Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

What we have with ‘Dark Ride’, one of those eight flicks from the After Dark Horror Fest some months back, is throwback to the good old days, depending on where you stand, of horror movies.  You remember those days don’t you?  The days when horny, drug using teenagers used to get mercilessly slaughtered for being horny drug users?  Nowadays, horror has given way to creepy, ghostly looking Japanese kids and lots of brutal limb severing, but director Greg Singer hopes to resurrect the age of the hating horny teen killer with his slasher flick ‘Dark Ride’. 

Our little film opens at a carnival, always a good place for creepiness, with twin Samantha badgering her sister Colleen to jump on some freaky ride.  Colleen is no fool and has seen these movies before, but damn peer pressure is bitch.  So Colleen joins her fool sister on the ride and soon both girls are mercilessly slaughtered by some freaky carnival geek.

Some years later we are at a hospital for the criminally insane where our carnival geek is in straight jacket inside a cell to let you know how crazy he is.  Apparently he is on a strictly ‘no meat’ diet, but we have a couple of those evil, randy, soon to die orderlies who can’t follow simple orders, and have never seen these movies before.  There was a reason that we didn’t give this guy meat, and as far as I could tell, it was because it turns him into the Incredible Hulk, only without the intelligence.  Orderlies are dead, carnival geek is on the run.

Now it’s time to meet our cannon fodder which consist of Cathy (Jamie-Lynn DiScala), Liz (Jennifer Tisdale), Steve (David Clayton Rodgers), Jim (Alex Solowitz) and Jonah (Dave Warden).  They’ve planned a little road trip for the weekend, and along the way

pick up a spacey chick who apparently signed the nudity waiver in Jen (Andrea Bogart).  Hey Kids!  Let’s stop off at an abandoned theme park for some dying fun before we get to our destination!  Right on!  And die they will in some rather imaginative ways.  And then there’s the TWIST!  Chances are you’ll have it figured out.

‘Dark Ride’ was neither good nor bad.  If you don’t like horror, slasher flicks, why in the world would you think you’d like this one?  You won’t.  Personally, after ‘Friday the 13th II’, I had pretty much had my fill of the genre, though I managed to have watched them all when I was in high school.  ‘Prom Night’, ‘Happy Birthday to Me’, ‘Valentine’s Day’, ‘Terror Train’, you name it, I had seen it because it is what we did.  But if you like these kinds of movies, then I’m betting you’ll enjoy ‘Dark Ride’ as certainly hold true to the theme.  A mysterious unstoppable monster with a cloudy past, rampant drug usage by the main characters, at least one brutal death in the throes of passion, running around in circles and screaming a lot, clueless police officers and they even managed to squeeze in and slaughter a Black Guy, even though none of the main characters were black.  Outstanding!

Obviously there’s nothing terribly original in ‘Dark Ride’ to recommend it, nor would you even expect anything terribly original in the first price.  It is what it is, and that’s a fairly well done, old school slasher flick that stays true to the genre.  I think that may be good enough for anyone who enjoys these styles of films.

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