it benefited from this?  No, again. It's a generic, slasher movie set in a slightly-underused location that does nothing new.  They can't get the basic idea right though, making it a tedious mess.  It did give a Poor Bastard of Cinema or two though, so it wasn't a complete loss.  The bottom line: skip this Ride.  Har har har.  Take us away, thing I usually end reviews with...
Next up, a successful Japanese Director is condemned to an After Dark release.  Will this J-Horror film do more than just confuse me?  Stay tuned...

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